Sports (674)

The North Carolina High School Athletic Association Women’s Dual Team Tennis Championships field has been set and first round pairings announced for the tournament. First round play begins tomorrow, Tuesday, October 25th at the higher seed.


First round matchups and seeding for teams in the Hickory Metro include:


Maiden (16-0-0, W1) vs. West Davidson (8-4-0, MW8)

East Burke (6-2-0, W3) vs. Surry Central (12-6-0, MW6)


Concord (12-1-0, MW2) vs. Freedom (7-3-0, W7)

Central Davidson (13-3-0, MW3) vs. Hickory (9-4-0, W6)


Northwest Guilford (15-0-0, MW1) vs. South Caldwell (9-3-0, W8)


To see the full statewide playoff brackets, download the attachment below.

With 15 seconds left in the second overtime, senior Jane Cline (Cornelius, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) slotted the go-ahead goal to give Appalachian State University women’s soccer the 4-3 victory over South Alabama in a Sunday afternoon thriller on Senior Day at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.


“Senior Day is hard because it’s hard a thing to know that it’s the last time that they’ll get to play at home and there was a lot of pressure too as there have been some points this year that we didn’t get that I thought we deserved,” head coach Sarah Strickland said. “There was a lot of pressure on this game too for us to be guaranteed to be in the Sun Belt tournament, which is something that they obviously wanted. It was a lot going into it. It was an emotional day even though we try to minimize the emotion and just let them play loose and play free but I just thought the girls played so well.”


Strickland continued, “Our team for some reason, when we go down, we play better and I don’t know why that’s the case and I don’t like it, but them going down 1-0 made them say, ‘no, no, this is not how this is going to go down today.’ It was just a will kind of thing, they were going to will us to victory no matter what it took.”


With the win, the Mountaineers (9-7-2, 4-4-2 Sun Belt) clinch a berth in the 2016 Sun Belt Championship Tournament in Foley, Ala., while the Jaguars (12-5-1, 7-4 Sun Belt) continue to fight for the top of the conference standings.


The back-and-forth affair began from the first whistle, with both teams battling hard to own possession. With South Alabama wanting to be the outright champion of the league and Appalachian State wanting to get into the tournament, the stage was set for an instant classic.


The Jaguars put the Black and Gold on their heels early, when Steffi Hardy scored in the first minute off of a corner set piece to go up one. The Mountaineers responded quickly though, as senior Jackie Nieradka (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) found a streaking Cline who moved past the keeper and fired it home to equalize the game.


Then, in the ninth minute, App State committed a penalty in the box to give South Alabama a PK to allow them to go up 2-1. Appalachian would tie the game again in the 26th minute when freshman Maggie Hanusek (Cumming, Ga./Lambert) bent a beautiful ball into the uprights from 15 yards out on the left side of the field just 25 seconds after being subbed in.


With the game knotted up at halftime, the second 90 was basically a new game for each teams, but the Mountaineers came out of the gates feeling the momentum from the Hanusek equalizer. Redshirt sophomore Erin Settle (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville) then put App State up 3-2 when senior Jenn Bass (Burlington, N.C./Williams (Clemson)) found her cutting to the back corner of the net. Bass placed the ball right on Settle so that all she had to do was touch it in and the goal would be sealed.


The game seemed all but in App’s favor until a handball call gave the Jaguars a free kick right outside the box. South Alabama’s Jemma Purfield nailed the ball through the upper left corner to once again knot the game up in the 89th minute at 3-3.


The Mountaineers found themselves in a familiar place going to overtime against South Alabama. The same position the two teams were in during the 2015 Sun Belt Championship semifinals. But this time, the ending would be different.


After a shotless first overtime period, Nieradka found her senior teammate once more on the last effort attack with the time counting down, as Cline was able to scoot past the final defender to go one-on-one with the goalkeeper. Cline moved out right to find the angle and ripped the ball through the right side of the net to give Appalachian State the win with just 15 seconds left in the period.


The Mountaineers used a total team effort on Sunday afternoon to get the result that they needed in order to clinch a spot in the postseason. Leading the offensive attack was Cline, who finished with seven shots total and five on goal. Behind her was Hanusek who finished with four shots (one on goal) while Settle and Sarah Peatross (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor) had three shots each.


Morgan Mosack (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day), Lindsey Tully (Charlotte, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) and Nieradka all finished with two shots apiece while Kelly Flanders (Huntersville, N.C./Hopewell) had one shot on goal that was a near-miss.


Sam Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) played the entire 109:45 for the Black and Gold between the frames, making four saves while facing 18 shots total on the day.


Cline’s two goals give her 11 on the season and tie her first all-time in total goals in a season with Casey Cleary (2005). The goals also push Cline’s career total to 27, ranking now second all-time behind Cleary as well.


Prior to the game, Appalachian State women’s soccer recognized its seven seniors for their achievements and contributions in their careers at App: Phenix Durham (Waxhaw, N.C./Cuthbertson (Lees-McRae)), Brie Bahlmann (Vernon Hills, Ill./Vernon Hills), Aubrey Fletcher (Berryville, Va./Clark County), Carrie Taylor (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mount Tabor), Cline, Nieradka, and Bass.


Appalachian State University women’s soccer will play UL Lafayette in the quarterfinals of the 2016 Sun Belt Championship tournament on Wednesday, Nov. 2 in Foley, Ala., the league announced on Sunday evening.


The match will kick off at 5 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by ESPN3 and available on the WatchESPN app.


The Mountaineers jumped up into the No. 4 seed after winning four of their last five matches, including three straight to finish the season. Appalachian State secured its future by downing the top-ranked South Alabama Jaguars on Sunday afternoon 4-3 in double overtime.


The Black and Gold just recently played the Ragin’ Cajuns on Friday, Oct. 21, getting a 2-0 shutout in Boone.


2016 Sun Belt Conference Soccer Championship Seeds
1. South Alabama - 21 pts., 7-3-0
2. Coastal Carolina - 20 pts., 6-2-2
3. Little Rock - 19 pts., 6-3-1
4. Appalachian State - 14 pts., 4-4-2*
5. UL Lafayette - 14 pts., 4-4-2
6. UL Monroe - 14 pts., 4-4-2
7. Arkansas State - 13 pts., 4-5-1
8. Troy - 11 pts., 3-5-2


2016 Women’s Soccer Championship Seeds
Wednesday, November 2 (First Round)
M1 - 11 a.m. ET – No. 2 Coastal Carolina vs. No. 7 Arkansas State
M2 - 2 p.m. ET – No. 3 Little Rock vs. No. 6 UL Monroe
M3 - 5 p.m. ET – No. 4 Appalachian State vs. No. 5 UL Lafayette
M4 - 8 p.m. ET – No. 1 South Alabama vs. No. 8 Troy


Friday, November 4 (Semifinals)
M5 - 5 p.m. ET – Match 1 Winner vs. Match 2 Winner
M6 - 8 p.m. ET – Match 3 Winner vs. Match 4 Winner


Sunday, November 6 (Championship Match)
M7 - 2 p.m. ET – Match 5 Winner vs. Match 6 Winner

All matches will be broadcast live on ESPN3


* The Sun Belt Conference regarding the three-way tie for the No. 4 seed: Appalachian State, UL Lafayette and UL Monroe each finished the regular season tied with 14 points. Using the three-way tiebreaker, and comparing the points earned in the matches played amongst the tied teams, Appalachian State earned six points - having defeated both UL Lafayette and UL Monroe - thus earning the No. 4 seed in the tournament. UL Lafayette and UL Monroe then proceed to a two-team tiebreaker, where UL Lafayette earned the No. 5 seed by defeating UL Monroe head-to-head earlier this season.

Appalachian State University volleyball couldn’t build off the momentum of its first Sun Belt victory on Friday and lost its eighth conference match of the season 3-1 (23-25, 17-25, 25-15, 16-25) to UL Lafayette on Sunday afternoon.


The Mountaineers (3-19, 1-8 Sun Belt) were led offensively by outside hitter Melissa McMath (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) who tallied a team-high 14 kills and finished with a .312 hit percentage.


Emma Longley (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) finished just shy of having double-digit kills and collected nine. Offensively, Amanda Krahl (Pearland, Texas/St. Agnes Academy) finished with 35 assists.


Defensively, a trio of Mountaineers collected double-digit digs. Longley and Krahl finished with 13 and 11, respectively, and Kennedy Wilson (Avon, Ind./Avon) led the team with 17.


Midway through the opening set and the score knotted at 13-13, the Ragin’ Cajuns (8-16, 4-5 Sun Belt) went on a 6-0 run to open things up and take a 19-13 lead. However, the Mountaineers would battle back and use a 7-1 run to knot the score at 20-20.

Appalachian used an ace from Olivia Reed (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz) and kills from Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) and McMath - combined with five errors from the Cajuns.


UL Lafayette would prevail late with a 25-23 set win.


With momentum carrying over from the opening set, the Cajuns got out to a quick 8-3 lead in the second. The Apps would close the gap and tie the score at 10-10 with help from Gregory and McMath.


Even after tying the score, the Cajuns would push its lead to as many as seven and took a 22-15 lead and would fend off Appalachian for a 25-17 set win and a 2-0 lead in the match.


Appalachian battled back in a strong way in the third set trying to fend off a potential sweep. The Black and Gold built up a four point lead, 12-8, using back-to-back kills from Longley and McMath. The Apps pushed its lead to six on two occasions with the last coming at 21-15.


The Mountaineers finished the set on a 6-0 run from 19-15 using kills from Jenna Talbert (Orange City, Fla./University) and Longley for a 25-15 set win.

Unfortunately, the Apps couldn’t take advantage of winning the third set and dropped the fourth set 25-16 to drop the match 3-1. The Mountaineers closed a deficit to two points at 14-12, but the Cajuns were able to fend off the attack from Appalachian.


The Mountaineers will return to action on Friday, Oct. 28 at Troy. First serve is set for 7 p.m. ET.

Appalachian State University men’s soccer was unable to come back from a last-second, first-half goal, dropping a 1-0 decision to Georgia State on Saturday evening at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.


“Tonight was a tough result,” head coach Jason O’Keefe said. “Credit Georgia State for they did what they needed to do to get a result. We will get back to work tomorrow and we’ll get ready for two nonconference games and try to continue to learn from these experiences.”


The team honored its six seniors prior to the game, recognizing Stephen Chapman (Greensboro, N.C./Northwest Guilford), Donovan Japp (Oakridge, N.C./Northwest Guilford), Jordan Melia (Manchester, England/Rivington & Blackrod), Ben Steen (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman), Keegan Tanaka (Austin, Texas/James Bowie) and Jaron Bradley (Davidson, N.C./Hough (UNC Asheville)).


The Mountaineers (4-7-3, 1-2-1 Sun Belt) dropped a backbreaking goal with 19 seconds left in the first half when the Panthers’ (10-6, 2-1 Sun Belt) Hannes Burmeister fired one from the left side after making a break toward the ball.


The battle was mostly over the middle as both teams tried to find a mistake in the each other’s defense. The first shot of the game wouldn’t come for almost 29 minutes.


Aside from the early goal, the teams matched up well in the attack. GSU held the slight 7-6 advantage over Appalachian, but the Black and Gold were held without a shot on goal on the evening.


Leading the Mountaineers attack were seniors Melia Chapman. Melia had three shots on the night while Chapman had two. Rounding out the attack was another senior Steen who had a high kick off of a set piece early in the second half.


The Mountaineers return to action when they move to face Campbell on Tuesday, Oct. 25. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team (10-4-2, 6-3-1) was game but fell to Wingate (13-0, 10-0), 1-0, Saturday night in a South Atlantic Conference match at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex. The Bulldogs are the top-ranked team in NCAA Division II.


The Bulldogs’ Aksel Juul (Newcastle, ENGLAND) scored in the 88th minute of the match as Wingate remained perfect on the year. The Bulldogs also clinched at least a share of their third consecutive league regular season championship.


Wingate’s Nate Evans (Greenville, N.C.) was credited with the assist and the Bulldogs remained the only NCAA Division II this year unbeaten and untied.


Lenoir-Rhyne was 6-0-1 in its previous seven matches before falling to Wingate while the Bulldogs held a 13-4 advantage in shots taken.


Wingate’s Pablo Jara (Santiago, CHILE) earned the shutout victory after making one save while junior Zach King (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) suffered the loss despite a pair of stops and allowing just one score.

In the most current NCAA Division II Men’s Soccer Southeast Regional Rankings, Lenoir-Rhyne is fifth and Wingate is ranked second.


In their final regular season matches on the year, Lenoir-Rhyne faces Newberry in Newberry, S.C., next Saturday, October 29, at 3:30 p.m., in a conference contest .

Appalachian State’s defense finally surrendered a touchdown in Sun Belt play, but not until they scored one first.


Freshman Clifton Duck returned one of his two interceptions 44 yards for a touchdown and the App State defense nearly held a third consecutive Sun Belt opponent out of the end zone in a 37-19 win over Idaho on Saturday afternoon at Kidd Brewer Stadium.


Appalachian moves to 5-2 on the year and 3-0 in Sun Belt play, while Idaho falls to 4-4 overall and 2-2 in conference play.


The Mountaineers intercepted Idaho three times and surrendered Idaho’s only touchdown with four seconds left in the game. App scored on its first two possessions and pulled away with 13 quick points to open the second half to set up Thursday night’s Sun Belt showdown against Georgia Southern in Statesboro.


Duck’s interception opened App’s lead to 20-6 early in third quarter after a tight, quickly-played opening half. Jalin Moore added a 5-yard touchdown plunge early in the fourth to open the lead to 30-9 and essentially put the game out of reach.


The App’ defense bent, but held Idaho to three field goals on three trips into the red zone until closing seconds. The Vandals were just 2-of-12 on third down conversions and spread out four sacks. Safety Josh Thomas added a late interception in the fourth to set up a 18-yard touchdown catch for Dante Jones from J.P Caruso.


Linebacker Eric Boggs had a team-high seven tackles and a sack. Alex Gray and A.J. Howard both added six stops. The Mountaineers held Idaho quarterback to 26-of-41 for 294 yards and the late touchdown to go with three interceptions.


Wide out Shaedon Meadors had a career high seven catches for 123 yards and running back Jalin Moore went over 100 yards for the fourth consecutive game to power a balanced App State offense. Quarterback Taylor Lamb was 18-for-23 for 220 yards and rushed for a 2-yard touchdown in the first quarter.


App jumped to a 10-0 lead late in the first quarter as Taylor Lamb scampered in from two yards out, capping a 10-play, 80-yard drive that took over four minutes. Lamb was 3-of-4 on the drive for 33 yards and Darrynton Evans had a 25-yard run to set the Apps up inside the five.


Freshman Michael Rubino was 2-for-3 on field goals, connecting twice from 24 yards out and once from 28. Idaho’s Austin Rehkow was 4-for-4 with a long of 46 yards.


The Vandals moved the ball effectively in the opening half, but were just 1-for-6 on third downs and couldn’t run the ball on the App defense in the red zone.


Idaho tight end Trent Cowan led all players with 10 receptions for 118 yards.


The Mountaineers have a short week before traveling to Georgia Southern on Thursday night for a 7:30 p.m. kickoff in Statesboro on ESPNU.

Sunday, 23 October 2016 09:11

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Soccer Downs Wingate 1-0

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer Team (11-3-2, 7-2-1) celebrated Senior Day in style with a 1-0 victory over Wingate (9-5-1, 7-3) Saturday in a key South Atlantic Conference match at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex.


Lenoir-Rhyne senior forward Kendall Smith (Asheville, N.C.) scored the lone goal of the contest at the 47:48 mark of the second half. The goal was Smith’s team-leading eighth goal of the year and fourth match-winner of the season.


Lenoir-Rhyne, winners of four straight matches, held a 13-5 edge in shots taken in picking up its third straight shutout victory as well.


Senior goalkeeper Andrea Leano (San Diego, Calif.) made a pair of saves for her sixth shutout win on the year while Wingate’s Alexis Jones (Midway Park, N.C.) took the loss despite stopping six shots on the day. The Bulldogs also fell after two straight victories.


In the latest NCAA Division II Southeast Regional rankings, the Bears are fifth and also improved to 8-1 in their last nine contests.


Lenoir-Rhyne finishes off the regular season portion of its schedule on Saturday, October 29, in a South Atlantic Conference contest on the road against Newberry at 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, 23 October 2016 09:08

Lenoir-Rhyne Football Shutout by Mars Hill

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Football Team (2-6, 2-2) suffered a 49-0 shutout loss to Mars Hill (3-5, 1-3) Saturday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference game at Moretz Stadium.


The Lions’ Malik Prescott (Screven, Ga.) rushed for 244 yards and two touchdowns as Mars Hill finished with 373 yards on the ground in handing the Bears their second shutout defeat of the season.


Prescott scored on a one-yard run to open the scoring in the first quarter and added a 74-yard touchdown run in the third stanza as the Lions rolled up 478 yards of offense in the victory.


Mars Hill quarterback Austin Brown (Asheville, N.C.) threw three touchdown passes – one to Keshaun Taylor (Homestead, Fla.) and two to Craig Rucker (Leesburg, Fla.) in the second half – as the Lions snapped a four-game losing streak. Taylor’s touchdown catch from 25 yards out with 1:35 left in the second quarter gave Mars Hill a 21-0 advantage heading into halftime.


Lenoir-Rhyne freshman running back Darnell Jackson (Piedmont, Ala.) finished with 59 yards rushing and redshirt freshman defensive back Sherrod Williams (Edison, Ga.) totaled nine tackles in the loss. Lenoir-Rhyne finished with 243 yards of total offense including 149 on the ground but turned the ball over four times.


Mars Hill’s Robert Morgan (North Augusta, S.C.) returned an interception 76 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter to ice the game for the Lions.


Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road to take on Newberry in a South Atlantic Conference game next Saturday at 4:00 p.m., in Newberry, S.C.

Sunday, 23 October 2016 09:05

App State Women's Soccer Blanks UL Lafayette

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In windy, cold and rainy conditions, Appalachian State University women’s soccer thrived as it won a crucial home game against UL Lafayette, 2-0, on Friday evening at the Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.


The Mountaineers (8-7-2, 3-4-2 Sun Belt) completely dominated offensive possession for the match, holding the Ragin’ Cajuns (8-8-1, 4-4-1 Sun Belt) to four total shots to App’s 19.


Even though it wasn’t Senior Day yet, seniors Jane Cline (Cornelius, N.C./Charlotte Catholic) and Jenn Bass (Burlington, N.C./Williams (Clemson)) shined in one of their final home games with Cline drawing blood first in the 36th minute. Cline took Morgan Mosack’s (Charlotte, N.C./Providence Day) great ball through traffic from the left side and fired it home on a line.


Bass’ goal came on a set piece from a Kelly Flanders (Huntersville, N.C./Hopewell) corner. The junior placed the ball perfectly through the whipping rain where Bass was able to locate and knock in dead center.


Cline led all attackers with eight shots on the night, five of which were on goal. Right behind her was senior Jackie Nieradka (Kernersville, N.C./East Forsyth) with three shots and two on goal. Bass had two shots on goal while redshirt sophomore Erin Settle (Mooresville, N.C./Mooresville) had one of her two shots on goal.


Rounding out the offensive effort was sophomore Emmily Cowie (Davidson, N.C./W.A. Hough), freshman Maggie Hanusek (Cumming, Ga./Lambert) and Mosack with one shot each.


With the Cline’s eight total shots, she set a new program record for most shots in a season with 77 – passing Casey Cleary’s total of 75 in 2005. The goal also gives Cline her ninth of the season, tying her for third all-time for goals in a single season.


Junior goalkeeper Sam Steyl (Charlotte, N.C./Ardrey Kell) refused to let in a goal for the entirety of the match, getting her third shutout of the year off four saves.


Rain and wind were a common aspect to Appalachian State’s preseason practices to start the year off. More often than not, the Mountaineers would be playing on a wet field with rain coming from all over due to the wind. And the cold is just another part of living in Boone.


So with the elements combined on Friday evening, the Mountaineers weren’t just unaffected by the weather, but they actually excelled through it from first kick to final buzzer.


Whether it was making better plays on a wet ball or being able to focus through an evening that had temperatures drop to 40 degrees during a wind advisory.


The mental fortitude paid dividends, especially in the second half, where the Black and Gold held UL Lafayette without a shot for the first 27 minutes of the second half.


The Mountaineers stay home to finish out the 2016 regular season by hosting top-ranked Sun Belt team South Alabama in a rematch of the 2015 Sun Belt Tournament semifinals on Sunday at noon. Senior Day festivities begin at 11 a.m.


Despite South Alabama being the No. 1 seed in the tournament in 2015, Appalachian State pushed them to PKs after equalizing the game at 2-2 late in regulation. The Mountaineers took the team all the way through the penalty kicks but ultimately fell 10-9.

Appalachian State University broke through and snapped its 17-game losing streak with a dominating 3-0 (29-27, 25-17, 25-17) sweep of UL Monroe on Friday night at the Holmes Center.


Melissa McMath (Lexington, N.C./Central Davidson) led the Mountaineers (3-18, 1-7 Sun Belt) with 14 kills on the night. Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) finished with nine kills, while Alana Shoff (Melbourne, Fla./Melbourne Central Catholic) and Sloan Evans (San Antonio, Texas/Alamo Heights) collected seven kills each.


Also on the offensive side of things, Amanda Krahl (Pearland, Texas/St. Agnes Academy) totaled 36 assists. Defensively, libero Kennedy Wilson (Avon, Ind./Avon) collected a team-high 19 digs and Emma Longley (Raleigh, N.C./Cardinal Gibbons) finished with 14.


“I’m just happy for the players,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “They did a great job tonight following the game plan and played with a ton of energy to break the streak. We just needed to finally get a win to start building something in the second half of conference play.”


In the opening set, both the Mountaineers and the Warhawks (8-18, 2-6 Sun Belt) would battle back and forth with ULM taking a late 24-22 lead. The Apps got three consecutive kills from Evans and Gregory to take a 25-24 lead.


The set would be tied three more times before the Mountaineers would get back-to-back points to end the set and win 29-27.


With momentum in their favor, the Mountaineers would open the second set down 6-2 forcing an Appalachian timeout. The Black and Gold would battle back to take a 13-11 lead and forced a Warhawk timeout.


Up 13-11, App State would go on a 5-2 run and open an 18-13 lead forcing ULM’s second timeout of the set. App State pushed its lead to six following a kill from Longley and a service ace from Olivia Reed (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz).


App State would finish off the Warhawks with a kills from Evans, 25-17.


With a potential sweep in sight, the Mountaineers came out strong in the third set. The Apps would build a 12-8 lead and extend it to a six point advantage following a kill from Evans at 18-12. They would maintain their six point lead and finish off the match with three-straight kills from McMath.


Appalachian State will return to action and look to build off its first Sun Belt win on Sunday when it hosts UL Lafayette at 12:30 p.m. inside the Holmes Center.

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