Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Men’s Hoops Schedule Announced; Lumberjacks to play 16 home games in 2009-10

NACOGDOCHES, TEXAS (September 23, 3009) The Stephen F. Austin Lumberjack basketball team announced its 2009-10 schedule Wednesday, and the slate includes 16 home games, which ties for the program’s heaviest home schedule since the 1985-86 season. The 16-game Johnson Coliseum ledger includes the four-team Etech Lumberjack Classic in December and a November match-up with Texas Tech.

“I was very pleased to finally come up with a schedule that gives us a good number of home games,” said SFA head coach Danny Kaspar. “Certainly, the Etech Lumberjack Classic helped us in a huge way, in that respect. Having Texas Tech come to Nacogdoches is also a big thing and should be a huge draw with our fans. I think season-ticket holders will get their money’s worth this year.”

The 16 home games tie with the Lumberjacks’ 2003-04 total for the most in Kaspar’s tenure at SFA.

SFA will host Northwest Oklahoma State in an exhibition game on Nov. 9, then begins the season in earnest on Nov. 16 with a road game against Big 10 team Minnesota. The Golden Gophers are coming off a 2008-09 season that saw them post a 22-11 record, finishing seventh in the Big 10 and earning a trip to the NCAA Championships.

The Lumberjacks follow that game up with three straight home contests. SFA will entertain Jackson State on Nov. 21 then host Texas Tech on Nov. 24 before wrapping up the home stand with a Nov. 28 game against Huston-Tillotson. The game against Texas Tech will mark the first home contest against a Big 12 foe since SFA hosted the Red Raiders in the 1999-2000 season. The meeting will mark the third straight season for the ’Jacks to square off with Texas Tech.

Following the home stand, SFA will take to the road for a rematch at Jackson State on Dec. 1, then return to Johnson Coliseum to host the inaugural Etech Lumberjack Classic. The four-team field includes Southland Conference foe Central Arkansas, as well as Southern and Cal State-Fullerton. The Lumberjacks will take on Southern on Dec. 4, then square off with Cal State-Fullerton on Dec. 5. This marks the first time in 33 years for SFA to host a classic. The Tall Pines Classic in 1976-77 was the last regular-season tournament held in the Coliseum.

“I’m very appreciative to Etech and their organization for agreeing to sponsor our ’Classic,” Kaspar said. “This is a great example of how help from the community can assist us in creating a first-class, successful basketball program.”

The ’Jacks will travel to Farmville, Va., on Dec. 12 for the program’s first game against Longwood, then travel to take on Arkansas on Dec. 19. The game will mark the third time in four years for SFA to meet the Razorbacks.

The ’Jacks finish off their non-conference schedule with three straight home games. SFA hosts East Central Oklahoma on Dec. 22, Wiley College on Dec. 30, and Texas College on Jan. 2.

SFA starts Southland play on Jan. 9 with a road game against rival Sam Houston State. The Lumberjacks’ SLC home slate includes meetings with Central Arkansas (Jan. 13), UT Arlington (Jan. 20), Southeastern Louisiana (Jan. 23), Nicholls (Feb. 3), Northwestern State (Feb. 10), McNeese State (Feb. 13), Texas A&M-Corpus Christi (Feb. 27) and UTSA (March 6).

The Southland Conference Tournament is set for March 9-13 at the Merrell Center in Katy, Texas.

For ticket information, contact the SFA Ticket Office at (936) 468-JACK (5225).

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

SJC softball team dedicate Fall season to friend with cancer

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 22, 2009) The San Jacinto College (SJC) softball team is trading in their blue and white jerseys for pink Team Gabby T-shirts this Fall in honor of Gabby Romero, their friend who is battling cancer.

Romero, 17, was diagnosed with late stage renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer) in June 2008. After enduring surgery, experimental drugs and chemotherapy for more than a year, Romero is now in hospice care. Family and friends are by her side, including best friend Nicole Andrade, who met Romero when the two played softball together at Dobie High School. Up until her diagnosis, Romero was a vivacious teenager who kept a busy schedule as a member of both the school’s softball and volleyball teams.

“We grew a bond really fast,” Andrade said, who now plays for the San Jacinto College softball team. “I don’t think I’ll ever understand why this is happening, but I know that I’m very lucky to have her in my life. I know people always say their parents are their heroes, but Gabby is mine.”

Through Andrade, the SJC softball team and Head Coach Kelly Saenz were recently introduced to Romero during a weekly home church service. After noticing many of her supporters wearing T-shirts in bright pink, Romero's favorite color, the team decided to hang up their jerseys and join Team Gabby.

“We’re a community college that’s here to help the community, and Gabby is a part of it,” Saenz said. “She’s a fellow softball player, and we consider her a part of our team.”

Playing the sport that brought them together is proving to be difficult, Andrade admits. However, she visits Romero’s home almost daily and receives some sound advice from her pal.

“She enjoys talking to me about my future,” Andrade said. “She encourages me to further my education, make my life a good one, and to keep playing softball. Gabby sends a message through her battle with cancer, and that is to live life to its fullest.”

Monday, September 21, 2009

Dibbern, Ivanova nab Region XIV player of the week honors

PASADENA, TEXAS (September 21, 2009) San Jacinto College freshmen Alyssa Dibbern and Nadejda Ivanova have been named the Region XIV player and setter of the week, respectively, for the week of Sept. 14 – 20, 2009.

Dibbern, a 6-3 hitter / middle blocker from Bay City (Bay City High School), was the North Central Texas Invitational Most Valuable Player this past weekend, guiding San Jac to six-straight wins and the tournament title. SJC also defeated Temple College last Monday and Galveston College on Wednesday to open conference play. In the week’s eight matches she tallied 60 kills on 116 swings with only 19 errors, hitting .394. She added 9.5 blocks and 12 aces for the week.

Ivanova was the league’s top setter averaging just under 11 assists per game in San Jac’s eight wins last week. Offensively, the 5-7 setter from Chicago (Von Steuben Metropolitan Science Center) added seven kills with one error on 17 attempts, hitting .352. She also served up four aces and hit the floor for 42 digs (2.21 per game).

The eight wins last week gives 10th-ranked San Jacinto College a 17-4 overall record, 1-0 in conference play. San Jac returns home this week to face Lee College on Thursday, Sept. 24 at 6 p.m. All volleyball home games are played on the San Jacinto College Central campus, located at 8060 Spencer Highway in Pasadena.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

McNeese Golf to Play in UTA Classic

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 20, 2009) McNeese State's golf team opens its fall season by playing in the UTA Classic at the Waterchase Golf Course in Ft. Worth, TX on Monday and Tuesday.

Making up the Cowboy team will be Ben Suarez, David Wiggins, Corey Halsell, Derek Bonvillain and Dayton Bordelon.

Suarez led a five round qualifying tournament over the past two weeks by shooting one under par 359 while Wiggins was at 361 and Halsell at 363. Wiggins, Halsell and Bonvillain all posted the low single round, a three under 69.

UTA's tournament calls for 36 holes to be played on Monday and 18 on Tuesday.

It’s going to be a good tournament for the Cowboys to start off in. UTA is one of the stronger teams in the conference and the field will be 17 teams including seven other squads from the Southland.

Other teams entered are Central Arkansas, Houston Baptist, Louisiana Tech, Nicholls State, Oklahoma Christian, Rice, Sam Houston State, SFA, Texas State, UT San Antonio,UC Irvine,UC Riverside,UNO, Wichita State, North Texas and Western Kentucky.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

McNeese State Downs Savannah State 56-0

McNeese's Kentrell Bulter scores on a 44-yard interception return with 14 seconds left in the third quarter. (Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loca Photography, Copyright 2009, All Right Reserved)

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 19, 2009) Jumping out to a 28 point lead in the first quarter, number 8 McNeese State totally dominated a weak Savannah State squad, defeating the Tigers 56-0in the first game ever between the two schools.

Lead by running back Todd Pendland and quarterback Derrick Fourroux, the Cowboys raced out to a 42-0 lead at the half.

Pendland (Newton High School, Newton, Texas) gained 109 yards on offense and Fourroux (Erath High School, Erath, Louisiana) threw for three touchdowns; all in the first half, before head coach Matt Viator pulled them.

McNeese first got on the board on a fumble recovery by defensive end Desmun Lighten (Ouachita High School, Monroe, Louisiana) to take the score to 7-0, with the Matt Polansky kick.

The Cowboys followed up with a touchdown runs by Pendland; Fourroux 68-yard touchdown pass to Chris Royal and a second passing touchdown to Friddle to close out the first quarter.

Pendland added a 41-yard run to score his second touchdown with 5:33 left in the half. Fourroux flicked a four-yard pass to tight end Corday Clark (Glen Oaks High School, Baton Rouge, Louisiana) to close out the first half.

In the second half, tight end Elrick Jones (Clear Lake High School, Houston, Texas) got in on the scoring with a 4-yard run, followed 1:18 later with a 44-yard interception touchdown by linebacker Kentrel Butler (Patterson High School, Patterson, Louisiana).

Placekicker Josh Lewis (Denham Springs, High School, Denham, Louisiana) was 6-6 on PATs and Matt Polansky (Barbe High School, Lake Charles, Louisiana) went 2-2.

The Cowboys dominated almost every statistic, with 21 first downs to nine for Savannah State.

McNeese had 489 yards of total offense (288 rushing and 201 passing) while limiting Savannah State to 138 total yards.

The Cowboys are now 3-0 on the season while Savannah State falls to 1-2. McNeese will next face Tulane University in New Orleans, while Savannah State travels to Concordia College on October 3.

Attendance for the game was 13,912.

McNeese State Faces Savannah State in Non-Conference Game

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 19, 2009) The top two running backs in the nation will be on display tonight when McNeese State hosts Savannah State in a FCS non-conference game. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Cowboy Stadium.

No. 8 ranked McNeese is 2-0 on the season and coming off a 40-35 road victory over then No.2 ranked Appalachian State while Savannah is 1-1 and dropped a three point decision to Alabama State last week.

Toddrick Pendland, who has been instrumental in McNeese’s two victories this season, ranks No. 4 in the nation with a 139.5 yards per game average while Justin Babb has been just as significant in the Savannah offense as he’s averaging 153.5 yards per game rushing and is ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Pendland, a senior from Newton, TX, became the first Cowboy to ever run for more than 100 yards and catch passes for more than 100 yards in a single game when he did it in McNeese’s win over Appalachian State. For his effort he was named the national player of the week by The Sports Network. He also enters the game as the nation’s leading scorer with a 17 point per game average. He scored 20 points against Appalachian.

The Cowboy offense, which netted 522 total yards against Appalachian State, is also led by quarterback Derrick Fourroux. He’s been a solid performer under center in the first two games, completing 69 percent of his passes for 525 yards and four tds and averaging 304 yards per game total offense.

Savannah alternates a pair of quarterbacks, Kurvin Curry who has completed 17 of 28 passes for 225 yards and A. J. DeFilippis who has hit on 10 of 14.

McNeese’s lead receivers are Pendland, wide out Chad Davis and tight ends Corday Clark and Wes Mangan. Pendland has caught 14 passes for 155 yards and two tds, Davis has seven catches for 118 yards, Clark six catches for 137 yards and a score and Mangan five for 29 yards and a td.

Savannah State has one of the nation’s top 10 running games as the Tigers are averaging 237.5 yards a contest.

In its first two games this season, McNeese produced game winning scores late in the contest. Fourroux went over from four yards out in the final minute of play in the 27-24 triumph over Henderson State and rookie place kicker Josh Lewis booted an 18 yard field goals with only four seconds left to give the Cowboys the winning points against Appalachian State.

Next week the Cowboys travel to New Orleans to tackle Tulane and will then have an open date before starting Southland Conference play on Oct. 10 on the road against Stephen F. Austin.

COWBOY NOTES: McNeese will recognize most valuable athletes from the 2008-09 season at halftime of Saturday’s game. Those MVPs were John Pichon in men’s basketball, Shante’ Perry in women’s basketball, Toddrick Pendland in football, Kamryn Koch in soccer, Bethany Stefinsky in softball, Sarah Cartie in volleyball, Victoria Martinez in tennis,Taylor Freeman in baseball, Cory Vincent in men’s golf, Maggie Welch in women’s golf, Ben Chretien in men’s track and DeAnn Washington in women’s track.

FORMER COWBOYS AGAINST EACH OTHER: Former Cowboys Quinten Lawrence, Luke Lawton and Adam Henry will go against each other this weekend when Kansas City and Oakland meet in a NFL football game. Lawrence is a wide receiver and kick returner for Kansas City while Lawton plays fullback and Henry is the tight ends coach for Oakland.

Monday, September 14, 2009

H2O Frogs Release 2009-10 Schedule

FORT WORTH, TEXAS (September 14, 2009) TCU swimming and diving head coach Richard Sybesma announced the schedule for the 2009-10 season on Wednesday. The 14-meet schedule consists of four home meets that will be held at the University Recreation Center.

"I am excited about our schedule," said Sybesma. "It is highly competitive and will be fun to race with some of the best teams in the country."

The Horned Frogs will open the season with the North Texas Relays on Oct. 9 in Mansfield, Texas. The men will take on SMU and Incarnate Word, while the women will face North Texas, SMU, Tulane and Incarnate Word.

After a 13-day break, the women will return to action on Oct. 22 in Fort Collins, Colo., in a dual meet against Mountain West Conference opponent Colorado State. Last season, TCU snapped the Rams' four-meet unbeaten streak with a decisive 128-115 victory in Fort Worth.

The following day, the men will open the season alongside the women against MWC foe Air Force in Colorado Springs. The H2O Frogs return to the Academy for the second-straight year after splitting with the Falcons a year ago.

After hosting the annual Homecoming Alumni meet on Oct. 31, the H2O Forgs will travel to the west coast to battle against another conference rival, San Diego State, along with UC San Diego, Univ. of San Diego and Idaho on Nov. 6. TCU has won three of the four meetings with the Aztecs since joining the league in 2005-06.

The first conference home meet will take place 15 days later on Nov. 21, as the Wyoming Cowboys and Cowgirls will travel to Fort Worth. The Frogs will look to avenge a pair of losses in Laramie last season.

Selected members of the swimming squad will participate in the 2009 U.S. Short Course National Championships in Federal Way, Wash., Dec. 3-6, before wrapping
up the 2009 portion of the schedule at the Chesapeake Elite Pro-Am in Oklahoma
City on Dec. 19-20. The divers will conclude their fall semester in Austin,
Texas for the Texas Invite, Dec. 3-5.

The team will return to practice on Dec. 29, in preparation of opening the
spring season with a two-meet weekend in the Beehive State. TCU will travel to
Provo, Utah, to take on BYU on Jan. 7, before heading to Salt Lake City to
challenge Utah on Jan. 9.

The women return home for a meet against North Texas on Jan. 15, before hosting
New Mexico on Jan. 22. TCU owns a 13-1 overall record against the Mean Green and
have never lost to the Lobos in five meets, including a 127-106 victory last

After both teams travel to Shreveport, La., on Jan. 30 to face Centenary, the
squad's will return home and close out the regular season with "Senior Day"
against UNLV Feb. 6.

Postseason action will begin on Feb. 24-27 with the MWC Championships at the
natatorium on the campus Oklahoma City Community College. The Purple and White
have scheduled a last chance meet, competing in the Austin Grand Prix on March
4. From above, the divers will head to the Zone "D" Diving Meet in College
Station, Texas, March 12-14.

The Women's NCAA Championships will be held March 18-20 in West Lafayette, Ind.,
while the Men's NCAA Championships will run from March 25-27 in Columbus, Ohio.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pendland Leads McNeese to 40-35 Win Over Appalachian State

(Photo courtesy of McNeese State University Sports Information Department)
LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 13, 2009) The 20 points McNeese State senior Toddrick Pendland scored in the Cowboys 40-35 victory over Appalachian State last Saturday made him the FCS national scoring leader after two weeks.

That was the information passed along by the NCAA in its culmination of statistics from over the weekend. Pendland has now scored 34 points on the year for an average of 17 points per game, leading both the nation and the Southland Conference.

The Newton, TX native also ranks among the top five in the nation in all-purpose running and in rushing.

He’s third in all-purpose running with a 221.0 yards per game average and he’s fourth in rushing with 279 yards and a 139.5 game average.

But, that’s not all for the reigning SLC offensive player of the year. Pendland is also tied for 16th in pass receptions per game with a 7.0 mark on 14 catches in two games, is 44th in pass receiving yards per game with 77.5 yards a contest and he’s 78th in total offense with a 139.5 average.

Teammate and Cowboy quarterback Derrick Fourroux who has led McNeese to a 2-0 record, ranks 12th in the nation in total offense with a 304 average, is 18th in passing efficiency with a 160.86 mark and is tied for 78th in scoring with 12 points and a 6.0 average.

Also for the Cowboys, tight end Corday Clark, who is coming off a six catch, 137 yard performance against Appalachian State, is tied for 55th in receiving yards per game with 68.5 and Chad Davis is tied for 77 with a 59 yard average.

Freshman Champlain Babin is 22nd in kickoff return average with a 28.2 mark, and rookie Josh Lewis, whose 18 yard field goal provided the winning points against Appalachian, is tied for 58th in field goals.

As a team, the Cowboys rank among the nation’s top 20 teams in rushing offense (19th at 193.5 per game), are 17th in passing offense (262.5 ypg), 13th in total offense (456 ypg), 19th in passing efficiency (158.14) and tied for ninth in sacks allowed (0.5 per game).

In the Southland Conference team statistics, McNeese is No. 1 in rushing offense and sacks allowed and No. 2 in kickoff return average and turnover margin while Pendland is the leader in rushing, scoring and all-purpose running and Babin is second in kickoff returns.

The Cowboys, now 2-0 on the season, return to action Saturday when they host Savannah State in a 7 p.m. contest at Cowboy Stadium.

FINA REPORTS: No Positive Drug Tests at Wolrd Championships

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND (September 13, 2009) FINA, the international federation for swimming, diving and water polo, has reported than no athlete failed a doping test conducted at the recent World Aquatics Championships in Rome.

It has been reported that 391 tests were conducted; including 252 swimmers, 76 water polo players, 33 divers, 30 open water swimmers and 11 competitors in synchronized swimming.

FINA does not store sample for future testing, as do some other international sports federations, but is considering doing so in the future.

The championships saw 43 world records fall during the 19-day championships, mostly due to high tech suits. The suits will be banned at all levels of competitive swimming by the end of the year.

American Michael Phelps and Italy’s Federica Pellegrini were selected as the best male and female swimmers of the championships.

Phelps won five gold and one silver medal, in addition to setting two individual world records in the 100-meter butterfly and 200-meter butterfly at the bi annual event.

Pellegrini won two golds and set three world marks in the 200 and 400 freestyle.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


LAS CRUCES, NEW MEXICO (September 12, 2009) A furious fourth quarter rally fell short as the Prairie View A&M Panthers dropped a 21-18 decision to New Mexico State at Aggie Memorial Stadium on Saturday evening.

Prairie View, which hasn’t played a Football Bowl Subdivision school since 1979, scored its first points in school history against an FBS school after Brady Faggard recorded a 30-yard field goal with 9:55 left in the first quarter. A 47-yard run by junior running back Donald Babers helped put the Panthers in scoring position.

Down 3-0, New Mexico State (1-1) answered with its first scoring drive of the game as they went on an 11-play, 80-yard drive that was capped off by a Jeff Fleming 10-yard run. The PAT was good as the Aggies led 7-3. With 4:58 left in the first half, NMSU upped its lead to 13-3 after Fleming drove the Aggies 67 yards in 12 plays. On the ensuing drive, Prairie View moved into scoring position as the first half came to an end but a Jay Bluford interception killed the drive.

After a scoreless third quarter by both teams, NMSU jumped back into the scoring column as they took advantage of several Panther penalties early in the fourth stanza. Once again, NMSU put together another long drive that spanned 12 plays en route to a 21-3 lead via a Marquell Colston 4-yard scamper.

Down 18 points, backup quarterback KJ Black injected life into the Panther offense as the Western Kentucky transfer relied on his feet to make things happen. Black scored on a 9-yard run with 6:03 left for PV’s first touchdown of night. Faggard’s PAT sailed through the uprights to cut NMSU’s lead to 21-10. After a defensive stop by the Panthers, Black went vertical and moved the Panthers into scoring position after connecting on several big passes. Black cut into NMSU’s lead once again with his first career touchdown pass as a Panther after connecting with Anthony Weeden for a 27-yard pass. PV went for the two-point conversion and trailed 21-18 after Black scampered in the end zone.

With less than three minutes left, NMSU converted a key third down conversion and ultimately iced the game as PV ran short of timeouts.

Prairie View finished the game with 365 yards of total offense while NMSU finished with 305. Babers led the Panthers with 118 yards rushing followed by 92 from Michael Jason. Black topped all passers with 101 yards on 12 of 14 passing with one touchdown.

The Panthers return to action in three weeks on Oct. 3 against Grambling State in the annual State Fair Classic in Dallas at the Cotton Bowl.

Cougars Notch First Win of the Season in Overtime Against Texas State

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 12, 2009) The University of Houston soccer team claimed its first victory of the season in overtime against the Texas State Bobcats in front of 412 fans in Robertson Stadium Friday night.

Texas State forward Brittany Curry posted the first goal of the game in the 31st minute when she beat Cougar goal keeper Lauren Frazier in a one-on-one dual. Curry was the leading offensive player for the Bobcats recording three shots on goal.

“Texas State is a really good program,” head coach Susan Bush said. “I respect their team and their coach. It’s a battle every year. I thought they played a great game. No. 4 (Curry) took the ball, ran straight at our defense and we couldn’t stop her.

“In the second half, we gained momentum and changed our style of play a little bit, adding more offense. We told our team that this was a must-win game and they dug deep and produced results. I’m proud of our girls and thought they worked hard. We now have to focus on our battle on Sunday.”

On the threshold of what seemed to be another shutout, senior forward Nikki Echeverria crossed to junior midfielder Melanie Adelman who slid the ball passed goal minder Deborah Ross in the 80th minute to tie the game at 1-1.

“It was towards the end of the game and, at that point, I just wanted any goal,” Adelman said. “Everyone was hungry; there was only a few minutes left in the game. When I scored, everything around me went silent. I was just so happy. Everyone was running towards me and it was just a good feeling to get back in the game. That’s all I wanted at that point.”

The goal marked Adelman’s first as a Cougar while Echeverria tallied her fifth career assist.

The game remained a stalemate as the regulation clock wound down. After a short five-minute break, the Cougars entered their second post regulation period of the season. Nearing the end of the period, the two teams stood on the verge of double overtime. With less than a minute to go, Houston forward Morgan Vela passed a deflected ball to Adelman who crossed it to Jessica Zavalza. The sophomore forward headed the ball into the corner of the net, ending the game 2-1.

“It felt amazing to score,” Zavalza said. “It was my first header at UH so that made it 10 times more fantastic. Once I saw her (Melanie Adelman) running down the line, I knew she was going to cross it and I wanted to be there to finish. We worked hard and I’m glad we won.”

The goal marks Zavalza’s sixth career goal and fourth game-winning goal.

The win puts Houston at 1-4 on the season and drops Texas State to 2-4, in addition to improving its all-time record against the Bobcats to 7-1.

The Cougars will continue their weekend at home against McNeese State Sunday, Sept. 13 at 1 p.m. CT.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Texas Volleyball Downs Italy

(Photo by Darla Tamulitis-La Vita Loco Photography, All Rights Reserved)
By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

AUSTIN, TEXAS (September 11, 2009) In the friendly confines of Gregory Gym, The University of Texas Volleyball Team took on the Italian National A2 Team in their first home game of the season.

Texas had never faced a foreign opponent on their home court and came ready to take on the Italian powerhouse. They came into the contest with a 5-0 record and a number 2 national ranking by the AVCA Division 1 Coaches Poll and Volleyball Magazine current poll.

Texas took the first game 25-17 behind Destinee Hooker’s 5 kills and Ashley Engle's 12 assists. The scrappy Italians had five kills by Valentina Biccheri and 11 assists by Manuela DiCrescenzo.

In the second game, the Longhorns continued their dominance by winning 25-18, with Hooker having 9 kills and Engle with five.

Engle was coming off a tremendous week; leading the Longhorns to victory over No. 4 Hawaii, No. 10 California, and No. 19 Saint Louis.

The Italians jumped out to a lead early in the third game, 11-5, with Texas mounting a comeback with the score 16-10. Texas battled backed to within one point of the Italians (17-18), when they took a time out to regroup and attempt to break the Longhorn’s rhythm.

Michelle Kocher came to the serve and gave Texas their first lead of the game 19-18; rattling off 3 points to make the score 20-18 for the Italians.

After trading off points and with the score at 24-23 in favor of the Longhorns, freshman Cristina Doris came to the line and served the match point, giving Texas the game and match 25-23.

The two teams will face off again on Saturday, September 12 at Gregory Gym. Game time is 6:30pm.

McNeese Cross Country Looks for Success in Ruston

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 11, 2009) McNeese State cross country coach Brendon Gilroy looks for continued improvement from both his Cowboy and Cowgirl team on Saturday when they participate in the Louisiana Tech Mook Invitational in Ruston.

The meet will get underway at 9 a.m. and the men will run four miles and the women 4000 meters. Besides McNeese and host Louisiana Tech, other teams entered are Grambling, Southeastern Louisiana, Northwestern State, Centenary and Tulane.

“Very pleased,” was the way Gilroy summed up his team’s performance last week in its season opener.

The Cowboys and the Cowgirls hosted a cross country relay race comprised of two man teams. The Cowgirl duo of Amy Guinn and Alvy Carragher won the women’s race while the Cowboy twosome of Joshua Sawe and Johnathan Koenck finished second in the men’s relay.

These four athletes will be key performers for both teams in the Louisiana Tech meet.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


HOUSTON, TEXAS. (September 10, 2009) Jim Nantz, the signature face and voice of CBS Sports, will receive the President & Mrs. George H.W. Bush Community Impact Award at a luncheon in his honor on September 14 at the Houstonian Hotel. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Greater Houston Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

Now in its 9th year, the Community Impact Award is presented annually to an individual who has achieved unparalleled success in athletics and whose life reflects the highest level of moral character and integrity. Past recipients have included: UCLA Basketball Coach, John Wooden; U.S. Congressman, J.C. Watts; Former Dallas Cowboy Coach, Tom Landry; LPGA Golfer, Betsy King; Houston Texans Owner, Robert McNair; Olympic Gold Medalist, Mary Lou Retton; and, Chik-fil-A Founder, Truett Cathy.

An Emmy Award winner and four-time National Sportscaster of the Year, Jim currently serves as the lead play-by-play announcer for THE NFL ON CBS, including Super Bowl XLI and this season’s Super Bowl in Miami; the anchor of CBS's golf coverage, including the Masters and the PGA Championship; and lead play-by-play announcer for college basketball, including the NCAA Men’s Final Four. In addition to Nantz’s broadcasting accomplishments, Nantz co-authored with Eli Spielman the New York Times bestseller, Always By My Side (Gotham Books, 2008), which climbed to No. 3 on the New York Times list making it the highest ranking achieved in 2008 by a sports book. Always By My Side chronicles behind-the-scenes stories of some of the most dramatic moments in American sports while paying tribute to the man who inspired him to pursue his broadcasting dream, his beloved father.

Nantz graduated in 1981 with a degree in radio/television from the University of Houston, where he was recruited as a member of the golf team. He received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from his alma mater in May 2001 in recognition of his contributions to his profession and to the university. While a student at Houston, he held a variety of broadcasting jobs, which led to positions at Houston’s CBS stations KHOU-TV and KTRH Radio.

“Jim Nantz carries enormous appeal among sports enthusiasts, but I believe his most loyal fan base is right here in Houston,” said Wade Hopkins, Multi-Area Director of Greater Houston FCA. “From the moment he confirmed as our honoree, enthusiasm for this year’s luncheon has been phenomenal. Jim has deep roots within the University of Houston community; he also has many family, friends and business associates here who admire his character and are inspired by his accomplishments. We are very pleased that he is our 2009 Community Impact Award recipient, and we are excited that he is using his platform to help spread the word about Greater Houston FCA ministries.”

The seated luncheon will begin promptly at 11:30 am. Ticket prices start at $1,500 for a table of 10 or $150 for individual seating. For more information about the luncheon or to inquire about sponsor opportunities, contact the Houston FCA office at 832-229-3520.

About FCA: Since 1954, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes has been challenging coaches and athletes on the professional, college, high school, junior high and youth levels to use the powerful medium of athletics to impact the world for Jesus Christ. FCA is the largest Christian sports organization in America. FCA focuses on serving local communities by equipping, empowering and encouraging people to make a difference for Christ.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

McNeese-Appalachian State Football Game to be Televised

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 9, 2009) McNeese State’s FCS headline football game with Appalachian State on Saturday will be televised live in Lake Charles by Fox 29.

The station announced Thursday that it will carry the game live, the coverage being brought to fans by Billy Navarre and sponsored by Cameron State Bank.

The game, which carries a 2:30 p.m. local kickoff, will be the featured FCS game of the week and one of the headliners for the season. Appalachian State goes into the contest with a 0-1 record and ranked No. 2 nationally while McNeese State is 1-0 and ranked No. 16.

Fans will be able to tune into Fox 29 (KVHP-TV) or digital 29.1 for full coverage of the game.

This is one of four televised games this season on which McNeese’s Cowboys will be featured. The other three are the Oct. 10 game against Stephen F. Austin in Nacogdoches, TX, the Oct. 24 game against Southeastern Louisiana in Cowboy Stadium and the Nov. 14 game against Texas State in San Marcos, TX.

This will be the first meeting between the Southern Conference and the Southland Conference powers.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

McNeese's Viator Impressed with Appalachian State Offense

LAKE CHARLES, LOUISIANA (September 8, 2009) McNeese State head football coach Matt Viator told members of the news media at his Tuesday press conference that he knows that Appalachian State’s offense is good but that he’s really impressed with the Mountaineer defense.

The No. 16 ranked Cowboys travel to Boone, NC on Saturday to tackle the Mountaineers who have won three of the last four FCS national titles and are presently ranked No. 2 in the nation.

Appalachian State bowed to D-1 East Carolina 29-24 on the road last Saturday, having a last quarter rally fall short. The Mountaineers outscored East Carolina 17-0 in that last period.

“I know that their offense is good,” Viator said, “but I have really been impressed with their defense. They have nine starters returning and they probably have the two best linebackers that we will play against.”

The linebackers Viator is talking about are D. J. Smith and Jacque Roman. Smith is a junior who made 123 tackles last year while Roman is a senior and had 130 tackles. In last week’s loss to East Carolina, Smith topped the team with 13 stops and Roman was right behind with 11.

Other starters returning on defense are linemen Lanston Tanyi, Malcolm Bennett, Anthony Williams and Jabari Fletcher and backs Mark LeGree, Cortez Gilbert and Ed Gainey. Tony Robertson, who was a starter in the line last year before being sidelined with an injury early in the season, also returns.

On offense, Appalachian State is led by quarterback Armanti Edwards, the 2008 Walter Payton award winner. Edwards did not play last week because of an injury but Mountaineer coach Jerry Moore said that he expected him to play against the Cowboys.

McNeese coach Viator said during his press conference that the Cowboys could also have some of their injured players back for the game.

He gave no specifics but noted that decisions would be made this week after practice sessions.

The Cowboys opened the year with their two starting linebackers – Deron Minor and Geremy Pilate - on the sidelines wilth injuries , and had several others miss the game, most of them on the defensive side of the football.

Also, during the game backup fullback Ben Bourgeois was injured and Viator said that the junior from Sulphur would probably not play anymore this season.

Viator said that the upcoming game with Appalachian State was a great opportunity for the Cowboys.

“It’s a chance for us to go play the best in the FCS and see just were we stand,” he said.

The game is the first in a three game set between the two teams. Last year they signed to play each other two more years, a game in Lake Charles in 2013 and another game in Boone in 2014.

Saturday’s game will be the first between the two.

McNeese has played other members of the Southern Conference. The Cowboys are 2-1 against Georgia Southern and last played the Eagles in 2005. They are also 2-0 against Chattanooga but last played the Mocs in 1979 and they are 4-0 against Samford, having played the Bulldogs prior to them joining the conference.

Reliant Stadium hosting Rice vs. Texas in 2010

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 8, 2009) Reliant Stadium will play host to the 2010 Rice vs. Texas football game, SMG-Reliant Park and Lone Star Sports & Entertainment announced today. The teams will square off on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2010. Kickoff time has not been determined at this time.

"Reliant Stadium provided a tremendous setting for one of the great moments in Rice Football history last December with our victory in the Texas Bowl, and we are thrilled to know that it will host the opener of our 2010 season against the University of Texas," Rice athletic director Chris Del Conte said. "I expect the atmosphere for that game will be unlike any opener in recent memory. Football fans throughout the region should circle that date on their calendars and make their plans now to join us for a tremendous college football event."

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday, Dec. 18 at all TicketMaster outlets and online at

"Reliant Stadium provides the ultimate fan experience," SMG-Reliant Park general manager Mark Miller said. "With the history of these two great teams, we'd love to see these student-athletes have the opportunity of playing to a sold out crowd of screaming fans."

The game will mark the third time the former Southwest Conference foes have faced one another at Reliant Stadium, with Texas winning 52-7 in 2006 and 48-7 in 2003. Texas holds a 69-21-1 advantage in the series, which dates back to 1914. Rice last defeated Texas on Oct. 16, 1994, upsetting the Longhorns 19-17 on a rainy Sunday night at Rice Stadium in front of a national television audience.

Rice will return to Reliant Stadium for the first time since the 2008 Texas Bowl, when the Owls beat Western Michigan 38-14 to cap off the school's first 10-win season since 1949. For Texas, it will mark a return to the stadium where the Longhorns claimed the 2005 Big XII Championship en route to the national title.

"We are excited to help bring this great old Southwest Conference rivalry back to Reliant Stadium," Lone Star Sports & Entertainment president Jamey Rootes said. "Games like this, along with the Big 12 Championship game and the tremendous success of the Texas Bowl over the last three years, have established Reliant Stadium as one of the premier venues in college football."

Monday, September 07, 2009


HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 7, 2009) The Prairie View A&M women’s volleyball team came into last weekend’s TSU Tournament hungry for their first win of the season. After coming off hard-fought games against several strong programs over the past two weeks, the Lady Panthers have set themselves up to succeed.

The ladies opened up the tournament on Friday afternoon against Mississippi Valley (1-0), who came off a win against Dillard University earlier in the day. Prairie View jumped out to an early lead in all sets of the match and used the momentum to defeat the Devilettes 3-1 (25-18, 25-23, 25-13).

Sapphire Reid led the Panthers with 13 kills and hit .297 for the match along with 37 attempts and only two errors. She also added five assists, two blocks and a service ace. Cheri Lindsay added 11 kills and hit .281 for the match on 32 attempts and with only two errors.

Erin Fondel contributed with a team-high of 28 assists, three kills on six attempts, no errors and seven digs. Jasmine Hale came off the bench and added 13 digs, four kills and one assisted block.

Coming into day two of the tournament, the Prairie View A&M volleyball team split a pair of matches Saturday, defeating Dillard 3-2 (25-22, 25-20, 21-25, 20-25, 15-12) but losing to host Texas Southern University, 3-1 (23-25, 21-25, 25-21, 22-25).

The Lady Panthers defeated Dillard in a hard-fought match that went back-and-forth. Prairie View started out strong as they claimed a two-set lead over Dillard. However, Dillard was able to crawl their way back into the match and ended up winning the next two sets to force a winner-take-all set five. Despite dropping consecutive sets, Prairie View regrouped and defeated Dillard in the fifth set by a margin of 15-12 to win the match.

Cheri Lindsay led the way offensively with 16 kills while Sharonda Marshall added 14 kills. Lindsay hit a team-best .455 in the match with only one hitting error. Freshman Breanna McNeil added 10 kills while Sapphire Reid had nine kills and Shawn Williams recorded eight kills.

The tournament finale paired longtime rivals Prairie View and TSU as both teams entered with undefeated 2-0 marks. Unfortunately, the Lady Panthers couldn’t bring home the title as they dropped a hard-fought match to TSU 3-1.

Prairie View dropped the first two sets to TSU, 23-25, 21-25, while pulling off a great win in set three, 25-21. Jasmine Hale was able to contribute two consecutive big scores in game three that moved the Lady Panthers to a 24-21 lead. The Lady Tigers wouldn’t get any closer than three points the rest of the set and Cheri Lindsay put away the final point of the set to give Prairie View the set win. However, that would be the highlight of the match as TSU rebounded to win the tourney as they won the next set 25-22.

Sharonda Marshall came to play in the match as the Houston native recorded a team-high 18 kills and four total blocks. Cheri Lindsay also recorded another great performance with 16 kills and two digs.

“As a team we could have played better but we still have areas we need to work on,” said head coach Alicia Pete. “Once we have a lead in a match we need to seal the deal instead of giving the opponent the opportunity to come back in the match.”

The Lady Panthers finished second overall in the tournament with a 2-1 record. Erin Fondel and Cheri Lindsay received All-Tournament accolades as Fondel racked up a team-high 45 assists throughout the tournament while Lindsay recorded a total of 33 kills.

“Communication was our strongest point which will be the key to success for the rest of the year,” noted Pete. “Our setter, Erin Fondel, stood out the most with her wise decision-making by setting up big scores in big situations.”

The Lady Panthers are now 2-5 overall. The team travels to Lake Charles, La. for the McNeese Tournament that begins on Friday, Sept. 11.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Houston Concludes West Coast Weekend in a Loss against Loyola Marymount

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA (September 6, 2009) Loyola Marymount midfielder Tiffany Harrison netted the game’s lone goal in the 74th minute to claim the victory over Houston on Sunday afternoon at Sullivan Field in Los Angeles, Calif.

“Our program continues to compete in every game and fights for 90 minutes,” head coach Susan Bush said. “We are still struggling to put the ball in the back of the net. We will continue to hone our attack and work on our play in the final third.”

The match marks Houston’s third consecutive game where the Cougars have not given up a first-half goal. The Lions attempted to get on the board three times in the first 45 minutes but sophomore keeper Lauren Frazier did not allow them to capitalize on their efforts.

In the remaining 20 minutes of the first half, Houston put offensive pressure on LMU as the Cougars had a chance to get on the board. After two attempts by juniors Melanie Adelman and Jessica Rathweg, forward Lauri Byrne fired a shot between the posts. However, LMU goal keeper Allyssa Clark was able to block the ball before it reached the net.

Once play resumed in the second half, Houston kept Clark busy with four additional shots on goal including a last-chance effort by freshman forward Morgan Vela in the 88th minute of the game.

The loss drops Houston to 0-4 on the season as Loyola Marymount improves its record at 4-1.

The Cougars return home to Robertson Stadium for their next match against Texas State on Friday, Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. CT.

ASC Football Players of the Week Announced

By Robert H. Kelly
Copyright 2009 TexSport Publications

RICHARDSON, TEXAS (September 6, 2009) The American Southwest Conference announced the Football Players of the Week for the week ending September 5, 2009.

Hardin Simmons quarterback Justin Feaster, Louisiana College linebacker Donovan Williams and Louisiana College return specialist Detrick James were honored.

Feaster (Glen Rose, TX / Glen Rose High School) went 26-for-32 for 282 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions to help lead the nationally-ranked Cowboys’ 48-31 come-from-behind, season-opening home win over Whitworth. Feaster also rushed 10 times for 64 yards and two scores to spearhead an offense that produced 35 second-half points.

Williams (Vacheie, LA / St. James High School) made nine tackles – two solo and a half for a loss – and had an interception, a forced fumble and a half sack to lead the Wildcats’ 59-21 season-opening home win over Bacone. Williams also rushed for a three-yard touchdown in the first half.

James (Shreveport, LA / Evangel Christian Academy) had a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the third quarter to help the Wildcats put away a 59-21 season-opening home win over Bacone. James also returned two punts with a long of 43 yards and had a catch for 22 yards at the wide receiver position.

Jerry and Linda Fields Make Record-Setting $6 Million Gift To Texas State Athletics

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS (September 6, 2009) Texas State University President Denise Trauth announced Saturday that Jerry and Linda Fields of Houston have made the largest gift in support of Bobcat Athletics ever with a $6 million donation.
The gift was announced Saturday, Sept. 5 during the official opening of the new West-Side Complex at Bobcat Stadium before the nationally-ranked Bobcats opened their 2009 season against Angelo State. The recently-completed football stadium expansion facility was named in honor of the Fields prior to the grand-opening ceremony. Tours also were offered to Texas State students and the general public.

"This is a stellar day in the proud history of Texas State Athletics," Trauth said. "In appreciation of this gift, and because of their importance to the success of Bobcat athletics, we are naming this expansion the Jerry D. and Linda Gregg Fields Bobcat Stadium West Side Complex."

The west side expansion includes the addition of a Legends Suite Level and Champions Club Level with a total cost of $17 million. In addition to the donation by the Fields, the expansion project was funded in part by an increase in student fees that was approved in 2008 by the largest student voter turnout in Texas State history.

"Standing here, looking at what has been accomplished, is simply amazing," said Jerry Fields. "There's simply no comparison between the stadium we have for the first game of the 2009 season and the one the team played in during the final home game of 2008.

"It is impossible to get a sense of the true scope of this expansion from blueprints or concept art. In person, it's overwhelming," he said. "It is incredible. We're very proud to be a part of this."

The architect-engineering firm for the expansion is O'Connell Robertson and Associates, the contractor is Austin Commercial and the project manager is Broaddus and Associates.

The Legends Suite Level includes 15 suites. Each of the suites feature 12 permanent seats and four bar stools. Amenities include season tickets to home games, full kitchenettes, refrigerators and cabinets, a flat-screen television, operable windows that open and close for climate-controlled comfort, four VIP parking passes, and a suite attendant to ensure that Bobcat fans and their guests have the experience of a lifetime. Each suite also contains an elegant plaque that recognizes the contributions to the Bobcat football program.

The Champions Club Level features 450 club seats. The club level includes covered, outdoor seating and also an indoor banquet-style area with tables and additional seating. Packages include pre-game food and game tickets with pricing tied to seat location.

“This is a great gift and we are very appreciative of Jerry and Linda Fields,” said Texas State Athletic Director Larry Teis. “This will serve as a stepping stone for our continued expansion of the stadium.”

"At every step, the student body, faculty-staff, our alumni and the larger community have been with us," Trauth said. "With their continued support, we will reach our goal of taking our football program to the next level."

The Fields are among Texas State’s most generous benefactors. Their recent gift brings their total contributions to Texas State to approximately $9.1 million. They are co-chairs of Texas State’s Pride in Action fund-raising campaign. The campaign has five pillars: academic excellence, a new performing arts center, an alumni center, athletics and the university library.

In addition to the $6 million gift to Athletics, Jerry and Linda Fields' generosity has positively impacted all areas at Texas State – from the establishment of two chairs and two professorships in the McCoy College of Business to the Alumni Center.

Jerry Fields, a 1969 business graduate of Texas State, is founder, chairman and chief executive officer of J.D. Fields & Co., a worldwide supplier of steel products headquartered in Houston, with regional offices in Dallas, Tulsa, New Orleans, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles and Guadalajara, Mexico.

His wife, Linda Gregg Fields, is a 1966 graduate of Texas State and a native of San Marcos.

Jerry Fields was a vice president of L.B. Foster Co. before leaving in 1985 to establish his own business. He and his wife are well-known philanthropists and are involved in a number of charitable organizations, including the American Cancer Society and the Ronald McDonald House. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Houston Museum of Natural Science. She is on the Ronald McDonald House Board of Directors.

Saturday, September 05, 2009


WACO, TEXAS (September 5, 2009) The Baylor University athletics department launched a new arm of its official website Saturday, when the Baylor Athletic Experience debuted as a branch of The site ( is a comprehensive vista of Baylor athletics that showcases the department’s success and excellence through various sights, sounds, videos and links.

"The Baylor Athletic Experience is an innovative and exciting communication vehicle to share our program with the Baylor Family in a cost effective manner," Baylor Director of Athletics Ian McCaw said.

Baylor has decreased the scope of its publications during the 2009-10 academic year, and continues to shift much of its communication initiatives online.

Baylor Coordinator of New Media Brad Sheffield said the move away from printed to digital communication is a natural progression in order to satisfy the growing need to increase the department’s online presence and to tell the story of Baylor athletics using new technologies.

“We will continue to provide our fans and alumni with the most accessible and progressive means possible to follow Baylor sports through all available technologies,” Sheffield said. “Whether that is our traditional website, the new Baylor Athletics Experience, or our various social networking mediums.”

The Baylor Athletics Experience is a vast project highlighting the achievements -- on and off the field and court -- and successes of Baylor’s overall athletics department, as well as comprehensive links and information on each of the school’s 18 programs. The site includes more than 20 videos showcasing Baylor’s individual sports programs, facilities, campus as well as the Waco community.

Rice Beats Cal State Northridge 3-0 in Volleyball

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA (September 5, 2009) The Rice Owls volleyball took care of business in defeating Cal State Northridge 3-0 at the USF/Asics Challenge on the University of San Francisco campus. Game scores were 25-12, 25-18, and 25-18. Rice moves to 6-1 on the year, while the Matadors drop to 2-3.

“It was a solid performance by the team,” said Rice head coach Genny Volpe. “I’m proud of how well they controlled the ball and we transitioned extremely quick. The players were sharp and focused and that is nice to see after winning last night’s five-set match.

The Owls hit .500 in set one, .382 in set two, and .194 in set three for a .361 match hitting percentage. CSN, meanwhile, only hit .064 for the match (-.031, .167, and .062).

Rice was led by Natalie Bogan’s .609 hitting percentage with a match-high 15 kills (15-1-23). Bogan also had 8 block assists and Rice as a team had 10 team blocks.

“Natalie Bogan was phenomenal today,” said Volpe. “I also thought that Meredith Schamun did a great job in distributing the ball.”

Also for Rice, outside hitter Ashleigh McCord had 9 kills and Jessie Boulavsky added 8 kills. Tracey Lam had 14 digs to run her consecutive double-digit dig streak to 47 matches.

For the complete box score, click

The Owls now play San Francisco at 9 p.m. (CT) Saturday night.

Rice Wins Johnny Morriss Invitational

HOUSTON, TEXAS (September 5, 2009) The Rice men’s cross country team won the Johnny Morriss Invitational hosted by the University of Houston with three Owls placing in the top 10 for a total of 31 points. Houston followed with 43, Sam Houston State was third (58), and Houston Baptist was fourth with 81 points.

“I thought our team ran a nice, solid pace,” said Rice head coach Jon Warren. “Our runners followed the race plan and today’s effort will certainly benefit us in future meets this season.”

Rice was led by Michael Trejo’s third place finish. He covered the 4800m course in 15:41. Gabe Cuadra was sixth (15:47), and Scott Zivick was eighth (15:54).

Other Owl finishers were Matt Carey in 12th (15:59), James Llamas (16:06) placed 14th, and Greg King (16:43) finished 27th.