Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Atlantic Sun Fall Teams Off to Historic Start

Only a few weeks into the 2014 Atlantic Sun fall season and already program record books are needing to be readjusted as several teams are off to a blistering start to the year.

Overall, A-Sun men's soccer (10-6-6) and volleyball (29-23) teams have a combined winning records, while four women's soccer teams own winning records after three weeks of competition.

Starting with volleyball and ending with women's soccer get a rundown of some of the hot starts for league teams in 2014.

Atlantic Sun Volleyball
Lipscomb (5-1):
With five wins in six matches, Lipscomb is tied for first in the A-Sun for wins with Northern Kentucky and Stetson. More impressive is all five victories have come away from Allen Arena including a road win at No. 22 Kansas and at SEC's Missouri. The 5-1 start is the best in the program's NCAA era. Lipscomb sits just outside the AVCA Top-25 in 27th place.

Stetson (5-1): The Hatters fell in the third contest of the season, but have battled back to win three-straight games for the best start in program history dating back to 1980. Under first-year Head Coach Kristina Hernandez, Stetson has posted all of its victories on neutral or road courts.

Northern Kentucky (5-1):
After starting the season at 5-0 for the second time in the past three seasons, NKU finally dropped a match on Saturday against Eastern Michigan. The Norse remain undefeated on the road at 3-0. Three of NKU's victories have been sweeps.

Atlantic Sun Men's Soccer
FGCU (1-0-2): 
The Eagles have battled a tough opening schedule to remain unscathed with an undefeated mark. FGCU began the year with a 2-0 victory vs. South Florida - a 2013 NCAA Tournament Participant - before adding ties vs. Akron and Portland. Akron reached the Second Round of last year's NCAA Tournament. Under Head Coach Bob Butehorn, the Eagles are off to their best three-game start in program history. The Eagles earned a national ranking this week at No. 24 in the Soccer America Top-25 Poll.

Lipscomb (3-0): Not only has Lipscomb landed victories in its first three matches, but all three of them have come in true road games. The Bisons' 3-0 start is the best in program history. Now Lipscomb returns for six-straight home contests including its conference opener on Oct. 1st vs. USC Upstate.

Northern Kentucky (1-0-2): 
One of three remaining undefeated teams in A-Sun men's soccer, NKU is off to its best start as a member of the A-Sun. The Norse have posted ties against Cincinnati and High Point, while landing a overtime victory vs. Detroit.

Stetson (2-1-1): Under first-year head coach Ernie Yarborough, Stetson owns its best record after four matches since the 2010 season when they also began 2-1-1. The Hatters have yet to play at home but own wins vs. Elon and FIU with a tie at FAU.

Atlantic Sun Women's Soccer
FGCU (4-1):
Behind six goals and 14 points from Tabby Tindell, FGCU has matched the 2011 squad for best five-game start. The Eagles have outscored their opponents 10-3 and posted shutouts in their last two victories. FGCU already owns victories against Arizona, Miami (Fla.), FIU and Murray State.

Jacksonville (4-2-1): Riding a two-game winning streak, the Dolphins are off to their fastest start since 2011 with an identical 4-2-1 mark. Before posting victories vs. UAB and College of Charleston this past weekend, Jacksonville had defeated Coastal Carolina and Lafayette with a tie vs. High Point. JU's two losses came by the smallest margin (1-0) to Boston College and Miami (Fla.).

Lipscomb (4-2-1): In their past three games, the Lady Bisons have registered shutout victories to give Lipscomb three-straight wins for the first time in program history. To match that, Lipscomb's 4-2-1 start is the best in program history through seven games. The Bisons have victories vs. Austin Peay, Western Carolina, Chattanooga and Alabama A&M and tied Memphis on the road.

Northern Kentucky (2-1-1):
NKU joined the A-Sun for the 2012 women's soccer season, but this season marks the best start as a conference member as the Norse own a 2-1-1 record to begin the year. The Norse recently defeated IUPUI in overtime and opened the season 1-0-1 with a win vs. Eastern Illinois and tie vs. Morehead State.