A roundup of Arkansas college athletics.
Ozarks blanks Hendrix College
CONWAY — Hendrix College lost to the University of the Ozarks 2-0 at Warrior Field Monday night. The Eagles (6-1-2) scored the first goal in the 39th minute off the foot of Layne Garcia. The Warriors (2-7) had chances to tie it in the second half, taking 10 shots, but most were high or wide. Ozarks’ Daniel Olvera Cruz tacked on an insurance goal with 4:41 left in the game. UO outshot Hendrix 19-17 overall and 8-3 on goal. The Eagles led in corner kick opportunities 5-4. Senior midfielder Ryan Stanowski took five shots, two on goal. Sophomore midfielder Jacob Warren also took five shots. Senior midfielder Michael Tasetano had a shot on goal. Junior keeper Nathan Myers recorded six saves.
CSM votes Johnson preseason All-Sun Belt
LITTLE ROCK — Marcus Johnson Jr. was named Preseason All-Sun Belt Second Team on Monday by CollegeSportsMadness.com. Johnson, who was an All-Sun Belt Second team choice and member of the All-Sun Belt Tournament team in his junior season with the Trojans, averaged 12.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 2015-16. He shot 47.3 percent from the floor to rank second among all guards in the league. He shot 46.6 percent from 3-point range to lead the Sun Belt, while his 75 made 3s ranked fifth in the conference. The Charlotte, N.C., native scored in double figures 20 times on the season and connected on multiple 3-pointers in 21 games. In Little Rock’s win over Purdue in the NCAA Tournament, Johnson totaled 10 points, eight rebounds and three steals.
Pair earns SAA honors
CONWAY — Hendrix College’s Lauren Dwyer and Leila Matsumoto were selected as the Southern Athletic Association Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, on Monday. Dwyer, a freshman outside hitter from Leawood, Kan., led the Warriors 3.45 kills per set as they went 2-1 over the weekend. She had nine kills and hit .320 with 11 digs in a sweep at Birmingham-Southern on Saturday. She recorded a season-high 15 kills and 23 digs in a five-set loss to #8 Emory. On Sunday, Dwyer had 14 kills and hit .273 with seven digs in a sweep at Millsaps. A six-rotation player, Dwyer also averaged 3.73 digs per set. Matsumoto, a senior libero from Honolulu, Hawaii, led the Warriors with 5.82 digs per set. On Saturday, she recorded 18 digs for a 6.00 per set average in a sweep of Birmingham-Southern. Matsumoto had a career-high 35 digs for a 7.00 per set average in a five-set loss vs. #8 Emory. She ended the weekend with 11 digs in a sweep over Millsaps. Hendrix will be back in action on Saturday at Centre College in Danville, Ky.
GAC announces players of week
RUSSELLVILLE — The Great American Conference announced the league’s Players of the Week recipients for the fourth week of the volleyball season. Arkansas Tech’s Hunter Eshnaur claimed the Offensive honor; Oklahoma Baptist’s Taylor Williams earned the Defensive accolade and East Central’s Taylor Turner garnered the Setter award. Eshnaur recorded her eighth and ninth double-doubles of the season, to give her 23 in her two-year career. In a sweep of Harding, she hit .400 with 16 kills and added 10 digs. Against Ouachita, she totaled 17 kills and 12 digs while hitting .350. Williams tied her career high with six total blocks in a come-from-behind win against rival Southern Nazarene. She opened her week by totaling four blocks in a 3-1 victory vs Southeastern Oklahoma State. She leads all GAC freshmen with 12 solo blocks this season, tied for the second-most solo blocks of any GAC player. Turner helped the Tigers score their first win against rival Southeastern Oklahoma State since Nov. 21, 2013, as she dished out 36 assists in the three-set sweep. She added a pair of aces and six digs.
Schaedig, Warrington take SBC awards
JONESBORO — Arkansas State seniors Markie Schaedig and Mallory Warrington were named the Sun Belt Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week and Setter of the Week, respectively, in an announcement by the league office Monday afternoon. A native of Little Rock, Schaedig put together an impressive opening weekend of conference play as the Red Wolves defeated Appalachian State and Coastal Carolina. She registered 55 digs for a 6.88 per set mark to lead the A-State defense. The libero picked up 19 digs against App State before posting a season-high 36 digs against the Chanticleers. She also had a service ace and only had one reception error in the two matches. This is Warrington’s fifth straight Setter of the Week award to open the season and the 10th of her career. The Lake St. Louis, native paced the Arkansas State offense to a pair of wins on the Sun Belt’s opening weekend of conference play. She handed out 84 assists (10.50 per set) in the two wins and also added 14 digs, 10 kills, two blocks, and a service ace. She dished out 30 assists in the sweep of Appalachian State before recording 54 in the five-set win over Coastal Carolina.
Brantley grabs football recognition
CONWAY — Hendrix College junior linebacker Jake Brantley was named the Southern Athletic Association Football Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Brantley, from Kilgore, Texas, led the Warriors with nine tackles in Saturday’s 42-14 win at Millsaps. He also had two tackles for a loss of four yards, including a sack for two. Brantley leads Hendrix with 21 tackles through three games and ranks fifth in the SAA in tackles for loss. The Warriors will take on Centre College on Crafton-Faulkner Field at Young-Wise Memorial Stadium on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Harding moves up five spots to No. 20
SEARCY — Harding defeated Arkansas-Monticello 57-7 on Saturday in Monticello and moved up five spots to No. 20 in the AFCA Division II Top 25 Poll on Monday. Harding at 4-0 is one of two Great American Conference teams in the top 25. Henderson State, the only other undefeated team in the GAC, is No. 7. Northwest Missouri State is the top team in the poll. This is the 33rd time Harding has appeared in the AFCA Poll since 2002 but the first time the team has been ranked No. 20. Harding hosts Ouachita Baptist, who received a vote in the poll, on Saturday at 6 p.m. at First Security Stadium.
Henderson jumps to No. 7 after win
ARKADELPHIA — Following its 45-17 win over Southwestern Oklahoma, Henderson State moved up to No. 7 in the latest American Football Coaches Association Top 25 Poll. The Reddies, 4-0 on the season, extended the nation’s longest road winning streak to 24 games with the win over the Bulldogs. Henderson’s last road loss came on October 29, 2011 to South Alabama 28-3. Henderson ranks third in the Great American Conference in scoring averaging 38.5 points per game, while the defense allows just 14.5 points per game, second in the GAC. The No. 7 ranking is the highest for Henderson since October 25, 2014 when the Reddies ranked No. 4. Henderson will travel to Russellville this Saturday to face Arkansas Tech with kickoff set for 6 p.m. Following Saturday’s contest with the Wonder Boys, the Reddies will play four of their final games at home.
GAC names players of the week
RUSSELLVILLE — The Great American Conference announced the league’s Players of the Week for the fourth week of the football season. Oklahoma Baptist’s Isaiah Mallory and Ouachita’s Kris Oliver split the Offensive honor while Southern Arkansas’ Stacy Lawrence and Tanner Hudson took home the Defensive and Special Teams awards. Mallory ran for a school-record 236 yards in Oklahoma Baptist’s 36-34 win, in triple overtime, at East Central. He scored the Bison’s first touchdown on a two-yard run. His second touchdown came on an 86-yard run, the longest rush in the GAC this season and the sixth longest in Division II. He has three-straight 100-yard games and his 551 rushing yards leads the league. Oliver ran for a career-high 237 yards as the Tigers defeated Northwestern Oklahoma State, 42-34. He scored on a one-yard run in the third quarter and a 67-yard dash in the middle of the fourth quarter. In two games against the Rangers, Oliver has 455 yards and four touchdowns. He ranks fourth in Division II with nine rushing touchdowns. Lawrence intercepted Tech’s Jabyes Cross in the end zone with 2:12 left in the game to preserve a 28-21 win for the Muleriders. The game-sealing INT came following a Mulerider turnover that gave set up Arkansas Tech inside the SAU red zone. He added seven tackles. Hudson helped SAU control the field position game with his punts as he totaled 148 yards on three punts for an average of 49.3 yards per punt. His longest, a 75-yard rugby punt, flipped the field from SAU’s 32-yard line to Arkansas Tech’s 3-yard line. The 75-yard punt ranks as the sixth longest in Division II this season.