Appalachian State softball split two games against the UL Monroe Warhawks on Saturday, March 10, in the first conference series. The Mountaineers won the first game 7-3 and lost the second game 12-4 in five innings.
App State won their conference-opening game for the first time since joining the Sun Belt in the 2015 season. The Apps have now taken two wins from ULM in 12 games. The first win against the Warhawks was in 2016. The Apps had a seven-game winning streak going before game two of the day. This 7-0 record was the longest winning streak in program history.
Game One (W, 7-3)
App State had thirteen hits in the first game against the Warhawks. Kenzie Longanecker was the winning pitcher with a complete game. She had three strikeouts with 115 total pitches, allowing only six hits. Longanecker's record is now 3-6.
Four Mountaineers had a multi-hit first game including two apiece for Keri White, Jenny Dodd and Megan Walker. Laura Sales went 3-4. The Mountaineers scored a run in four of the six innings of offense. The Warhawks did not score until the third inning on two doubles and a walk.
The bottom of the fifth inning was a strong inning for the Apps. Four singles in a row from White, Sales, Alisha Josey and Dodd and a hit apiece from Sidney Russell and Walker allowed the Mountaineers to score three. The Apps were not done scoring. In the bottom of the sixth, Avery Wheatley beat out the throw on a single to shortstop. White laid down a sacrifice bunt before Sales placed a bunt in front of home plate for a single. Dodd reached on an error that allowed Sales to score Sales and Wheatley.
Game Two (L, 12-4, 5 innings)
In the second game of the doubleheader, the Warhawks' offense came up big in the first inning. Three errors and ten hits allowed the Warhawks to get an early head start for a 10-0 lead.
The Mountaineers scored three of their runs in the bottom of the third inning. Walker and Stewart both drew walks to put runners on base for Wheatley, who laid down a bunt and beat out the throw from the catcher. With bases loaded, Sales reached on a fielder's choice, but Walker was out at home. A. Josey sent the ball to the fence to clear the bases for the Mountaineers with three RBIs.
The Warhawks scored two more in the top of the fourth before the Mountaineers scored one in the bottom of the fourth off of a single from Baylee Morton and Walker. White reached on an error that brought Buruato across the plate for the Mountaineers' final run. In five innings, App State had four hits and three errors.
Annaleise Kennedy took the loss for the Mountaineers. Her record is now 2-1 this season.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Lacrosse Team (2-4, 2-0) went on the road for the first time this year and prevailed in South Atlantic Conference play, taking down Wingate (1-6, 0-1), 15-8, Saturday afternoon at Graham Gill Field.
The Bears were paced by junior midfielder Rachel Elmore (White Plains, Md.), who scored a game-high seven goals and tallied eight draw controls in the victory. Lenoir-Rhyne junior attacker Gabby Sousa (Delran, N.J.) also scored four times as the visitors dominated in the second half, scoring the final nine goals over a span of 25:25.
Kendall Wells (Elkridge, Md.) led Wingate with three goals in the losing effort.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior goalkeeper Ines Flueck (Coppell, Texas) earned the victory, saving 11 shots and picking up four ground balls. Arione Pierre (Haymarket, Va) suffered the loss in goal for the Bulldogs, earning three saves in the process.
The Bears were playing their first road game of the year.
Elmore also has 13 goals in the last two games. Elmore and Sousa rank first and second on the team in goals scored with 19 and 17, respectively, so far this year.
Lenoir-Rhyne improved to 5-0 all-time against Wingate.
Lenoir-Rhyne continues its road swing on Wednesday, taking on No. 23 Tampa on Wednesday evening at 5:00 p.m., in Tampa, Fla.
The Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team record-setting season came to an abrupt end on Friday with a 74-69 loss to Louisburg in the Region X tournament semifinals.
The Red Hawks finish their season with a 26-6 overall record.
“It’s been a glorious season. I can’t ask for anything better,” said CVCC women’s basketball head coach Tisha England. “The girls gave me their heart, and that’s what they’ve been giving me all year long. When I went into the locker room to hear the cries and the pain, I saw myself as a former student-athlete. I know that cry and pain. All year, we’ve just been taking one step at a time, trusting the process and saying ‘we’ve got to get there.’ Today, we were short a little in some areas. We kind of got out scored and out rebounded in some areas, but our girls laid it all on the line.”
Shaniya Lester scored 24 points to lead Catawba Valley in the tournament semifinal, while forward Joyous Wilson tied her career high in scoring with 18 points. It was the third game this season that Wilson had scored 18 points in a contest.
The Red Hawks led through most of the first quarter of Friday’s game, but a four-point play to end the quarter by Kaila Thompson gave the Hurricanes a 17-15 lead after one stanza.
Lester would power Catawba Valley back and into a double-digit lead by halftime. The sophomore guard from Charlotte, N.C. scored 17 points and added four rebounds, four assists and three steals in the first half, helping CVCC earn a 40-29 advantage at the halftime break.
The Hurricanes regrouped in the locker room and responded by outscoring the Red Hawks 23-13 in the third quarter to pull within 53-52. A second buzzer beater by Louisburg ended the quarter — this time by the Hurricanes’ Amecca McCalin.
Teana Lewis led the way for Louisburg in the third quarter, scoring six points, and teammates Shontai Totten and Laichelle Sparrow added five points apiece.
In late four trouble and struggling offensively without sophomore guard Tory Agrusa, who was out with an injured right ankle suffered in Thursday’s first-round win against Fayetteville Tech, the Red Hawks traded the lead back and forth with the Hurricanes four times before Louisburg was able to gain the advantage late and hold on for the five-point victory.
Friday’s game was the final in the careers of five CVCC sophomores — Nikkyana McCaskill, Tanisha Wall, Lester, Wilson and Agrusa.
All five athletes have a special place in England’s heart.
“These five young ladies trusted me from the beginning,” England said. “They all had a scholarship their freshman year. They could have went to a four-year school, but they decided to come back because they were chasing something. They wanted to get better. They wanted to be better student athletes, and they have. They have given their all in the classroom, they have given their all on the court and they made history. They will forever be remembered in my heart as well as the CVCC Lady Red Hawks of this year 2017-18 class.
“They mean so much to me,” she added. “They are like my kids. We are able to laugh, talk, be disciplined, corrected and then love on each other. I will always be a part of them, and they will always be a part of me. I will follow them wherever they go.”
Friday’s game was the 32nd played by the CVCC women’s basketball program — another record on top of what was a record-setting season.
“I’m looking forward to another successful year next year,” England said. “It doesn’t stop. The Red Hawks are on the map. I’m grateful to be a part of that.”
Appalachian State wrestling coach JohnMark Bentley has been announced as one of eight finalists for the Division I Theraworx NWCA National Coach of the Year award.
The National Wrestling Coaches Association is pleased to announce the establishment of the Theraworx Coach of the Year program. The award is presented to the coach who has demonstrated outstanding effort throughout the season in developing and elevating their program on campus and in the community. The award winner will be announced on Tuesday in Cleveland prior to the start of the 2018 NCAA Championships.
In 2016, the NWCA partnered with Theraworx for it to become the official prevention partner of the NWCA. Theraworx Protect is a topical formulation that optimizes and preserves the skin's natural antimicrobial function.
This year's finalists are:
Appalachian State: JohnMark Bentley
Lock Haven: Scott Moore
Ohio State: Tom Ryan
Missouri: Brian Smith
Eastern Michigan: Dave Bollard
North Carolina State: Pat Popolizio
Virginia Tech: Tony Robie
Lehigh: Pat Santoro
Last weekend, Bentley was named the Southern Conference Coach of the Year for the third time in the last four seasons and the fourth time in his nine seasons as the Mountaineers' head coach.
Improving Bentley's career record to 88-59-1, App State won a third straight regular season title and a sweep-completing tournament title with a young 2017-18 team that had only two returning starters competing at the same spots from the previous year. The Mountaineers' primary lineup included three freshmen and two sophomores, with two additional freshmen also making multiple dual meet appearances, and Appalachian won the title even though it redshirted the only 2017 NCAA qualifier on the roster.
App State went 7-0 in the Southern Conference for the second straight year, put eight wresters in the finals of the league tournament and had four wrestlers qualify for this week's NCAA Championships. The Mountaineers also wrestled in front of standing-room-only crowds at home against NC State and Duke, with the Blue Devils' appearance drawing more than 300 students to Varsity Gym.
App State's 20-1 record in SoCon dual meets since the start of the 2015-16 season included a stretch in which the Mountaineers climbed to as high as No. 16 in the national rankings during the 2016-17 season.
Nationally, during the same three-year stretch, Bentley's program is 29-1 against non-Power Five Conference opponents with five victories against teams from Power Five leagues: Duke (2015-16), Indiana (2015-16), No. 15 Oregon State (2016-17), No. 25 North Carolina (2016-17) and Duke (2016-17).
Since Bentley became head coach, the Mountaineers have had 28 NCAA qualifiers, including All-Americans in 2017 (Denzel Dejournette) and 2012 (Kyle Blevins, Austin Trotman). Bentley finished third in voting for National Coach of the Year in 2012.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Tennis Team (6-1, 1-0) got back on the winning side with a dominant victory over Mars Hill (2-8, 0-2), 8-1, in its South Atlantic Conference opener Friday afternoon at the YMCA of Catawba Valley.
Lenoir-Rhyne had five of its six players win at both singles and doubles play as the Bears bounced back from its lone loss of the year last Saturday at Emmanuel (Ga).
Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Hilton Head Island, S.C., for its Spring Break trip and opens play against Edinboro (Pa.) on Monday, March 12, while Mars Hill faces Anderson in Anderson, S.C., on Wednesday, March 21, beginning at 1:00 p.m., in league action.
NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Final
Lenoir-Rhyne 8, Mars Hill 1
Friday, March 9, 2018
Hickory, N.C. (YMCA of Catawba Valley)
1. Jasha Geerdink (MHU) def. Marta Escanero Funes (LR), 6-2, 7-5
2. Iulia Ponomareva (LR) def. Evan Lake (MHU) 6-2, retired
3. Sara Kalkenova (LR) def. Sophia Pelaez (MHU), 6-1, 2-6, 6-2
4. Emily Murchland (LR) def. Dani Potts (MHU), 6-1, 6-1
5. Sanne Janssen (LR) def. Demarron Johnson (MHU), 8-0
6. Taylor Fredrickson (LR) def. Brittany Wilkins (MHU), 8-1
1. Sanne Janssen/Emily Murchland (LR) def. Jasha Geerdink/Evan Lake (MHU), 8-4
2. Iulia Ponomareva/Sara Kalkenova (LR) def. Sophia Pelaez/Dani Potts (MHU), 8-4
3. Taylor Fredrickson/Marta Escanero Funes (LR) def. Demarron Johnson/Brittany Wilkins (MHU), 8-0
Records: Mars Hill (2-8, 0-2 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (6-1, 1-0 SAC)
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Tennis Team (7-2, 1-0) opened South Atlantic Conference play with a rousing 7-2 victory over Mars Hill (4-7, 0-2) Friday afternoon at the YMCA of Catawba Valley.
Two Bears – sophomores Paul Lenz (Ratingen, GERMANY) and Tales Miranda (Sao Paulo, BRAZIL) – won at singles and doubles play as Lenoir-Rhyne increased its winning streak to four matches.
Lenoir-Rhyne will next take on Edinboro (Pa.) on Monday, March 12, at Hilton Head Island, S.C., while Mars Hill doesn’t play again until Wednesday, March 21, against Anderson in a league contest in Anderson, S.C., beginning at 1:00 p.m.
NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Final
Lenoir-Rhyne 7, Mars Hill 2
Friday, March 9, 2018
Hickory, N.C. (YMCA of Catawba Valley)
1. Ben Reid (MHU) def. Hamed Gandouz (LR), 7-6, 7-6
2. Tales Miranda (LR) def. Rodrigo Ramos (MHU), 6-3, 7-6
3. Tomas Hons (LR) def. Fernando Neto (MHU), 6-2, 2-6, 6-3
4. Shane O'Dea (LR) def. Kyrel Trim (MHU), 6-2, 6-4
5. Alex Ayguavives (LR) def. Tom Farman (MHU), 6-1, 6-2
6. Paul Lenz (LR) def. Pedro Pinassi (MHU), 6-0, 6-2
1. Ben Reid/Rodrigo Ramos (MHU) def. Tomas Hons/Shane O'Dea (LR), 8-5
2. Hamed Gandouz/Paul Lenz (LR) def. Fernando Neto/Tom Farman (MHU), 8-2
3. Alex Crespo Sanchez/Tales Miranda (LR) def. Kyrel Trim/Pedro Pinassi (MHU), 8-4
Records: Mars Hill (4-7, 0-2 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (7-2, 1-0 SAC)
The Newberry Baseball Team (11-9, 4-3) scored early and often in downing Lenoir-Rhyne (15-8, 4-3), 11-1, Friday night in the opener of a South Atlantic Conference weekend series at Bears Field.
Newberry led by a 10-0 score after an inning and a half thanks to a seven-run second frame. The Wolves were led by Derek Olenchuk (Irmo, S.C.) with four hits and two runs batted in while Colin Allman (Tampa, Fla.) scored three times and collected three hits in the win. Newberry finished with 17 hits in the contest.
LR's lone run came in the bottom of the second inning on an RBI single from redshirt freshman second baseman Brock Johnson (Granite Falls, N.C.).
Newberry's Evan Estridge (Belton, S.C.) (1-2) earned his first victory of the year after allowing one unearned run in seven innings of work while junior Hunter Martin (Stanfield, N.C.) (1-2) suffered the loss for the Bears.
Lenoir-Rhyne still has a chance to win its third straight conference series this year.
Neither team scored after the third inning.
The two teams wrap up the weekend series with a doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Bears Field beginning at 1:00 p.m.
Elon scored two runs in each of the first three innings as Appalachian State suffered a 10-0 road loss at Latham Park on Friday.
Conner Leonard (2-for-4) and Drew Beck (1-for-3, walk) had fifth-inning singles Friday as the Mountaineers produced four baserunners on two hits and two walks in the six innings pitched by hard-throwing Elon right-hander George Kirby, who finished with 10 strikeouts.
App State starter Andrew Vaccacio pitched into the third inning and departed following an injury visit to the mound. Reed Howell, Andrew Papp, Tristan Helms and freshman Will Sprinkle also pitched for the Mountaineers, with Sprinkle tossing two scoreless innings. He struck out three batters, including two straight after he entered in the seventh.
"I thought Andrew (Papp) and Will (Sprinkle) threw the ball well on a night that Andrew (Vaccacio) had to leave the game because of injury," App State head coach Kermit Smith said. "You have to give a lot of credit to Elon on a night like this. They played a pretty complete game. Kirby was really good."
Elon took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on Cam Devanney's two-run double inside the third-base bag. A single and sacrifice fly in the second doubled the Phoenix's advantage, and App State trailed 6-0 after three innings.
CJ Brown and Alex Leshock drew walks against Kirby to account for the Mountaineers' other baserunners against the Elon starter.
App State put two runners on in the eighth when Leshock reached second on a two-out throwing error and Robert Langdon drew a walk on a 3-2 offering, but a strikeout ended the threat. Leonard reached third base with one out in the ninth, and a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases before Josh Broughton ended the game with a popout.
Missing three opening-day starters, App State played Jason Avers in left field and gave Drake Zupcic his first start of the season as a designated hitter. Kendall McGowan did make his return with a pinch-hit appearance in the ninth inning.
The fifth seeded Appalachian State men's basketball team fell in the Sun Belt Tournament Quarterfinals by an 84-68 score to fourth seed Texas Arlington on Friday at Lakefront Arena in New Orleans.
Senior Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy) led the Mountaineers (15-18) with a team-high 22 points on 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) shooting, to go along with six rebounds. The 22 points marks the second time this season that Kinney eclipsed the 20-point plateau, also scoring 28 points at Akron on December 9.
Freshman Justin Forrest (Decatur, Ga./Greenforest McCalep Christian Academy) added 17 points, while junior Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep) chipped in with 10 points.
Sophomore Isaac Johnson (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) finished a basket and a rebound shy of a double-double, tallying eight points and nine rebounds.
Erick Neal paced UT Arlington (20-12) with a game-high 37 points, while Kevin Hervey had 17 points and five rebounds off the bench. UTA advances to the Sun Belt Tournament Semifinals with the victory and will take on top seed Louisiana on Saturday.
The Mavericks jumped out to an early 12-6 lead and used a 11-0 run later in the half to build a 28-12 advantage.
App State would cut into the Maverick lead and a late basket by Isaac Johnson trimmed the UT Arlington advantage to 43-31 at the break.
In the second half, Kinney would open the scoring with a basket. But UTA came right back with a 10-0 run to build its lead to 53-33 with 17:44 to play.
The Mountaineers would battle back and were able to cut the Maverick lead to 59-45 with just over 10 minutes to play. UTA was able to respond with the next four points to push its lead back to 18 points.
The Black and Gold were able to trim the Maverick lead to 14 points five more times but were unable to get any closer.
App State shot 23-of-68 (33.8 percent) from the field, while UTA went 30-of-57 (52.6 percent). The Mountaineers won the rebounding battle 42-33, including a 17-3 edge on the offensive glass.
Appalachian State University men’s tennis coach Bob Lake has announced his decision to step down from his coaching position, effective immediately.
In accepting Lake’s resignation, Director of Athletics Doug Gillin thanked Lake for his 18 years leading the university’s men’s tennis program, noting four Southern Conference tournament semifinal appearances, one Sun Belt semifinal appearance, 15 double-digit win seasons, and an overall record of 208-185-1.
A national search for App State’s next men’s tennis head coach begins immediately.
Jack Maddocks will serve as acting head coach in the interim.
South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
East Burke: 7
Bunker Hill: 13
West Wilkes: 14
West Caldwell: 4
South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
Alexander Central: 11
Fred T. Foard: 7
West Lincoln: 4
Sun Valley: 7
Bunker Hill: 4
West Lincoln: 0
East Burke: 0
West Caldwell: 1
North Iredell: 3
South Caldwell: 1
The second-seeded Catawba Valley Community College women’s basketball team advanced to the semifinals of the Region X tournament on Thursday with an 88-53 victory against Fayetteville Tech.
“It was a good win. It was a sloppy win, but a win is a win,” said Catawba Valley women’s basketball coach Tisha England. “Like I told the girls, I’m proud of them. We survived today, and we’ve got to get back and ready for tomorrow. At the end of the day, it’s all or nothing. We just went out there and put our heart soul into it. We came out victorious.”
Shaniya Lester scored a team-high 28 points for Catawba Valley (26-5), and freshman post Zharia Brown recorded 18 points and 16 rebounds — her seventh career double double.
The Red Hawks also received a career-high 13-assist performance from sophomore guard Nikkyana McCaskill.
“I just told Nikki that she played an incredible game,” England said. “She was a great team player. She was unselfish. There were a lot of times when she could have taken a shot, but she gave it up for an easier or better basket. At the end of the day, she wants to win.”
The lone blemish in Thursday’s win for the Red Hawks was the loss of sophomore guard Tory Agrusa, who injured her right ankle on a jump shot with three minutes, 42 seconds left in the first quarter.
“We’re praying for her to get some rest tonight, and we’ll go from there,” England said of Agrusa’s injury. “Tory is vital to our team — hands down. Throughout the year, we’ve been talking about injuries and taking care of ourselves. We learn how to overcome it.”
The Red Hawks advance to the Region X semifinals where they face third-seeded Louisburg at 4 p.m. Friday at Lenoir Community College. The Hurricanes (22-4) defeated sixth-seeded Bryant & Stratton (Va.) 60-47 in their first-round match-up on Thursday.
CVCC swept the season series with Louisburg, winning 95-69 in Hickory on Jan. 25 and earning an 82-78 win on Feb. 15 in Louisburg.
2018 Region X tournament schedule
Monday, March 5 (play-in round)
No. 5 Brunswick 68, No. 12 Lenoir 53
No. 10 Fayetteville Tech 82, No. 7 Clinton 75
No. 6 Bryant & Stratton 57, No. 11 Johnston 42
No. 8 Patrick Henry 97, No. 9 Wake Tech 79
Quarterfinals (Thursday, March 8)
No. 5 Brunswick 84, No. 4 Guilford Tech 83
No. 1 Cape Fear 88, No. 8 Patrick Henry 50
No. 2 Catawba Valley 88, No. 10 Fayetteville Tech 53
No. 3 Louisburg 60, No. 6 Bryant & Stratton 47
Semifinals (Friday, March 9)
No. 1 Cape Fear vs. No. 5 Brunswick, 2 p.m.
No. 2 Catawba Valley vs. No. 3 Louisburg, 4 p.m.
Championship (Saturday, March 10)
Cape Fear/Brunswick winner vs. Catawba Valley/Louisburg winner, 2 p.m.