Sports (769)

Saturday, 08 April 2017 21:53

Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Defeats Wingate

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Baseball Team (20-16, 6-10) opened a South Atlantic Conference weekend series with a 10-1 victory over Wingate (15-22, 6-10) Friday night at Bears Field.

Lenoir-Rhyne senior Thomas St. Clair (Winston-Salem, N.C.) improved to 9-2 on the year after going the distance and allowing just three hits and one run on the night. St. Clair also fanned nine batters and broke his own school single-season record for strikeouts with 99.

Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore first baseman Alex Reynolds (Kings Mountain, N.C.) hit two solo home runs and senior second baseman David Newcomer (Archdale, N.C.) added a two-run home run and drove in four runs to lead the Bears on offense.

Newcomer and Reynolds hit home runs as part of a four-run first inning and the Bears never looked back. In addition, fourth-year mentor Tom Fleenor picked up his 100th victory as Lenoir-Rhyne Head Baseball Coach.

For Wingate, Micah Goodwin (Rougemont, N.C.) hit a solo home run while Brandon Donahue (Charlotte, N.C.) fell to 6-5 after taking the setback.

Appalachian State University men’s tennis junior Scott Webster (Perth, Australia/Scotch College) cracked the top 10 as the sixth-best Australian men’s tennis student-athlete according to on Friday.

Webster is one of two juniors on the list while joining other student-athletes from schools such as Oklahoma, North Carolina, Illinois, Tennessee and Virginia Tech. The Mountaineers’ leader in singles wins clocked in at a 13.78 on the Universal Tennis Rating (UTR) scale, which rates players on a scale level of 1-16. Webster was .02 of a point from joining the top five and 1.08 from the top spot, held by Illinois’ Aleksandar Vukic (14.76).

It comes to no surprise that Webster cracked the list of the top Australian men’s tennis student-athletes, as the third-year Mountaineer is 43-12 (.782) in singles action and 36-16 (.692) in doubles play for his career.

With two regular-season matches left in the season, Webster and the Mountaineers have been playing some of their best tennis with the Sun Belt Tournament fastly approaching, boasting an 8-2 mark over their last 10 matches after starting the season 3-5. Webster leads the team with a 12-4 mark in singles play, including an 8-1 record over his last nine contests. In addition, Webster is second on the team with 11 wins in doubles action.

App will host Gardner-Webb on Monday at 2 p.m. at Stadium Courts.

Saturday, 08 April 2017 20:36

App's Bentley Nets Three Year Contract

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Appalachian State director of athletics Doug Gillin announced a new three-year contract for Appalachian State wrestling head coach JohnMark Bentley on Friday. The new three-year deal begins on July 1, 2017 and runs through July 30, 2020.

“I am excited that JohnMark Bentley will remain the leader of our wrestling program,” Gillin said. “The growth and success of the program under JohnMark in both the Southern Conference and at the national level continues to be impressive.

On top of all of the success on the mat, I am especially proud of the commitment that our wrestling program makes to campus and community involvement as well as its work in the classroom,” Gillin continued. “I’m thankful to Coach Bentley for his continued commitment to Appalachian State and am thrilled that he and his family will remain a part of the Appalachian family.”

A three-time Southern Conference Coach of the Year, Bentley has been at the helm of Appalachian State wrestling for the past nine years, guiding them to three SoCon regular season championships and one SoCon Tournament championship.

“Appalachian is a very special place to me and my family,” Bentley said. “I am excited to continue the work of growing the App State wrestling tradition.”

The Mountaineers are coming off back-to-back historic seasons, garnering the team’s first national ranking in the USA Today/NWCA poll at No. 23 in 2015-16 and then pushing that further in 2016-17 by climbing all the way up to No. 20 in the country. In the national rankings, App State also reached No. 16 this season in InterMat while also making No. 6 in the newly formed NWCA/National Duals Selection Committee Mid-Major Top 20 Poll.

Appalachian has gone 13-1 in the SoCon the previous two seasons and won 22 of 27 dual matches for exceptional recent dominance in the mid-majors, downing five Power 5 programs and two top-25 teams. In back-to-back years, the Black and Gold have been selected to participate in the NWCA National Duals, which pits the nation’s top wrestling programs against Big Ten teams each year. This year, Boone and wrestling home Varsity Gym played host to the big stage, welcoming Indiana University to the mountain to cap off the season.

Under Bentley’s tutelage, Mountaineer wrestling has had three NCAA All-Americans, a SoCon Tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler, two SoCon Freshmen of the Year, four SoCon Wrestlers of the Year, 10 wrestlers named SoCon all-freshmen, 18 named SoCon all-conference and 17 SoCon Champions.

Lenoir-Rhyne University’s Abbey Hartsell has been named the 2017 South Atlantic Conference Women’s Golfer Of The Year, league officials announced today as part of its annual honors.

Hartsell, a sophomore from Taylorsville, N.C., has the league’s lowest scoring average so far this year (75.70 strokes per round).

In addition, Hartsell has won two events this year – the Tusculum Fall Classic (Sept. 26-27) and Patsy Rendleman Invitational (Oct. 10-11) – and posted four top-five finishes overall. Hartsell also posted the lowest round of any league player this year: a 68 (-4) at the Patsy Rendleman Invitational in Salisbury, N.C.

Hartsell, the 2016 SAC Freshman Of The Year and the championship runner-up last spring, is the first Lenoir-Rhyne player to earn women’s golfer-of-the-year accolades since All-American Meghan Jolly in 2002.

The 2017 South Atlantic Conference Championship is scheduled for Sunday, April 9, through Tuesday, April 11, at the Link Hills Country Club in Greeneville, Tenn.

2017 All-South Atlantic Conference

Women’s Golf Teams


Abbey Hartsell, Lenoir-Rhyne

Elizabeth England, Carson-Newman

Ciara Ratana, Tusculum

Kate Hill, Anderson

Natalie Pleyerova, Queens


Katie Tomassoni, Tusculum

Diana McDonald, Wingate

Cristina Casanella, Wingate

Angela Luna, Coker

Tiffany Elam, Anderson


Reagan Greene, Lincoln Memorial

Mikaela Hadaway, Wingate

Taylor Hayes, Carson-Newman

Katie Kasper, Wingate

Laura Nunez, Wingate


Abbey Hartsell, Lenoir-Rhyne


Kate Hill, Anderson


Erin Thorne, Wingate

The Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Tennis Team (10-8, 3-5) fell to Wingate (13-3, 8-1) by a 6-3 score Thursday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference match at Hickory High School.

The Bulldogs are ranked No. 42 in NCAA Division II. The match began on Wednesday but was halted due to rain and thunderstorms.

Despite the loss, sophomore Hamed Gandouz (Hammam Sousse, TUNISIA) earned a victory at first singles while sophomore Alex Crespo Sanchez (Valencia, SPAIN) and freshman Tales Miranda (Sao Paulo, BRAZIL) prevailed at No. 3 doubles for the Bears.

Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Anderson, S.C., to take on Anderson in a league match Saturday afternoon at 1:00 p.m., while Wingate plays Coker in Hartsville, S.C., on Saturday at 1:00 p.m., as well.

NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Final
#42 Wingate 6, Lenoir-Rhyne 3
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Hamed Gandouz (LR) def. Filippo Pezzoli (WU), 6-2, 6-3
2. Daniel Belsito (WU) def. Tomas Hons (LR), 6-1, 6-0
3. Shane O'Dea (LR) def. Theo Dessacs (WU), 6-2, 6-0
4. Josh DuToit (WU) def. Alex Ayguavives (LR), 6-2, 6-3
5. Amir Zari (WU) def. Tales Miranda (LR), 3-6, 6-0, 6-2
6. Nicholas Oliveira (WU) def. Alex Crespo Sanchez (LR), 1-6, 6-2, 6-3

Doubles competition:
1. Daniel Belsito/Josh DuToit (WU) def. Tomas Hons/Shane O'Dea (LR), 8-1
2. Amir Zari/Tyler Schofer (WU) def. Hamed Gandouz/Alex Ayguavives (LR), 8-4
3. Alex Crespo Sanchez/Tales Miranda (LR) def. Duncan Addison/Theo Dessacs (WU), 8-5

The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Team (8-10) lost to Wingate (13-2, 9-0) by a 7-2 score Thursday afternoon in a South Atlantic Conference match at Hickory High School.

The Bulldogs, ranked No. 33 in NCAA Division II, remained in sole possession of first place in the league standings while the contest was completed over two days.

Lenoir-Rhyne did earn victories at No. 2 and No. 4 singles courtesy of sophomores Marta Escanero Funes (Guardamar Del Segura, SPAIN) and Emily Murchland (Mount Victoria, NEW ZEALAND) despite the loss.

In the next round of South Atlantic Conference games on Saturday beginning at 1:00 p.m., Lenoir-Rhyne travels to Anderson, S.C., to face Anderson while Wingate plays on the road against Coker.

NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Final
No. 33 Wingate 7, Lenoir-Rhyne 2
Wednesday, April 5, 2017
Hickory, N.C. (Hickory High School)

Singles competition:
1. Claudia De Andreis (WU) def. Iulia Ponomareva (LR), 6-2, 6-1
2. Marta Escanero Funes (LR) def. Andrea Ternera (WU), 2-6, 6-4, 7-5
3. Elena Pellegrini (WU) def. Sara Kalkenova (LR), 6-2, 6-2
4. Emily Murchland (LR) def. Oroma Womeodu (WU), 9-7
5. Layla Tanik (WU) def. Sophia Aguilar di Camillo (LR), 6-0, 6-0
6. Sydney Homan (WU) def. Taylor Fredrickson (LR), 8-1

Doubles competition:
1. Oroma Womeodu/Maria Garcia (WU) def. Iulia Ponomareva/Sara Kalkenova (LR), 8-1
2. Andrea Ternera/Sydney Homan (WU) def. Emily Murchland/Taylor Fredrickson (LR), 8-2
3. Claudia De Andreis/Layla Tanik (WU) def. Marta Escanero Funes/Sophia Aguilar di Camillo (LR), 8-2

Records: Wingate (13-2, 9-0 SAC), Lenoir-Rhyne (8-10, 2-6 SAC)

Alexander Central: 10
Patton: 0

Draughn: 10
McDowell: 7

Lincoln Charter: 11
Bandys: 10

Northwestern Conference:
South Caldwell: 29
Hickory: 0

Southern District 7:
Bandys: 7
St. Stephens: 0

West Caldwell: 12
Newton-Conover: 3

North Piedmont Conference:
North Lincoln: 2
Alexander Central: 1

Northwestern Conference:
Watauga: 9
Freedom: 0

South Mountain Athletic Conference:
Burns: 2
East Burke: 1

Southern District 7:
Lincolnton: 3
Bandys: 0

Maiden: 4
West Caldwell: 3

The Hickory Crawdads lost their season opener to the Greensboro Grasshoppers on the road Thursday night, 14-4. The Grasshoppers jumped out to a 7-1 lead after two innings and coasted from there.

Anderson Tejeda led the offense for the Crawdads. The shortstop went one-for-three with two runs scored and hit the Crawdads first home run of the season in the third inning. Ti'Quan Forbes alsoed added a home run, a two run shot, in the fourth inning.

Jonathan Hernandez took the loss on the mound for the Crawdads, pitching only two innings allowing seven runs on seven hits, striking out three and walking three.

The Crawdads stay in Greensboro through Sunday. Hickory travels to Columbia for a three game series against the Fireflys on Monday. The Crawdads first home game of the season at L.P. Frans Stadium will be Thursday against Kannapolis.

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