UALR rally to beat A-State

JONESBORO — UALR found itself in familiar territory down two sets to one for the second-straight year in Jonesboro but like last year, the Trojans held strong.

UALR (17-7, 9-3 Sun Belt) took the final two sets and downed rival Arkansas State (11-16, 6-6 SBC) 28-26, 23-25, 11-25, 25-17, 15-12 Wednesday night.

Arkansas State outhit UALR 63-58 in total kills and .202-.201 in hitting percentage, but the Trojans held strong with a 75-66 edge in digs and a 9-4 advantage on the block.

Individually, UALR was led by sophomore Sonja Milanovic’s 24 kills while junior Edina Begic added 23 spikes. Begic completed the double-double with a match-high 20 digs while freshman Kelsey Leech and junior Capri Rino had 11 digs each.

Four players reached double-digit kills for ASU, led by Kelsey Sullivan’s and Sadie Clarks’ 14 spikes. Mallory Warrington added the double-double with 44 assists and 17 digs. Megan Baska had 13 digs while Markie Schaedig contributed 12 digs.

UALR returns to action Friday when it hosts ULM.

Lady Bisons defeat OBU

ARKADELPHIA — The Harding volleyball team picked up its fifth straight win on Thursday as they defeated Ouachita Baptist 3-0 (25-15, 25-14 and 25-15) in Great American Conference action. The Lady Bisons improved to 22-7 overall and 11-0 in the GAC.

Harding remains in sole possession of first place in the GAC standings with three regular season matches remaining. The top eight teams in the GAC make the conference tournament held in Hot Springs on Nov. 21-23.

The Lady Bisons extended their conference win streak to 28 matches after the win, which dates back to the 2011 season.

Senior middle blocker Alyssa Short had nine kills with zero errors and finished with a .818 hitting percentage. Senior defensive specialist Lisa Copeland had 18 digs.

Ouachita Baptist (12-9, 6-4) was led by Abby Pickett who had five kills. Chelsey Hess led the OBU defense with 11 digs.

It was the first time Harding has beating Ouachita Baptist in straight sets in Arkadelphia since 2008.

The Lady Bisons will be back in action on Tuesday as they host Arkansas Tech.


Wonder Boys open at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, play a 28-game home slate.

RUSSELLVILLE — The Arkansas Tech baseball program will play 28 contests at Tech Field, while opening the season with four games at Minute Maid Park, the home of the Houston Astros, the Arkansas Tech department of athletics announced on Thursday.

The season will open on Saturday, Feb. 1 as Tech faces UAM at Minute Maid Park. The Wonder Boys will also square off against Winona State, Henderson State, and Tarleton State in games in Houston before returning to the friendly confines of Tech Field for a 16-game homestand between Feb. 8 and March 4.

Tech opens the home portion of its schedule with a four-game set against Missouri Western on Feb. 8-9, before opening Great American Conference play with a three-game set on Feb. 14-15 against Southern Nazarene. Non-conference contests against Henderson State, Quincy, St. Cloud State, and Harding will be played before Tech hits the road again to resume GAC play on March 7-8 against Southeastern Oklahoma.

In addition to SNU and ECU, Tech will host GAC series against Arkansas-Monticello (March 14-15), Southwestern Oklahoma (March 28-29), and Ouachita Baptist (April 11-12), while playing non-conference dates against Rogers State (March 18), Southern Arkansas (April 8), and Oklahoma Christian (April 22) along the way.

The GAC baseball tournament will once again be played in Enid, Oklahoma, being played May 3-6 at the David Allen Memorial Ballpark.


Marquez, Greenwood earn monthly GAC golfer honors

RUSSELLVILLE — Harding’s Brittany Marquez and Ouachita Baptist’s Drew Greenwood earned the Great American Conference’s Women’s and Men’s Golfer of the Months honors for October, the conference office announced on Thursday.

Marquez (junior, Cascade, Trinidad) finished the fall portion of her season with three top-12 showings. She opened the month by taking second at the UCO Broncho Classic with a two-round score of 2-over par, 144. She carded a 2-under 69 in the opening round, the lowest single-round score in Harding history. After a tie for 12th at the GAC Preview, the shared third place at the Deltic Timber/Commercial Bank Classic.

Greenwood (sophomore, Hot Springs) and the Tigers participated in a pair of October tournaments and he notched two top-seven finishes. At the Heart of America Invitational, he opened with a 75, but came back with back-to-back even-par rounds of 71 to move up to seventh place. Two weeks later, at the UAM Fall Classic, he held the first-round lead after shooting a 2-over 73. He came back with a 1-under 70 to win the individual title by five shots.


Suns to play multiple regional opponents

RUSSELLVILLE — The Arkansas Tech Golden Suns softball team will play 24 contests at the Chartwells Women’s Sports Complex, while playing a non-conference schedule loaded with in-region opponents, as part of the 2014 schedule announced Thursday by the Arkansas Tech department of athletics.

The Golden Suns will open the 2014 season Feb. 7 against Midwestern State at the Southeastern Shootout in Durant, Okla., played Feb. 7-9.

After the six region games in Durant, the Golden Suns have some time off before heading to Kansas for a doubleheader against Pittsburg State on Feb. 22. Tech opens GAC play on Feb. 28-March 1 with a four-game set at East Central, before opening the home portion of the schedule on Tuesday, March 4 against Northeastern State.

Tech will host GAC series against defending champion Southeastern Oklahoma (March 7-8), Southern Arkansas (March 21-22), Northwestern Oklahoma (April 4-5), and Henderson State (April 18-19), while splitting their series with Harding, playing a pair in Searcy (March 25) and a pair in Russellville (April 8).

Tech will also host non-conference, in-region doubleheaders against Fort Hays State (March 19), and Minnesota-Duluth (March 20), while making a return trip to Northeastern State (April 22).

The GAC softball championship will once again be played in Bentonville, Ark. on May 1-3.