A-State moves into regional rankings

JONESBORO — With first-place performances in its last two meets, the Arkansas State University women’s cross country team’s success has the Red Wolves listed 12th in the latest NCAA Division I South Central Region Rankings by the United States Track and Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) as announced this Monday (Sept. 30).

The Red Wolves, who are coached by Jim Patchell and Kyle Chandler, cracked the top 15 for the first time this fall in the third week of the 2013 NCAA-I South Central Region Rankings. A-State has claimed team titles in its last two appearances to date, placing first among 10 teams at the Saint Louis (Mo.) Big River Forest Park Festival (Sept. 13) and winning the 23rd annual 25-team Rhodes College Invitational lastSaturday (Sept. 28) in Memphis, Tenn. The Red Wolves started out this season with a third-place showing at the Brooks Memphis Twilight Classic (Aug. 31).

Arkansas State joins UT Arlington as the Sun Belt Conference (SBC) members to be listed in the regional rankings. Arkansas holds the top placing with Texas and Texas A&M rounding out the top three. Three in-state schools – Arkansas, Arkansas State, and Central Arkansas (13th) are among the 15 ranked teams in this week’s poll.

A-State was 10th in the USFTCCCA’s South Central Region Rankings prior to the start of the 2013 season.

The Red Wolves will be in action this Saturday, Oct. 5, at the 12th Annual Greater Louisville Cross Country Classic in Louisville, Ky., at the E.P. ‘Tom’ Sawyer State Park course.

Geschwentner earns conference honor

FORT SMITH — Competing in just her third meet as a Lady Lion, UAFS junior Kelsea Geschwentner etched her name in the women’s cross country record.

The Garden City (Kan.) Community College transfer covered the University of the Ozarks Invitational 5k course in a time of 18:52 on Saturday to become the first Lady Lion to win a cross country meet.

It was the third meet in as many opportunities for Geschwentner to lead the Lady Lions. She posted an 11th-place finish in the season-opening University of Central Oklahoma Land Run and a 28th-place finish in the Missouri Southern State Stampede.

Geschwentner, who is from McCook, Neb., helped lead the Lady Lions to their first meet championship, too. UAFS edged out in-state foes John Brown University, Ouachita Baptist, Arkansas Tech, University of the Ozarks and University of Arkansas-Monticello.


Hendrix shuts out Bacone

CONWAY — The Hendrix College women’s soccer team recorded their third shutout of the season by blanking Bacone College 3-0 at Warrior Field on Monday night.

Sophomore forward Samantha Lallas recorded a goal and two assists and sophomore Sydney King had two goals to lead the Warrior offense.

Lallas put the Warriors (5-3-1) on the board in the 42nd minute when she knocked in her own rebound. Just after halftime Lallas assisted King’s first goal of the game in the 52nd minute to put Hendrix up 2-0. Lallas and junior forward Emma Paul each assisted King’s final goal in the 57th minute. The score was the fifth of the year for King.

The Warriors and the visiting Lady Warriors (5-5) tied in total shots at 16 a piece, but Hendrix had a 7-5 on goal advantage.

Sophomore keeper Rachel Zweig recorded four saves in goal and junior Arianna Hart recorded a team save as well. Kyrie Stump had for saves for Bacone.

Hendrix will open Southern Athletic Association play on Saturday when they host Millsaps College at 6 p.m.


Begic grabs fourth SBC player honor

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – In a vote by the Sun Belt Conference coaches, UALR junior Edina Begic won her fourth straight SBC Offensive Player of the Week award. UALR (10-4, 2-0 SBC) began conference play 2-0 for the second consecutive season, winning at South Alabama 25-23, 18-25, 25-21, 27-25 before winning its home opener over Georgia State (20-25, 22-25, 25-16, 25-21, 15-12) on Sunday.

Begic becomes the first player in conference history to win the award in four consecutive weeks, surpassing former FIU player Yarimar Rosa’s three from Sept. 28-Oct. 12, 2012.

To set the new standard, Begic may have had her best weekend of her career. Against South Alabama, she matched a career best 7.75 kills per set (31 kills) for the Trojans. Begic completed the double-double with 12 digs.

According to the AVCA, Begic becomes the first player in NCAA Division I volleyball in 2013 with multiple 30+ kill matches on the season. She also became the first player for the second straight season with 30+ kills in a four set match.

Begic recorded her ninth double-double of the season on Sunday with 23 kills and a team best 18 digs in helping UALR rally from a two set deficit against Georgia State. She also had a career match best six aces, two of which came during the deciding fifth set.

UALR returns to action Wednesday when it hosts rival Arkansas State. First serve is set for 7 p.m.