Friday, September 11, 2009

A-Sun What to Watch For - Sept. 11, 2009

Cross Country
• It’s a light weekend of action for A-Sun cross country teams with only four competing. ETSU, Mercer and Kennesaw State racing in Chattanooga, Tenn., at the PowerAde Invitational. The women will run a two-mile course while the men's race will be a 5K. The Owls’ men and women both placed third at the meet in 2008. The event will begin at the Moccasin Bend Race Course at with the women's race at 5:45 p.m.

• The Buccaneers will also send competitors to Sunday’s Irish Brigade Commemorative 5K. Campbell, the fourth school racing this weekend head to Wilmington, N.C. for the Seahawk Invitational.

Men’s Soccer
• FGCU travels to Greenville, S.C. Friday to battle with Furman at 7:00 p.m. in the Atlantic Sun Men’s Soccer Game of the Week. Goalkeeper Matthew Smith lead the Eagles, he holds a 0.65 goals-against average with 12 saves and one shutout on the season.

• Unbeaten Lipscomb heads to Ann Arbor, Mich. To battle with Big Ten foes Michigan State (Friday) and Michigan (Saturday). The Bisons and the Spartans, both enter the weekend unbeaten and open the Michigan Invitational with a match Friday at 5:00 p.m. Lipscomb will face a tough test against Spartan goalkeeper Avery Steinlage, who has not allowed a goal in 998:43 (An NCAA record) of play and has not allowed an opposing team to find the net since Oct. 15, 2008.

• USC Upstate welcomes cross town rival Wofford to Spartanburg, S.C., the game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start and can be seen live on ASunTV. The two schools are 3.5 miles apart and both enter the game without a win. Upstate dropped games to Georgia State and Davidson in week one while Wofford came away with ties ETSU and UNC Ashville.

Women’s Soccer
• Conference action opens this Saturday as Mercer welcomes Kennesaw State to Bear field Saturday in the Atlantic Sun women’s soccer Game of the Week. Both the Bears and Owls have taken on some tough foes in non-conference play as Mercer has challenged No. 12 Indiana, No. 17 Georgia and an undefeated Vanderbilt team. Kennesaw State opened its season with Georgia and has followed with contests against nationally-ranked Minnesota and Auburn out of the SEC.

The two Georgia schools have performed as the class of the conference the last two years combining for a 30-5-3 record against conference foes. The two have won the last three regular-season titles (Mercer last season, Kennesaw State in 2006 and 2007) and met in the 2007 A-Sun Championship title game, a contest won by the Owls on their home turf, 2-1. The Owls have dominated the series, winning all six meetings.

• UNF’s Michele Larringa and Katelin Swift lead the Lady Ospreys into Boca Raton, Fla to battle with FAU. The Owls have only found the net three times in 2009 while Larringa and Swift have each found the net four times this season.

• ETSU faces a tall order as they travel to Ole Miss Friday at 7:00 p.m. in Oxford, Miss. The Rebels have dominated early competition outscoring opponents 10-0 this season and 9-0 in Oxford.

• From the Jacksonville Dolphins, with 21 digs against Sam Houston State, Shelley Walroth reached yet another milestone in her illustrious career as she passed Ann Mullins of Lipscomb as the A-Sun Conference all-time digs leader with 1,991. Walroth now needs just nine digs to become the 27th player in NCAA history to reach 2,000 in a career. To crack the top 25 all-time, Walroth needs 230 digs, where she would have a chance to etch her name in the record books for some time. The Division I record for career digs is 3,176 by Lara Newberry of Chattanooga from 2005-08. The Dolphins open against tournament champion Belmont (2-7, 0-1) on Friday.

• With the win against Mercer on Tuesday, the Kennesaw State Owls improved to 6-1, tying the program record for victories in a season. Senior Asjia Stokes continued her solid play with a match-high 17 kills to go along with 12 digs. Defensively, the Owls collected 96 digs, setting a new program record. Senior Chelsey Denesha tallied a career-high and KSU record-tying 23 digs, while senior Selina O’Leary managed 20 in the four-set match.

• Leading Lipscomb’s sweep in the first round of volleyball’s version of the “Battle of the Boulevard” Tuesday night, Stefine “Jake” Pease stepped up and played an almost flawless match. It was the first time in the history of the program that the Lady Bisons have beaten the Bruins on their home court.

Preseason coaches picked Lipscomb and Belmont to finish first and second in the A-Sun, respectively. Pease tallied 33 assists, eight digs and a service ace. The Lady Bisons play home matches at Allen Arena this weekend against UNF and Jacksonville.

Men’s Golf
• One of the Atlantic Sun’s growing and more nationally competitive sports, men’s golf begins its fall season defending league champion Campbell heading out west to the Tucker Intercollegiate in Albuquerque, N.M. In 2008, the Camels took 10th at the event. Vaita Guillaume finished as low golfer for the Camels, placing 26th

• ETSU, the conference’s second NCAA participant in 2008 opens at the Carpet Capital Collegiate hosted by the Farm Golf Club in Rocky Face, Ga. The Buccaneers return a strong core from last season, headlined by Player of the Year Seamus Power, 2009 A-Sun Medalist and Freshman of the Year Michael Stewart and First-Team All-Atlantic Sun performer Rhys Enoch.

• UNF, second to Campbell at the 2009 A-Sun Championships after winning the title in 2008, take on 16 other schools at the Wolf Run Intercollegiate on Saturday in Zionsville, Ind. USC Upstate, led by Michael Lawrence and Josh Gallman head north to the Rutgers Invitational for the third straight year. In their two prior visits, the Spartans have first- and second-place finishes. Lawrence, a senior on this year’s team, won the individual championship at the 2007 event.

Women’s Golf
• Only one A-Sun golf program begins fall play this weekend as ETSU partake in the Golfweek’s Conference Challenge on the Primm Valley Golf Club’s Desert Course. The Buccaneers, along with 17 other schools from 17 different conferences make up the field for the event. ETSU returns four golfers named to 2009 All-Conference teams (Sinead O'Sullivan – First Team, Laura Jansone – Second Team, Nina Muehl – Second Team and All-Freshman Team, Mayte Vizcarrondo – All-Freshman Team ). A full preview can be found here.

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