Jan. 31 Swannanoa Valley Sports Report
The Montreat Cavaliers men’s lacrosse team has been busy at Pulliam Stadium in Black Mountain preparing for its home opener against Brevard College at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 6. The Cavs open their season against six straight NCAA opponents, the most that any NAIA team includes on their schedule. They return intact an attack unit of senior John Ferris, junior Chris Jackson, and sophomore Cody Bischoff that scored 127 goals last year. The squad finished up 6-11 last year and is scheduled to travel to Knoxville to face the University of Tennessee’s Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) entry on Feb. 2 in a scrimmage. The top MCLA teams play at a roughly similar level to mid-pack NCAA Division II teams but are considered “virtual” varsity since they receive university funding but are not NCAA members.
The Valley’s top collegiate runner, Lydia Wilson, posted a Montreat school-record 10:27.00 in the 3,000 meters indoors at the University of South Carolina’s Gamecock Inaugural. The time qualifies her for the NAIA Indoor National Championships in the event with a “B” Standard. Franklin, North Carolina native Skyler Tait qualified for the AAC Indoor Championships with a time of 11:27.15 in the same event. Fellow freshman and Franklin native Nathan Richards also qualified for the AAC Indoors with a blistering 4:38 indoor mile in Columbia. All in, the Cavaliers qualified two athletes nationally, and 11 for the AAC Indoor Championships.
Head coach Jim Greene continues to assemble and prep both Warren Wilson Owls’ tennis squads that debut this spring. The Owls’ men’s team opens up on February 9 against Lees-McRae in Banner Elk at noon.
The women’s team is scheduled to debut the same day against the Bobcats. Junior Mara Trowbridge, a Pfafftown, North Carolina native, should help anchor the squad. She is also a swimmer for the Owls. The men’s team includes senior Ansel Sherman from Burnsville.
On the hardwood, the Owls’ women’s team is rapidly closing on the .500 mark and was 10-11 on Jan. 27 after rattling off five-straight wins. They were scheduled to face Johnson University (Tenn.) last Monday. Head coach Robin Martin has a goal of 17+ wins on the season, a still-attainable mark for the squad, when including postseason.
The Owls’ men’s team was at 7-14 as of Jan. 27 after dropping a 101-90 decision to Johnson & Wales (NC) on the 26th. The team is averaging 92.6 points-per-game and Jordan Gant leads the squad with 24.1 ppg.
The Montreat men’s team, which is profiled in this issue, was 16-4 at the start of the week.
The Cavs’ women’s team has passed their 2017-2018 total of seven wins and now sits at 9-12. They are 8-10 in the AAC, which places them 10th overall in the 14-team conference. Last year’s tournament included the top eight teams in the conference. At the beginning of the week, the Cavs were one win outside the top eight, with eight conference games still remaining. They hosted #15 Bryan College on Tuesday.
Registration remains open for the Valentine 5k & Kids Fun Run scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9 at Lake Tomahawk. The kids’ race goes off at 9:30 a.m. and the 5k set is for 10:00 a.m. For more info, see https://runsignup.com/Race/Events/NC/BlackMountain/Valentine5K