Friday, March 23, 2012

Spotlighting the A-Sun: March 2012

In the last two Tournaments, the Atlantic Sun Conference has posted a combined record of 7-3, which is tied for the second-most wins amongst the 22 conferences that have participated in the postseason event. 

The Top 10 

Mercer men's basketball has recorded postseason wins over the Ohio Valley Conference and the Colonial Athletic Association to reach new heights this season. The Bears' road victory over Old Dominion on March 21 pushed the program-record win total to 25 and was the team's third CIT win. Mercer's triumph sends the team to the final-four round of the CIT at Fairfield University on Saturday or Sunday.

For the second consecutive year, Belmont University men's basketball head coach Rick Byrd has been named the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) District 3 Coach of the Year, as selected by his peers.

FGCU Head Coach Dave Deiros earned his 400th win in just his 10th season as the Eagle softball team swept ACC member Maryland.

Ospreys Flying High
The No. 14-ranked North Florida golf team claimed its third team title of 2011-12 at the 2012 General Hackler Championship at the DeBordieu Club on March 12. The win was UNF's first of the spring, the third of the season and gave the squad top three showings in seven of eight tournaments this year. Sean Dale earned his second individual title this season and third of his career after leading wire-to-wire. 

Three Named to NABC All-District Team
USC Upstate’s Torrey Craig, Belmont’s Kerron Johnson and Mercer’s Langston Hall were named to the District 3 team of the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) NABC Division I All-District teams for 2012 on March 14.

FGCU Claims Second Straight NCAA Division I "Pack the House" Challenge Title 
For the second straight year Florida Gulf Coast University was one of 32 winners in the NCAA Division I “Pack the House” Challenge. Additionally, for the third consecutive year the A-Sun recorded 100 percent participation in the “Pack the House” Challenge, and in two of the last three years the A-Sun has been the lone conference with all of its members participating.

• Florida Gulf Coast University has amassed more than 1 million service-learning hours and earned national recognition for its program.

• Six current A-Sun member institutions were recently named to the 2012 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll.

Belmont Leads Race for All-Sports Title
Belmont holds the top spot in the Atlantic Sun All-Sports Standings after the completion of the winter sports regular seasons. The Bruins hold the lead in the Bill Bibb Trophy standings for 2011-12 with a total of 165 points.

Tilley Era Over at Kennesaw State
On March 19 Colby Tilley officially announced his retirement after 17 seasons with Kennesaw State University. He retires as the winningest coach in program history, accumulating a 290-208 record at KSU.

A-Sun Baseball and Softball Championship Finals to Air on ESPN3
The championship games of the 2012 Atlantic Sun Conference Baseball and Softball Championships will receive well-deserved national coverage with an agreement in place to deliver the championship Saturday action for both events on ESPN3. 

Who’s Hot:
• Notable Wins: Belmont 3-1 vs. Auburn (3/11); Mercer 6-1 vs. Mississippi St. (3/10)
• JU’s Terry Alexander gets 700th win with 9-2 victory over USF (3/8)
• Collegiate Baseball: No. 15 Stetson
• CBD Mid-Major Top 25:  No. 2 Stetson, No. 25 USC Upstate

Who’s Hot:
• Notable wins: USC Upstate tops Syracuse (3-1) and Penn St. (2-0); FGCU blanks Georgetown (4-0), Utah (2-0) and sweeps Maryland (3-1, 9-1)
• Lipscomb’s Whitney Kiihnl recorded her 1,000th strikeout in 8-6 win over MTSU (3/11).
Mid-Major Top 25: No. 11 USC Upstate (Spartans also receiving seven votes in the USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll)

Who’s Hot:
• KSU’s Matt Nagy, UNF’s Sean Dale – Nagy fired a school record, 63, also second best in the NCAA this year. Dale took first place at the General Hackler Championship.
• FGCU's Jack Hernandez – Played the final 36 holes of the Rio Pinar Invitational at a combined nine-under par to win his first career collegiate tournament.
 •Stetson's Stetson's Alexandria Buelow – Once again lowered the school record by firing a 67 in the opening round of the MSU Ocala Invitational en route to claming her eighth career individual title.

Top 100 Rankings:
Men – No. 17 UNF, No. 41 Kennesaw St., No. 86 FGCU, No. 94 Mercer
Women – No. 61 Kennesaw State, No. 67 ETSU

Who’s Hot:
• Stetson Men – No.  71 in latest Campbell/ITA rankings, (11-2, 2-0 A-Sun) leads A-Sun
• UNF Men – No. 50 in latest Campbell's/ITA rankings; (11-5, 1-1 A-Sun) In consecutive days the Ospreys defeated No. 33 UNC Wilmington (3/13) and No. 42 South Alabama (3/12).
• Stetson Women – (8-1, 2-0 A-Sun) Defeated Big Ten’s Michigan St., 5-2 (3/7)

APRIL 9-11   
Women's Golf Championship, New Smyrna Beach, Fla. (CFSC/Stetson)

APRIL 16-18  
Men's Golf Championship, Braselton, Ga. (GSC/Kennesaw St.)

APRIL 20-11  
Men's and Women's Outdoor Track, Jacksonville, Fla. (UNF)

APRIL 20-22  
Sand Volleyball Championship, Jacksonville, Fla. (Jacksonville)
Men's and Women's Tennis Championship, Johnson City, Tenn. (ETSU)

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