Thursday, August 21, 2014
MACON, Ga. With the 2014 Atlantic Sun Fall Seasons starting over the next few days, Northern Kentucky University has been looking forward to this moment all summer long. The Norse are now eligible to compete in all A-Sun Championships beginning this fall.
The entire athletic department has felt extra energy since the news was delivered on July 22nd as the fall sports of men's soccer, women's soccer and volleyball will get the first chance to compete in the postseason.
The Norse men's soccer team has won nine conference games over the past two seasons combined, and finished in the top half of the standings in each year including a second-place finish in 2014.
Head Coach John Basalyga, entering his 12th season at NKU, expressed what it means for his squad, "Anytime you can tell a player or recruit that you are eligible to play in the postseason it's a plus. The face that the A-Sun is doing this by letting us compete for the championship this year shows their commitment to NKU."
Katelyn Newton, a sophomore women's soccer player, had committed her playing future to NKU not knowing that her team would be eligible for postseason play this soon. The change in eligibility had a profound impact on her perspective as well as her team.
"We could not be more excited to be eligible to participate in the A-Sun Tournament this season. Keeping this in mind will definitely raise the intensity as we go into every practice and game this year. Now, we as a team, have control over how far our season goes as we continue to compete for the A-Sun Championship title."
Head Coach Bob Sheehan echoed the sentiments of Newton, "This will provide our players with additional motivation in training and matches throughout the entire season."
The Norse team has won 12 games over the past two seasons, and will now have a chance to push forward and become postseason eligible for the first time.
NKU's volleyball squad has seen high levels of success in two years as A-Sun members including a 25-win season in 2012. Head Coach Liz Hart is thrilled for the opportunity it provides for her student-athletes.
"I am happy our student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete in postseason play. The previous two seasons, our past and current student-athletes have represented our program and university with pride. They made the sacrifice of no postseason play."
Junior outside hitter Jayden Julian added, "The entire team was thrilled to hear we could participate! We all are so competitive in everything we do, so the opportunity of competing in the A-Sun Tournament added some fuel to our fire."
The fall sports are not the only ones to have seen the excitement level and energy raised around their teams. Men's Basketball Head Coach Dave Bezold, entering his 11th year with NKU, could feel that the announcement meant for his team.
"Every player dreams of playing in the postseason, and the opportunity to play in the conference tourney this year has added a little spring in the step of our players."
In recent seasons, the Norse women's basketball team has tasted some postseason play, as they have competed in the WBI tournament the last two year.
However, the thrill of playing for your conference's championship is something Coach Dawn Plitzuweit relishes, "When we heard the great news, we were thrilled for our young ladies and for our fans! Playing for a conference championship is an incredible opportunity and we are very grateful to Commissioner Ted Gumbart and the entire A-Sun for bringing this to fruition."
Senior Kaitlyn Gerrety, who has been with the Norse through their transition from Division II to Division I, found out the news from her coaching staff.
"My teammates and I were so intrigued by "the big news" that our coaches said would be breaking soon. We couldn't wait until the "next day" to find out, so we texted Coach Dawn at midnight to see if she could tell us. Although she made us wait, it was worth it. Melody Doss and I are the only players who really know what it feels like to compete for NKU in a conference tournament and I couldn't be more excited to share that experience with my teammates."
On Friday, August 22nd, the Norse women's soccer team will kick-off the regular season with a match against Eastern Illinois. Men's soccer and volleyball begin their journey the following week with a renewed perspective and the hope of earning an Atlantic Sun Championship title.
Friday, August 8, 2014
See how some teams get ready for the new season...
our first preseason practice at Alico is underway! #WingsUp #ProtecttheNest pic.twitter.com/8CbqT7rdlT
— FGCU Volleyball (@FGCU_VB) August 7, 2014
The season opener is just three weeks away! Join us tomorrow as we begin to countdown the Top 20 moments from the 2013 season. #GoHatters
— Stetson Volleyball (@StetsonVB) August 8, 2014
Just a couple behind-the-scenes photos from this morning #SWOOPLife pic.twitter.com/3d6JxcTbTT
— OspreyVB (@OspreyVB) August 8, 2014
Second day of practice underway! #GoKSUOwls pic.twitter.com/bmvxTpXUVt
— KSU Volleyball (@KSUOWLSVB) August 8, 2014
— Northern Kentucky VB (@NKUNorseVball) August 7, 2014
It's report day at JU!!! @nikki_pritchard @olgan04 and @CarlsBarkley8 are here!!!! #2014 #newphins pic.twitter.com/lSdvHYC1li
— JU Volleyball (@JUVolleyball) August 8, 2014
Had a great practice this morning. Excited for this group and how hard they are competing. #LUV #thecrazyones
— Lipscomb Volleyball (@Lipscombvball) August 8, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Getting ready for the 2014 season with the first team meeting of the year. Gameday on Sunday at 7pm. #UPSTWSOC pic.twitter.com/9RqEMR3HBd
— Upstate Spartans (@UpstateWSoccer) August 5, 2014
A full rainbow for good luck on the first day of preseason--off to a good start! pic.twitter.com/MIjwvtl0Jf
— Stetson WSoccer (@StetsonWSoccer) August 5, 2014
Some early morning passing drills start out the day as the defending A-Sun champions open fall practice. #FearTheFin pic.twitter.com/mMK4qmyobe
— JU Women's Soccer (@JU_WSOC) August 6, 2014
It's GO TIME. Starting the season off with a ManUnited fitness test. Let's go!! pic.twitter.com/uuIp3V8wGD
— KSU Soccer (@ksuOWLSsoccer) August 6, 2014
The @RobinConfer era has begun at UNF! #EmbraceTheProcess pic.twitter.com/cNjLmkaauA
— OspreyWSOC (@OspreyWSOC) August 6, 2014
First session of our 2014 preseason is complete! Off to a great start.
— LipscombWSOC (@LipscombWSOC) August 6, 2014
The first exhibition of the 2014 season is on Friday, August 8, where Northern Kentucky travels to take on Wright State at 7:30 p.m.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Friday, June 20, 2014
JU Women's Basketball
Coach Yo Twitter
First-year head women's basketball coach Yolett McPhee-McCuin told the JU community in April of 2013 that there are "No Ceilings" to the program's potential.
Seven months later she and the Dolphins put their hard work into action, winning 10 conference games and recording their best A-Sun finish since 2008-09, along with the right to host a first-round quarterfinal game in the A-Sun Championship.
Now is time for her to work the same kind of magic at home in her beloved Bahamas, as she takes the reigns as head coach of the Bahamian Women's National Team.
Basketball runs in Coach McCuin’s blood. The daughter of legendary Bahamian coach Gladstone “Moon” McPhee and educator Daisy McPhee, she has continued her storied basketball career by inspiring young women – especially those from her home country of the Bahamas – to chase their dreams.
She was the first female Bahamian to sign a Letter of Intent for women’s basketball at a Division I school, and is the first to coach at a Division I program. As a player, she led the 18U Junior National Team to a silver medal at the FIBA National Games and now as a coach has her eyes set on the 2016 Olympics.
Preparation for Brazil is underway as Coach McCuin prepares to go back to the Bahamas to find the 12 best players to represent the country at the games.
The senior women’s championship begins on July 8th, with the Bahamas suiting up against the Virgin Islands, Dominica and Barbados in the preliminary rounds. Currently leading the Caribbean as the winningest nation with nine medals, the Bahamas boasts six gold, one silver and two bronze medals.
If Coach McCuin’s expectations are anything like those she places on the Dolphins, the Bahamas should get ready for some up-tempo, defense-oriented, blue-collar basketball.
Following are a few of her thoughts on a number of topics ranging from the Bahamian national team to her family.
Q: Trailblazing runs in your family. You were the first Bahamian female to sign a Letter of Intent to a Division I school, and were also the first female from the Bahamas to coach at a Division I program. Now you are the Bahamian women's national team coach in March of 2013. What does all of that mean to you?
Through hard work I have been blessed with opportunities to succeed not only individually, but also to help others to do the same. I am honored and humbled to be able to give back and represent my country internationally. I was a part of our country's junior programs and played on the Junior National Team and that experience is one I will never forget. This is a dream come true for me.
Coaching and playing on the national team is an opportunity to do something that is bigger than yourself. Nothing is bigger than your country. I was born and raised in the Bahamas and so this means the world to me. Bahamians are big sports lovers, and so getting this program and the sport back on track with some success is a tremendous opportunity for me.
Q: You have made a large impact in each of the communities in which you have been a part, including developing the foundation in the Bahamas called Back2Basics, which helps the development of children through education and athletics. Talk about your commitment to community service.
I take great pride in being involved in the community, and I learned that importance from both of my parents. My Mom was also an educator and of course my Dad was extremely involved in our community, so I have known all of my life how important it is to give back. Even in the Bahamas I had the opportunity to participate in a couple of initiatives while we were down for the national team tryouts.
The most recent community service activity that has been rewarding to me was having the opportunity to visit Children's Hospital in April with our team. We had the chance to meet with several patients and spend time with me, which I believe was as good for our team as the kids.
Q: While you were at Clemson you were tagged as one of the top assistants in the nation by the National Women's Basketball Insider. In fact, in 2012 you helped assemble the 16th-ranked recruiting class in the country, landing five McDonald's All-American nominees for the Tigers. Talk about your approach to recruiting.
I see recruiting as an opportunity to build relationships. My approach in my career has panned out to be true, and that is to be honest and transparent. It is extremely important to me that people are able to believe in what I say. Having that balance between convincing someone to buy in to what you are presenting while at the same time being completely transparent has helped make me a successful recruiter. Plus, I can still relate – I haven't been out of college too long to separate me from understanding what student-athletes are going through.
Q: Your father has been influential in Bahamian sports, particularly basketball, for years as one of the country's most passionate advocates, coaches, administrators, etc. How much has that affected your success?
It is true that my Dad has been an integral part of the development of sports and youths at home, but it unfair to just single him out in talking about the impact that my family has had at home in our community and in sports. My Mom was also a pioneer in education and sports and they both instilled in me the importance of discipline, pride and focus. I was given opportunity to earn what I had the success that I accomplished, it was not given to me. So those disciplines became second nature to me. I would see something I wanted and I would work hard to get it. That is where our theme at JU of "No Ceiling" came from - there is no limit to what we want to accomplish. Sometimes I think our youths grow up and have put glass ceilings put in front of them, where they see what they want to accomplish but then they aren't provided the means to get there. I am living proof that hard work does pay off.
Q: When you were hired at JU you talked immediately about changing the culture. You have said the same thing about the national team. What does that mean and how did that play out at JU in your first season?
Any coach has aspirations to win championships. I am encouraged by the steps we took as a program this year, and we are changing the culture at JU, putting down milestones that we can build upon.
We won 10 games in the Atlantic Sun and clinched the No. 4 seed in the championship, which was JU's highest finish since 2008-09. We were picked to finish eighth and we finished fourth, and earned the right to host a home quarterfinal game in the conference championships. Obviously the last outing didn’t end the way we would have liked, but our last game can in no way define our season. There is a lot to be celebrated and a lot that we can build on as far as the future is concerned. Our end goal is still to win an A-Sun Championship. Once we achieve that, we’ll set another goal for this program.
Q: You have been back home once for initial tryouts and now head back for more practice beginning June 23rd. What are your thoughts on the team at this point?
I expected to see athleticism and some terrific competition, and we got that. We will be young, but talented and I look forward to working with the best talent that we have to offer. One of the things that I expected was that we will need to be in better condition. Something that has hurt the Bahamas over the years has been that we are out of shape when we came overseas to compete. Everyone has been in a conditioning program since tryouts last month and I look forward to seeing the difference as we get back to work next week.
We tested them not only in conditioning but also in basketball and implemented some things to see how they would respond. They did a good job and I like the way that things are shaping up.
To be honest this is also a wonderful opportunity for me individually, because coaches don't get chances for reps during the offseason. It is challenging, however, because there really has been no time to relax since I joined JU last April.
My husband if a great support, and my daughter, while still very young, gets to experience another culture. They travel with me and so we get to experience all of this as a family.
Plus, this experience will allow me to work among good coaches around the world, sharpen my craft, and build a program that my fellow Bahamians will be proud of.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
The 2014 Atlantic Sun Baseball Championship Final between Kennesaw State and Lipscomb took place on Sunday from FGCU's Swanson Stadium. To highlight the last day of the conference tournament, we have put together some of the best moments from social media.
Here is your chance to relive the excitement in the tweets, pictures and videos of fans, coaches and staff members in our Social Media Timeline. Join the conversation by using the #ASunBSB hashtag on Twitter for a chance to be included in the recap.
All the 6:00 am lifts, all the practices, all the sprints, and all your dreams as a kid ... It's all about today! pic.twitter.com/X8TAzfKqip— Lipscomb Baseball (@BisonBaseball) May 25, 2014
Let's go @KSUOwlsBaseball ; Let's show them why we owls are in a league of our own!— Rea Beal (@ThatGuyRea) May 25, 2014
If you're not watching the #ASunBSB Championship on ESPN3 you're missing out.— A-Sun Compliance (@ASunCompliance) May 25, 2014
Yes. Our catcher just led off the 7th inning with a perfect bunt hit. I hear scouts like him. #ASunBSB— Mike Foster (@michaelsfoster) May 25, 2014
Mcgowan's double off the wall scores all 3 runners on base and the Owls take a 7-1 lead in the bottom of the 8th. #GoKSUOwls— KSUOwlsBaseball (@KSUOwlsBaseball) May 25, 2014
1 out to go! #GoKSUOwls— Vaughn Williams (@KennesawStateAD) May 25, 2014
Owls Win! Owls Win! Owls win! Final Score: Owls 7 and Stetson 1. Owls have won the A-Sun Tournament Championship! #GoKSUOwls— KSUOwlsBaseball (@KSUOwlsBaseball) May 25, 2014
Brennan Morgan named Tournament MVP. #GoKSUOwls— KSUOwlsBaseball (@KSUOwlsBaseball) May 25, 2014
Saturday, May 24, 2014
At 13-1 it’s fair to say that Murray has been having a lot of fun.