App State Sports News.... (2018-11-10 15:25:31)

Volleyball Clinches Sun Belt East Division Title With 3-1 Victory Over Troy

TROY, Ala. – Appalachian State volleyball clinched the Sun Belt East Division title with a tough 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-23, 25-20) victory at Troy on Friday evening.

The division title is the first for the Mountaineers (20-7, 12-3 SBC) since the Sun Belt went to a division format in 2016. By virtue of winning the division, App State will receive a double bye and earns the second seed at the Sun Belt Tournament next week in Atlanta, Ga. The Black and Gold's first match at the Sun Belt Tournament will take place on Nov. 17.

"I am proud of everyone," said head coach Matt Ginipro. "Tonight was an up and down match, but we fought through it to come out with a victory and the division title."

App State's 20 victories on the season marks the 16th time the Mountaineers have reached the 20-win plateau in program history. The Mountaineers have also won seven straight matches, which is the longest win streak for the program since the 2015 season.

Troy (10-18, 4-11 SBC) jumped out to a 12-7 lead in the first set. App State battled back to tie the score at 17-17 and took the lead on the next point on a service ace from Becky Porter. The Mountaineers did not trail for the remainder of the set, posting a 25-20 victory.

The Trojans rebounded and tied the match at 1-1 with a 25-20 victory in Set 2.

In Set 3, the Mountaineers found themselves down 23-21 late. App State answered with the final four points of the set, getting kills from Emma Longley and Kara Spicer to win the frame 25-23 and take a 2-1 edge.

The Black and Gold used a 5-0 run in the fourth set to turn a 7-6 deficit into a 11-7 lead. Following a Trojan point, Appalachian won four more points to open a 15-8 advantage. Troy pulled within three points, but could get no closer and a kill from Grace Morrison clinched the match and division title for the Mountaineers.

Spicer paced the App State offense with 15 kills. She added a match-high six blocks. Longley tallied nine kills and eight digs and Morrison added eight kills on a .438 hitting percentage.

Porter recorded her team leading ninth double-double of the season with 40 assists and 10 digs. She also posted three blocks.

On defense, Emma Reilly tallied a team-high 17 digs. Sydney Hinds chipped in with 11 digs and Sydney Farthing added eight digs.

"We started off the season knowing this could be something special," added Ginipro. "We felt that we could contend in the conference and put ourselves into position to win the division title. With a good week of practice and a strong mentality, we were able to keep our momentum going and look to continue it into Sunday and the conference tournament."

Appalachian State will close out the 2018 season on Sunday, with a 1 p.m. EST contest at South Alabama.

Women's Basketball Suffers Setback in Season Opener at UAB

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - Appalachian State University women's basketball (0-1) suffered an 80-61 setback at UAB (1-0) in the season opener on Friday evening in Bartow Arena.

Making her first start in a Mountaineer uniform, Ashley Polacek didn't disappoint as she scored 15 points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor and grabbed six rebounds. Tierra Wilson tied for the team lead with 15 off the bench, while Lainey Gosnell rounded out the leading scorers with 11 points and collected six off the glass. Bayley Plummer amassed 10 off the glass for a game high.

Facing the Conference USA preseason favorites, App won the battle on the boards (46-43) with 16 offensive rebounds to UAB's seven, turned the ball over just 11 times and outscored the hosts 36-28 in the paint. However, App shot just 33 percent from the field and 2-for-22 from beyond the arc. UAB shot 47 percent from the floor and hit nine trifectas in the process.

UAB delivered an early punch with a 16-6 lead after back-to-back 3-pointers by Deanna Kuzmanic and Trista Magee before an App State timeout. Appalachian responded with an 8-2 surge in the final 2:07 of the opening period that dwindled the deficit to 18-14 following Gosnell's trifecta with 24 seconds left in the quarter.

App State continued the run in the early goings of the second quarter, tying up the game at 20-apiece with six straight points thanks to consecutive field goals by Polacek and a jumper from Wilson. But once again the Blazers went on a run that separated themselves into a 35-24 lead going into the half after a 15-4 run over the final 6:48 of the first half.

Madi Story scored two of her eight third-quarter points in the first minute of the stanza with a jumper before Gosnell drove to the lane for the layup that sliced the lead to seven, 35-28. But UAB hit back-to-back treys on the next two possessions to push the lead back to double digits. The Blazers shot 6-of-12 from beyond the arc in the second half after being held in check in the first stanza at 3-for-12.

Miyah Barnes led UAB with 19 points while Deanna Kuzmanic scored 17 points, shooting a combined 13-of-22 from the field. The rest of the Blazers shot 40 percent from the floor (16-40).

App State has a quick turnaround as it faces Georgia Tech on Sunday at 2 p.m. in Atlanta.

Men's Soccer Falls to Georgia Southern in Sun Belt Semifinals

Savannah, Ga. - Third-seeded Appalachian State University men's soccer fell 3-0 to No. 2 seed Georgia Southern in the second semifinal game of the Sun Belt Championship in Savannah, Georgia.

Coming off an impressive 3-0 win against Howard and their best finish to a regular season since 2012, the Mountaineers aimed for their first appearance in a conference tournament final since 2000 in the SoCon.

But the Mountaineers' offense couldn't get it going with just two shots on goal on the evening and four shot attempts.

GS struck first in the 27th minute after Chasteen made a diving save on a penalty kick by Javier Carbonell, but an unlucky ricochet off the crossbar allowed Carbonell to tap it in for the first goal of the game.

Chasteen and the Mountaineer defense would hold off the Eagles through the remainder of the first half that kept the deficit to 1-0.

The Eagles jumped on it early in the second half and in the 51st minute, Adam Davie scored the second goal for GS.

A penalty by App State and a yellow card on Chasteen set up a free kick for the Eagles. Sander Wang beat Chasteen to the top right and widened the lead to 3-0.

The Mountaineers ran out of time and were unable to add to the score ending with two shots on goal in the setback.

Despite the loss, App State ended the season as the conference's top defensive team with 7 shutouts, its highest finish in the Sun Belt and posted seven All-Sun Belt selections The Mountaineers finished 8-5-3 in the regular season, marking O'Keefe's best record since joining the squad in 2016.

App State loses seniors Chasteen, Ian Bennett, and Felix Kollmannthaler to graduation, but a young, talented group and a top-3 finish in the Sun Belt Conference will have the Mountaineers seeking new heights in the 2019 season.

Fedders Leads Women's Cross Country at NCAA Southeast Regionals

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Three-time All-Sun Belt honoree Emily Fedders finished 91st in a field of over 200 runners to lead Appalachian State women's cross country at the NCAA Southeast Regionals on Friday.

The Mountaineers finished 21st of 33 teams in the meet with 567 points. N.C. State won the title with 70 points and Furman was second with 94 points.

Fedders posted a 6k time of 21:43.5. She ranked 111th at the checkpoint nearly halfway through the race and moved up 20 spots in the second half of the race to finish 91st.

Samantha Kolor placed 105th in 21:52.6. Her time represents a new 6k PR by over a minute. Phylissa Greeley was 112th in 21:55.9.

Elisa Sargent placed 128th in 22:06.1, Sarah Hajnos was 141st in 22:18.4, Katelyn Butler was 151st in 22:28.1 and Izzy Evely placed 162nd in 22:40.2.

The race concludes the season for the Mountaineers, who won four races during the 2018 campaign and captured the program's second Sun Belt title in the last three seasons.

Team Standings
1. N.C. State, 70; 2. Furman, 94; 3. Duke, 139; 4. Wake Forest, 163; 5. Virginia Tech, 181; 6. Virginia, 192; 7. Eastern Kentucky, 194; 8. Richmond, 256; 9. Clemson, 264; 10. Kentucky, 278; 11. Louisville, 353; 12. High Point, 391; 13. Liberty, 405; 14. North Carolina, 417; 15. Morehead State, 467; 16. George Mason, 476; 17. South Carolina, 479; 18. East Carolina, 481; 19. William & Mary, 488; 20. Charlotte, 565; 21. Appalachian State, 567; 22. Elon, 598; 23. James Madison, 627; 24. Wofford, 670; 25. Western Carolina, 689; 26. Campbell, 730; 27. UNC-Greensboro, 771; 28. Northern Kentucky, 793; 29. College of Charleston, 827; 30. UNC-Asheville, 831; 31. Coastal Carolina, 846; 32. Charleston Southern, 896; 33. USC Upstate, 1037.

Brown Leads Men's Cross Country at NCAA Southeast Regionals

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- Ryan Brown finished 92nd in a field of over 230 to lead Appalachian State men's cross country at the NCAA Southeast Regionals on Friday.

The Mountaineers finished 21st of 33 teams with 583 points. N.C. State won the team title with 83 points, with Eastern Kentucky finishing second with 90 points.

At the first checkpoint around the 4K mark, Brown sat in 105th, before moving up to 100th at the 7K mark. He would move up another eight spots over the final 3K to post a 10K time of 32:04.1.

Isaac Benz placed 114th in 32:31.7 after moving up 15 spots over the course of the race and Gable Dershem finished 120th in 32:41.4.

Ben Cignarale placed 122nd in 32:43.3, Collin Loy was 140th in 33:04.7 and Michael Flanagan finished 148th in 34:19.7.

This was the final meet of the season for Appalachian State, who won two meets during the 2018 season and placed second at the Sun Belt Championships.

Team Scores
1. N.C. State, 83; 2. Eastern Kentucky, 90; 3. Virginia, 102; 4. Furman, 116; 5. Wake Forest, 177; 6. Liberty, 218; 7. Charlotte, 222; 8. Virginia Tech, 231; 9. Louisville, 287; 10. Campbell, 289; 11. North Carolina, 291; 12. Kentucky, 303; 13. Duke, 356; 14. William & Mary, 360; 15. Richmond, 407; 16. East Carolina, 421; 17. George Mason, 428; 18. Morehead State, 450; 19. Elon, 520; 20. Coastal Carolina, 567; 21. Appalachian State, 583; 22. Charleston Southern, 612; 23. Clemson, 645; 24. Northern Kentucky, 687; 25. High Point, 731; 26. Davidson, 763; 27. UNC-Greensboro, 787; 28. College of Charleston, 801; 29. Western Carolina, 866; 30. USC Upstate, 875; 31. UNC-Asheville, 939; 32. The Citadel, 978; 33. Presbyterian.