Sports (641)

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 22:19

Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Tennis Wins Sixth Straight

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The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men’s Tennis Team (9-2) made it six victories in a row with a 6-3 triumph over Charleston (5-3) Wednesday afternoon at the Hilton Head Island Beach and Tennis Resort.


Three Bears – juniors Shane O’Dea (Dublin, IRELAND) and Hamed Gandouz (Hammam Sousse, TUNISIA) and sophomore William Hewett (Wellington, NEW ZEALAND) – won at singles and doubles to lead Lenoir-Rhyne to the victory.


Lenoir-Rhyne wraps up its Spring Break Trip with a match against Fairmont State at 8:00 a.m., on Thursday morning at the resort.


NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Final

Lenoir-Rhyne 6, Charleston 3

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Hilton Head Island, S.C. (Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort)


Singles competition:

1. Hamed Gandouz (LR) def. Ben Lakeman (UC), 6-0, 6-2

2. Joao Tayar (UC) def. Tales Miranda (LR), 6-2, 2-6, 10-5

3. Alex Gracin (UC) def. Tomas Hons (LR), 6-3, 6-3

4. Shane O'Dea (LR) def. Jason Prince (UC), 6-0, 6-0

5. Alex Ayguavives (LR) def. Keith Williamson (UC), 6-2, 6-1

6. William Hewett (LR) def. Michael Phillips (UC), 6-0, 6-0


Doubles competition:

1. Hamed Gandouz/Shane O'Dea (LR) def. Ben Lakeman/Joao Tayar (UC), 8-2

2. Alex Gracin/Jason Prince (UC) def. Tales Miranda/Camden Tucker (LR), 8-6

3. Paul Lenz/William Hewett (LR) def. Keith Williamson/Michael Phillips (UC), 8-0


Records: Charleston (5-3), Lenoir-Rhyne (9-2)

Order of finish: Doubles (1,3,2); Singles (6,5,4,1,2,3)

For her performance last week, Appalachian State University women's tennis' Taylor Bygrave (Monto, Australia/Miami Gold Coast) was named Co-Sun Belt Women's Tennis Athlete of the Week on Wednesday, as announced by the league office.

Bygrave earns her first Sun Belt honor after clinching the doubles point with Rebecca Morse and the match in singles action in a 6-1 triumph over Savannah State, leading to the Apps fifth straight win. The win streak was the longest since the 2012-13 season when App won five in a row.

The junior from Australia is the first player since 2014 to win player of the week (Clare Cox - SoCon) and the first Mountaineer to win a Sun Belt weekly award. Bygrave is well on her way to tying and surpassing her personal high in wins. She is 8-4 and one win away from tying her career mark. She has improved in every season going from just one win in her freshman year to 17 victories since her sophomore campaign. Since starting the season 3-3, she is 5-1 in her last six contests. She is also 2-0 in doubles with Morse and Sandra Anglesjö.

Bygrave has contributed to a bounce-back season for the Black and Gold, as they boast an 8-5 record and passing last season's win total. The Mountaineers have won five of their past six matches following a 3-4 start to the season.

Bygrave shares the award with Iryna Vardanian of Coastal Carolina.

App will return to action on Sunday against North Carolina Central at 2 p.m. in Durham.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:34

High School Baseball Results From Tuesday, 3/13/18

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Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference:
Patton: 4
Fred T. Foard: 3

West Iredell: 5
Draughn: 1

Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Freedom: 2
St. Stephens: 1

Hickory: 5
McDowell: 2

South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
West Lincoln: 11
Newton-Conover: 1

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:33

High School Softball Results From Tuesday, 3/13/18

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Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference:
Bunker Hill: 5
Hibriten: 0

Draughn: 12
West Iredell: 1

Fred T. Foard: 10
Patton: 0

Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Freedom: 11
St. Stephens: 7

McDowell: 17
Hickory: 0

West Caldwell: 10
Alexander Central: 5

South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
West Lincoln: 12
Newton-Conover: 11

Northwestern Foothills 2A Conference:
Fred T. Foard: 3
Patton: 0

Hibriten: 9
Bunker Hill: 0

West Iredell: 9
Draughn: 0

Northwestern 3A/4A Conference:
Alexander Central: 9
West Caldwell: 0

Hickory: 8
McDowell: 0

St. Stephens: 1
Freedom: 0

South Fork Athletic 2A Conference:
Lincolnton: 4
Newton-Conover: 3

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:19

Freedom Hires Little As New Head Football Coach

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Freedom High School Principal Felicia Simmons announces Luke Little is slated to be the Patriots new head football coach. Little has 17 years of teaching and coaching experience and has been a high school head football coach since 2007. He comes to Freedom after six seasons as head football coach at Whiteville High School in Columbus County, North Carolina.


Little said the region, the tradition at Freedom and the Burke County school system attracted him to Freedom High. “We are excited,” Little said. “The sky’s the limit for us, and my family and I are looking for a successful transition on and off the field.”


Simmons said, “I am excited about Coach Little’s stability, organizational goals and his vision for the Patriot football program. He has a passion for students to not only succeed as great athletes but also as great citizens.”


Freedom Athletic Director Casey Rogers said, “Coach Little will bring a foundation of toughness and stability to Freedom High School football, which is something our football program has been looking for. He has a proven track record, and he’s a guy I think our kids will respond well to and play hard for. Good things are in store for us.”


Little played linebacker and running back at West Stanly High School before going on to play college baseball at Appalachian State University. A shoulder injury sidelined his football playing career. Little completed his bachelor’s degree in recreation management at ASU and in addition to coaching, teaches physical education.


As a high school head football coach at Whiteville and South Stanly high schools, Little has a combined record of 88 wins and 55 loses. At both schools he turned around losing football programs. Little’s coaching experience also includes assistant football coach and head baseball coach at West Brunswick High School.


Whiteville High School’s football team was conference champions four times under Little between 2013 and 2017, and Little was named 3 Rivers Conference and Columbus County Coach of the Year four times.


Little’s father, Mark Little, is a retired, long-time high school football coach, and the two coached together at Whiteville and against each other in Stanly County.


“My dad taught me how to treat my players and the importance of having a relationship with the kids,” Little said. “I believe in building good, strong relationships and treating each other like family. When you do that, the wins and loses take care of themselves.”


Little said he has great expectations from his players. He said, “My teams are disciplined and well behaved on and off the field. We are hardnosed and give a lot of effort. As far as the Xs and Os, we will be well balanced with the run-pass game. I want people when they leave the game from watching us on Friday nights to say, ‘That is a well-disciplined, well coached team.’” For Little, it’s not all about his players’ work on the field. “I will keep up with their grades and check in with their teachers on their academics and their behavior. That’s the main goal. That they succeed in the classroom. That they have a background of a strong work ethic and are prepared for life after high school whether they are going on to college or the military or the workforce.” Little also expects his players to be disciplined outside of school and ballgames. “Their actions are a direct reflection of me and this football team and the high school.”


Little will be moving to Morganton with his wife, Nikki, who is a teacher, and their three children. He said, “I have a 13-year-old son who is very athletic and a fifth-grade son who also is athletic and a daughter in kindergarten who is our biggest cheerleader on the sidelines.”


Burke County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Larry Putnam said, “I appreciate the Freedom High School administration for taking their time in the selection process and using their professional judgement to hire a teacher and a coach that will have the best interest of our kids in mind.”


Freedom had planned a meet-and-greet for Coach Little and the community at the school in the teaching theater from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, but due to school being closed because of the snow, that event will be held at a later date.


Luke Little’s coaching highlights include:

January 2012 – present - Head Football Coach at Whiteville High School

53-24 overall record (Previous 5 years Whiteville was 27 wins 30 loses)

Conference Champions - 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2017

3 Rivers Conference and Columbus County Coach of the Year 4 times.

August 2007 - December 2011 – Head Football Coach at South Stanly High School

35 - 31 overall record (Previous 5 years South Stanly was 28-37)

August 2006 - June 2007 - West Brunswick High School

Varsity Football Offensive Coordinator, JV Head Baseball Coach and Physical Education Teacher

August 2002 - June 2005 - Whiteville High School

Varsity Offensive Coordinator, Varsity Assistant Baseball Coach and Physical Education Teacher

August 2001 - June 2002. West Brunswick High School

Assistant Varsity Football and Head JV Baseball Coach

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:17

Lenoir-Rhyne Men's Tennis Wins Fifth Straight

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The Lenoir-Rhyne University Men's Tennis Team (8-2) won its fifth consecutive contest, 7-2 over Edinboro (Pennsylvania) (6-3), Monday at the Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort.

Three players – junior Hamed Gandouz (Hammam Sousse, TUNISIA), senior Tomas Hons (Valasske Mezirici, CZECH REPUBLIC) and sophomore Paul Lenz (Ratingen, GERMANY) – won at both singles and doubles for the Bears. At first singles, Gandouz defeated Edinboro's Vitor Albanese (Barueri, BRAZIL) by a score of 7-5 and 6-3. Albanese is ranked No. 13 in the nation.

Lenoir-Rhyne's Spring Break Trip continues with a match on Wednesday, March 14, against Charleston at 2:00 p.m., in Hilton Head Island, S.C.,

NCAA Division II Men's Tennis Final
Lenoir-Rhyne 7, Edinboro 2
Monday, March 12, 2018
Hilton Head Island, S.C. (Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort)

Singles competition:
1. Hamed Gandouz (LR) def. #13 Vitor Albanese (EU), 7-5, 6-3
2. Daniel Fernandez (EU) def. Tales Miranda (LR), 2-6, 7-5, 10-6
3. Tomas Hons (LR) def. Mateus Santos (EU), 4-6, 7-6, 10-8
4. Mauricio Santos (EU) def. Shane O'Dea (LR), 6-4, 4-6, 12-10
5. Alex Ayguavives (LR) def. Christian Roettger (EU), 6-1, 6-3
6. Paul Lenz (LR) def. Kevin Mboko (EU), 6-1, 7-6 (7-5)

Doubles competition:
1. Tomas Hons/Shane O'Dea (LR) def. Vitor Albanese/Mateus Santos (EU), 8-6
2. Hamed Gandouz/Paul Lenz (LR) def. Kevin Mboko/Daniel Fernandez (EU), 8-5
3. Alex Crespo Sanchez/Tales Miranda (LR) def. Mauricio Santos/Christian Roettger (EU), 8-4

Records: Edinboro (6-3), Lenoir-Rhyne (8-2)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,1,3,5,4,6)

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:11

Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Sweeps Edinboro

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The Lenoir-Rhyne Women's Tennis Team (7-1) downed Edinboro (Pennsylvania) (4-3) by a 9-0 score on Monday at the Hilton Head Island Beach and Tennis Resort.

Lenoir-Rhyne is next scheduled to play Missouri-St. Louis on Wednesday, March 14, at Hilton Head Island, S.C., beginning at 2:00 p.m.

NCAA Division II Women's Tennis Final
Lenoir-Rhyne 9, Edinboro 0
Monday, March 12, 2018
Hilton Head Island, S.C. (Hilton Head Island Beach & Tennis Resort)

Singles competition:
1. Marta Escanero Funes (LR) def. Laura Lopez (EU), 7-5, 6-2
2. Iulia Ponomareva (LR) def. T. Batalla Trabal (EU), 6-1, 6-0
3. Sara Kalkenova (LR) def. Roxana Yeh (EU), 6-2, 6-3
4. Sanne Janssen (LR) def. Jelena Vucenovic (EU), 6-0, 6-0
5. Sophia Aquilar di Camillo (LR) def. Marija Tmusic (EU), 6-3, 7-5
6. Abbi Wood (LR) def. Payton Tomasko (EU), 6-1, 6-1

Doubles competition:
1. Emily Murchland/Sanne Janssen (LR) def. Laura Lopez/T. Batalla Trabal (EU), 8-2
2. Iulia Ponomareva/Sara Kalkenova (LR) def. Roxana Yeh/Marija Tmusic (EU), 8-5
3. Taylor Fredrickson/Marta Escanero Funes (LR) def. Jelena Vucenovic/Payton Tomasko (EU), 8-1

Records: Edinboro (4-3), Lenoir-Rhyne (7-1)
Order of finish: Doubles (3,1,2); Singles (2,4,3,1,6,5)

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 10:54

App State Women's Tennis Fall at Home to UAB

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Appalachian State (8-5) women's tennis fell 5-2 against UAB (7-9) on Tuesday afternoon at Deer Valley Racquet Club.

The match was much closer than the final score indicated as three of the six singles match went to three sets.

App State continued its dominance in doubles action for the eighth straight contest claiming a 1-0 lead into singles play.

Melissa Machado (Miami, Fla./Felix Varela) and Teodora Sevo (Futog, Serbia/Ucenika Futog) won its sixth match in a row and improved to a solid 10-2 when they downed Hana Sisirak/Dominika Hrabalova, 6-1. The 10th doubles victory is the first time a duo has won 10 matches since the 2015 season when Machado and App Alumni Megan Mullen won 11 contests.

UAB would tie it up when Emily Gaskins (Marietta, Ga./Walton) and Sandra Anglesjö (Norrköping Ostergötland Sweden/Nörrköping) fell to Sophie Dodds and Alex Shchipakina, 6-1. Clinching the point was Heidi Swope (Weddington, N.C./Weddington) and María José Zacarias (San Luis Potosi, Mexico/La Loma Centro Deportivo) in a hard-earned triumph over Marlene Herrmann and Sonia Grzywocz, 6-3.

In singles action, Zacarias was the first to finish in a 7-5, 6-1 decision to Shchipanika as the No.1 in the lineup.

With the match tied, 1-1, Taylor Bygrave (Monto, Australia/Miami Gold Coast) improved to 8-4 on the year and back-to-back wins when she defeated Megan Bertrands via 6-2, 6-4 victory.

The Apps had the momentum holding on to a 2-1 lead, but the Blazers claimed the last four matches with the three contests coming in three sets.

Sevo fell to her counterpart in three sets. She topped Herrmann in the first, 6-2, before falling in the next to frames, 6-3, 6-0.

Machado was defeated by Grzywocz, 6-2, 6-4, that gave UAB a 3-2 lead. Swope won her first set, 6-4, against Dodds, but lost the next two, 6-3, 6-4, in a hard-fought match.

Rebecca Morse (Lehigh Acres, Fla./Cypress Creek) grinded her way to forcing a third and match-deciding stanza after a 6-3 loss in the opening set. She won the next frame, 6-4, but lost the final set, 6-2.

Appalachian will look to bounce back on Sunday at NC Central. First serve is set for 2 p.m.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 10:48

Appalachian State Baseball Blanks NC Central

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Appalachian State took a first-inning lead that held up for starter Brandon Boone, who pitched six scoreless innings as the Mountaineers claimed a 6-0 road win against high-scoring North Carolina Central on Tuesday at the Durham Athletic Park.

Boone, Kaleb Bowman and Luke Watts combined for 12 strikeouts, including six with runners in scoring position, to help Appalachian (5-9) post its first shutout under second-year head coach Kermit Smith. It was the program's first shutout since 2016, when current pitching coach Justin Aspegren's first App State staff blanked UNC Asheville (8-0) and Stony Brook (4-0).

Appalachian State held a 3-0 lead in the top of ninth inning when Joel McDaniel, playing in the same stadium where his grandfather had appeared against the Durham Bulls as a Detroit Tigers farmhand, emptied the bases with a three-run double to left field.

Boone (1-1) lowered his ERA in a starting role to 2.03 thanks to an outing in which he allowed five hits, recorded seven strikeouts and issued no walks. He had allowed a combined three earned runs over 7.1 innings in his first two starts. Bowman threw two scoreless innings, and Watts struck out two batters while pitching a perfect ninth against an opponent that had averaged 8.9 runs per game during its 12-4 start.

“I thought Brandon, Kaleb and Luke were equally good,” Smith said. “They did a fantastic job. Brandon goes out and gives up five hits in six innings with no walks and seven punches — just a tip of the cap to him. You could tell he was really locked in today.

“I thought our offense did a pretty good job — just enough to win, and then Joel pops that bases-clearing double, which was huge. Some of the adjustments we’ve been trying to make offensively, you could see us trying to work through the day. That’s what we really talked about, the process, and Joel has a chance to do that late. We did a lot of work yesterday, and it was fun to see it pay off today.”

McDaniel's three RBIs led a nine-hit attack, as Drew Beck and CJ Brown had two hits apiece. Alex Leshock scored two runs.

App State scored right off the bat as Beck delivered a two-out double against weekend starter Jonathan Figueroa to bring home Leshock, who had drawn a leadoff walk and advanced to second on a wild pitch.

With Figueroa on a tight pitch count days ahead of his next start, the Mountaineers added to their lead with a third-inning run against reliever Nick Caregnato. Calev Grubbs opened the frame with an opposite-field double over the third baseman's head, moved to third on a wild pitch and scored on a one-out sacrifice fly to center from Riley Smith.

App State jumped ahead 3-0 in the sixth following a leadoff double over the center fielder's head from Kendall McGowan, who exited in favor of pinch-runner Beau Myers. The Mountaineers had two runners in scoring position following a sequence that began with a bunt single from Brown, and Myers raced home on a two-out wild pitch.

McDaniel's ninth-inning double to score Brown, Robert Langdon and Leshock doubled the advantage on a day in which App State's pitchers didn't need much run support.

"I got a good pitch to hit, and I just wanted to come through for the guys right there," McDaniel said

N.C. Central (12-5) had a baserunner reach third with one out in the first inning, but a strikeout and groundout to second ended the Eagles' initial threat.

They put a runner on third with two outs in the second inning, and a swinging strikeout on a 3-2 pitch allowed Boone to escape that situation with no damage. A one-out double off him in the third didn't come around to score, and N.C. Central used a two-out rally to put runners at the corners in the fourth. Three pitches later, Boone exited the mound with a swinging strikeout.

Boone pitched a perfect fifth before stranding a runner at second in the sixth thanks to a swinging strikeout and a foul-out to first baseman Conner Leonard.

"If we get ahead in the count, we're more successful," Boone said, "so that's been the ultimate goal the whole time. Once I was able to do that, it made it easier."

The Eagles had two runners on with one out against Bowman in the seventh before he recorded a swinging strikeout and McDaniel made a nice play ranging to the left from his shortstop position. N.C. Central stranded two more in the eighth when Bowman got a strikeout looking on a 3-2 pitch with runners at the corners.

App State returns to action Friday with the start of its first Sun Belt Conference series of 2018. The Mountaineers play Texas State in San Marcos, Texas, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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