After a perfect 2-0 weekend, Appalachian State University volleyball’s Paige Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) was named Sun Belt Conference Setter of the Week for the seventh time this season, the league office announced on Monday.
“After being named Setter of the Week seven times, there isn’t really much more to say about Paige,” said head coach Matt Ginipro. “She’s the best I’ve had the opportunity to work with and she keeps impressing me with how consistent she’s been throughout the entire season. She wants to leave App State with a championship and puts in the work every day to help her team achieve that goal.”
The Mountaineers (19-4, 12-0 Sun Belt) extended their overall winning streak to 15 games, while also extending its conference winning streak to 12 games with a sweep of UL Lafayette and a four-set victory over South Alabama.
For the week, Brown notched 90 assists and averaged 12.8 per set. Brown became the first setter in the Sun Belt to surpass 1,000 assists this season and now has amassed 1,012 assists and is averaging 11.91 per set. Thus far, Brown’s assist total is better than three different schools in the Sun Belt Conference have recorded as a team (Georgia State - 994, Little Rock - 925, UL Lafayette - 895).
In a straight-set sweep of UL Lafayette, Brown totaled 36 assists (12 per set), while also finishing with yet another double-double contributing 17 digs on the night.
Against South Alabama on Sunday, Brown upper her performance in a four-set victory with 54 assists (an astounding 13.5 per set) and a double-double with 11 digs. Both double-doubles are Brown’s 13th and 14th of the season.
For her career, Brown has now tallied 4,155 career assists and is just 50 away from taking sole possession of third all-time and 254 from breaking the all-time program record at Appalachian State.
The Mountaineers will return to the court on Friday, Nov. 6 against Georgia Southern at 6:30 p.m. inside the Holmes Center. The match will also serve as Senior Night as the Mountaineers will honor their 2015 senior class. App State also hosts a big match on Sunday, Nov. 8 when it squares off against Sun Belt unbeaten Arkansas State at 12:30 p.m.
As was the case a season ago, Appalachian State University men’s cross country finished in second place at the Sun Belt Conference Championships and that’s where the league’s coaches predicted they’d finish as the Apps turned in a team score of 66.
“It was a heartbreaking loss for the men after a see-saw battle through the first five miles,” said head coach Michael Curcio. “Whenever you line up and compete, you want to see your athletes leave everything they have on the course. I can say that I saw every team fighting for every placing out there today. It was a hilly course that covered a 2,000-meter loop four times. Our guys showed patience over the first two laps and moved up through the field on the last two laps.”
The Mountaineers were paced by Michael Ellis (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor) at the league meet for a second-straight year as Ellis improved his position by three spots to fourth with a time of 25:40.6 and garnered first team all-Sun Belt honors.
Behind the redshirt junior, Andrew Vandenberg (Boone, N.C./Watauga) shined bright in his first-career SBC Championship with a sixth-place showing and was clocked at 25:52.6 to take home second-team recognition. After placing in the top 10 just once in 2014, Vandenberg has done so three times this season.
Kyle McFoy (Newark, Del./The Tatnall School) was the final runner to finish in the top 15 for App State as he crossed the line in 13th with a time of 26:14.6 (third team all-Sun Belt).
“I’m very proud of our three all-conference guys,” added Curcio. “Andrew (Vandenberg) is now truly a part of the legacy here at App. He and his father/Hall of Fame member Pete Vandenberg are the first father/son duo to earn all-conference and they did so 24 years apart.”
Next for Appalachian was the freshman Ian Milder (Winston-Salem, N.C./N.C. State) (Mt. Tabor) in 21st and he was clocked at 26:39.4 before Chris Anderson (Greensboro, N.C./UNC-Charlotte/Westchester Country Day) rounded out the Apps scoring in 22nd with a time of 26:41.6.
Evan Laratta (Angiers, N.C./LaSalle/Quince Orchard) (27th) and Cade Zimmerman (Tallahassee, Fla./Chiles) (43rd) were the final two to finish for the Black and Gold and registered times of 26:51.0 and 27:47.9, respectively.
Individually, the top three consisted of Eric Ojeda (UT-Arlington), Beau Robinson (UL-Lafayette) and Christoph Graf (South Alabama). Team wise, UT Arlington took the title with 52 points while South Alabama concluded the top three with 80 points.
Curcio continued, “Two things really stood out to me from this meet. One was watching Mike (Ellis) and Andrew (Vandenberg) push the pace up in the front. Two was watching Evan (Laratta) run himself into the ground. He fell down three times in the last 50 yards, but got up each time and literally crawled across the finish line. He didn’t want to let his team down. We know he gave his all for App today. Just wait till next year.”
Next up is the Three Stripe Invitational on Saturday, Nov. 7 in Raleigh, N.C.
Appalachian State University women’s cross country replicated its 2014 result at the Sun Belt Conference Championships with a second-place showing on Sunday and a team score of 66.
“I’m very proud of the three young ladies that earned all-Sun Belt honors today,” said head coach Michael Curcio. “Tristin went after the win and she found herself breaking away with the girl from Arkansas State (Abbey Dixon). The Little Rock girl (Noora Wallenius) rallied up the finishing hill and dipped by Tristin at the end. We knew South Alabama was good and they went right after it at the gun. Our pack just couldn’t get in close enough to challenge them on the last lap.”
The Mountaineers were led by Tristin Van Ord (Chapel Hill, N.C./Chapel Hill) for a fourth time in five meets this season and just like last year’s league meet, Van Ord finished in second place (17:51.0) to garner first team all-Sun Belt honors. So far in her career, she has competed in 14 cross country events and has accumulated two first-place finishes, six in the top five, nine in the top 10, and 12 in the top 25.
Torre Moser (Cary, N.C./Apex) was the next top-15 runner for App State and improved her placing by three spots to 14th with a time of 18:54.9 (third-team recognition). She was pushed along by Hana Ratcliffe (Durham, N.C./Durham School of the Arts) in 15th (18:59.9/third team all-Sun Belt) in her first-ever SBC Championship and Dana Cox (Apex, N.C./Panther Creek) in 16th (19:01.3).
Samantha Campanaro (Winston-Salem, N.C./Mt. Tabor) rounded out the scoring for the Black and Gold and improved her Sun Belt placing by 16 spots from 35th to 19th with a time of 19:14.3.
Natalie Kile (Canton, Ga./Blessed Trinity Catholic) (20th) and Brittany Williams (Simpsonville, S.C./Maudlin) (28th) were the final two to finish for Appalachian with times of 19:17.9 and 19:40.7, respectively.
Curcio added, “We found ourselves rallying hard at the end but could only work ourselves into second place. I know we were disapointed with the outcome, but we all certainly left impressed with how the Jaguars put themselves out there as a team. With that being said, just wait till next year.”
Individually, Noora Wallenius (Arkansas-Little Rock) earned medalist honors and Abbey Dixon (Arkansas State) came in at third. Team wise, South Alabama took the title with 46 points and UT-Arlington concluded the top three with 84 points.
Next up is the Three Stripe Invitational on Saturday, Nov. 7 in Raleigh, N.C.
First round action for our area teams, to be played by Wednesday:
Bunker Hill vs. West Caldwell
Maiden at Central Academy
Newton-Conover hosts West Lincoln
Freedom at Ashbrook
Hibriten at Marvin Ridge
Hickory hosts Enka
Patton hosts TC Robinson
It didn’t start pretty for Appalachian State University volleyball, but it regrouped and downed the South Alabama Jaguars 3-1 on Sunday inside the Holmes Center.
The Mountaineers (19-4, 11-0 Sun Belt) have already topped their winning streak from a season ago and have now notched 15-straight victories and moved to 12-0 in Sun Belt Conference play. Paige Brown (Overland Park, Kan./St. James Academy) was on a mission for the Black and Gold on Sunday and finished with 54 assists in the match and 90 for the weekend.
South Alabama did exactly what I thought they would do and came out on fire against us in the first set, “said head coach Matt Ginipro. “Even though we talked about it prior to the match, we didn’t respond at all and played tentatively which led to too many errors on our side of the net. Thankfully, we started fixing what was broken and we improved in each set to win the match.”
Appalachian got off to a sluggish start in the opening set and found themselves down early. The Jaguars (13-11, 7-6 Sun Belt) built a four-point lead at 13-9, but the Mountaineers would claw back with kills from Ashton Gregory (Yadkinville, N.C./Starmount/Furman) and Emily Corrigan (Johns Creek, Ga./Chattahoochee) to knot the score at 17-17.
South Alabama built a small two-point advantage that the Apps would close with a 3-0 run, including a kill from Jess Keller (Swarthmore, Pa./Strath Haven) to tie it again at 22-22. The Jags would finish with a 3-0 run on a kill from Nikki Gittens and two Mountaineer attack errors to take the first set 25-22.
App State would begin to turn it around in the second set. The Apps found points early with back-to-back kills from Gregory, five kills from Keller and kills from Corrigan and Cassidy Stephenson (Wilmington, N.C./Hoggard) to hold a 12-11 advantage. From there, App State would go on a 7-2 run to take a commanding 19-13 lead in the set.
The Apps would not relinquish their advantage and would finish off the Jagaurs 25-17 with kills from Keller, Alana Shoff (Melbourne, Fla/Melbourne Central Catholic) and Corrigan.
The trend continued out of the intermission for Appalachian as they dominated in all facets in the third set. App State opened up the set with an 11-5 run leading to a South Alabama timeout. After the timeout and the score 14-7, the Mountaineers would go on an 8-2 run to seemingly put the set out of reach with a 22-9 lead.
During that span, the Jaguars committed four errors. The Apps received two kills from Gregory, a kills from Corrigan and a service ace from Olivia Reed (Gainesville, Fla./Buchholz). From there, App State received a kill each from Gregory, Keller and Shoff to bring the third set to a close with a score of 25-14 in favor of the Black and Gold.
Up 2-1 in the match, App State would see-saw back and forth early on in the fourth set. With both teams matching points, App State used a kill from Gregory and a service ace from Reed to open up a two-point lead at 10-8. Corrigan and Keller then tallied back-to-back kills to give Appalachian a 12-9 lead, which forced a South Alabama timeout.
Corrigan then served 12 times in a row as the Mountaineers went on an 11-0 run to take a commanding 23-9 lead over the Jaguars. During the run, Keller tallied two kills and Gregory notched one, while South Alabama committed eight errors.
Keller then recorded two more kills to finish the match with a team-high and match-high 22 kills. Gregory finished with 15, while Corrigan recorded 14.
“Emily and Jess struggled early but got back into their groove as the match went on,” said Ginipro. “Credit to Paige for sticking with them with consistent sets so they could back to positive hitting numbers. I still feel we need to improve our back row play in order to win a championship and that will be our focus this week in practice.
Defensively, App State recorded 62 digs, while Meghan Mahoney (Leawood, Kan./Blue Valley) tallied 21 to lead both squads. Corrigan and Brown both recorded 11 digs each to also notch double-doubles on the afternoon. Reed and Kati Stammen (Raleigh, N.C./Leesville Road) also finished with double-digit digs and notched 10 each.
Appalachian State will return to action next Friday, Nov. 6 when they host longtime rival Georgia Southern at 6:30 p.m. The match will also serve as Senior Night for the Black and Gold as the program will honor its 2015 senior class.
On Sunday, Nov. 8 the Apps face-off against Arkansas State in a battle of Sun Belt unbeatens. The match is slated for 12:30 p.m.
Appalachian State University men's soccer celebrated senior night on Saturday when it welcomed Hartwick to Boone for the first time. The Mountaineers (6-7, 1-3 Sun Belt) took a 1-0 lead into halftime, but two second half scores gave the Hawks (8-5-3, 4-0 Sun Belt) a 2-1 victory.
Appalachian honored its six senior student-athletes during the pregame ceremony. Alex Beranger, Jaron Bradley, Trey Hemphill, Alex Herbst, Mason McCarter, and Paul West were all recognized for all their accomplishments during their time at App State.
"Our seniors have worked extremely hard during their years with the team," said head coach Matt Nelson. "It was a shame to give up two set piece goals late in the game but we can take confidence in our ability into our last two regular season games. We have shown we can compete with anyone, and if we can improve on dead ball situations we can make a run come tournament time."
The Mountaineers came out playing inspired soccer on senior night, tallying five shots in the first half. Just before the halftime break. Raheem Somersall threaded a pass through the Hartwick defense to Stephen Chapman. Chapman broke free and finished the chance in the left side of the net. The goal was Chapman's fifth of the year.
Hartwick would battle back and level the score in the 68th minute. An Appalachian foul would give the Hawks a free kick that was played into the box and eventually finished by Jamie O'Grady. O'Grday lead the Sun Belt with nine goals.
The Apps were again burned by a free kick in the 82nd minute when Jack Donaldson served a ball in that Nick Hills was able to head past West to break the tie.
The Apps held the advantage in shots, 16-12, but were unable to find a tying goal in the final eight minutes and fell, 2-1.
With the win the Hartwick claimed its second-straight Sun Belt regular season title.
The Mountaineers have a quick turn around and are back in action at home on Tuesday against Bowling Green. Game time is set for 2 p.m.
Alexander Central grad Stephen Burns, Kennan Gilchrist (Abbeville, S.C./Abbeville) and Doug Middleton (Winston-Salem, N.C./Parkland) combined to smother a fake field-goal attempt in triple overtime and Zach Matics (Jacksonville, N.C./Southwest-Onslow) followed with a 24-yard game-winner to lift Appalachian State University football to a 44-41 victory over Troy on Saturday in the longest game in Kidd Brewer Stadium history.
With the victory, Appalachian State (7-1, 4-0 Sun Belt) remained unbeaten in Sun Belt Conference play, setting the stage for a colossal Sun Belt showdown versus Arkansas State (4-3, 3-0 Sun Belt going in to Saturday night’s home game versus Georgia State) on Thursday night at Kidd Brewer Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
Saturday’s App State-Troy barn-burner was tied at 31-31 going into overtime and the teams traded touchdowns in the first extra period and field goals in the second to send it to the third overtime knotted at 41 apiece.
Troy (2-6, 1-3 Sun Belt) got the ball first in the third overtime and marched 20 yards to the five yard line. Facing fourth-and-two, the Trojans took a timeout then came out in field-goal formation, apparently content to try to take a 44-41 lead. Instead, holder John Johnson took the snap and shoveled a quick pass to Clark Quisenberry. However, the trio of Burns, Gilchrist and Middleton was not fooled and met Quisenberry at the line of scrimmage to snuff out the fake attempt and force the turnover on downs.
Needing only a field goal to win, Appalachian State drove all the way to the five yard line on its ensuing possession, thanks in large part to a 15-yard run by Marcus Cox (Dacula, Ga./Dacula) on third and four from the 19. Three plays later, Matics split the uprights from 24 yards out to set off a raucous celebration at The Rock.
The Mountaineers pulled out the three-OT win despite being outgained (450-432) for only the third time this season.
The contest was a tight affair throughout, featuring six ties and neither team ever leading by more than seven points. Despite being unable to put the pesky Trojans away, Appalachian State never trailed in regulation — its only deficit came when Troy scored first in the opening overtime.
Offensively, App State was led by Cox, who ran for 140 yards on a season-high 30 carries and quarterback Taylor Lamb (Calhoun, Ga./Calhoun), who was responsible for a career-high-tying four touchdowns (two rushing, two passing). Senior wideout Bobo Beathard (Haymarket, Va./Battlefield) was Lamb’s favorite target with four catches for 62 yards.
Defensively, the Mountaineers were once again led by senior defensive end Ronald Blair (Greensboro, Ga./Greene County), who had seven tackles, a game-high 2.5 tackles for loss and a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown that gave Appalachian a 7-0 lead just 55 seconds into the game.
Sophomore linebacker Eric Boggs (Belton, S.C./Belton-Honea Path) led all tacklers with a career-high 14 while junior cornerback Mondo Williams (Iowa City, Iowa/Iowa City West) also set a new career high with nine stops.
Troy quarterback Brandon Silvers completed 27-of-41 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown, but was intercepted twice, with both pickoffs leading directly to Mountaineer touchdowns.
NOTES: Appalachian State moved to 6-6 all-time in overtime games, but snapped a four-game skid in overtime affairs ... the Mountaineers had not won a game in extra time since winning at The Citadel, 30-27, on Oct. 3, 2009 ... App State won an overtime game at home for the first time in school history (the Apps were 0-3 in OT games at Kidd Brewer Stadium prior to Saturday) ... Appalachian State won its 10th-straight Sun Belt Conference game, which is tied for the fourth-longest conference winning streak in Sun Belt history ... the Mountaineers also won for the 13th time in the last 14 games overall ... Blair’s interception return for a touchdown was Appalachian’s fourth defensive touchdown of the season ... the Mountaineers intercepted at least one pass for the ninth-straight game ... Cox’s 100-yard game was the 20th of his career, which moved him into a tie with Damon Scott (1993-96) for the second-most in school history ... just 32 games into his career, Cox is just two shy of the program record of 22 100-yard rushing performances, set by John Settle (1983-86) ... Cox also became the fifth student-athlete in Appalachian State history to rush for 3,500 yards in a career, finishing the day with 3,582 career yards.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Men’s Soccer Team (8-7-2, 5-5-1) triumphed on its final home match of the year over Newberry (3-14, 0-11), 4-0, Saturday afternoon at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex in a South Atlantic Conference contest.
Four players scored for the Bears – starting with senior midfielder Raffaele Di Puorto (High Point, N.C.) – at the 9:30 mark of the first half for what would prove to be the match-winner.
Lenoir-Rhyne put the contest away with two more goals before halftime thanks to senior midfielder Ben Meredith (Perth, AUSTRALIA) and sophomore midfielder Eric Elder (Lusby, Md.) in the 31st and 42nd minutes of the match, respectively.
Sophomore forward Ismael Noumansana (Reims, FRANCE) rounded out the scoring just two minutes after halftime with his team-leading eighth goal of the year.
Noumansana added an assist while sophomore Zach King (Altamonte Springs, Fla.) and sophomore Nathaniel Corsey (Waldorf, Md.) combined for the shutout in goal for the Bears. King made six stops.
Newberry’s goalkeeper, Brad Dixon (Wakefield, ENGLAND), made five saves but fell suffered the setback.
Lenoir-Rhyne, the seventh seed in the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Championship, will take on second-seeded Wingate on Tuesday in the quarterfinal round beginning at 7:30 p.m., in Wingate, N.C. The semifinals and finals take place on Friday, November 6, and Sunday, November 8, at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Women’s Soccer Team (12-4-1, 8-2-1) ended the regular season on a strong note with a 2-0 victory over Newberry (5-9-2, 4-7) on Senior Day in a South Atlantic Conference match Saturday afternoon at the Moretz Sports – Athletic Complex.
Senior forward Garcelle Alequine (Wilmington, Del.) and junior forward Kendall Smith (Asheville, N.C.) both scored unassisted in the second half as the Bears improved to 6-0-1 in their last seven matches.
Alequine, a two-time All-American, opened the scoring in the 52nd minute with a goal from the top of the box. The goal was Alequine’s 10th of the season.
Smith rounded out the scoring with her fifth goal of the year at the 62:06 mark of the second half as the Bears held a 25-10 advantage in shots taken in the victory.
Lenoir-Rhyne freshman goalkeeper Loren Sterling (Colfax, N.C.) earned the shutout in goal in her first start of the season. Sterling made five saves as the Bears held their opponent without a score for the fifth straight contest.
Newberry’s Alexis Carrillo (La Puente, Calif.) suffered the loss after playing the second half and making eight saves.
Both teams qualified for the 2015 South Atlantic Conference Championship and will play in the quarterfinal round on Tuesday. Lenoir-Rhyne is the fourth seed and will host fifth-seeded Anderson while seventh-seeded Newberry travels to Wingate, the second seed.
The league’s championship semifinals and finals take place at Manchester Meadows in Rock Hill, S.C., on Friday, November 6, and Sunday, November 8.
The Lenoir-Rhyne Volleyball Team (16-7, 14-4) stayed red hot and ran its winning streak to four matches with a 3-1 win over Anderson (10-14, 8-10) Saturday morning at Shuford Memorial Gymnasium.
The Bears downed the Trojans by scores of 25-14, 19-25, 25-16 and 25-19 and swept the season series from Anderson.
Lenoir-Rhyne sophomore outside hitter Brooke Redmond (Statesville, N.C.) finished with 18 kills and 13 digs while senior setter Briana Gottberg (Mooresville, N.C.) added a double-double – 25 assists and 18 digs – as the Bears improved to 9-1 at home this year.
Senior outside hitter Morgan Bunker (Mount Airy, N.C.) tallied 11 kills as well for Lenoir-Rhyne, who totaled 13 blocks on the day including a team-high five from junior middle blocker Emily Steele (Greenville, N.C.).
For Anderson, Marissa Mitter (Redondo Beach, Calif.) led all hitters with 21 kills and Priscilla Irizarry (Laras, Puerto Rico) added 44 assists and nine digs in the setback. The Trojans, however, hit just .156 for the match in suffering their second straight loss.
Lenoir-Rhyne hits the road on Tuesday to face Mars Hill in a South Atlantic Conference match beginning at 7:00 p.m., in Mars Hill, N.C.