Today begins the 33rd season of competition in the Atlantic Sun as nine women's soccer teams take to the pitch on Friday. Before putting the 2009-10 academic season to bed here's a look bad at some of the highlights from all 11 A-Sun schools.
In order of the Bill Bibb All-Sports Standings
The Buccaneers won their fourth consecutive Bill Bibb trophy and fifth straight Jesse C. Fletcher Trophy for the men's all-sports race. ETSU won two regular-season titles (women's basketball and women's tennis) and added four conference championship titles (men's basketball, women's basketball men's tennis and men's golf) to their growing trophy case.
Individually, Siarre Evans and TaRonda Wiles for women's basketball, Kenneth Rotich in men's cross country Duronal Monal in both men's indoor and outdoor track & field, Sander Gille in men's tennis and Paul Hoilman in baseball all won individual conference year-end superlative awards.
2. Kennesaw State
The Owls posted their best finish in the Bill Bibb standings on the strength of titles in men's cross country, men's indoor and outdoor track & field and taking both the regular season and conference championship title in women's soccer. The Owls won their first ever Sherman Day Trophy, winning the women's all-sports competition.
Individually, Bridget Gaughan for women's soccer and Joshua McNair at outdoor track & field won individual conference year-end superlative awards.
The Camels took third in the Bill Bibb standings buoyed by a second-place showing the men's all-sports race. Men's soccer won the regular-season title for a second straight year and the men's basketball team won a share of the regular-season crown - it's first men's basketball regular-season title since joining NCAA I in 1977-78,.
Individually, Vince Petrasso in men's soccer, Junard Hartley in men's basketball and Robert Brunson at indoor track & field won individual conference year-end superlative awards.
Jacksonville matched Kennesaw State for the conference lead in team conference titles, winning four. Like the Owls on the men's side, the Dolphins swept the women's running championships adding a first cross country title to fifth straight wins in indoor and outdoor track & field. Men's basketball won its second consecutive regular season title and made the NIT.
Individually, Shelley Walroth in volleyball, Charlene Charles and Joane Pierre at indoor track & field and Charles at outdoor track & field won individual conference year-end superlative awards.
The Eagles' two "fast-tracked" sports - volleyball and baseball - both qualified for their first A-Sun Championships. Baseball won its third consecutive regular-season title. Women's basketball opened the regular-season by beating UTEP in the Preseason NIT and closed the season with a third WNIT appearance.
Individually, Chris Sale dominated opposing hitters both in and out of conference play en route to becoming a consensus All-America pitcher, the National Player of the Year by Collegiate Baseball and a first-round pick by the Chicago White Sox.
UNF's spring proved fruitful as the women's tennis team won their first conference championship title and the men's golf team advanced to the NCAA Championships for the second time in program history. Both programs received Division I-AAA Athletics Directors Association All-Sports Trophies.
Individually, Sean Dale in men's golf and Aline Berkenbrock for women's tennis won individual conference year-end superlative awards.
7. USC Upstate
The Spartans' men's tennis team won its second A-Sun regular-season title, in undefeated fashion, in three years. In its first year of eligibility for the A-Sun Championship, the Spartans' softball team advanced to the title game against Lipscomb.
Individually, Gilbert Kemboi won the Freshman of the Year honor in both cross country and indoor track & field Tee’Ara Copney earned the same honor in women's basketball.
The Bruins shared a pair of regular-season titles during the season they claimed their first women's soccer title and their men's basketball crown in the previous five seasons.
Brittany Thune successfully defended her individual title in cross country, earning the Runner of the Year award. A pair of first-year Bruins, Brandon Tarr in men's soccer and Ian Clark in men's basketball each picked up the Freshman of the Year honor.
The Hatters won a pair of Atlantic Sun Championships, claiming their second men's soccer title by besting Mercer and putting together a record-setting rally during the final round of Women's Golf Championship to defend their title.
Alexandria Buelow became the first women's golfer in league history to claim both the Freshman of the Year and Player of the Year awards. Robert Hodge won Defensive Player of the Year in men's soccer.
The Bears ended a nine-year A-Sun Tournament Championship drought by winning their fifth baseball title and advancing to their first NCAA Championship. Mercer also advanced to the title game in men's soccer and men's basketball.
Courtney Ford earned the women's basketball Defensive Player of the Year award. Jacob Tanis led five Bears on the baseball All-Tournament team.
Two Bisons teams turned in two of the most dominating seasons in their respective sports as the volleyball team went undefeated in 22 matches against league opposition and the softball team became only the fourth team in league history to win 50 games in a season. Adnan Hodzic and Josh Slater led Lipscomb to a share of the regular-season crown in men's basketball.
Alex Kelly, Whitney Kiihnl, Hodzic won Player of the Year honors in volleyball, softball and men's basketball. Kiihnl added the Pitcher of the Year and landed on the Louisville Slugger/NFCA All-American Team- the first time a Lipscomb athlete has earned All-American honors in the NCAA era.