Sports (698)

Sunday, 09 December 2018 15:39

App State Women's Tennis Signs Poggi

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Appalachian State University women's tennis head coach Blake Mosley is excited to announce the signing of Virginia Poggi for the 2019-20 season.

"We're thrilled to have Virginia join our team next fall," head coach Blake Mosley said. "After meeting her and her parents last summer, and watching her play, we knew right away
she would be a great fit for our program."

Poggi is the fourth international recruit coach Mosley has signed with Sandra Anglesjö (Sweden), Teodora Sevo (Serbia) and María José Zacarias (Mexico).

Virginia Poggi | 5'9 | Civitavecchia, Italy | Ernest Hemingway - Civitavecchia

The future Mountaineer is having a successful career thus far, as she has helped her U16 team earn a top-8 ranking three times in the past six seasons. In 2016, she recorded a regional U16 team title and a regional U16 singles runner-up honor. Poggi qualified for top-3 regional four out of five years in U12, 13, 14 and 16. All in the same years, she qualified for nationals through her tennis club. For her career, she has won over 30 tournaments in the Italian Open Circuit against players ranked in the Universal Tennis Rating at 10 or higher. Herself, Poggie is rated as a 10 on the UTR scale in singles play. Poggi is the daughter of Daniele Poggi and Stefania Rondony.

Appalachian will open the season on Saturday, Jan. 19 when it hosts Davison at 2 p.m.

Due to the threat of winter weather, the game times for Saturday’s Catawba Valley Community College basketball doubleheader have been moved up.

The Red Hawks women’s basketball team will now play conference foe Fayetteville at noon instead of 1 p.m., and the CVCC men’s basketball game against Lenoir will also move up to 2 p.m. after originally being scheduled for 3 p.m.

“By moving these games up, we should have everyone out before any serious weather comes,” said Catawba Valley Athletic Director Nick Schroeder.

Admission to both contests is free.

Friday, 07 December 2018 13:50

Dick's Sporting Goods Classic Pairings Announced

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The Hickory Metro Sports Commission has announced the pairings for the 32nd Annual Dick’s Sporting Goods Classic Tournament scheduled for Thursday, December 27th thru Saturday, December 29th, 2018. The tournament will feature the men’s and women’s teams from eight area high schools competing in the three day event.

In the Men’s bracket, Maiden will be the #1 Seed. Hickory will be #2 and Newton-Conover is #3. The #4 Seed will be Fred T. Foard followed by #5 Bunker Hill, #6 St. Stephens, #7 Alexander Central and #8 South Caldwell. The first men’s game is scheduled to tip-off at 11:30 am on Thursday, December 27th between #2 Hickory and #7 Alexander Central.

On the Women’s side, Bunker Hill will be the #1 Seed. St. Stephens will be #2 and Hickory is #3. The #4 Seed will be Fred T. Foard followed by #5 Newton-Conover, #6 South Caldwell, #7 Alexander Central and #8 Maiden. The first women’s contest will tip-off at 10:00 am on Thursday, December 27th between #2 St. Stephens and #7 Alexander Central.

The Dick’s Sporting Goods Classic has been well known throughout the region and the state of North Carolina as the premier holiday high school event for over 30 years. The Hickory Metro Sports Commission serves as the host organization for the event and distributes the gate receipts among the participating schools. Following the 2017 event, each participating high school received a donation of more than $3,000 for their athletic programs.

Friday, 07 December 2018 13:49

Diabe Wins SoCon Wrestler of the Month Award

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Appalachian State senior Randall Diabe has been named the Southern Conference Wrestler of the Month for November.

Before he posted a win against top-20 opponent Malik McDonald of No. 7 NC State on Tuesday, Diabe went 10-3 at 197 pounds in November with two other dual meet wins against teams with a top-15 national ranking: Rutgers and North Carolina.

Diabe's 3-1 mark at the Hokie Open in mid-November included a 6-4 decision against The Citadel's Sawyer Root, a returning NCAA qualifier who was ranked 15th nationally, and a 10-2 major decision against Campbell starter Austin McNeill. Diabe had a 6-5 decision against Rutgers' Matthew Correnti at the Northeast Duals, and he capped a third-place finish at the Keystone Classic with a 5-2 decision in the Tiebreaker-2 period against Rider's Ethan Laird.

A native of Greensboro, N.C., Diabe closed November with dual wins against North Carolina's Hunter Queen (10-2 major decision) and Ohio's Nathan Hall (12-4 major decision).

With four wins by major decision in November and the recent victory against NC State, Diabe will take a 56-39 career record into a home dual against Oklahoma in Varsity Gym on Dec. 16.

Friday, 07 December 2018 13:47

App's Chasteen Lands on Academic All-American Team

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The awards keep coming in for Appalachian State University men's soccer senior, Jake Chasteen (Blowing Rock, N.C./Watauga), as he was named to the Google Cloud Academic All-American Team. Chasteen was voted to the second team by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Chasteen is one of three Sun Belt players to earn the prestigious honor, while he is named Academic All-American for the first time in his career. The Blowing Rock, N.C. native is the first Mountaineer since Stephen Chapman in 2016 to be recognized for his efforts on and off the field. Chasteen boasted an impressive 3.91 GPA in Exercise Science.

"We are very happy for Jake to receive this recognition," head coach Jason O'Keefe said. "He has always made his academics a top priority. He is a great example for our team moving forward with his achievements. Jake had a stellar senior year for us with him being named First-Team All-Sun Belt, Sun Belt Co-Player of the Year and now Academic All-American."

After receiving the All-District honor, Chasteen joins 32 other players from such schools as Syracuse, Michigan, Notre Dame, Marquette, North Carolina, Stanford, and Duke.

Chasteen registered the most shutouts in the Sun Belt with seven, which is also tied for the second most in a single season in program history and is tied for 21st in the country. His .844 goals against average were the highest in the Sun Belt and 37th in the nation, while he posted a league-high .762 save percentage.

His stellar numbers and contribution to the Mountaineers' first winning season since 2012 with an 8-5-3 mark on top of their first Sun Belt winning record at 2-1-1 led to being named Sun Belt Co-Player of the Year and All-First Team. He
became the first Mountaineer since 1989 (Carlos Lee) to garner a conference player of the year honor.

Off the field, Chasteen exemplifies what being a student-athlete is all about. In the summer he interned in Monrovia, Liberia with Samaritan's Purse with World Medical Mission, assisting the ELWA Hospital and the active ministry. Jake will graduate in December with a degree in exercise science with a pre-professional concentration and a minor in chemistry.

For his career, Chasteen finished with an impressive .96 goals against average in four seasons with a .758 save percentage and 138 saves. In three of his four seasons, he posted a GAA of 1 or less, while allowing no more than 15 goals in any of his four years.

The honors continue to pour in for the Catawba Valley Community College volleyball program.

Mark Wimberley has been named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Assistant Coach of the Year for Two-Year Colleges. The award was officially announced on Thursday by the AVCA.

“It’s so flattering and humbling to be recognized on a national level by an organization like AVCA,” Wimberley said. “Coaching is really about the athletes. If they are successful then it reflects on us as a coaching staff. Winning an award such as this is a testament to our program. I am extremely grateful for the support of our school — from the sports staff, professors, event staff and especially the coaching staff. It makes my ‘work’ not just easier, but a dream come true. Coaching is a blessing for me. This prestigious award wouldn’t be possible without the constant backing from my wife and family. It’s awesome that AVCA gives the platform, knowledge and support for coaches to help grow the game that we love.”

Wimberley just completed his eighth season as an assistant coach for the Catawba Valley volleyball program. He joined the Red Hawks in 2010 after retiring from the North Carolina Forest Service following 28 years of service.

Wimberley has helped shape the Catawba Valley volleyball program in his role as recruiting coordinator. His first two recruiting classes went undefeated in the regular season, and he’s helped the program win seven-straight conference championships — all of them with an unbeaten conference record.

He’s recruited four of CVCC’s five All-Americans in volleyball, including Jennifer Beatty, Megan Fair, Mariah Wallace and most recently Emma Clark.

“The Assistant Coach of the Year Award could not have gone to a more deserving person than coach Mark,” said Catawba Valley head volleyball coach Shannon Hudson. “Mark is one of the most hard-working, passionate and selfless people I know. I can say without a doubt that our Red Hawks program would not be what it is today without the countless amount of time, energy and dedication that coach Mark has given. Mark and I started coaching together more than eight years ago, and I can’t imagine coaching without him. I have learned so much from him about volleyball, but more than that, I’ve learned life lessons and have been able to glean from the wisdom he has to offer. His zeal for life is contagious, and he helps to make every season an adventure. It truly is a blessing to work with coach Mark Wimberly, and I’m so thankful that God allowed our paths to cross.”

Before coming to Catawba Valley, Wimberley attained coaching success on both the club and recreation levels.

Off the court, Wimberley is heavily involved in his church, and both he and his wife Carla volunteer at the Crisis Pregnancy Center in his hometown of Lincolnton, N.C. He also goes on a yearly mission trip every summer.

Wimberley’s Assistant Coach of the Year honor is the second AVCA award received by the Catawba Valley Community College volleyball program. Head coach Shannon Hudson was named the Northeast-Southeast Region Coach of the Year last week.

Both Wimberley and Hudson will receive their honors during the 2018 Jostens Coaches Honors Luncheon in Minneapolis, Minn. on Thursday, Dec. 13 — part of the 2018 American Volleyball Coaches Association Convention, which takes place Dec. 12-16.

Friday, 07 December 2018 13:41

App State's Howell Named Freshman All-American

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Appalachian State punter Clayton Howell has been named a Freshman All-American by The Athletic.

A redshirt freshman from High Point, N.C., Howell ranks ninth nationally and first among FBS freshmen with a net punting average of 41.5 yards.

He averages 43.2 yards per punt with just one touchback, and opponents have been limited to a combined 61 return yards on his 46 punts. Only 15 of his punts have been returned, as there's been 11 attempts forcing a team to start a drive inside its 20-yard line and 20 attempts that have been fair caught.

From the snaps by senior Elias McMurry to downfield coverage from the likes of Austin Exford, Steven Jones, Desmond Franklin and Akeem Davis-Gaither, it's been a team effort.­­ Howell was one of only two players from a Group of Five conference team among the 25 freshmen recognized.

Howell's nine punts of 50-plus yards include a season-long kick of 62 yards that was delivered from his own end zone and downed at the Arkansas State 29. He's also had punts of 56 and 54 yards from his own end zone this season to go along with a 53-yard punt that was downed at the Penn State 4, a 53-yard punt that was downed at the Louisiana 1 and a 49-yard punt that was downed at the Coastal Carolina 2.

Removing Penn State's 29-yard return on Howell's first punt of the season, he has a net average of 42.0 this season, a number that would be tied for sixth nationally.

Howell is the first Mountaineer to be named a Freshman All-American since cornerback Clifton Duck earned that recognition in 2016.

Lenoir-Rhyne's Ruben Morillas has been named a 2018 Google Cloud Academic First Team All-American, as announced by College Sports Information Directors of America. This distinction is for District III, which consists of Conference Carolinas, Peach Belt Conference and the South Atlantic Conference.

Morillas, a senior midfielder from Madrid, SPAIN, led the Bears to a 11-6 record (7-3 in the South Atlantic Conference), good for the first SAC regular season title in program history.

Morillas, who played in 16 matches with 15 starts, helped anchor a Bears' defense and added an assist on the offensive side. Morillas has a 4.00 grade point average and is graduating with a degree in Business Administration.

The last time the men's soccer program placed someone on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team was Ben Jones in 2014, when he found himself on the third team. Nobody in program history has been tabbed as a member of the first team.

The Division II and III Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II and III national governance structures, to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2017-18 D-II and D-III Academic All-America® teams program.

Behind career-high performances from Isayah Johnson and Jordan Powell, the Catawba Valley Community College men’s basketball team won its Region X opener on Wednesday night, defeating Davidson County 103-85 at the Tarlton Complex.

Johnson scored 29 points and Powell added 23 points — both career bests — helping the Red Hawks improve to 7-1 overall and 1-0 in Region X play.

With the win, the CVCC men’s basketball team ties its second-best start to a season, joining the 2006-07 Red Hawks team, which also started its season with a 7-1 record.

After a back-and-forth first half, the Red Hawks gained a 51-48 advantage at halftime. Johnson led CVCC in the first half with 14 points.

Leading by three points at the break, Catawba Valley outscored Davidson County (5-4, 0-3 in Region X) by a 52-37 margin in the second half. Johnson and Powell helped lead the second-half surge with 15 and 12 points during the half, respectively.

Montez Venable helped keep the Storm in Wednesday’s conference tilt, scoring a team-high 19 points, including making 11-of-15 attempts from the free throw line.

Despite Venable’s effort and a 25-for-34 shooting performance at the free throw line by Davidson County, Catawba Valley was able to pull away late en route to the 18-point conference victory.

The CVCC men’s basketball team returns to action for its second conference contest of the season, playing in the second game of a home doubleheader also featuring the Catawba Valley women’s basketball team on Saturday.

The CVCC women’s basketball team faces Fayetteville Tech at 1 p.m. at the Tarlton Complex followed by a 3 p.m. contest between the CVCC men’s basketball team and Lenoir Community College. Admission is free.

The Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team won its first conference game of the season on Wednesday, knocking off USC Salkehatchie on the road, 68-54.

Sherry Johnson paced the Red Hawks (5-1, 1-1 in Region X play) in the contest, scoring 20 points. It was the fourth-straight game that the sophomore from Gastonia, N.C. has scored 20 or more points.

CVCC freshman Ivy Eller followed up her career-high 20-point performance last Wednesday with 15 points in Wednesday’s game. Fellow freshman Aniya Taylor recorded a career high 14 points for the Red Hawks.

Catawba Valley led wire-to-wire in the contest, taking a 16-8 lead after the first quarter and never looking back. The Red Hawks, who led 37-19 at halftime, outscored the Indians in all, but one quarter of the game.

Caliyana White scored 16 points to lead USC Salkehatchie (2-7, 2-5 in Region X).

The CVCC women’s basketball team returns to action on Saturday, playing in the first game of a home doubleheader at the Tarlton Complex.

The Red Hawks women’s basketball team faces Fayetteville Tech at 1 p.m. followed by a 3 p.m. contest between the CVCC men’s basketball team and Lenoir Community College. Admission is free.

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