UCA rolls past Hendrix in opener

CONWAY — The Coach Clarence Finley era dawned with a rousing 109-59 victory over cross-town Hendrix College on Tuesday night before a crowd of 1,527 at the Farris Center.

Playing their first game under the direction of their interim coach, the Bears shot 49.4 percent from the field — 45.8 percent from three-point range — and forced the Division III Warriors into 26 turnovers and easily topped the 100-point mark in their debut.

Freshman forward Jalen Jackson of West Memphis topped the Bears with 22 points, hitting 9 of 12 from the field and 3 of 5 from beyond the arc. Sophomore guard David Berete added 14 points as the Bears placed five players in double figures.

Junior guard Lenell Brown made three three-pointers and added 13 points, while freshman forward Phabian Glasco scored 12 points and junior guard Aubrey Ball added 10.

Junior forward Luke Vance led the Warriors with 12 points on 6-of-9 shooting, to go with seven rebounds. Senior forward Coloton Primm had 11 points and sophomore guard added 10 points. Sophomore forward Will Roland came up with eight points off the bench and freshman forward Gearen Littlefield pulled down 11 rebounds.

UCA hits the road Friday for a match-up with SIU-Edwardsville in Edwardsville, Ill. The Bears are back home on Nov. 20 to face Louisiana Tech.

Hendrix opens the 2013-14 regular season against Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Mo., on Saturday.

Bronchos’ perimeter prowess too much for Lady Lions

FORT SMITH — Time after time, the UAFS Lady Lions made attempts at taking the lead against the University of Central Oklahoma Bronchos during Tuesday night’s non-conference basketball game at the Stubblefield Center

Each time, the Bronchos had an answer, flexing their perimeter prowess.

Sophomore guard Haley Weathers drained six of the Bronchos’ 10 3-pointers to power Central Oklahoma to a 66-57 win.

It was the Lady Lions’ third game in five days and their third loss to open the season.

UAFS held Central Oklahoma to 38-percent shooting from the field (22 for 58) for the game, but the Bronchos drained 10 of their 24 shots from beyond the 3-point arc – 42 percent – to keep the Lady Lions from threatening.

Weathers finished with 18 points — all coming on 3-pointers — to lead the Bronchos, who led 36-28 at halftime.

Central Oklahoma also won the rebounding battle as well, out-rebounding UAFS by five rebounds (43-38).

UAFS shot 39 percent from the field (22 for 57) — it was just 3-for-12 shooting from 3-point range — and shot only 50 percent (10 for 20) from the free-throw line. Freshman forward Justyne Huber, freshman guard Maya Perry and sophomore Danielle McFadden each had nine points apiece to lead the Lady Lions.

Freshman forward Kaitlyn Hopkins had six points and a team-high 14 rebounds to lead UAFS.


Blossoms fall to SAU

MAGNOLIA — The University of Arkansas at Monticello volleyball team suffered a 3-0 loss to Great American Conference rival Southern Arkansas on Tuesday night in the final road match of the regular season. Final game scores were 25-20, 25-13 and 25-19.

Despite the loss, the Blossoms (12-18, 2-11 GAC) posted its eighth match of the season with a team hitting percentage. UAM finished the match hitting .218 with 29 kills and 10 errors on 87 attempts. The Lady Muleriders (16-14, 6-7 GAC) countered at .324 with 50 kills and 16 errors on 105 attempts.

Senior Tori Bozzo led the Blossoms with seven kills and only one error on 22 attempts for a .273 individual percentage. Senior Holly Schweigert followed with seven kills. Junior Kayla Macadlo paced the UAM defense with eight digs.

Courtney Geesing led SAU with 13 kills. Hailey McNee added 10.

The Blossoms conclude the regular season this Thursday at home against Harding.

Golden Suns sweep Henderson State

RUSSELLVILLE — Senior Sara Motsinger led all players with 13 kills, senior Stephanie Channell finished with nine kills, while senior Amber Cerrillos dished out 34 assists as the Arkansas Tech Golden Suns (22-10, 9-4 GAC) swept the Henderson State Lady Reddies (4-23, 0-13 GAC) 3-0 Tuesday night at Tucker Coliseum.

Sophomore Morgan McKellar led the defense with 15, while junior Emily Todd followed with 14 digs. Junior Sierra Nighswonger totaled nine digs with three service aces.

Sophomore Katie Huff added seven kills, Todd had six, and freshman Morgan Hatwig had five. Freshman Shannon Helm finished with three kills.

Arkansas Tech will finish regular season play with a conference match against Southern Arkansas on Thursday.

Savage earns GAC weekly honor

RUSSELLVILLE — The Great American Conference has announced the league’s Offensive Player, Defensive Player and Setter of the Week for the second-to-last week of the volleyball regular season. Harding’s Liv Savage earned the Offensive Player of the Week honor; Southeastern Oklahoma State’s Courtney Miller won the Defensive Player of the Week while East Central’s Jessica Wilkinson claimed her second-straight Setter of the Week award.

Savage, a junior from Amarillo, Texas, hit .485 in victories versus Arkansas Tech and Northwestern Oklahoma State – wins that clinched a second-straight regular-season title and the top seed for next week’s GAC Championships for the Lady Bisons. Against the Golden Suns, she tallied 10 kills on 12 attacks, without an error, for an .833 percentage.


Harding ranks No. 39 in Division II

SEARCY — The Harding men’s tennis team will enter the 2014 season ranked No. 39 in NCAA Division II according to the fall rankings released Monday by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

Harding played and won two dual matches in the fall, collecting victories over Rhodes (8-1) and Arkansas-Fort Smith (5-4).

Head Coach Marco Ruiz’s team also competed in the highly-competitive ITA Central Regional in Springfield, Mo., and went 8-6 in singles competition and 3-3 in doubles.

Harding also played in the Ozark Tennis Academy Tournament in Bentonvillen and went 18-3 in singles matches and 8-1 in doubles.

The Bisons, ranked No. 5 in the NCAA Division II Central Region, will open the 2014 season on Feb. 5 against Hendrix in Conway.


Velazquez grabs GAC co-player of the week

RUSSELLVILLE — After tying the Great American Conference single-game record with three field goals, including a 38-yard game-winning field goal in Arkansas Tech’s 37-34 win over Southeastern Oklahoma, Wonder Boys kicker Randy Velazquez was named Great American Conference Co-Special Teams Player of the Week.

The honor is the first of his career, and Velazquez becomes the second Wonder Boys player to be honored as Player of the Week by the GAC, following Ketrich Harmon in Week 3.

The freshman’s three field goals and four PATs this week gave him a GAC-best 13 points scored this week.

Velazquez is 9-of-15 in field goals this year, and 30-of-31 on extra point attempts. The Dardanelle native has a season-long field goal of 41 yards, coming against Ouachita Baptist. He averages 60.8 yards on kickoffs, and has seven touchbacks to his credit.

The Wonder Boys will return to action Nov. 16, facing Harding at Thone Stadium at Buerkle Field.

Reddies move to No. 3 in Super Region 3 rankings

Henderson State moved up two spots to No. 3 in the latest NCAA Division II Super Region 3 Rankings, and remained at No. 4 in the American Football Coaches Association Poll.

The Reddies claimed back-to-back Great American Conference Championships with last week’s 66-24 win over Southern Arkansas.

Henderson State is one of only six unbeaten teams in NCAA Division II with three teams being from Super Region 3: No. 1 Northwest Missouri, No. 2 Minnesota State, and the Reddies.

Harding is ranked No. 10.

The top six teams in each of the four Super Region advance to the NCAA Division II Playoffs beginning No. 23. The top two seeds will receive a bye the first week of the playoffs, with the third seeded team hosting the sixth seed, and the fourth seed playing host to the fifth seed.

Henderson State completed its regular-season home schedule unbeaten (5-0) for the second consecutive year.


Trio earns SAA recogition

CONWAY — Three Hendrix College field hockey players were named to the All-Southern Athletic Association Teams on Tuesday. Freshman goalkeeper Gabryele Pochron was selected as the SAA Newcomer of the Year and named to the first team. Senior defender Jennifer Koller was placed on the first team as well and junior forward Erika Jasso was named to the second team.

Pochron, from Reading, Pa., ranked second in the nation with 18.07 saves per game. She was also second in the SAA with 253 saves and recorded a .738 save percentage. Pochron broke the Warrior program records for saves this season.

Koller, of Woodbury, Conn., ranked fourth in the nation and led the conference with a school record 18 defensive saves. She also scored on goal on the year. Koller ended her career as the all-time leader in defensive saves in program history. She was an All-Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Honorable Mention in 2011.

Jasso, from Oceanside, Calif., scored one goal and an assist this season. She led the Warriors with 23 shots and 16 shots on goal. Jasso was an All-SAA First Team selection last year and a All-SCAC First Team and SCAC Newcomer of the Year in 2011.