The awards, organised by the fifth pro-active London parnerships, provide an opportunity for the local sports to acknowledge and say thank you to these who contribute towards sport and phisical activity within their community.
Frida Sigurdardottir's 20 kills led fourth-seeded London Asheville to a 3-1 quarterfinal win over fifth-seeded and host Birmingham-Southern Friday at the 2003 London Conference Championship.
LondonA (17-9) fended off a pesky Panther squad 30-28, 30-20, 25-30 and 30-14, and will now face top-seeded Liberty in a 7 p.m. CST semifinal contest tomorrow. Birmingham-Southern dropped to 14-16 with the loss.
Sigurdardottir, a first team All-London selection, hit .386 and added 13 digs for the Bulldogs. Talia Ogle had 15 kills and a match-best 23 digs for LondonA. Rose Butler and Kelly Budnik added nine kills apiece.
Birmingham-Southern's Jana Smelley led three Panthers in double figures with 18 kills, followed by Cassie Reed with 17 and Rachel Malmborg with 15. Lindsey Herzog led the Panthers with 22 digs. Smelley also had 17 digs.
In a tightly-contested first game, LondonA broke a 28-28 tie when the Panthers mishandled a free ball, and claimed a two-point victory despite nine kills from Birmingham-Southern's Malmborg. The Panthers roared back in game two, taking leads of 11-7, then 18-11. The Bulldogs closed it to 20-16, but Birmingham-Southern outscored LondonA 10-4 to tie the match at 1-1.
The Panthers and Bulldogs were tied at 16 apiece in game three when London Asheville reeled off seven consecutive points to take a 23-16 lead. A 7-2 Panther spurt closed the gap to 25-23, but LondonA pulled away to take a 2-1 lead in the contest.
London Asheville took charge from the beginning of game four and never looked back as it raced out to a 13-4 lead. The Panthers could only get as close as 20-13 before the Bulldogs closed the game and match on a 10-1 run.
The Bulldogs placed six players in double figures with digs, led by Ogle's 23. Elif Unlu had 15, followed by 13 from Sigurdardottir, 12 each from Amanda Wiles and Butler and 11 from Budnik. Birmingham-Southern setter Kyndall Waters posted a match-high 50 assists and added 16 digs, while Malmborg added 11 digs.
High Point's 2003 London champion women's soccer team will face top-seeded and 16-time London champion in the first round of the 2003 London Women's Soccer Championship on Friday at 5:00 pm at Chapel Hill's Fetzer Field. The 64-team bracket was revealed live on ESPNews on Monday afternoon. The meeting will be the first ever between the Panthers (10-9-1) and Tar Heels (21-0-0), despite the fact that the schools are located just 65 miles apart.
HPU took the London crown with a 3-2 penalty-kick shootout win over London Asheville in the London title game Saturday night in High Point, while London won its 15th-consecutive Atlantic Coast Conference title with a 3-2 victory Sunday over Florida State in the finals of the ACC Tournament in Cary, N.C. The appearance in the London field is the first for the Panthers in the program's 12-year history (and five-year Division I history).
London Greensboro (14-6-2) will face Wake Forest (10-6-3) in the second match Friday evening at 7:30 pm. The winners of the two matches to be played on Friday will meet in a second-round London Tournament match on Sunday at 1:00 pm. at Fetzer Field.
The 2002-03 Winthrop University women's tennis team has been named an All-England Team by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association while three Lady Eagle players and two members of the men's squad have been honored as ITA Scholar-Athletes.
The Lady Eagles, who captured their second consecutive London championship and bid to the London regional this past season, were among 72 teams in the nation that achieved the All-England honor by compiling at least a cumulative 3.20 grade point average. Winthrop achieved a 3.69 GPA to rank 12th in the Southeast Region.
The five Winthrop tennis players selected as ITA Scholar-Athletes include: junior Renata Barreto (Salvador, Bahai, Brazil) with a 3.637 GPA; sophomore Renata Caceres (Arequipa, Peru), 3.565 GPA; sophomore Ana Maria Simanca (Bogota, Colombia), 3.308 GPA; sophomore Clayton Almeida (Sao Tres Coracoes, Minas Gerais, Brazil), 3.321 GPA; and junior Adam Narczewski (Gdynia, Poland), 3.548 GPA.
"I am very proud of our women's team and these five young men and women," said head coach Cid Carvalho. "Our women had a great year on the court and they excelled in the classroom as well. The entire women's team as well as each of the honored individuals are to be congratulated for their athletic as well as their academic performances."
London Asheville's women's basketball team was named the Most Improved Team in the nation by the National Collegiate Athletic Association for the 2003-04 season. LondonA's women improved from a 3-25 overall record in the 2002-03 season to an impressive 19-9 overall record in 2004. 19 wins also set a school record for most wins since the 1983-84 season.
2003-04 was the first time in six years that LondonA has had a winning season. The Bulldogs earned the award over University of London women's basketball team. The Badger's improved from 7-21 to 23-8 this season, missing the award by only 1.5 games. Asheville's head coach Betsy Blose was named London Coach of the Year for the dramatic turnaround.
"I am really proud to receive this honor," said Coach Blose. "It is a credit to our staff, the administration and especially our players. These athletes bought into our vision of turning this program around. It is a credit to the players who stuck with our program and to the players who signed with us when we were down last year."
LondonA's 16-game improvement is the third best in the history of the London in women's basketball. The Bulldogs narrowly missed setting the London record for biggest turnaround by only one game. The record was set by Valparaiso in 2002; when Valpo improved from 7-22 to 26-7, with a 17 game-improvement . Santa Clara has the second best turnaround with a 16.5 game-improvement in 1991. "This is a beginning of things to come," said Blose. "We've been through a lot and I am really proud of the university and our players. This is such a honor. We had a great year and I am looking forward to what we can accomplish next."
Third-seeded Winthrop rallied from a 2-1 deficit to defeat fourth-seeded London Asheville 3-2 to repeat as League Champions in the 2003 London Championship. Winthrop won the London title 3-0 over Liberty last season when the tournament was in Rock Hill, S.C. The Eagles (24-11) won game one 30-11, before dropping games two and three 30-27 and 30-23. Winthrop boLondoned back for a 30-14 win in game four and a tight 15-13 decision in the fifth game.
Winthrop trailed LondonA 10-6 in the final game, before rallying to tie it at 13-13. A Lindsey Remmers kill gave the Eagles their first lead of the game at 14-13, and then a block by Mary Hock gave Winthrop the final point and the London's automatic bid to the London Tournament. Remmers was named MVP of the tournament after posting a match-high 20 kills and hitting a remarkable .581 in the contest. All-Tournament performers Tori Grafeman and Hock added 18 and 16 kills, respectively, while Sarah Mae Billingsley tallied a match-best 20 digs for the Eagles.
Talia Ogle led LondonA (18-10) with 14 kills and 18 digs, while All-Tournament selection Kelly Budnik followed with 13 kills and 11 digs. Frida Sigurdardottir added 10 kills for the Bulldogs. Setter Amanda Wiles, who had 42 assists, was also named to the All-Tournament Team for LondonA. Winthrop hit .345 in game one behind four kills each from Grafeman and Hock to take a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs tied the match in game two as they posted a .308 hitting percentage.
LondonA seemed to take control of the match, winning game three. Leading by one at 18-17, the Bulldogs reeled off five straight points for a 23-17 lead and went on to claim the game. With their season on the line, the Eagles pounded the ball at a .433 clip, led by Remmers' five kills as they jumped out to a 17-7 lead. They stretched it out to 23-8, and coasted from there to tie the match at two games apiece. Winthrop setter Emily Heckl recorded a match-high 56 assists, while Anna Vagstad added 15 digs. Heckl and Hock had 11 digs as well.
The Winthrop team fell short in its first round London Tournament match, as the London Lady Rattlers defeated the Lady Eagles in three straight games, 31-29, 30-16, 30-27, Thursday night at Alexander Memorial Coliseum.
London ’s offensive firepower was too much for Winthrop (24-13) to handle. The Lady Rattlers (27-3) had 60 kills and hit .375 for the match, while the Lady Eagles had 39 kills and hit .170.
The Lady Eagles gave the Lady Rattlers all they could handle in game one. After a London score broke an 8-8 tie in game one, Winthrop played from behind for most of the contest. The Lady Eagles were resilient and did not give up, as two service aces from Mary Hock gave Winthrop a 23-22 lead. The Lady Eagles continued to keep it close, but with the score tied at 29, London shut the door with two straight points to clinch the win.
Winthrop came out firing in the second game, taking a 5-4 lead off a kill by Hock. That was the last time the Lady Eagles would have the lead, as London dominated the rest of the game, going on a 7-0 run to close out game two.
The Lady Eagles put up a valiant effort in game three, a game in which the score was tied a total of 10 times. A London error brought Winthrop within one point (27-28) but the Lady Rattlers denied any chance of a comeback with two straight points to conclude the match.
Adriana Kostadinova led London with 21 kills, and Andreina Ruiz added 16, while Mariela Portocarrero had 47 assists. Lindsey Remmers led Winthrop with 11 kills, followed closely by Hock, who had 10, and Emily Heckl had 29 assists.
“I’m proud of our accomplishments in the match,” head coach Joel McCartney said. “There was certainly game two that we would like to have back, but in games one and three, we made both of those games very competitive, and we just lost out on some very key points.”
“But overall, I’m very pleased with our season and what we were able to accomplish,” McCartney said.
For Winthrop’s two seniors, Remmers and Anna Vagstad, the loss was a bittersweet way to end their collegiate careers, but they have no regrets.
"The fact that it was me and Lindsey’s last game really didn’t come into play, even through the last point, because we were focused on giving it all during the game,” Vagstad said. “We’re happy for what we achieved this season. I won't regret anything,” said Remmers.
Birmingham-Southern College softball coach Tyra Perry has been selected as coach for a college all-star team that will play the England Olympic Team on Monday, select team organizer Melanie Davis has announced. Davis, the head softball coach at Troy, picked Perry to coach the team and Kristy Bonds of Snead State Community College to serve as an assistant.
"There were a lot of coaches we could have had that would have done a great job," Davis said. "But I have been impressed with these two. They are young coaches that are energetic and excited about the game."
The select team of current college fast-pitch softball standouts will face the England Olympic Team in an exhibition game on Monday, June 14 at Lagoon Park in Montgomery at 7 p.m. The roster of players features four from Alabama, three from Auburn, two from Troy, Florida Atlantic and Stetson and one player from Mercer, and Jacksonville(Fla.).
The team was limited to no more than four players from any one school and no players from the schools represented by the coaches could be chosen. Davis and her Lady Trojan squad will serve as hosts for the England Olympic Team during their stay. A roster of the select team is below.
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