Texans on winning run heading into Javs game
Since Tarleton State was knocked from the unbeaten ranks by Texas A&M-Kingsville on Oct. 3, the Texans have played a bit inconsistently, by coach Sam McElroy’s accounting. The numbers that count suggest otherwise, as the Texans have won four of their past five ballgames, averaging 398.8 yards in the process, heading into their first-round NCAA Division II playoff game at A&M-Kingsville on Saturday. That TSU run also includes impressive come-from-behind victories over Midwestern State and Abilene Christian, who are set to meet in the other Super Regional Four first-round game on Saturday as the Nos. 3 and 6 seeds.
Tarleton, ranked 12th nationally and seeded fifth in the region, has surrendered nearly as much yardage on defense (398.4) in that five-game span and lost last week’s regular-season finale at home to surging West Texas A&M 49-35. McElroy is looking for a little more from his ballclub.
“At times we’ve played pretty well since our game down there, found a way to win four games since then. Obviously we got beat on Saturday,” said McElroy, whose 9-2 Texans are in the Division II playoffs for the third time. “I think we played pretty well that next week against Midwestern. A couple weeks after that we played pretty well against Abilene,” McElroy said. “But we really haven’t played with a whole lot of consistency. We’re doing a few good things. We’re not doing enough good things.”
Former Palacios linebacker finds home along Javelinas defensive line
Aaron Buckley hasn't looked back or regret his decision to transfer from Texas A&M to Texas A&M-Kingsville for a second.
"I committed really soon as a junior and I just wasn't very happy in College Station," said Buckley, who enrolled at TAMUK last spring and started working out with the Javelinas during spring practices. "They (the Aggies) were my first offer and I jumped on it. The environment was a lot different than I was used to and I just never felt at home there. I thought the transfer was going to be a good idea and it's worked out that way."
Buckley, who was a Class 3A all-state selection in his senior season at Palacios in 2007, has played in all 11 games this season for the 9-2 Javelinas. Buckley, 6-foot-1, 225-pound physical therapy major, has recorded 17 tackles on the year and one sack going into the Javelinas' home playoff game against Tarleton State on Saturday.
"The first couple of games took a little while to get used to because of sitting out the year," said Buckley, who was moved from linebacker to defensive end for the first time in his career this season. "It affected me but I kept working and think I'm playing pretty well right now. I've picked up a lot of schemes with the position switch. I'm more aware of the complete defense and what we all have to do to become a winning team. I'm enjoying the change."
Ledesma: MSU-ACU rematch no easier to predict
The Midwestern State Mustangs aren’t the only ones experiencing a little deja vu this week.
Saturday’s Division II playoff game between MSU and Abilene Christian won’t seem like a rerun just for the two teams on the field. it will also be a repeat on our sports staff’s weekly college periscope. I usually try to spend as little time as possible each week making my college picks. The less I analyze, the better I tend to do — go figure. It’s a strategy that has worked well for me, this season especially.
But for the second straight week I found myself agonizing over one game in particular. Contrary to what you’re thinking, it didn’t involve the Fighting Irish. Even I don’t feel good about picking my boys against Pitt.
No, it was the upcoming battle between the Mustangs and Wildcats that had me splitting hairs once again.
NATHAN WRIGHT: Rams' football season a mixed bag
In some ways, the 2009 Angelo State University football season was a success. In other ways, it was a disappointment. The Rams went 6-5, their first winning season since 2005. But after starting the season 5-1, the Rams lost four of their last five games.
They opened Lone Star Conference South Division play with a win over then-No. 17 Midwestern State and then knocked off the nation’s top offense at the time in Eastern New Mexico. Then they lost their final four South Division games — three against ranked opponents.
LSC rankings (from the Abilene Reporter News)
1. West Texas A&M (6-5, 6-3) — No playoff berth for the Buffs but believe me, no one wants to play them right now. The Buffs finished the regular season as the hottest team in the LSC, perhaps the nation, with five consecutive wins — including victories over ACU and Tarleton State. Next up is the Kanza Bowl.
2. Midwestern State (9-2, 7-2) — The Mustangs held off Abilene Christian last week to extend their record to 6-0 at home. Now, they’ve got to turn around and play the Wildcats at home again in the first round of the NCAA Division II playoffs.
WT blocker left Navy, drops anchor in Canyon
When Lauren Purdy's name is announced before matches at the West Texas A&M Fieldhouse in Canyon, it's almost always accompanied by the nickname, "Popeye."
As in, "Popeye, the Sailor Man," a tribute to her yearlong stint as a member of the U.S. Navy. The sophomore middle blocker originally committed to play for the Naval Academy in 2006 after graduating from Arlington Martin High. The choice made perfect sense, considering her brother was already enlisted in the Navy.
"It was kind of a big deal, because if I go into the Naval Academy I would come out an officer, and my older brother is enlisted, so it's kind of a pecking-order deal for the family," Purdy said. "But it's a huge process to get into the Naval Academy."
Moronu has ACU set for LSC vball tourney success
Ijeoma Moronu, called E.J. by her teammates, doesn’t think of herself as the engine that makes the Abilene Christian volleyball team go. But as the team’s setter, the 5-foot-8 junior from Fort Worth is a big reason why the Wildcats have such a potent offense.
ACU (27-5) is No. 2 in the Lone Star Conference in kills, averaging 13.74 per game with 1,517 total, and hitting percentage (.227). Much of that can be attributed to Moronu, who’s third in the LSC in assists with 1,163 — 10.38 per game.
COLLEGE VOLLEYBALL: Fresh starts at ASU
Angelo State University head volleyball coach Chuck Waddington knew he was recruiting a talented freshman class a year ago. He also knew that if those players played to their abilities right away, the team would be in the situation it would be now.
ASU enters this weekend’s Lone Star Conference tournament as the No. 3 seed and will face Texas Woman’s Univeristy today at noon in the tournament’s opening game.
Javelinas volleyball aims to build on successful season
Texas A&M-Kingsville is making its second appearance in the Lone Star Conference volleyball tournament in the past three seasons, but the Javelinas could be riding a better streak into the event that begins today in Canyon.
Seeded seventh, the 17-12 Javelinas have dropped their past three matches in successive sets. That includes a 3-0 loss last Thursday to second-seeded and 27-5 Abilene Christian, against whom the Javelinas open the single-elimination tournament this afternoon.
Vessels signs with Lady Buffs
Jordan Vessels was more than happy to continue her basketball career close to home.
Vessels, the starting post at Canyon, signed her national letter of intent Wednesday to play college ball at West Texas A&M. A second team All-District 3-4A selection last season, Vessels helped the Lady Eagles to a share of the district title.
VOLLEYBALL: Warick finds her way to Rambelles
Before this school year began, Central High School’s Shelby Warick may have been best known in sports circles as a soccer player. By the end of October, Warick had established herself as the anchor of the Lady Cats’ volleyball team.
Warick, who set a school record this year with 714 digs, emerged so much that it looks like her volleyball career won’t be ending anytime soon. With family, friends and coaches gathered around, the Lady Cats’ 5-foot-6 libero signed a scholarship Wednesday to play for Angelo State University.
HIGH SCHOOLS: Area athletes make college intentions official
Degelia signs with MSU
Signing day wrap-up: ESD earns the spotlight
High school notebook: Midwest City's Richa Jackson signs with Duke
WTAMU headlines Volleyball All-Conference honors
CANYON, Texas – Lone Star Conference regular season champion West Texas A&M had three first-team selections on the All-LSC volleyball team announced by league officials Wednesday evening during a banquet at the LSC Championship. WTAMU, which posted a perfect 13-0 league record and is hosting of the LSC Championship that starts tomorrow, had a total of five honorees. Melissa Harper, Laura Prinsen and Katie Rickwartz earned first team acclaim, while Lauren Purdy and Natalie Johnson were second-team selections.
Additionally, Harper was tabbed Offensive Player of the Year and Rickwartz was Setter of the Year for the third straight year in the balloting of LSC head coaches.
Abilene Christian, the regular season runner-up, had six players recognized including first-team choices Shawna Hines and Ijeoma Moronu; second-teamers Jordan Schilling and Jennie Hutt and honorable mention picks Lauren Leone and Michelle Bacon. The Wildcats Hines was named Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year.
Texas A&M-Commerce’s Lauren Flynn took home Libero of the Year honors for the second straight year, while the Lions Mark Pryor earned Coach of the Year recognition. Angelo State’s Chelsea Gibson was tabbed Freshman of the Year and Central Oklahoma’s Zuela Adom was named Newcomer of the Year.
A total of 43 student-athletes were recognized by the LSC postseason awards program including one from all 14 volleyball programs. ASU, A&M-C, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Midwestern State, Texas Woman’s, East Central, Tarleton State, Southeastern Oklahoma and Cameron each had three total selections. UCO and Southwestern Oklahoma added two, plus Eastern New Mexico had one.
2009 LSC VOLLEYBALL ALL-CONFERENCE AWARDS
MB - Melissa Harper - West Texas A&M Sr.
RS - Laura Prinsen - West Texas A&M Sr.
MB - Shawna Hines - Abilene Christian Jr.
S - Ijeoma Moronu - Abilene Christian Jr.
S - Katie Rickwartz - West Texas A&M Sr.
L - Lauren Flynn - Texas A&M-Commerce Sr.
RS - Alaina Sivells - Angelo State Sr.
OH - Zuela Adom - Central Oklahoma Jr.
S - Holly Hicks - East Central Sr.
MB - Shay Gracy - Tarleton State Sr.
S - Perla Faudoa - Texas A&M-Commerce Sr.
MB - Chelsea Gibson - Angelo State Fr.
MB - Kristin Chancellor - Texas A&M-Kingsville Sr.
OH - Kristen Wilson - Central Oklahoma Jr.
MB - Brittany McDonald - Southeastern Oklahoma So.
L - Kiara Jordan - Midwestern State So.
OH - Naomi Mays - Texas A&M-Commerce Jr.
OH - Sha Tramble - Texas A&M-Kingsville Jr.
OH - Jordan Schilling - Abilene Christian Jr.
OH - Jennie Hutt - Abilene Christian So.
OH - Lunden Azuara - Southeastern Oklahoma So.
L - Caitlin Murphy - Eastern New Mexico Sr.
OH -Alyson Harlan - Texas Woman's Jr.
MB -Lauren Purdy - West Texas A&M So.
S -Laura Ellerbrock - Cameron Sr.
OH - Nikita Abbott - Cameron - So.
S - Jessica Crow - Texas Woman's Sr.
OH - Natalie Johnson - West Texas A&M Sr. .
RS - Lindsay Paziuk - Cameron Sr.
MB - Lauren Leone - Abilene Christian Sr.
MB - Sesley Graves - Midwestern State Sr.
MB - Emily Holombek - East Central Sr.
OH -Miranda Byrd - Midwestern State So.
OH - Rachel Wolf - Tarleton State Jr.
OH - Caroline Cleveland - Angelo State Fr.
S - Kristen Kaufman - Southwestern Oklahoma Sr.
L - Virginia Hernandez - Texas A&M-Kingsville Jr.
RS - Destiny Brown - Southeastern Oklahoma Sr.
RS - Emily Walter - Southwestern Oklahoma So.
L - Kendra Coulson- Texas Woman's Jr.
RS - Michelle Bacon - Abilene Christian Sr.
OH - Jacqueline Sparks - East Central Sr.
L - Shea McBrearty - Tarleton State Jr.
Offensive Player of the Year: Melissa Harper, West Texas A&M
Defensive Player of the Year: Shawna Hines, Abilene Christian
Setter of the Year: Katie Rickwartz, West Texas A&M
Libero of the Year: Lauren Flynn, Texas A&M-Commerce
Freshman of the Year: Chelsea Gibson, Angelo State
Newcomer of the Year: Zuela Adom, Central Oklahoma
Coach of the Year: Mark Pryor, Texas A&M-Commerce
Volleyball: LSC announces academic awards
CANYON, Texas – The Lone Star Conference recognized 59 student-athletes for their academic achievements Wednesday evening when league officials announced the volleyball academic awards at the LSC Championship banquet. Regular season champion West Texas A&M led the selections to the All-Academic team, placing three on the 14-player squad, followed by Texas Woman’s and Southwestern Oklahoma, who each had two honorees. The All-Academic team commemorates both academic and athletic achievement.
The Lady Buffs’ Lauren Thedford was selected as LSC Academic Player of the Year. The junior outside hitter is a political science major and has a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade point average. She was a 2008 LSC All-Academic selection and a member of the 2008 CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District first team. This season, she has played in all 34 matches with 31 starts and notched 22 service aces and 183 kills.
The All-Academic Team is selected by the league’s sports information directors, who vote on the basis of both academic and athletic achievement. To be eligible for LSC academic recognition, student-athletes need at least a 3.30 grade point average and must be at least a sophomore. All academically qualified student-athletes not selected for the All-Academic Team are then named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
Joining Thedford on the All-Academic team were her WTAMU teammates Melissa Harper and Katie Rickwartz, TWU’s Jessica Crow and Kendra Coulson, SWOSU’s Tara Gibby and Emily Walter, Tarleton State’s Shay Gracy, Abilene Christian’s Shawna Hines, Texas A&M-Kingsville’s Kristin Chancellor, Texas A&M-Commerce’s Lauren Flynn, Midwestern State’s Tiana Bond, Southeastern Oklahoma’s Destiny Brown and Angelo State’s Kimber Duncan.
2009 Lone Star Conference Volleyball All-Academic Team
Lauren Thedford - West Texas A&M Jr.
Shay Gracy - Tarleton State Sr.
Shawna Hines - Abilene Christian Jr.
Emily Walter - Southwestern Oklahoma Sr.
Melissa Harper - West Texas A&M Sr.
Kristin Chancellor - Texas A&M-Kingsville Sr.
Jessica Crow - Texas Woman's Sr.
Kendra Coulson - Texas Woman's Jr.
Katie Rickwartz - West Texas A&M Sr.
Lauren Flynn - Texas A&M-Commerce Sr.
Tiana Bond - Midwestern State So.
Destiny Brown - Southeastern Oklahoma Sr.
Tara Gibby - Southwestern Oklahoma Sr.
Kimber Duncan - Angelo State Sr.
Lone Star Conference Special Recognition
Academic Player of the Year: Lauren Thedford, West Texas A&M
Commissioner’s Honor Roll
Abilene Christian: Aubree Vick, So.; Kelsie Edwards, So.; Jordan Schilling, Jr.; Ijeoma Moronu, Jr.;Jennie Hutt, So.; Michelle Bacon, Sr.;
Angelo State: Alaina Sivells, Sr.; Kayla Smith, So.;
Cameron: Amber Schroer, Sr.;
East Central: Sarah Henry, So.; Holly Hicks, Sr.; Megan Kimak, So.; Jacqueline Sparks, Sr.; Shayla May, So.; Emily Holombek, Sr.
Eastern New Mexico: Caitlin Murphy, Sr.; Grace Brandt, Jr; Jessica King, So.;
Midwestern State: Kari Damjanovic, Jr.; Hillary White, So.; Kiara Jordan, So.
Southeastern Oklahoma State: Mashequa Gentry, Sr.; Jackie Arend, Jr.; Gabby Ortiz, Sr.; Jordan Parks, Jr.; Raelynn Beaty, Jr.; Brittany McDonald, So.;
Southwestern Oklahoma State: Stephanie Parker, So.; Kristen Kaufman, Sr.; Kayla Bader, So.
Tarleton State: Shea McBrearty, Jr.;
Texas A&M-Commerce: Perla Faudoa, Sr.; Amy Addison, Sr.;
Texas A&M-Kingsville: Casey Chancellor, Jr.; Amanda Waclawczyk, So.; Kirby Krueger, Sr.
Texas Woman's: Danielle Pegues, Sr.; Sydney Veitenheimer, Jr.; Danielle Veitenheimer, Jr.; Hayley Summers, So.; Arden Richardson, So.; Heather Maddox, Sr.; Katelyn Osborne, So.; Alyson Harlan, Jr.
West Texas A&M: Natalie Johnson, Sr.