Friday, October 23, 2009

A-Sun What to Watch For - Oct. 23, 2009

Cross Country:
• In the final week before the Atlantic Sun Cross Country Championships, two schools host meets with a total of four running. Lipscomb and Mercer join the hosting Kennesaw State at the Owls Invitational from Noonday Park in Kennesaw, Ga. Down south, FGCU hosts its first invitational in school history.

Men's Golf:
• In a busy weekend on the links, eight men's golf teams tee it up at various tournaments across the south. A trio of the league's Florida schools, FGCU, Jacksonville and Stetson travel to Daytona Beach, Fla., for the Bethune-Cookman Fall Invite. Stetson's David McAndrew and the rest of Hatters look to defend titles from last year's event. McAndrew won a playoff with teammate Tommy Parker. As a team, the Hatters won the event by two strokes.
• In Windermere, Fla., ETSU joins 14 other prestigious programs competing at the Isleworth Collegiate Invitational from Isleworth Golf & Country Club. The tournament, conducted on a course designed by Arnold Palmer and Ed Seay, and later redesigned and enhanced by Steve Smyers features seven of the 15 teams in the field are ranked among the top 10 nationally, including top-ranked Oklahoma State.
Arizona State (2/2), Illinois (3/6), Washington (4/3), TCU (5/8), Stanford (6/5) and Florida (10/11).
• The conference's Georgia schools, Mercer and Kennesaw State cross the state line into Tennessee for the Scenic City/Aldila Invitational from the Council Fire Golf Club in Chattanooga. The host Mocs took second at Mercer's Brickyard Invitational, held earlier this month.

Women's Golf:
• On the women's side, three schools, Campbell, ETSU and Kennesaw State head to Kiawah Island, S.C. for the Palmetto Intercollegiate. The Buccaneers took second at the event last year, while the Camels placed sixth. Individually, ETSU teammates Mayte Vizcarrondo and Sinead O'Sullivan shared low honors in tying for third.
• FGCU and Stetson stay in the Florida for the FIU Pat Bradley Invitational. A year ago, the Hatters finished fourth, led by Danielle Jackson's sixth-place showing. Elsewhere, USC Upstate and Mercer partake in the Boscobel Invitational from the Boscobel Golf Club in Pendleton, S.C., along with five additional schools.Men's Soccer:
• Campbell knocked off Stetson on Thursday night in the A-Sun Game of the Week to extend their conference unbeaten streak to 18 games. The Camels have a shot to lock of the No. 1 seed in the A-Sun tournament if they can knock off FGCU in Fort Myers, Fla.
• Belmont looks to continue its winning ways coming off of their first winning streak of the season after defeating Jacksonville on Friday and UNF on Sunday. The two wins moved the Bruins up four places in the Atlantic Sun standings.
• FGCU goalkeeper Matthew Smith (Cape Canaveral, Fla.) has played every minute in goal for the Eagles this season and has a chance to led them to the A-Sun regular season title. The Eagles can take a big step toward that goal if they can knock off Campbell on Saturday.

Women's Soccer:
• Belmont travels to Jacksonville in pivotal match up in the Atlantic Sun Game of the Week at 6 p.m. Friday at the Ashley Sports Complex. Both Belmont and Jacksonville remain in contention for the A-Sun title. Jacksonville can claim the A-Sun title with wins versus Belmont and Lipscomb. Belmont will capture the conference title with a win against Jacksonville and win against UNF. Belmont can also win the league title with win against Jacksonville and a tie or against UNF but only if Kennesaw State fall to Campbell on Saturday.
• Stetson’s Tessa Gavilsky scored the game-winning goal against the Bisons and assisted on the equalizer against the Bruins. With 69 career points she is now just one point shy of becoming Stetson’s all-time scoring leader. She also currently leads the A-Sun in scoring (25 pts), goals (9), and game-winning goals (5).
• Senior forward Jordan Monty earned her third career A-Sun Offensive Player of the Week honor Monday, as the Mesquite, Texas native picked up seven points during the week. Monty and the Bucs need a big weekend to make it to the A-Sun tournament as they enter the weekend one point out of the final tournament spot.

• Senior libero Shelley Walroth, a Cincinnati native, holds single season and career dig marks at Jacksonville, sur­passing Cheryl Rothwell (43 at Stetson - Nov. 12, 1996) for the program’s single match record (46 – Oct. 17). Walroth moved into 16th place on the NCAA all-time digs list with 2,267 and needs seven to move into the top 15 and 77 to crack the top 10. The psychology major also earned a Top Performer selection from the Col­legiate Volleyball Update for her performance this past week.
• Senior Chelsey Denesha tallied 18 kills while junior Sabrita Gulley made 17 kills and 11 digs to lead Kennesaw State to one of the biggest wins in program history; a 3-1 win against Belmont in an A-Sun match, Saturday afternoon at the KSU Convocation Center. Gulley's play from her back and subsequent block in the fourth set of the match earned her a nomination for the AVCA Play of the Week. AVCA member schools have the opportunity to submit up to three plays per week to be voted on by coaches, players, fans and the general public for the chance to be named Volleyball Market/AVCA Play of the Week. Watch Gulley’s play HERE and vote HERE by Tuesday at 11:00 a.m.
• Lipscomb (15) and Jacksonville (12) enter the week looking to extend double-digit win streaks. No other conference in the country features two schools with concurrent win streaks of at least 10 matches. The Lady Bisons (18-3, 13-0 A-Sun) placed 57th in the NCAA RPI rankings, up 14 places, and represent the highest ranking in team history. Lipscomb enters the week with a 15-match winning streak overall and a perfect 13-0 Atlantic Sun record. In 12 of those 15 victories, including each of the first eight, they won without dropping a set. The Lady Bisons are at home this weekend, hosting FGCU at 6:30 p.m. CT on Friday night and Stetson at 2:00 p.m. CT on Saturday afternoon at Allen Arena. After being shut out in straight sets against Belmont and Lipscomb to open A-Sun play, Jacksonville (15-5, 11-2 A-Sun) has won 12 straight matches. The winning streak represents the longest under head coach Shaun Kupferberg, as well as the longest winning streak for the Dolphins since joining the A-Sun in 1998. The Dolphins have won six consecutive road matches and boast a perfect 3-0 record in five-set matches as compared to a 0-5 mark last year. Jacksonville will return to action on Saturday at 3:00 p.m. as the Dolphins travel to USC Upstate.
• The battle for championship seeding headlines Saturday’s contest between ETSU and Kennesaw State - two schools locked in a bat­tle for the sixth and final spot. The last time the Owls and Lady Buccaneers met, ETSU held on to defeat Kennesaw State, 3-2, at the KSU Convocation Center. Junior Erin Ryan led the way offensively for the Bucs with a team-high 17 kills, while junior outside hitter Desiree Dyck posted a double-double with 12 kills and 15 digs. Junior middle blocker Alysa Long and sophomore middle blocker M­cKayla Barber each posted 11 kills and five blocks in the match. ETSU owns a 5-1 series advantage with Kennesaw State since 2006. Gulley, the Owls’ Top Performer of the Week, led Kennesaw State to a 2-1 week in the A-Sun and moved the Owls into the coveted sixth-place standing. The Lady Bucs have emerged victorious in 18 of their last 31 home contests in Brooks Gym. The match airs on ASun.TV.

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