Appalachian State University women’s basketball will head to New Orleans as the eighth seed for the 2016 Sun Belt Championships taking place March 9-12 at Lakefront Arena.
Appalachian will face top-seeded Arkansas State on Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. (ET) on ESPN3. The Black and Gold concluded the regular season with an 83-74 setback to the Red Wolves this past Saturday at the Holmes Center. A-State finished the season at 25-4 and 19-1 in league play en route to capturing the regular season championship.
The Apps clinched a spot in the tournament on Thursday after Georgia State fell to Louisiana, 65-60. Appalachian had a chance to jump to the seventh spot with a win over Arkansas State and a loss by Texas State, but with both teams losing, Texas State earned the higher seed by defeating Little Rock earlier this season.
Appalachian finished the season 10-18 overall and 7-13 in the Sun Belt, including two pivotal road wins in Georgia two weeks ago that helped pushed Appalachian to the tournament berth.
The 2016 Southern Conference Championship came down to the final period of the final championship match. Denzel Dejournette (Winston-Salem, N.C./R.J. Reynolds) delivered in the final moments of the heavyweight match to claim Appalachian State University wrestling’s first SoCon Tournament title since 2003.
The Mountaineers (12-4, 6-1 SoCon) trailed 77-73.5 to five-time defending champion Chattanooga going into the championship matches. 2016 SoCon Champions Michael Longo (Corona, Calif./Santiago) at 141 pounds, Nick Kee (Laurinburg, N.C./Scotland) at 174 pounds, and Dejournette all secured wins to snap the Mocs run as champions.
“I’m so proud of this team, and how they battled today,” said 2015-16 SoCon Coach of the Year JohnMark Bentley. “This Championship took a team effort! Our focus now on getting some All-Americans.”
Longo used a first round pin of Billy McClelland of Davidson to advance to the semi-final match at 141 pounds. Longo was down early but fought back to pin John Muldoon of SIUE in the second round to secure his spot in the finals. Longo defeated Mike Pongracz of Chattanooga in a low-scoring contest for the second-straight year. With the win, Longo is headed to New York for his second trip the NCAA Championship in as many seasons.
Kee dominated his opening match against Nathaniel Powers of Davidson, winning by 17-0 technical fall. Kee marched on the 174-pound final with a 13-4 major decision over Conner McMahon. Like Longo, Kee completed his unblemished SoCon season in the championship match, winning by 14-6 major decision over Sean Mappes. Kee will head to the NCAA Championship for the first time in his career.
Dejournette cruised to an opening round technical fall over Will Cooley of Davidson, winning 17-2. Dejournette continued to roll with a 12-2 major decision in the semifinal to set up a rematch of the 2015 heavyweight championship with Jared Johnson of Chattanooga. A late takedown gave Dejournette a 4-2 decision win, his third win of the year over Johnson
App State had two wrestlers finish as runner-ups for the second-consecutive year. Vito Pasone (Wilkes-Barre, Pa./E.L. Meyers) placed second at 125 pounds while Forrest Przybysz (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) placed second at 165 pounds.
Pasone needed just over a minute to rack up a 16-0 technical fall victory over Zamir Ode of Davidson. In the semi-final, Pasone notched his second technical fall of the afternoon over Alonzo Allen of Chattanooga to punch his ticket into the 125-pound final. Pasone lead for most of the first two periods, but came up just short of a trip to nationals and had to settle for runner-up. Alfredo Rodriguez took control in the third period and went on to win 17-10.
Przybysz shut out Davidson’s Adam Flatt 12-0 in his opening round match to advance to the semi-final of the 165-pound bracket. Przybysz won a nail-biting semifinal match with a takedown in the overtime period to advance to a SoCon final for the second consecutive season. Przybysz competed hard all match and used a late flurry to tie the match in the third period against Austin Trott of Gardner-Webb. Trott’s riding time proved to be the difference as he used the extra point to win, 5-4.
Along with the five wrestlers that were in the finals, the Apps had another four third-place matches. Irvin Enriquez (Aberdeen, N.C./Pinecrest) placed 3rd at 133 pounds and Matt Zovistoski (Paramus, N.J./St. Joseph Regional), Taylor Jackson (Lady Lake, Fla./The Villages) (Rutgers), and Randall Diabe (Greensboro, N.C./James B. Dudley) all placed fourth.
App State’s three conference champions will be headed to New York Ciy for the NCAA Championship held at Madison Square Garden on starting on Mar. 17.
Bowling Green scored five of its six runs with two outs in a 6-2 win over Appalachian State University baseball on Saturday at Elon’s Latham Park.
After it scored its first run with one out in the first inning, Bowling Green (3-5) went on to plate each of its final five runs with two outs — one in the second, one in the fourth, one in the fifth and two in the seventh. Six of BG’s 10 hits came with two outs, as the Falcons went 6-for-13 (.462) when facing their final out in an inning.
In two victories at this weekend’s Elon Tournament (Friday’s 6-2 win over Elon and Saturday’s 6-2 win over App State), Bowling Green has scored 10 of its 12 runs with two outs.
On the other hand, Appalachian State (2-9) had just one hit in nine at-bats with two outs. The Mountaineers were 2-for-16 with runners on base and 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position.
Center fielder Brian Bauk (Salisbury, N.C./Salisbury) had two of Appalachian State’s four hits. The Mountaineers’ two runs were driven in on a groundout by freshman designated hitter Colin Schmid (New Bern, N.C./New Bern) in the third inning and a two-out double by freshman second baseman Jason Curtis (Waxhaw, N.C./Marvin Ridge) in the seventh.
Appalachian starting pitcher Seth Hardin (Climax, N.C./Providence Grove), another true freshman, allowed four runs in five innings to fall to 0-2.
Shortstop Cody Callaway (3-for-4, 3 RBI) led Bowling Green offensively while starting pitcher Zac Carey (6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 6 K) earned his first win of the season.
Appalachian State looks to come away with a 2-1 record at the Elon Tournament when it squares off against host Elon on Sunday. First pitch is set for 4:30 p.m.
Senior Frank Eaves (Greensboro, N.C./Page) put the game out of reach on Senior Day with a pull-up three pointer late in the second half to solidify the 80-73 win over Arkansas State. App State’s bench outscored A-State 49-17 in the game.
The Mountaineers (9-22, 7-13 SBC) needed to win both games this week to have a chance at the Sun Belt Conference tournament in New Orleans. After downing Little Rock (RPI 35) Thursday, Appalachian again stepped up and took down the Red Wolves (11-20, 7-13 SBC) on Saturday afternoon.
After shooting poorly from the free-throw line in the first half, Appalachian found its rhythm at the charity stripe and had Griffin Kinney (Delaware, Ohio/Fork Union Military Academy), Jake Babic (Oakville, Ontario/The Kiski School) and Ronshad Shabazz (Raleigh, N.C./Huntington Prep (W.V.)) knock down clutch free throws to finish out the game.
Kinney led the way for Appalachian with a career-high 18 points, while both Emarius Logan (Columbia, S.C./White Knoll) and Eaves finished with 12 points each. Logan also finished with five big assists.
Jacob Lawson (Reidsville, N.C./Oak Ridge Military/Purdue) came close to a double-double, pulling in eight boards to go along with eight points and three blocks.
In the opening moments of the game, Dustin Clarke (Newland, N.C./Avery County/Hartford) got the start on Senior Day and opened the game quickly with five points to help spark the Mountaineers offensively.
With just 4:34 remaining in the opening half, App State trailed by 10 at 37-27, but 15-4 run gave the Mountaineers a 42-41 advantage going into the break. The run was keyed by a Kinney layup and included two threes from Logan and one from Tyrell Johnson (Atlanta, Ga./Stephenson).
In the second half, Appalachian pushed its lead to 56-50 with 12:27 left in regulation before the Red Wolves made a furious comeback to take a 57-56 lead with 10:21 left.
A-State would go up by as many as four points at 64-60, but the Mountaineers erased that deficit quickly and took a 70-68 lead with 3:09 left on a jumper from Shabazz. With a three-point lead at 74-71, Eaves hit one of the biggest shots of the game with a three to put App State up by six with 42 seconds left. The Apps would hit free throws down the stretch to put the game away and seal the win.
The Black and Gold also forced four turnovers in the final three minutes of the game, eliminating any groove Arkansas State could get into. At the end of the day, Appalachian outscored the Red Wolves 19-9 in points-off-turnovers. Unfortunately, the Mountaineers are now officially eliminated from postseason play with Texas State topping South Alabama this evening.
Appalachian State University softball dropped a 9-0 decision in five innings to Loyola-Chicago for Saturday’s first game, but bounced back nicely to defeat Campbell 16-9 and split the twinbill. App State snapped a two-game skid against the Camels and beat them for the first time since 2007.
“Today was a great test for our character,” said head coach Janice Savage. “To be down by seven against Campbell and come back to win shows how much our team can achieve if we continue to fight. I’m proud of them for not giving up and continuing to believe.”
The Mountaineers now sit at 4-14 overall, the Ramblers improved to 10-3 and the Camels have lost two of their last three falling to 5-8 on the season. App State managed only two hits in game one, one each from Jenny Dodd (Mocksville, N.C./West Forsyth) and Cara Parker (Lake Park, Ga./Lowndes), but the bats came to life against Campbell.
Against the Camels, the Black and Gold recorded season highs in runs scored (16), RBI (16), walks (11), hit-by-pitches (five), and runners left on base (13). The first four batters in the lineup went a combined 7-for-15 (.467) with nine runs scored and 12 RBI, six of which came from Heather Josey (Statesville, N.C./North Iredell) in the cleanup spot. Josey became the first Mountaineer with six RBI in a game since April 15, 2006 when Kasey Motsinger accomplished the feat against UNCG.
Game One: Loyola-Chicago 9, App State 0 (5 Inn.)
Loyola-Chicago scored two runs in the first, six in the second and one in the third, all on seven hits. Annaleise Kennedy (Kents Store, Va./Fluvanna) (1-3) lasted 1.2 innings and gave up four earned runs on four hits. In relief, Katherine Johnson (Alameda, Calif./Wichita State/Alameda) went a third of an inning with five runs surrendered, one earned, and Claire Eosso (Moyock, N.C./Currituck County) pitched the final two frames without giving up a hit.
Game Two: App State 16, Campbell 9
In game two, innings one through three were polar opposites of innings four through seven. Entering the top of the fourth, the Mountaineers found themselves down 7-0 to Campbell and had tallied just two hits. The momentum changed hands quickly, though, as App State rattled off 13 unanswered runs amongst seven in the fourth, one in the fifth, five in the sixth, and three in the seventh.
In the game-tying fourth inning, the Black and Gold batted around plus three batters and at one point, chalked up five-straight RBI hits. Six of the seven hits were singles and the seventh was a double from Pepper Butler (Delray Beach, Fla./Boca Raton Community), while all seven runs came in with one out.
Appalachian State’s fifth-inning run came when Parker drew a bases-loaded walk that scored Butler.
In the top of the sixth, another bases-loaded walk, this time from Dodd, forced in Maddy Bloom (Princeton Junction, N.J./West Windsor-Plainsboro North) and the next four runs came from Josey’s first-career grand slam/ninth-career home run, a shot to right field. At that point, the Mountaineers were up 13-7 and in complete control.
The Campbells cut the deficit to four, 13-9, with two runs of their own in the bottom the sixth, but App State put it the game away with three more runs in the top half of the seventh. Butler singled in a run, Dodd was hit by a pitch to force in another and Josey earned her sixth RBI with a fielder’s choice to round out the scoring.
“Heather stepped up in a crucial spot for us and delivered,” added Savage. “That kind of leadership from a sophomore is really exciting for us. We are hoping to continue to build off of that for tomorrow leading into conference play next weekend.”
Vanessa Ciocatto (La Habra, Calif./Delaware State/La Habra) got the start and threw 2.2 innings with seven runs given up, but only three were earned. Kennedy (2-3) got her second-career win with 4.1 frames of work, two runs surrendered, just one earned, three walks and five strikeouts.
Sunday, the Mountaineers will close out their play in the Camel Stampede against Loyola-Chicago with first pitch set for 11 a.m.
Appalachian State University men’s tennis (7-4) bounced back with a 5-2 victory over UNC Greensboro (2-4) Saturday afternoon.
“I’m glad that we bounced back nicely in a win that got us back on track,” said head coach Bob Lake. “We really got off to a great start in doubles play and carried the momentum over into singles action. I’m proud of the way we performed today.”
Appalachian took home four of the six singles matches and two of three doubles contests.
The Mountaineers took home the doubles point with a pair of wins thanks to the outstanding tandem of Jan-Willem Kleynhans (Stellenbosch, South Africa/Paul Roos Gymnasium) and Scott Webster (Swanbourne, Australia/Scotch College), who won their sixth-straight match in doubles competition with a 6-3 decision over Warren Bryan and William Albright
At No. 3 doubles, Trey Morris (Gerton, N.C./Abraham Baldwin Agricultural) and Zach Bost (Jefferson, Ga./Jefferson) improved to 7-3 with a 6-3 win as well to capture a 1-0 lead going into singles play.
Bost started singles action with a 6-1,6-0 victory over James Flynn as the No. 6 in the lineup to improve to 7-4.
The Mountaineers kept the ball rolling with a 6-4, 6-3, win from Maddocks over Gaston Murray as the No. 3 in the lineup. After UNCG cut the deficit to a point, 3-2,Webster clinched the match after winning the first set and third sets to improve his win total to 7-2 in singles play.
Oliver Casey (Melbourne, Australia/Carey Baptist) ran his win streak up to six after finishing the match with a hard-fought three-set win over Daniel Mack in the clash of No. 2, 6-4, 4-6, 7-6.
Appalachian will return to the court on Monday against Bethune-Cookman at 2 p.m. in Jacksonville, Fla.
No. 44 Wake Forest (11-2) was too much for Appalachian State University women’s tennis (3-6) Saturday afternoon, as the Demon Deacons captured a 7-0 victory.
WF claimed the doubles point winning all three matches. The No. 3 tandem of Melissa Machado (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) and McKayla Zupan (Wilmington, N.C./Hoggard) fell,6-1, to Luisa Fernandez and Andrea Retolaza before Taylor Bygrave (Monto, Australia/Miami Gold Goast) and Megan Mullen (Mooresville, N.C./Lake Norman) was topped, 6-3.
At No. 1 doubles, Clare Cox (Greensboro, N.C./Grimsley) and Heidi Swope (Weddington, N.C./Weddington) suffered a 5-2 defeat at the hands of Samantha Asch and Emma Davis.
In singles competition, the hosts kept the momentum taking all six singles matches. Machado fell 6-0,6-0 to Davis in a clash of No. 2’s followed by Swope’s 6-2, 6-1 setback to Fernandez at the three spot.
Gabrielle Wreder (Miami, Fla./Miami Killian) fell to Joanna Zalewski at the three spot in the lineup, 6-4, 6-0. In a matchup between No. 5’s, Rebecca Morse fell to her counterpart, 6-3, 6-1, while Brianna Armellino (West Palm, Fla./Home School) suffered a 6-0, 7-5 decision to Kasey Gardiner.
Cox’s singles match would be the last to end the day, as she played against the 82nd-ranked student-athlete in the nation, and fought valiantly, falling to Kimmy Geurin, 6-3, 7-6.
The women will return to action on Wednesday, Mar. 9 at 3 p.m. against Flagler in St. Augustine, Fla.
Lenoir-Rhyne (14-4, 1-1) and Mars Hill (14-7, 3-2) split a South Atlantic Conference baseball doubleheader on Saturday afternoon at Henderson Field. The Bears won the first game – 4-3 – before the Lions took the nightcap, 10-3.
Game One – Lenoir-Rhyne 4, Mars Hill 3
Lenoir-Rhyne freshman outfielder Justin Lara (Coconut Creek, Fla.) hit a solo home run to tie the game at two before sophomore outfielder Marcus Shoemaker (Colfax, N.C.) came through with the game-winning, two-run single to lead the Bears to the win.
Both hits took place in a three-run sixth inning while sophomore Austin Hancock (Defiance, Ohio) improved to 3-0 on the year with the victory. Hancock allowed just one earned run in five innings of work while junior John Curtis (Lenoir, N.C.) pitched a scoreless ninth for the save. Curtis struck out the side.
For Mars Hill, Phillip Carroll (Hickory, N.C.) had an RBI double while Zac Brown (Albemarle, N.C.) fell to 1-2 after taking the loss.
Game Two – Mars Hill 10, Lenoir-Rhyne 3 (seven innings)
The Lions jumped on the Bears early with three-run first and second innings, respectively, to salvage the split. Mars Hill’s Dylan Powers (Botetourt, Va.) hit a two-run home run in the first frame and finished with three hits and five runs batted in.
Lenoir-Rhyne senior first baseman Colby Dishmond (Statesville, N.C.) and junior third baseman David Newcomer (Archdale, N.C.) hit solo home runs despite the loss. Junior Thomas St. Clair (Winston-Salem, N.C.) (1-1) was tagged with the loss for the Bears.
Dalton Eisenbath (Matthews, N.C.) and Brett Brubaker (Orlando, Fla.) hit home runs while Hunter Boydston (Asheville, N.C.) (3-1) earned the complete game victory for the Lions.
The two teams wrap up the South Atlantic Conference weekend series with a single game on Sunday afternoon at 1:00 p.m.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Lacrosse Team (2-4, 1-0) opened South Atlantic Conference play by rolling over Coker (0-5, 0-1), 22-9, Saturday afternoon at Moretz Stadium.
Lenoir-Rhyne junior attacker Mike Hanlon (Haymarket, Va.), the team’s leading scorer, finished with a game-high four goals as the Bears jumped out to a 10-0 advantage after one period and scored the first 12 goals of the contest in the easy victory. Hanlon has 17 goals on the season.
Senior attacker Taylor Thilo (Greensboro, N.C.) added three goals and freshman attacker Joe Buduo (Shrewsbury, Mass.) totaled two scores and two assists for Lenoir-Rhyne, who led by a 17-3 score at intermission.
Coker’s Mike Martiello (Westbury, N.Y.) finished with a team-high three goals but the Cobras remained winless on the year. Coker scored six goals after the break but the deficit was too great to overcome.
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore goalkeeper Ryan Crompton (Frederick, Md.) was credited with the win after totaling 12 saves. The keepers combined to total 19 stops on the afternoon for the Bears.
Coker’s Anthony Malik (Knoxville, Md.) took the loss in goal. Malik (three saves) and Adam Messel (Spartanburg, S.C.) combined to make nine stops. Lenoir-Rhyne held a 55-46 edge in shots taken including 41 in the first half in addition to a 26-18 margin in ground balls.
Lenoir-Rhyne remains at home to take on Lynn next Saturday at Moretz Stadium at 2:00 p.m. Coker, meanwhile, faces Saint Leo in Saint Leo, Florida, on Tuesday at 8:00 p.m.
A 31-point outburst in the third quarter on plagued Appalachian State University women’s basketball (10-19, 7-13 SBC) in an 83-74 defeat to first-place Arkansas State (25-4, 19-1 SBC) Thursday afternoon in the Holmes Center on Senior Day.
Appalachian was led by Madi Story (Maiden, N.C./Bandys) on offense led the offense for her fourth 20-point outing with a game-high 22 points 8-for-15 shooting while corralling five boards. Joi Jones (Duluth, Ga./Duluth) scored 19 points (16 in the second half) on seven shots and dished out a game-high six assists. The duo combined to score 41 points on 15-of-28 shooting and 11-of-15 from the free throw line.
Kaila Craven (Asheboro, N.C./Southwest Randolph) notched 14 points for her third-straight double-figure performance off the bench, and senior Farrahn Wood (Kernersville, N.C.) had a solid outing in her last game at the Holmes Center with 11 points on three trifectas and a one bucket. Senior KeKe Cooper (Spartanburg, S.C./Dorman) also had a solid outing with six points and a team-best 11 boards.
The Mountaineers started hot with a 7-3 lead in the first 1:19 of the contest hitting their first three shots. Story hit back-to-back shots before Wood canned a deep trifecta that capped off the run.
Appalachian extended the lead to five, 10-5, with 6:47 left in the period once Story went 1-of-2 at the charity stripe. But Arkansas State responded over the next 1:53 with a 10-2 run that gave the visitors a 15-12 advantage. The Red Wolves led the rest of the period but App State was on their tails cutting the deficit to two, 23-21. Craven was fouled on a 3-pointer just before the frame ended, hitting 2-for-3 before the end of the quarter.
Like the first quarter, the Apps started strong out of the gate with a 9-0 run in the first 2:54 of the period. Wood nailed a trifecta to give Appalachian the one-point lead before Jones found Story for a layup and Jones hitting a jumper herself. Wood came up big again with a steal for a breakaway layup to give the Mountaineers their largest lead of the game at seven, 30-23.
Once again the Sun Belt Regular Season Champions clawed back to tie the game at 34-all while Craven hit the back end of a pair at the line to push App State to a 35-34 advantage. With 50 seconds left in the half, Aundrea Gamble’s layup gave A-State a one-point lead going into the break, 36-35.
Story and Wood combined for 23 points on 10-for-16 shooting from the floor while Jones had four helpers. App State the visitors to 4-for-11 from long distance while the Apps shot 3-for-5 from the arc.
The Mountaineers and Red Wolves went back and forth in the early goings of the second half while Appalachian captured a 50-46 lead after the Apps scored six of the next eight points with the game tied, 44-44. Appalachian had the momentum after Jones hit two free throws to put the Black and Gold up by four, but the Red Wolves showed why they’re the top team in the conference.
A-State pieced together a 17-2 run while hitting four-straight 3-pointers and seven shots in a row overall to take a 63-52 advantage and eventually took a 67-56 lead into the final period. The visitors held App State to just six points over the final 4:44 of the frame while shooting 55.6% from the floor and hit four from beyond the arc. App State shot 60 percent, but just got off 10 shots while the Red Wolves scored 12 points off five App State mistakes.
App State sliced the lead to single digits on multiple occasions in the final period and slimmed the deficit to as low as six, 80-74, with 18 seconds left thanks to a trey from Craven, but it was too little, too late with A-State capturing the win.
Arkansas State was led by the dangerous tandem of Khadija Brown-Haywood and Aundrea Gamble, who combined for 51 points and 21 boards. Brown-Haywood finished with game highs in points (31) and rebounds (14) while Gamble added 20 points and nine off the glass. A-State came up with 16 offensive boards to Appalachian’s seven on the offensive end, and the Red Wolves would hold a 12-4 triumph in second-chance points.
After the solid start from beyond the arc (3-for-5), the Mountaineers finished just 1-for-9 from 3-point land.
Before the game, Wood and Cooper were honored for their four seasons at App State on Senior Day.
The Mountaineers won’t have to wait long for another shot at Arkansas State, as they will face the top-seeded Red Wolves next week in the Sun Belt tournament. Aside from the surge in the third quarter, the Apps played solid basketball against A-State, vastly improving from the 60-point performance in Jonesboro earlier this season.