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Friday, 17 January 2020 12:04

App State Men's Basketball Wins in Overtime

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O'Showen Williams recorded the first double-double of his career and Adrian Delph scored six of his 15 points in the extra session as App State men's basketball posted an 83-80 victory over Arkansas State on Thursday evening.

App State (10-9, 4-4 SBC) found themselves down 72-69 with 1:32 remaining after a pair of free throws from Arkansas State's (12-7, 4-4 SBC) Melo Eggleston. The Mountaineers turned the ball over on their next possession, but got a defensive stop. With 12 seconds left in regulation, Justin Forrest drained a three-pointer to tie the score at 72-72. The Red Wolves shot at the buzzer was no good to send the game to overtime. 

In the extra period, App State opened up a 76-73 advantage off a dunk from Hunter Seacat. Arkansas State countered with the next four points, but App State got a free throw from Williams and a pair of freebies from Delph to take a 79-77 lead with 1:05 remaining. Arkansas State tied the score on its next possession, but Delph countered with a basket with 35 seconds left to put the Black and Gold back in front 81-79.

The Red Wolves Caleb Fields was fouled with five seconds left. He made his first free throw but missed the second, with Williams grabbing the rebound. Williams was fouled and drained both of his free throws with 2.6 seconds left to make the score 83-80 in favor of App State. A three at the buzzer by Arkansas State was no good, giving the Mountaineers the victory.

In the first half, App State broke a 12-12 tie with eight straight points. The Mountaineers pushed their lead to as large as 11 points at 34-23, but Arkansas State closed the half on a 15-4 run to trim the App State lead to 39-38 at the break.

In the second half, the Mountaineers pushed their lead to 45-41, only to see the Red Wolves jump in front 50-49 with just over 14 minutes to play. The Black and Gold scored five of the next six points to open a 57-52 lead. Arkansas State came back to tie the score at 60-60 and opened a three-point lead at 65-62. The Red Wolves held the lead for the remainder of regulation, until Forrest's three tied the game and forced overtime.

Williams tallied 14 points, a career-high 10 rebounds and a game-high tying three assists. He is now the sixth different Mountaineer to record a double-double this season.

Delph finished with 15 points, including a perfect 6-of-6 mark from the free throw line, to go along with five rebounds and a pair of blocks. Forrest recorded a game-high 20 points and a game-high tying three assists.

James Lewis Jr. had 12 points on 3-of-3 shooting and a perfect 6-of-6 mark from the free throw line, while adding five rebounds off the bench. Seacat chipped in with 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting and seven rebounds.

In all, App State shot 29-of-36 (80.6 percent) from the free throw line. In addition, the Mountaineers had only five turnovers, which is a season low.

App State returns to action on Saturday against Little Rock. Tip is set for 4:30 p.m. and is part of a doubleheader with the women's team.

During a title-winning season in which App State (13-1) posted the third-best record at the highest level of college football, the Mountaineers finished No. 1 as a statistical champion or co-champion in two NCAA categories.

 
App State ended the 2019 season in sole possession of first place with a fourth-down conversion percentage of 81.3, and it tied Illinois for the FBS lead with six defensive touchdowns.
 
Those two categories played an important role in the Mountaineers' record-breaking season. Of the six defensive TDs, consider that:
 
— Demetrius Taylor's sack, forced fumble and fumble return for a touchdown occurred in a 34-31 win at North Carolina.
 
— Nicholas Ross' interception return for a touchdown helped lead App State to a 20-15 win at South Carolina.
 
— Josh Thomas' interception return for a score gave App State a 42-17 lead in its 45-38 win against Louisiana in the Sun Belt Championship Game.
 
— Trey Cobb's fumble return for a touchdown following a Nick Hampton sack broke a third-quarter tie in a 31-17 win against UAB in the R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl.
 
— Shaun Jolly's interception return for a touchdown broke a tie as App State turned a 21-7 deficit into a 56-21 lead at Georgia State.
 
— Jolly also returned an interception for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 19-point win against Coastal Carolina.
 
The fourth-down conversions also occurred at timely moments as App State went 13 of 16 to top the second-place percentage of 79.3 from Coastal Carolina. Some of the biggest conversions:
 
— The Mountaineers scored two fourth-down touchdowns in the third quarter of their bowl win, as Darrynton Evans ran 31 yards to the end zone after recovering a fumbled fourth-and-1 sneak and Thomas Hennigan outfought a defender for the ball in the end zone on Zac Thomas' throw on fourth-and-3 from the UAB 27.
 
— During a 19-play, 97-yard touchdown drive that lasted 10:11 and capped a 17-7 win at Louisiana, Thomas completed a fourth-and-4 pass to Hennigan for a 4-yard gain to the UL 30. Defensive pass interference on a fourth-and-5 throw several plays later didn't officially count as a conversion, but it helped set up Thomas' 7-yard TD run with 1:55 remaining.
 
— App State converted two fourth downs on the drive that gave the Mountaineers a 21-0 lead in the Sun Belt Championship Game.
 
— Thomas' 22-yard pass to Collin Reed on a fourth-and-1 snap from the South Carolina 46 prolonged App State's first scoring drive in Columbia.
 
Beyond defensive touchdowns and fourth-down conversions, App State excelled in many team and individual statistical categories:
 
TEAM TRENDS
 
— In all six of its FBS seasons, the Mountaineers have ranked in the top 25 nationally in both rushing yards per game (No. 16 at 231.4 in 2019) and fewest sacks allowed (tied for No. 17 with 18 in 2019).
 
— App State had a 1,000-yard rusher for the eighth straight year. Only Boise State's streak of 11 is longer, and Ohio State also has eight straight seasons to be tied for No. 2 with App State.
 
— Since 2015, App State's 87 interceptions rank No. 2 nationally behind just the 91 from San Diego State.
 
— App State set a program record with seven national television appearances in 2019.
 
— App State led the Sun Belt in attendance for the third time in the last four years.
 
ADDITIONAL TEAM STATS FROM 2019
 
— App State tied Ohio State for the third-best winning percentage among FBS teams, behind just LSU (15-0) and Clemson (14-1).
 
— App State tied for No. 2 nationally with five blocked kicks, behind just the six from Houston.
 
— App State finished No. 3 in the fewest turnovers committed with nine, behind just the six from Oregon State and eight from San Diego State.
 
— App State tied for No. 3 in fewest fumbles lost with three, behind just the two from Oregon State and San Diego State.
 
— Thanks in part to the lack of turnovers committed, App State ranked No. 7 in per-game turnover margin at plus-1.07. The Mountaineers forced 24 turnovers to finish at plus-15, with Florida Atlantic leading the nation at plus-21.
 
— At 38.8 points per game, App State ranked No. 9 nationally. It set a Sun Belt record with 73 touchdowns.
 
— App State ranked No. 10 nationally in third-down defense at 30.7 percent conversions allowed.
 
— App State had a top-30 defense nationally in touchdowns scored, third-down conversion percentage, turnovers forced (No. 15), interceptions (No. 17, 14), sacks (No. 20, 36), pass efficiency defense (No. 20, 117.38), scoring defense (No. 21, 20.0), tackles for loss yardage (No. 22, 380), yards allowed per play (No. 24, 5.01), total defense (No. 26, 336.1 yards allowed per game), rushing TDs allowed (No. 26, 14), fumble recoveries (No. 27, 10), rushing defense (No. 29, 129.4) and TDs allowed (No. 29, 35).
 
— App State led the Sun Belt in scoring offense, total defense, rushing defense, defensive sacks, turnover margin, turnovers forced, fewest turnovers committed, fewest lost fumbles, third-down defense, fourth-down conversion percentage, defensive TDs, defensive interceptions, blocked kicks, fumble recoveries, kickoff return average and red zone offense.
 
INDIVIDUAL STATS FROM 2019
 
— Darrynton Evans scored 24 total touchdowns to rank No. 3 nationally behind just Wisconsin's Jonathan Taylor (26) and SMU's Xavier Jones (25).
 
— With 1,480 rushing yards, Evans ranked No. 9 nationally and was the Sun Belt rushing champion for the second straight year. He finished 27 yards ahead of Georgia State's Tra Barnett.
 
— Evans ranked No. 10 in the nation and No. 1 in the Sun Belt with 2,064 all-purpose yards.
 
— Shaun Jolly was tied for No. 7 nationally (and tied for No. 1 in the Sun Belt) with five interceptions.
 
— With two blocked kicks, Demetrius Taylor was part of a tie for second place nationally behind the three from FBS leader Ale Kaho of Alabama.
 
— Demetrius Taylor led the Sun Belt and ranked No. 12 nationally with 92 yards lost on TFLs.

A total of 58 Catawba Valley Community College student athletes have made either the President’s or Athletic Director’s List for the fall 2019 semester.

Of those 58 who were honored, 13 CVCC student athletes were on the President’s List, which is for student athletes with a grade point average of 3.75 or higher.

Eight of those 13 student athletes had a perfect 4.0 GPA in the fall, including baseball players Vinny Consolo, Chance Daquila, James Hinson and Jacob Thompson, women’s basketball players Jailen Cummings and Ariana Montgomery and volleyball players Abigail Gordon and Sage Harrington.

Softball players Kelsea Dejarnette and Hayley Morrow, women’s basketball players Jordan Jenkins and MaKayla Weaver and volleyball player Macy Pope also made the President’s List.

A total of 45 Catawba Valley student athletes made the Athletic Director’s List (a 3.2 to 3.74 GPA).

Each sport at CVCC had at least two members on the Athletic Director’s list — led by the Red Hawks baseball program with 18 selections, including Ian Asken, Chandler Blackwelder, Austin Blevins, Garrison Bridges, Cole Chapman, Preston Conner, Alex Crosby, Brett Eurey, Kevin Finzer, Storm Mace, Jacob Marcos, Jordan Montgomery, Andrew Patrick, Jamie Sheek, Carson Vance, Sam Walker, Will Samuelson and Derrius York.

The Catawba Valley volleyball program had the second-most Athletic Director list’s members (10), including Amber Barker, Emma Clark, Anna Clarke, Hanne Cooke, Caitlin Dailey, Rachel Delcamp, Aasia McNeill, Meredith Patterson, Olivia Ramsey and Lilly Weaver.

The CVCC softball and men’s basketball programs both had five student athletes on the Athletic Director’s list.

Representing the Red Hawk softball program, which is in its first year of existence, were Katie Camp, Erin Cole, Kinsley Gilmore, Chesney Millsaps and Ashlyn Parsons.

Members of the Catawba Valley men’s basketball program who made the Athletic Director’s list include Tony Hauser, Jonathan McFall, Devonte Moore, Jaylen Prioleau and Nash Whitener.

CVCC’s inaugural bass fishing team had four student athletes on the Athletic Director’s list — Lane Bailey, Jeremy Dellinger, Nathan Dellinger and Adam Seagle.

Catawba Valley Community College’s women’s basketball program had three Athletic Director’s list members in Ivy Eller, Alliyah Chaplin and Tearra Pace. The CVCC women’s basketball team also had the highest team GPA of the fall term of any athletic program.

For a complete look at the President’s and Athletic Director’s list honorees for the fall, see below:

President’s List (3.75 or higher GPA)

Vinny Consolo, baseball (4.0)

Jailen Cummings, women’s basketball (4.0)

Chance Daquila, baseball (4.0)

Abigail Gordon, volleyball (4.0)

Sage Harrington, volleyball (4.0)

James Hinson, baseball (4.0)

Ariana Montgomery, women’s basketball (4.0)

Jacob Thompson, baseball (4.0)

Kelsea Dejarnette, softball

Jordan Jenkins, women’s basketball

Hayley Morrow, softball

Macy Pope, volleyball

MaKayla Weaver, women’s basketball

Athletic Director’s List (3.2-3.74 GPA)

Ian Asken, baseball

Lane Bailey, bass fishing

Amber Barker, volleyball

Chandler Blackwelder, baseball

Austin Blevins, baseball

Garrison Bridges, baseball

Katie Camp, softball

Alliyah Chaplin, women’s basketball

Cole Chapman, baseball

Emma Clark, volleyball

Anna Clarke, volleyball

Erin Cole, softball

Preston Conner, baseball

Hanne Cooke, volleyball

Alex Crosby, baseball

Caitlin Dailey, volleyball

Rachel Delcamp, volleyball

Jeremy Dellinger, bass fishing

Nathan Dellinger, bass fishing

Ivy Eller, women’s basketball

Brett Eurey, baseball

Kevin Finzer, baseball

Kinsley Gilmore, softball

Tony Hauser, men’s basketball

Storm Mace, baseball

Jacob Marcos, baseball

Jonathan McFall, men’s basketball

Aasia McNeill, volleyball

Chesney Millsaps, softball

Jordan Montgomery, baseball

Devonte Moore, men’s basketball

Tearra Pace, women’s basketball

Ashlyn Parsons, softball

Andrew Patrick, baseball

Meredith Patterson, volleyball

Jaylen Prioleau, men’s basketball

Olivia Ramsey, volleyball

Will Samuelson, baseball

Adam Seagle, bass fishing

Jamie Sheek, baseball

Carson Vance, baseball

Sam Walker, baseball

Lilly Weaver, volleyball

Nash Whitener, men’s basketball

Derrius York, baseball

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 22:36

CVCC Women's Basketball Demolishes Fayetteville Tech

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The Catawba Valley Community College women's basketball team blew out Fayetteville Tech Community College, 111-22 on the road Wednesday night. The Red Hawks scored a season-high in points with everyone scoring at least four points.

Four different Red Hawks had career-high performances. Jordan Jenkins led the Red Hawks with a career high 20 points. Diamond Steward, Tearra Pace and Jailen Cummings all had career-high performances.

Alliyah Chapman would score 19 points and Aniya taylor added 16. Tazah Hardin tacked on 12 points and MaKayla Weaver chipped in 11 points as five players scored in double figures.

The win improves to 11th ranked Red Hawks to 12-1 overall, 5-0 in conference play. Their next game is Saturday when they host Cape Fear Community College.

Wednesday, 15 January 2020 22:35

CVCC Announces 2020 Bass Fishing Team Schedule

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The Catawba Valley Community College bass fishing team has released its 2020 schedule and roster.

This spring's bass fishing team consists of eight members — seven of whom return to the squad from this past fall's first-ever team, including Lane Bailey, Spencer Black, Jeremy Dellinger, Nathan Dellinger, Caleb Lonca, Adam Seagle and Nathan Smith.

The lone new edition to the Red Hawks is freshman angler Megan O'Neill — a Monroe, N.C. native and Central Academy of Technology and Arts alumnus.

These Red Hawk anglers open the season on Friday, Feb. 7 in an FLW tournament on Lake Seminole on the Georgia/Florida border.

"We are all excited about this schedule," said CVCC bass fishing head coach Angela Mayo. "The team will have the opportunity to travel to a lot of diverse fisheries, including Lake Guntersville, which is one of those 'bucket list' lakes. I'm really looking forward to seeing the team in action."

CVCC will participate in three FLW tournaments, three B.A.S.S. tournaments and one BoatUS Championship event during the year.

The one-day FLW tournaments take place on Lake Seminole (Feb. 7), on Lake Guntersville in Alabama (April 24) and on Lake Hartwell on the South Carolina/Georgia border (Oct. 16).

The Red Hawks' B.A.S.S. tournament schedule includes a trio of three-day events on Smith Lake in Cullman, Ala. (Feb. 27-29), on Lake Hartwell (March 26-28) and on Cumberland Lake in Kentucky (May 6-8).

The lone BoatUS Championship tournament that the Red Hawks will participate in takes place May 21-23 on Pickwick Lake in Tennessee.

Along with these tournaments, the Red Hawks will also participate in several intrasquad tournaments, which will determine seeding for the larger tournaments.

Kennedy Weigt scored 20 points to help lift Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Basketball to a 68-64 win over UVA-Wise on Wednesday evening. The Bears have won back-to-back games for the first time this season and now have won four out of their last five SAC games.

UVA-Wise's Caitlyn Ross and Cynita Webb each had a chance to tie the game with 15 seconds. Both had close range shots that just did not fall before Madeline Hardy got the biggest of her 11 rebounds on the night. After a foul, Hardy iced the game with two free throws with five seconds left to give the Bears the 68-64 win.

Kiara Moore and Hardy both had double-doubles on the night. Hardy had 14 points and 11 rebounds for her 7th double-double on the year. Moore had 10 points and 12 rebounds for her first career double-double. Her 12 rebounds is a new career high for the sophomore from Morristown, Tenn.

UVA-Wise senoir standout Cynita Webb had her 12th double-double of the year for the Cavaliers. Webb played 35 minutes and had 14 points and 13 rebounds.

UVA-Wise entered the game short-handed only dressing seven players and only six played. All five starters played at least 33 minutes with Leah Kestner coming off the bench to play 16 minutes.

Weigt led all scorers with 20 points. Weigt shot 6-11 from the floor and hit all six of her free-throws. Weigt added three assists, three steals and two rebounds on the night in 36 minutes. Weigt's 36 minutes is the most she has played this season since her record-breaking game against S.C. Aiken on November 9, 2019. In that game, Weigt broke the school record with eight three-pointers.

UVA-Wise shot 44% for the game, while the Bears shot 37%. The difference in the game was the Bears got to the free-throw line 23 times compared to just eight for the Cavaliers.

With UVA-Wise joining the SAC conference this year, Wednesday's matchup is the first-ever meeting between these two schools.

Both of these teams have struggled away from their home court. With the win, Lenoir-Rhyne is now 2-7 on the road record while UVA-Wise is 2-6 away from Wise this year. In addition, the Bears have leapfrogged UVA- Wise in the SAC standings and moved into 8th place.

LR and UVA-Wise are two of the youngest teams in the SAC this year. Each team only has one senior on their roster.

Hanna McClung returned from a three-game absence from injury. McClung played 17 minutes and added seven points on the evening.

The Bears improve to 6-9 overall, 4-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. L-R will travel to Catawba for the ESPN 3 D2 Showcase game on Saturday at 2:05 PM.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Basketball Team defeated UVA-Wise by a final score of 81-64 on Wednesday evening. With the win, head coach Everick Sullivan garnered his 50th career victory at Lenoir-Rhyne.

The Bears clamped down on the defensive end in the first half, holding the Cavaliers to 25 percent shooting and just six made field goals. LR held UVA-Wise to three points over a 6:38 stretch that saw the Bears outscore Wise 19-3 in that stretch to take a 26-12 advantage.

R.J. Gunn scored 14 points in the first half and Darius Simmons added 12. The Bears held a 25-11 advantage on the boards in the first 20 minutes and went into the break with a 35-22 lead.

The Bears continued their scorching shooting from long range. LR knocked down 11 three-pointers on the night and have converted 56 in the past four games.

Gunn finished with a team-high 21 points as the Bears shot 57 percent in the second half and finished the game with a 53.4 percent field goal percentage.

Davion Bradford had his first-career double-digit rebounding game as the junior finished with 10 boards to go with seven points.

Simmons recorded a career-high seven assists and had just one turnover.

Cameron Whiteside had 37 of the Cavaliers 64 points. Whiteside played all 40 minutes and went 14-for-23 from the field and had nine boards and five made 3-pointers.

LR led by as many as 27 points with 5:45 to play and held the Cavs to 42.6 percent shooting and held a 41-23 advantage on the glass.

Despite entering the game with a 5-9 record, the Cavaliers were outscoring opponents 1133-1113. Four of UVA's nine losses on the year came by six points or less.

This was the first all-time meeting between the Bears and Cavs who are entering their first season in the South Atlantic Conference.

Sullivan becomes the ninth coach in program history to hit the 50-win mark.

The Bears lead the conference in made 3-pointers per game, connecting on more than 11 triples per night.

This is the third win of 17 or more points for LR on the season.

The Bears improve to 8-6 overall, 4-5 in the South Atlantic Conference. The Bears continue their three-game road trip with a matchup at Catawba on Saturday at 4:05 p.m. The game will be broadcast on ESPN3 as part of the NCAA Division II National Game of the Week.

App State men's track & field athlete Eric Haddock Jr. has been named Sun Belt Field Athlete of the Week, the league announced Wednesday.

At the ETSU Track & Field Invitational over the weekend, Haddock Jr. earned field MVP honors after winning the long jump with a PR leap of 24-9.75 (7.56m). His mark currently sits first in the Sun Belt by over six inches and 11th in the nation. In addition, the jump also ranks fifth all-time in program history.

Haddock Jr. also owns the third best mark in the conference in the triple jump, covering 48-0.50 (14.64m) at the Appalachian Open on Dec. 6.

Haddock Jr. and the Mountaineers will compete again on Sunday at the JDL January College Kick-Off in Winston-Salem. App State then heads to VMI on Jan. 25 for the VMI Team Challenge.

Longtime App State assistant coach Dale Jones is returning to the program as defensive coordinator, head football coach Shawn Clark announced Wednesday.

Jones coached at App State for 23 seasons from 1996-2018 before following head coach Scott Satterfield to Louisville, where the Cardinals completed an 8-5 season with a victory against Mississippi State in the Music City Bowl.

"We're excited to welcome Dale, Heather, Brooke and Cooper back to where Dale's heart is here in the mountains of North Carolina," Clark said. "He loves App State Football and knows what it takes to win championships here. Under his leadership, we will continue to develop a championship-level defense that has been one of the hallmarks of this program."

Jones, who coached Louisville's inside linebackers in 2019, worked with the same position group in his last five seasons with the Mountaineers. He coached the inside linebackers and served as co-defensive coordinator in 2018, when an App State team that went 11-2 ranked among the FBS leaders in scoring defense (No. 4, 15.5 points) and total defense (No. 6, 288.0 yards).

During the coaching transition, Jones served as the Mountaineers' defensive coordinator for a 45-13 win in the 2018 R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl against Middle Tennessee, which committed two turnovers, was sacked six times and was held to 62 rushing yards on 45 carries.

"I'm thrilled to be back at App State where I've spent 23 of the last 24 years," Jones said. "I love the culture of App State and love this community. I can't wait to help build a great staff, hit the recruiting trail and continue to bring my aggressive style of play to the field."

Arriving in Boone in 1996, Jones was App State's defensive line coach and special teams coordinator for his first nine seasons with the program. In 2005, he began an eight-year stint as the Mountaineers' linebackers coach and was also the program's defensive coordinator for three seasons from 2010-12. He once again directed App State's defensive line in 2013 before taking over the inside linebackers in 2014.

Player development was a staple of Jones' first 23 seasons at App State, as he coached 11 All-America defensive linemen and linebackers, including five two-time honorees. He also coached 22 all-conference performers who earned the recognition a total of 36 times, with four of his players being named the Southern Conference's Defensive Player of the Year: Josh Jeffries (2002), K.T. Stovall (2003), Jacque Roman (2008) and Jeremy Kimbrough (2012). In 2018, inside linebackers Jordan Fehr and Anthony Flory were first- and second-team All-Sun Belt performers, respectively.

Twelve players that Jones coached previously at App State went on to play in the National Football League.

During his three-year tenure as App State's defensive coordinator, the Mountaineers led the SoCon in interceptions twice (2011 and 2012) and also topped the league in sacks (2011), red-zone defense (2011) and third-down-conversion defense (2010). While serving as App State's special teams coordinator, Jones was named the 2002 Special Teams Coordinator of the Year by American Football Monthly.

One of the most popular and decorated players in University of Tennessee history, Jones was an All-American and a two-time All-SEC performer as a linebacker for the Vols from 1983-86. He is best known as the defensive leader of UT's 1985 squad, which won the SEC championship and stunned No. 2 Miami by a 35-7 score in the 1986 Sugar Bowl. Jones' fourth-quarter interception of Alabama's Mike Shula to seal the Vols' 16-14 win over the Crimson Tide remains one of the most memorable moments of Tennessee's run to the 1985 SEC title.

Jones graduated from UT in 1988 and began his coaching career as an assistant under legendary head coach Johnny Majors at his alma mater in 1989. He went on to serve one-year stints with the Parma Panthers of the Italian American Football League (1990) and the University of Florida (1991) before a five-year tenure at Georgia Military College, where he served as defensive coordinator for four seasons.

Jones and his wife, Heather, have two children: a daughter, Brooke, and a son, Cooper.

Appalachian State field hockey senior Rachel Gaines has earned one of just 23 spots on the 2020 U.S. Women's National Development Team, USA Field Hockey announced on Tuesday.

Gaines, a two-time MAC Field Hockey Defensive Player of the Week award winner in 2019, will be just one of five goalkeepers on the developmental squad. The 2019 All-MAC Second Team recipient joins Ohio's Kendall Ballard as one of only two players from the Mid-American Conference to make the team.

"I'm extremely proud and excited for Rachel," head coach Meghan Dawson said. "She has put in countless hours to reach where she's at, and I cannot wait to see her progress throughout this journey."

After competing at the Young Women's National Championship in June, Gaines earned a chance to participate in the USA Field Hockey Women's Development Team Selection Camp in December. Gaines then competed at the U.S. Women's National Team Trial from Jan. 6-8 in Lancaster, Pa., which is where all 23 athletes earned their spots on the Development Team.

The Development Team will participate in two training camps across the country before touring Scotland in April for their first international competition of 2020.

"It's an honor and a privilege to be selected to the U.S. Development Team," Gaines said. "During High Performance practices, the Young Women's National Championship and the selection camp, I have trained and played alongside the best hockey players in the country. It has been nothing short of incredible, and I am looking forward to this opportunity."

Gaines concluded her App State career with seven shutouts, 113 saves and a .774 save percentage in 2019. After posting five shutouts in her first six games this past season, she became the first App State player to win two MAC Field Hockey Player of the Week awards in the same season. The Kettering, Ohio native ranks sixth in App State history with 468 career saves.

"I have been privileged over the past few years to have been at Appalachian," Gaines said. "My coaches, teammates and the staff around us have been phenomenal. I am deeply grateful for their continued support as I begin this new chapter."

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