Friday, October 3, 2014

Who's Hot in the A-Sun?

In case you missed them, several players and teams have produced impressive performances as the A-Sun heads into its second full month of the season. This list of "Who's Hot" includes several performances from Lipscomb athletics along with a number of student-athletes and teams whose efforts place them among the best in the conference and in the nation.
Lipscomb Men's Soccer/Luke Gearin
The Bisons are 7-2-0 overall and 1-0-0 in the A-Sun, beginning 1-0 in conference play for the first time since 2006. Luke Gearin scored game tying goal in A-Sun opener with USC Upstate and now has a total of six scores for the season to lead the conference in goals scored. Gearin was also a member of the Hyatt Place Select Lipscomb Invitational All-Tournament Team, which the Bisons won just over a week ago.

Sammie Strausbaugh, Jacksonville Volleyball
Strausbaugh continues to compete at the highest level for the Dolphins, as the junior now sits in sixth place on the NCAA kills per set list (4.98). She leads the A-Sun with 254 total kills and enters this weekend first in the A-Sun and ranked among the NCAA leaders in points per set (5th), kills per set (6th), total kills (16th) and aces per set (17th). She is also one of only three players in the country to have recorded at least 23 kills in more than one three-set match this season.

Strausbaugh is already a two-time A-Sun Player of the Week this season and helped JU to an 8-4 record during the month of September. She broke a 14 year-old school record by posting 24 kills in a three-set match vs Dayton on Sept. 19, also becoming just the fifth player in school history to record over 1,000 career kills in the same match.

Lauren Ford/Lipscomb Volleyball
A perennial standout for the Lady Bisons, Ford has helped Lipscomb into the lead in the A-Sun overall in kills with 699, an average of 13.19 per set. The Lady Bisons also lead in conference matches only with 69 and an average of 17 per set.

Ford has double figures in kills in 11 of her 13 matches this season. Now with 1,341 kills, she is only the third Lipscomb player to pass 1,300 career kills and is also tied for seventh on the A-Sun all-time career kills list. Currently Ford is second overall in the conference in kills with 203 (3.83 per set) and second in conference matches only with 23 (5.75 per set).
She is also fourth in hitting percentage in conference play (.327) and eighth overall (.253).

Lipscomb Women's Soccer
Outscoring all opponents 20-8 this season, Lipscomb ranks second in the A-Sun for shots (154) and goals (20) and sports a 0.667 shutout percentage, ranking the Lady Bisons 13th in the nation in shutout percentage.

With its win over Kennesaw State in the conference opener, Lipscomb added to its streak of record-breaking performances, increasing the record for most shutouts in a season to eight as well as breaking the record for most wins in a season with seven.

Tabby Tindell, FGCU Women's Soccer
Tabby Tindell certainly has the Eagles' wings up as her latest game-winner against La Salle brought her season total to six game-winning goals. The sophomore forward now ranks tied for fourth in the A-Sun record books for game-winners in a single season.  

Nationally she ranks first in game-winning goals (6), third in points (28) and points per game (2.55), is tied for third in goals (12) and is tied for fourth in goals per game (1.091). With her dozen goals already this season, she is just three scores shy of matching her own single-season record of 15 and has already matched her 2013 total of four assists. She leads the A-Sun with those 12 goals and 28 points.

Twice this season Tindell has been named the National Team of the Week which recognizes the top performances of players nationwide. Individuals from national powers, Notre Dame, Tennessee, Arizona State, Wisconsin, Duke, UCLA, Florida, Penn State, Boston College, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Kansas and Georgia are all represented on the list alongside the A-Sun standout.

J.J Webber, NKU Men's Cross Country
"Running well and getting faster each week" is how NKU Cross Country Coach Steve Kruse described J.J. Webber's 2014 season thus far. Webber won the Rhodes Invitational last week and also led the Norse to a first-place team finish at the event. Webber turned in a time of 24:37.40, winning the 8K race by margin of 36 seconds. He also claimed his third A-Sun Runner of the Week honor this season and eighth overall in his career at NKU.

Daniel Garcia, KSU Cross Country
Garcia joins Webber as one of the top men's cross country runners in the conference this season. A two-time A-Sun Runner of the Week, Garcia most recently ran in the Mountain Dew Invitational hosted by the University of Florida. The Owls' freshman stayed with the front of the pack and finished in second (24:25.70), just eight seconds behind the winner of the men's 8K. He outran 86 other runners in a field that contained Florida, Georgia Tech and five A-Sun teams. His 8K time ranks second in the A-Sun this season, behind J.J. Webber's 24:14.55 at the Bluegrass Invitational.

Anna Buhigas, Lipscomb Women's Soccer
In denying Kennesaw State a goal in the Lady Bisons' conference opener, Buhigas dropped her season GAA to 0.67 and is now tied for eighth nationally for the lowest GAA in a single season. The sophomore goalkeeper also has a 0.94 career GAA, putting her sixth in the A-Sun record books. Buhigas has helped Lipscomb to eight shutouts thus far in 2014.

UNF Men's Golf/Joey Petronio
Senior Joey Petronio fired a career low of 66 (-6) in the final round and helped North Florida Men's Golf overcome a six-shot final round deficit to capture the Shoal Creek Invitational hosted by Graeme McDowell last week.

The Ospreys fired the lowest score of the final round (287) to rally
past two-time defending national champion Alabama and finish with a 54-hole total of 859 (-5). Petronio claimed the second individual medalist title of his career after blistering the course for a three-round 205 (-11). The total bettered Petronio's previous tournament best by three strokes while the tournament crown marked the 45th team title in UNF program history. Two others, MJ Maguire and Taylor Hancock, joined Petronio with top-10 finishes.

Fans can follow all of the A-Sun action at, by selecting their favorite sports' twitter handles here, or at the conference's Facebook page.

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