Appalachian State University field hockey will enter the 2017 season riding the momentum of a 3-1 exhibition win over Davidson on Sunday at Brandon & Erica M. Adcock Field.
"Our two exhibition games against Wake Forest and Davidson have really helped us see what we need to get better at and what we need to work on," said head coach Meghan Dawson. "Davidson is really athletic and scrappy, but we were able to change our tempo in the second half and had much better possessions, which will set us up for better success in the future."
The Mountaineers scored all three goals in the second half as Melissa Nobile led the attack with two goals while Abby Merrill netted a goal of her own. App made 14 shots to Davidson's eight as the Moutaineers also led the Wildcats in penalty corners with an eight to three advantage.
Davidson scored its lone goal of the match in the first half at the 26th minute on a Paige Albert pass to Kristin Kisa as the Wildcats went into the half with a 1-0 lead.
Nobile, the scoring leader from last season, scored her first goal off a Ali Williams pass in the 39th minute. The second Appalachian goal came after Rebecca McLean received a corner from Taylor Cimbalist in the 51st minute. McLean delivered a high pass towards the posts that Michelle Taylor deflected to Abby Merrill for the score and a 2-1 Mountaineer lead.
In the 68th minute, McLean intercepted a Davidson pass and then found Nobile for the sophomore's second goal of the match.
Rachel Gaines played all 70 minutes between the posts and allowed just one goal. The Ohio native made four saves against the eight Davidson shots.
Appalachian will finish up its last week of preseason training before heading to Philadelphia for a matchup with La Salle on Friday, Aug. 25.
Brian Miller hit a two-run single in the fifth inning, leading the Greensboro Grasshoppers to a 5-3 win over the Hickory Crawdads on Saturday.
The single by Miller scored J.C. Millan and Jhonny Santos to tie the game 2-2.
The Grasshoppers took the lead for good in the seventh when Rony Cabrera hit a solo home run.
Hickory saw its comeback attempt come up short after Charles Leblanc scored on a double play in the ninth inning to cut the Greensboro lead to 5-3.
Cabrera homered and singled, scoring a pair of runs while also driving home a couple for Greensboro.
Kyle Keller (2-0) got the win in relief while Grant Zawadzki (0-1) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game.
Appalachian State University men’s soccer concluded a successful exhibition slate on Saturday evening thanks to a 1-0 win over a formidable Radford team at Ted Mackorell Soccer Complex.
The Black and Gold finished the preseason with a 1-0-1 mark.
App got all the help it needed in the opening minutes of the half when a scrum for the ball led to an own goal by the visitors, giving App the 1-0 edge.
The Highlanders fired away three of their four shots on goal in the first half, but Jake Chasteen (Blowing Rock, N.C./Watauga) saved all three attempts to keep the shutout going.
Appalachian would hold the advantage in shots overall, 9-7, while Radford posted four shots on goal to the Mountaineers’ three. The App defense clamped down even more as RU only attempted two shots in the second half. Mitch Kilmer (Frisco, Texas/Frisco) helped with the defensive effort as he would play the final 19:50 between the posts, coming away with a save.
Overall, the defensive effort across the board was excellent leading to a second shutout in as many contests.
Juan Hernandez (Winter Garden, Fla./West Orange) led the team with three shots while Reed Hunnicutt (Charlotte, N.C./South Mecklenburg) and Marc Pfrogner (Aurach, Germany/Gymnasium Feuchtwangen) had a pair of chances at the net. The trio all nearly converted on one of their shots, which would have put the match at 4-0 in App’s favor.
After a challenging preseason that featured an ACC opponent and the Big South Conference favorites, App will now turn its attention towards Old Dominion and VCU. The Mountaineers will open up next weekend on the road starting with ODU on Friday, Aug. 25 in Norfolk, Va. at 7 p.m.
“Good results,” O’Keefe said after the win. “The boys put in a great shift vs. a very good Radford team that was picked to win the Big South again this year. We again bent but didn’t break, and got an unconventional goal which was great because we didn’t get many last year. We had some better looks that we need to improve on and will. We’ll get back to work tomorrow and get ready for a very challenging opening weekend at ODU and VCU.”
Evan Beal and three other pitchers combined for a shutout as the Greensboro Grasshoppers beat the Hickory Crawdads 11-0 on Friday.
Beal (3-0) picked up the win after he allowed two hits over three scoreless innings. A.J. Alexy (0-1) went 1 2/3 innings, allowing six runs and five hits in the South Atlantic League game. He also struck out one and walked two.
In the bottom of the first, Greensboro took the lead on a home run by Jarett Rindfleisch that scored Brian Miller and Luis Pintor. The Grasshoppers then added three runs in the second and five in the third. In the second, Rony Cabrera hit a solo home run, while Eric Gutierrez hit a two-run single in the third.
Cabrera was a triple short of the cycle, driving in two runs in the win.
The Crawdads were held scoreless for the sixth time this season, while the Grasshoppers' staff recorded their ninth shutout of the year.
Alexander Central: 28
St. Stephens: 40, 2 OT
Hunter Huss: 49
Fred T. Foard: 14
Bunker Hill: 0
Hickory: 26, OT
West Caldwell: 35
East Burke: 0
West Lincoln: 43
Appalachian State University women’s soccer (0-1) put forth a valiant effort in a 1-0 setback on Friday afternoon against a tough High Point (1-0) team in the season opener at Ted Mackorell.
The Mountaineers fired away 17 shots in the setback to the Panthers’ eight attempts, but the difference maker was the lone attempt at the net that gave the visitors the only goal of the game. Maggie Gruber barely got a hold of the ball inside the box to pick up the score.
App had its chances, mostly in the second half with three shots on goal, but Alex Hank showed why she was named the Big South Preseason Defensive Player of the Year.
Sharon Osterbind (Jacksonville, Ala./Jacksonville) had two attempts at the net while Sarah Moon (Cornelius, N.C./W.A. Hough) also chipped away at a shot. With just under a minute left in the half, Kat Gree (Cayce, S.C./Brookland Cayce) was able to have an open shot for the tie, but just sailed right of the frame.
Taylor Ray (Indian Trail, N.C./Porter Ridge) would start at the net for App while Lauren Burke (Mableton, Ga./Whitefield Academy) saw her first action playing all 45 minutes in the second half.
For the first match of the season, App has plenty to be proud about, going toe-to-toe with a team that finished 13-6-2 in 2016 and won the Big South regular season title.
App will look for its first win of the season on Sunday as it starts a three-match road swing against Campbell at 4 p.m.
Michael Matuella didn't allow a hit in five innings, leading the Hickory Crawdads over the Hagerstown Suns in a 3-0 win on Thursday.
Matuella (4-6) picked up the win after he struck out one and walked five.
In the third inning, Hickory went up 1-0 early on a single by Andretty Cordero that scored Eric Jenkins. The Crawdads scored again in the fourth when Yohel Pozo hit a solo home run and Brendon Davis hit an RBI single.
Matthew DeRosier (2-3) went 5 2/3 innings, allowing three runs and six hits in the South Atlantic League game. He also struck out six and walked two. C.D. Pelham pitched two scoreless innings for his 10th save of the season.
Hagerstown was held off the scoreboard for the sixth time this season, while the Hickory staff recorded its eighth shutout of the year.
The Crawdads are 32-21 on the second half of the season. Hickory holds a three game lead over both Hagerstown and Greensboro. The Crawdads now travel this weekend to take on the Grasshoppers.
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association is pleased to announce the new eight-member Hall of Fame Class of 2017. The group of eight was publically presented and introduced at a live-streaming press conference at the NCHSAA Headquarters in Chapel Hill Thursday morning.
This year’s class is comprised of: Coach James “Jim” Biggerstaff from Belmont, Coach Allen Brown from Thomasville, Coach Dave Elder from Hickory, Robert “Bob” McRae of Kings Mountain, Coach Donnie Simpson from Elizabeth City, Coach Dave Thomas from Goldsboro, Earl Vaughan, Jr. from Fayetteville and Coach Herb Sampsel from Statesville (posthumously).
“We are so excited to recognize these eight individuals who have made a tremendous impact, not only on their students and communities, but on the landscape of education-based athletics in North Carolina,” said NCHSAA Commissioner Que Tucker. “This class represents many different areas of service over a vast number of years and the members are to be commended for their outstanding careers and involvement in the NCHSAA.”
The NCHSAA Hall of Fame was officially launched in 1987 when the Association inducted the original three-person class of Bob Jamieson, Leon Brogden and Dave Harris. This year’s eight-member class will bring the total number of inductees to 188 when the group is officially inducted at the annual NCHSAA Hall of Fame Banquet scheduled for Saturday, April 14th at the Embassy Suites in Cary. Ticket information will be available at a later date.
James “Jim” Biggerstaff
Belmont, NC – South Point H.S.
Jim Biggerstaff served as the Head Football Coach at South Point High School from 1969 to 1995. During his time with the Red Raiders, Biggerstaff’s teams won two State Championships, one in 1971 in the WNCHSAA (Western North Carolina High School Activities Association) when they tied Salisbury 14-14, and the other in 1979 in the NCHSAA when they defeated Ahoskie 34-13. His teams compiled a record of 143-74-7 during his tenure and he was named Coach of the Year by the NC Association of Sports Broadcasters in 1971. He was a Head Coach in the 1973 East/West All-Star game and the Head Coach for North Carolina’s team in the 1975 Shrine Bowl.
Thomasville, NC – Thomasville H.S.
Allen Brown has spent over 40 years coaching football, most of that time at Thomasville High School where he led the Bulldogs to seven NCHSAA State Championships. Coach Brown’s teams piled up 331 wins against just 100 losses and 2 ties with him as the Head Coach. He was named one of the NCHSAA’s “100 Coaches to Remember” during the NCHSAA’s Centennial Celebration in 2013. Incredibly, his 1995 Thomasville Bulldogs was the first to achieve a 16-0 mark in the history of High School Football in the state of North Carolina.
Hickory, NC – Hickory H.S.
Dave Elder taught and coached for over 35 years in five different high schools in the NCHSAA, most prominently at Hickory High School. While at Hickory High, Coach Elder was a football and women’s basketball coach, compiling a record of 418-129 in Women’s Basketball during his Hickory tenure. Those women’s hoops teams won three NCHSAA State Championships. Elder’s football career spanned five schools as a head coach with a record of 143-71-1. Elder’s Hickory team won the NCHSAA 3A Football State Championship in 1996, defeating Ragsdale 42-0.
Robert “Bob” McRae
Kings Mountain, NC – Former Superintendent, Cleveland County Schools
Bob McRae is a highly-awarded former Superintendent in a few school systems within North Carolina, most notably in Cleveland County Schools where he made great contributions to the NCHSAA. McRae was integral in the development of the NCHSAA’s Scholar Athlete program and served 10 years on the NCHSAA Board of Directors during his time. One of the most notable services McRae has provided to the NCHSAA is his time as chairman of the Realignment Committee, a capacity in which he served on three separate occasions. He was named the Region 6 Superintendent of the Year in 1988 and the NCHSAA’s State Award for Superintendent of the Year, presented each year at the Annual Meeting, is named in his honor.
Statesville, NC – Statesville H.S.
Herb Sampsel was one of the pioneers of women’s athletics in the western part of North Carolina. Sampsel served 34 years as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Statesville High School, posting a record of 580-102 during his tenure which ended during the early 1980’s. His teams at Statesville won 22 Regular Season Regional Championships and 13 Regional Tournament titles. He also coached the Varsity Baseball team for over 20 years. The gymnasium at Statesville High is named in his honor, as is the school’s Senior Female Athletic Award. Coach Sampsel is being inducted in the NCHSAA Hall of Fame posthumously, and will be represented by two of his sons in the presentation.
Elizabeth City, NC – Camden County H.S. & Currituck County H.S.
Donnie Simpson coached at both Camden County and Currituck County High Schools during his more than 40-year career in education-based athletics. He was Teacher of the Year in Camden County on two occasions and won the same award once in Currituck County. In 1993, Simpson was named the NCHSAA’s Region 1 Coach of the Year. That same year he served as a coach in the annual Shriners East/West All-Star Game. He is a founding member of the NC Football Coaches Association and has served on the North Carolina Coaches Association Board of Directors.
David “Dave” Thomas
Goldsboro, NC – C.B. Aycock H.S.
Dave Thomas served high schools and student-athletes over the span of a 40-plus-year career in education-based athletics, much of that time in Wayne County. Coach Thomas spent time as a teacher, a coach as well as an athletic director for 24 years before serving as the Wayne County System Athletic Director for 18 years. He was the winner of the NIAAA Distinguished Service Award in 2001 and has been inducted into the North Carolina Athletic Directors Association Hall of Fame. A former student-athlete at East Carolina himself, Thomas has been inducted in East Carolina University’s Hall of Fame as well as the Hall of Fame at C.B. Aycock High School.
Earl Vaughan, Jr.
Fayetteville, NC – Fayetteville Observer
Earl Vaughan, Jr. grew up in Fayetteville prior to attending UNC-Wilmington. Upon graduation from UNCW, Vaughan took a job at his hometown newspaper, The Fayetteville Observer, where he became the authority on prep sports in the Cumberland County and surrounding area. Vaughan served at the Observer for 44 years, during which time he was the Chairman of the NCHSAA’s Athlete of the Year Committee for over 30 years. He has twice been named a Distinguished Service Award Winner by the NCHSAA, once in 1995 and again in 2008. He was the first-ever two-time winner of the NCHSAA’s Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year Award. Vaughan has already been inducted as a member of the Fayetteville Sports Club Hall of Fame.
Tres Barrera doubled and singled twice as the Hagerstown Suns defeated the Hickory Crawdads 6-3 on Wednesday.
Hayden Howard struck Alex Kowalczyk out with runners on first and second to end the game for his fifth save of the season.
Hagerstown got on the board first in the fourth inning when Aldrem Corredor scored on a wild pitch and Jake Noll scored on a groundout.
Trailing 6-1, the Crawdads cut into the deficit in the eighth inning when Kowalczyk and Anderson Tejeda hit RBI singles.
Hagerstown starter Weston Davis (4-4) picked up the win after allowing four hits over five scoreless innings. Opposing starter Reid Anderson (1-10) took the loss in the South Atlantic League game after allowing five runs and six hits over five innings.
West Caldwell: 2
East Burke: 3
The Catawba Valley Community College volleyball program starts its 2017 season where it finished the 2016 campaign — ranked fourth in the nation.
The National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) released its 2017 preseason rankings, which feature the Red Hawks in the No. 4 spot in the poll — the highest-ever preseason ranking in program history.
“We’re really honored to be selected as fourth,” said CVCC head volleyball coach Shannon Hudson. “We’ve got a lot of work to put in. This is a young group this year and a totally different group than we finished with last year when we finished fourth in the nation. I’m excited to get things started and see how they can come together for this season.”
Only three community colleges – Owens (Ohio), Lincoln Land (Ill.) and defending national champion Parkland (Ill.) – are ranked higher than CVCC in the Division II poll, which is voted upon by the NJCAA’s poll committee.
The Red Hawks return five players — sophomores Hailey Tatu, Leslie Leonard, Sabrina Pinard, Mallory Bailey and Ramsey Fulmer — from their 2016 team, which set a school record for wins (41) and recorded its highest-ever national finish.
The CVCC volleyball team kicks off its 2017 season with a pair of preseason scrimmages on Thursday at the Tarlton Complex against Bob Jones University (3:30 p.m.) and Montreat College (6:30 p.m.).
Hudson is using the scrimmages to finalize her starting lineup heading into the regular-season home opener on Tuesday, Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. against USC-Lancaster.
“We’ve got a couple of girls competing for positions,” Hudson said. “We’re going to be looking at stats really hard to see kind of where they fall, kind of look at how they are coming together as a team and how defensively and offensively they are working together on the court. It’s going to be good to finally get them out there, put it all together and have some competition. They are ready to play. They are done with practice. They are ready to see it come together. We are too as coaches to see the little things that we’ve been adding and different pieces to see it on the court against some teams tomorrow. It’ll be nice to see how it all comes together.”
The Sun Belt Conference announced the 2018 and 2019 conference football schedules on Wednesday.
For the first time beginning in 2018, a divisional structure will be in place as the league will have two divisions (East/West), which will consist of five teams each.
Appalachian will be grouped into the East Division with Coastal Carolina, Georgia Southern, Georgia State and Troy.
Arkansas State, Louisiana, ULM, South Alabama and Texas State will make up the West.
The conference will still have an eight-game schedule while teams will play four home games and four road games. Teams will play every opponent within their respected division.
Winners from each division will meet in the conference title game that will be hosted by the team that boasts the highest ranking in the College Football Playoff (CFP) poll.