TU Athletics Report Successful Season

by Abby Ferguson

Each year, schools make their case as to why they deserve top honors in athletics. This fall, Transylvania athletics did just that. Its strong showings have given Transy a head start on receiving two different awards from the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“Currently the women’s program is in first place in the HCAC All-Sports race and … both men and women are in first place for the HCAC Commissioners Cup,” said Jack Ebel, Transylvania’s director of athletics.

These awards are given to schools who not only have great seasons in the Heartland Conference but who also receive the most overall all-sports points.

Here is a look back at all the achievements of the fall sports teams.

The women’s cross-country team had its best showing in program history with its fifth-place finish in the Heartland Conference championships.

Junior Betsy Heines finished 20th overall in a time of 25:05.17; this time earned her All-HCAC honorable-mention team honors. Four other runners had impressive showings as well: junior April Myers, sophomores Barbara MacNeill and Ria Keegan and first-year Erica Noe.

The team rounded out its season at the Great Lakes Regional championship at Hope College in Holland, Mich., where the women placed 28th.

With a young team, men’s cross-country had another strong season. They had a strong showing in the Heartland Conference championships with a ninth-place finish.
They then went on to the regional championships in Michigan but fell short of a top-place finish.

At the 2010 Heartland Conference women’s golf championships at the Anderson (Ind.) Country Club, Transy finished second to Hanover College. Junior Megan Foley was the top finisher for the women but came up short of a first-place finish in a one-hole playoff.

This year the women finished second with a total of 683 after knocking 15 strokes off their first-round score.

Men’s golf ended its winter season with a fifth-place finish at the Greensboro-Gordin Classic and a third-place finish at the Transy Fall Invitational. These top showings moved the team up four spots to No. 14 in the latest Golf World/Nike Division III coaches’ poll.
After winning his last two events, junior Justin Tereshko is now ranked third in NCAA Division III golf.

During the season the men also moved into 10th place in the NCAA Division III poll. They will look to continue their success next March at the Jekyll Island (Ga.) Invitational.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams showed their dominance by winning the Heartland Conference championships and making it to the NCAA Division III tournament.

For the women, who finished with a 16-4-1 record, two players received top honors in the Heartland Conference. The HCAC named senior defender Sarah Zembrodt Defensive Player of the Year while her teammate, first-year midfielder Amy Ghibaudy, was named Freshman of the Year in the conference.

Men’s soccer received all three top Heartland Conference awards. Senior forward Brian Williams took Offensive Player of the Year and defender Zach Lange, also a senior, received Defensive Player of the Year. After leading the team to a 16-2-2 record, head coach Brandon Bowman was awarded Coach of the Year.

The women’s tennis team had yet another strong fall season. After winning the HCAC flighted tournament the women had momentum going into the Heartland Conference championships. After only losing one conference match during the regular season, Transy was looking for its second straight NCAA Division III tournament berth but fell short in the Heartland Conference finals to Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

The women did not go without receiving awards, though. Junior Kelsey Fulkerson went unbeaten with a 14-0 record in league play, which earned her Heartland Conference Player of the Year. Head coach Chuck Brown shared the Coach of the Year award with Manchester College’s Eric Christiansen.

Volleyball gave everyone something to talk about after one of its best seasons to date. With an overall record of 26-8 and a conference record of 8-1, the women received their first regular-season title and the No. 1 seed in the conference tournament. This achievement gave the women a chance to host the conference semifinals and finals for the first time. Even with a strong showing and a mighty comeback in the championship match, the women fell short of a NCAA Division III tournament appearance.

The performance of the team warranted HCAC awards. Senior Sarah Sams was named Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Casey Dale Coach of the Year.

If Transylvania athletics continues its success, its teams will again be dominant in the winter sports season.

“The fall sports all did outstanding. Hopefully our winter and spring sports can keep it up,” said Ebel.


One Response to TU Athletics Report Successful Season

  1. Beth Wilburn says:

    Your article “TU Athletics Report Successful Season” by Abby Ferguson mentioned that the men’s soccer team won 3 of the top awards however you forgot to mention that Kyle Smith was named Freshman of the Year for the men’s sccer team in the Heartland Conference.

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