Friday, September 18, 2009

A-Sun What to Watch For - Sept. 18, 2009

Cross Country:
· Two races feature a combined seven Atlantic Sun cross country teams with some of the first head-to-head meetings for the league’s top teams. Jacksonville, the freshly-minted No. 1 women’s team faces Stetson, FGCU and UNF at Friday’s Gator Invitational. On the men’s side, the spotlight meet figures to take place on Saturday afternoon in Tuscaloosa, Ala., at the Crimson Classic where No. 1 ETSU, No. 2 Belmont and No. 3 Kennesaw State lock horns. Other meets on the slate include USC Upstate at the Virginia Tech Invitational, Lipscomb staying close to home at the Vanderbilt Invitational and Campbell running at the East Carolina Invitational.

Women’s Golf:
· Seven A-Sun women’s golf teams take to the links this weekend with five competing at the Lady Paladin Invitational in Greenville, S.C. The reigning conference champions, Stetson, lead the field along with Campbell, ETSU and Kennesaw State – the three schools that finished immediately behind the Hatters last April. The Hatters return First-Team All-Atlantic Sun performer and 2009 Medalist Lauren Jackson, A-Sun Freshman of the Year Lauren Cate and Second-Teamer Danielle Jackson. Belmont and USC Upstate head to Waynesville, N.C. to partake in the Great Smokies Intercollegiate.

Men’s Golf:
· After an opening week that saw three A-Sun golfers capture Medalist honors in season-opening events (USC Upstate’s Josh Gallman, Rutgers Invitational; UNF’s Sean Dale, Wolf Run Intercollegiate and Kennesaw State’s Jeff Karlsson, Sam Hall Intercollegiate) the schedule offers up only a couple of teams teeing it up this weekend. Belmont opens its fall season at the Yestingsmeier Invitational in Muncie, Ind., and FGCU travels to “The Little Apple” – Manhattan, Kan., for the Jim Colbert Intercollegiate.

Men's Soccer:
· UNF takes on Georgia State in the A-Sun Game of the Week at 7:00 p.m. on Friday in Jacksonville, Fla., live on ASunTV.
· Stetson looks to stay unbeaten this weekend as they take on Saint Joseph and Hofstra in the Stetson Soccer Classic.
· Current A-Sun Player of the Week Griffin Gilstrap ranks 11th in the nation in points per game (2.33). USC Upstate’s Timo Roerster makes an appearance in the national ranks tied for fifth in assist per game.

Women's Soccer:
· Sunday UNF welcomes The Citadel at 1:00 p.m. Sunday to Hodges Stadium. The matchup features two high scoring teams as UNF leads the Atlantic Sun in goals per game at 2.00 while The Citadel boast an impressive 3.80 goals per game.
· Kennesaw State looks to build on its conference win over Mercer. Friday the Owls welcome Samford to the KSU Soccer Complex and then Sunday the Owls welcome Alabama A&M.
· Goalkeeper Stephanie Powers has not allowed in 289:53 minutes, and ranks first in the A-Sun in goals against average and save percentage.
· Campbell is off to its best six-game start (3-3-0) since the 2004 squad was 2-1-3 after six matches en route to a 12-2-7 year that included the A-Sun regular season and tournament crowns.

· Senior libero Shelley Walroth reached yet another mile­stone and is setting her sights on cracking the top 25 spots in NCAA history. With 17 digs against Belmont, Walroth passed 2,000 in her career and her next targets are family bragging rights and the NCAA Top 25. Walroth needs just 39 digs to become the undisputed head of the family. In the NCAA career standings, Walroth needs just 163 digs to crack the top 25 all-time and has a chance to etch her name in the record books for some time. On Wednesday night, Walroth led the JU volleyball team to a 3-0 victory against cross-town rival UNF, in front of 1,012 fans in the first installment of the SunTrust River City Rumble at Swisher Gymnasium.
· Asjia Stokes, the Atlantic Sun Volleyball Player of the Week, ranks first in the A-Sun in kills per set in conference matches. Stokes led the Owls in kills with wins against Mercer and USC Upstate. The senior, from North Chicago, Ill., notched 17 kills in a 3-1 win against Mercer, giving the Owls their first win against the Bears in program history. In Spartanburg, S.C., Stokes tallied 19 kills to lead KSU to a 3-1 win against the Spartans. Overall, Stokes collect­ed 36 kills (4.50 kills per set), a .364 attack percentage, 19 digs (2.38 digs per set) and six total blocks. Picked eighth in the preseason poll, the Owls have started 2-0 in A-Sun play for the first time in program history.
· The Atlantic Sun Conference Volleyball Match of the Week features Lipscomb and FGCU, a pair of teams undefeated in conference play. The Lady Bisons started off the conference portion of their schedule with 3-0 match sweeps of Belmont, UNF and Jacksonville and will face FGCU on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. The Eagles, last year’s reigning regular season cham­pions, finally play in front of their home crowd after opening the season with a 10-game road trip. Last season, the Eagles took both matches with the Lady Bisons after Lipscomb won the lone contest between the two in 2007. Since the start of 2007, FGCU owns a 19-1 mark at Alico Arena, the venue for the 2009 Atlantic Sun Volleyball Championships. The match airs on ASun.TV.

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