Department expands, players up their game

by Abby Ferguson
Sports Editor

Transylvania athletics has expanded tremendously over the last year. New additions announced this fall will bring an equestrian program and competitive cheer and dance come 2012-2013, in addition to the lacrosse program announced in the spring. The university also acquired new land that will potentially be used for an athletic complex for field hockey, soccer and lacrosse.

“The land purchase has the potential to transform not just athletics, but the whole Transylvania community. This also will have a significant impact on the city of Lexington and the downtown area,” said Director of Athletics Jack Ebel.

Along with these new additions this fall, Transy’s success in athletics again gained the university respect.

“All of our teams are well respected at the conference level and regionally are always in the hunt for top billing,” said Ebel.

Here is a quick look at the 2011 fall season.

Women’s cross-country was led by senior Betsy Heines, who, after earning an All-Conference spot, finished 103rd among 251 participants at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional, helping Transy to a 33rd finish. Others who helped lead the team were juniors Ria Keegan and Laura Clark, sophomore Erica Noe and first-year Alexis Carey.

First-year Stephen Hall led the men’s cross-country team, while fellow first-years Shane Metzger and Ben Lyvers, and juniors Jordan Evans and Jett Glass, finished strong as well.

Both men’s and women’s golf had a strong fall showing. The women finished second in the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference tourney for the third straight year.

Senior Megan Foley led the team yet again and was honored with All-HCAC honors for the fourth year in a row. First-year Jerra Kelsey also received honors by being named HCAC Freshman of the Year.

The men are now tied for 10th in the latest Golf World and Nike Golf Coaches’ Poll. They closed out their fall season by capturing the Manchester College Fall Invitational in October.

Senior Justin Tereshko led the way by earning medalist honors, while sophomore Clay Hinton tied for fourth and sophomore Jantzen Latham was seventh overall. They pick back up in the spring at the Jekyll Island Invitational in Georgia.

Success continued for the Pioneers as women’s soccer made it the HCAC semifinals. The nationally ranked women had five players earn All-HCAC honors.

Senior Elizabeth Schmitt, junior Natosha Boden, sophomores Amy Ghibaudy and Anne Marie Dumaine, and first-year Alyssa Kruse were all chosen for the first team. Pioneers on the second team were senior Kara Hansel and junior Ashley Cobane. Finally, sophomore Carley Williams was picked for the HCAC All-Sportsmanship team.

After capturing the HCAC regular-season crown, the men’s soccer season ended in the semifinals of the Heartland Conference tournament. Sophomore Evan Sizemore was named the HCAC Defensive Player of the Year for his success on the back line for the Pioneers.

For women’s tennis the fall season ended with a win over Anderson University, a victory that clinched the Heartland Conference tournament championship and earned the team’s second trip to the NCAA Division III championship. With this success came great honors. Head coach Chuck Brown was named Coach of the Year for the third consecutive year, and senior Kelsey Fulkerson earned the Heartland Conference Most Valuable Player honor for the second straight season.

Joining Fulkerson on the All-HCAC team were senior Stephanie Townsend and junior Kaitlyn Hizny. Senior Andi Mong and sophomore Torsie Haugli were honorable mentions while junior Caroline Tapscott earned All-Sportsmanship team recognition.

Senior Rebecca Luking’s record-breaking season led volleyball to a tie for the regular-season HCAC volleyball title. Luking now owns the Transy career and single-season records for both assists and aces.

Luking’s success got her named to the All-HCAC squad along with sophomore Meghan Bowers. First-year Lauren Ketron was honorable mention. Ketron and fellow first-year Rachel D’Agnillo were voted to the HCAC All-Freshman team. First-year Amber Jackey rounded out the honors by receiving a place on the HCAC All-Sportsmanship team.

Overall Transy received 10 HCAC Player of the Week honors in the fall. And with this success, the winter sports are off and running.

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