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May 2017 Athletics, C1

C1, Coach, Advise and Mentor in Support of Success and Significance:

Stetson University dedicated the football practice field in honor of William "Bill" Watson, Jr. and his son Bill Watson III, on Saturday, April 8, 2017. Both Watson's attended Stetson University and made a contribution toward the installation of a turf practice field at the Athletics Training Center.

Stetson hosted all three rounds of the ASUN Women's Basketball Championship at the Edmunds Center with games on March 3, 8 and 12. 

Stetson also served as co-host for the NCAA Men's Basketball First and Second Round games played at the Amway Center on March 16 and 18.

Stetson Athletics hosted the 2017 ASUN Beach Volleyball Championship at the Cooper Beach Volleyball Courts on April 22-23. The University also will serve as the host for the ASUN Baseball Championship Tournament at Melching Field May 24-28.

Senior student-athlete Joe Beery won a prestigious and highly selective NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship.

Stetson Athletics is now a member of Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society.

Football

The Hatters opened spring practice on March 21. Practices were held Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday through the spring game at Spec Martin Stadium on April 22 at 6 p.m.

Former Hatters Donald Payne and Davion Belk participated in pro-day activities in Daytona Beach, working out in front of numerous NFL scouts. Payne also was invited to participate in the Atlanta Falcons Pro Day on April 5. The event is geared to giving Atlanta area players an opportunity to work out for the Falcons' coaches and staff. 

Men's Golf

The team's best finish in five spring events was seventh place at the Frontier Secure Intercollegiate, which was hosted by Stetson at Heathrow Country Club in Lake Mary, Florida.

That performance was followed by a tenth-place finish at the Fort Lauderdale Intercollegiate, a twelfth at the Southern Intercollegiate, and an eleventh at the FAU Slomin Autism Invitational.

Sophomore Baylor Payne turned in the best individual performances of the spring for Stetson. He finished tied for fourteenth in Ft. Lauderdale and tied for nineteenth in Lake Mary.

Women's Golf

The Hatters started with a sixth-place finish at the highly competitive Florida Challenge, which included all of the top teams in the state. They followed up with a top-20 finish at the Kiawah Island Classic in South Carolina, an event that included 43 teams playing on two courses. 

On March 9, the Hatters recorded their first tournament victory since 2012 when they won the Butler Bulldog Florida Invitational in Jacksonville. Stetson junior Eilidh Watson, who played in that event as an individual, captured medalist honors with a three-over-par score of 147. Senior Giulia Vandenberg tied for second, and the Hatters had five players in the top six in the field. It was Watson's first collegiate title and earned her "ASUN Player of the Week" honors. 

Stetson hosted the Babs Steffens Invitational at Victoria Hills Golf Club on March 25-27 and finished third. It was the first time the Hatters have hosted an event since the 2012 Hatter Classic.

Baseball

The Hatters entered the meat of the 2017 schedule with a 13-17 overall record in coach Steve Trimper's first season. Stetson opened ASUN play with a sweep of NJIT.

The program posted all-time victory No. 2000 on March 11 in a 9-2 road victory over The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. To date, the season has included four extra-inning games and nine games that were decided by just one run.

The Hatters have had success on the mound all year. As of April 3, the Hatters rank third in the nation in strikeouts, trailing only Oklahoma and South Florida. Junior Brooks Wilson leads the ASUN and ranks third in the nation with 70 strikeouts on his own.

Sophomore RHP Jack Perkins earned his first career "ASUN Pitcher of the Week" award for his performance against Tulane. Perkins went the distance in the Hatters' 5-1 win and struck out a career-high 13. He faced just four batters over the minimum in the game and retired the final seven Green Wave hitters in order, including the last two on strikes. Perkins was the first Stetson player to be honored as Pitcher of the Week since Brooks Wilson shared the award last April 4. 

The Hatters have relied on major contributions from freshmen this year. They have combined for 95 hits in 377 at-bats for a .252 average. They have 20 doubles, three triples, five home runs and 44 RBIs. On the mound, the youngsters have worked 58.0 innings with a 6.05 ERA and 46 strikeouts.

Junior Austin Hale was the only Stetson player selected to the preseason All-ASUN team for 2017. Hale also is a candidate for the prestigious Johnny Bench Award as the top catcher in the nation.

Volleyball

Deng Yang was hired to lead the Stetson court volleyball program. Yang came to Stetson from the University of Missouri where she spent 17 seasons as assistant coach for the Tigers. A native of Chang Zhou, China, Yang was an NAIA All-American and national player of the year at Columbia College after playing for the Chinese National Team.

Yang already has added to the program by signing Hao Jin, a native of Shijiazhuang, China, and a transfer from Missouri. A 6-2 middle blocker, Jin was named to the SEC Academic Honor Roll in each of her two years in Columbia. 

Men's Soccer

After playing the 2016 season under interim head coach Jared Vock, Stetson named Kyle Gookins the new head coach for the program in December. Gookins came to Stetson from UNC Charlotte, where he spent nine seasons as assistant coach, helping the 49ers to a 125-43-25 record and seven NCAA Tournament appearances.

Men's Tennis

The Hatters have played well this spring, posting a 12-4 overall record, including a 2-1 mark in ASUN play. They have three matches remaining before the ASUN Tournament begins on April 21.

Loic Blanco was named ASUN Player of the Week on March 1 and was ranked 106th nationally among singles players in the ITA’s preseason rankings. 

Women's Tennis

New coach Travis Sandlant's squad is 5-12 overall this spring but is off to a 2-2 start in ASUN play. Freshman Lucie Renault leads the Hatters with 10 singles victories.

Women's Basketball

The Hatters finished the 2016-17 season with an overall record of 26-7, 13-1 in ASUN play. The 26 wins were the second highest single-season total in school history and helped the Hatters to their first ASUN regular season championship.

The Hatters qualified for postseason play for the seventh year in a row, falling to UCF in the opening game of the WNIT.

The Women's Basketball team posted a 15-game win streak from Jan. 14 to March 8, the second-longest win streak in school history. It also tied for the fourth-longest active win streak in the nation at the time it ended.

The Hatters received votes in the USA Today Top 25 Coaches Poll for the first time ever and won a school-record 15 home games. We had a perfect 7-0 on the road in ASUN play for the first time, culminating with a 67-64 overtime win at FGCU on Feb. 25. That win snapped the Eagles' 75-game ASUN home court win streak and clinched the regular season title and No. 1 seed for the ASUN tournament.

The Hatters were ranked 10th in the CollegeBasketballInsider.com Mid-Major Poll on March 7. The team set new program records for highest winning percentage (.788), best free throw percentage (.791) and best scoring defense (57.5).

Senior Brianti Saunders finished her career as Stetson's all-time leader in points (1975), field goals made (652), and free throws made (444). She was the NCAA Division I statistical champion for free-throw percentage (.940), with that mark also setting Stetson and ASUN single-season records. She missed just eight free throws all season (126 out of 134) and finished the season on a streak of 22 consecutive free throws made. It marks the 11th-best, single-season total in NCAA history.

Junior Sarah Sagerer became the second player in school history and seventh player in ASUN history to record 100 blocks in a single season. She also tied the school record twice with eight blocks in games against Valparaiso and Jacksonville.

Saunders was named ASUN Player of the Year, Sagerer was named ASUN Defensive Player of the Year, and Coach Lynn Bria was named ASUN Coach of the Year. Saunders and Sagerer were named First Team All-Conference, Breana Bey was named Second Team All-Conference, and McKenna Beach was named to the ASUN All-Academic team. Saunders and Brittney Chambers were named to the ASUN All-Tournament Team.

Saunders was named ASUN Player of the Week three times (Dec.5, Jan. 23, Feb. 13), Sagerer was named ASUN Player of the Week three times (Nov.14, Feb. 6, Feb. 27), Chambers was named ASUN Newcomer of the Week three times (Nov. 28, Feb. 20, Feb. 27), and Kennedi Colclough was named ASUN Newcomer of the Week once (Dec. 5).

Saunders was named MVP of the FIU Thanksgiving Tournament and was joined by Bey on the all-tournament team. Saunders was also named to the Hatter Classic all-tournament team. 

Men's Basketball

Coach Corey Williams' team was 11-21 overall, 3-11 in ASUN play. Stetson finished the season tied for 7th in the ASUN and lost in the tournament quarterfinals at FGCU.

Junior Divine Myles became the 33rd player in school history to reach 1,000 career points when he surpassed the milestone on Dec. 18 against Fort Wayne. By season end, Myles became Stetson's 14th leading scorer of all-time with 1,325 points.

Graduate Brian Pegg and sophomore Derick Newton both also reached the 1,000-point milestone during the season making Stetson one of just six teams in the nation with three 1,000-point scorers.

Newton scored 33 points in a win over Florida A&M (Nov. 26), the most points scored by a Hatter this century.

Newton was named 2nd-team All-ASUN, while Pegg was named the ASUN Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men's basketball. Newton was named ASUN Player of the Week on Jan. 30

Beach Volleyball

Beach Volleyball began the season ranked 9th in the AVCA Poll (7th in DiG poll). The Hatters enter the home stretch of the 2017 season with an 11-10 overall record, including a 4-0 mark in ASUN play.

Stetson opened the season with a dramatic 3-2 win over FAU. The Hatters made their first-ever west coast trip, playing two matches in California and four in Hawaii. The team earned a pair of 3-2 victories over No. 9 Georgia State and No. 9 South Carolina on March 25 in Columbia, South Carolina. Those wins helped Stetson jump from No. 13 to No. 9 in the AVCA poll.

Stetson is ranked third among teams in the East Region behind Florida State (4) and LSU (7). For the year, 10 matches have come against AVCA Top 10 opponents, and the Hatters have spent 19 consecutive weeks in the AVCA Poll (Top 15).

The Hatters have had three ASUN Pairs of the Week (Kristin Lind/Darby Dunn twice, Kaylee Anderson/Emily Carroll once) and the program won its 100th match on April 1 vs. UNF.

Softball

The Hatters started the season 17-3 for the first time since 2006 and have had win streaks of seven in a row and eight in a row. The team dropped a pair of extra-inning games to Kennesaw State on the opening weekend of ASUN play, but has a 23-9 overall record.

On Feb. 10, head coach Frank Griffin became forty-seventh coach in NCAA history, and 29th coach in NCAA Division I history, to record 900 career wins. He is currently four wins shy of 700 at Stetson.

With her four steals against Savannah State on Feb. 12, senior Jessie TenBroeck not only eclipsed the 100-steal mark, but she broke the school's all-time record with her 103rd career stolen base. On March 15, TenBroeck set a new all-time school record for most career runs scored with her one-hundred-forty-second run. She led the NCAA in stolen bases as of the end of March.

Linda Ross led the NCAA in runs scored through early March and, as a team, Stetson led the NCAA in stolen bases through late March.

Maggie Fritts has hit two grand slams this season, tying a school record. She earned ASUN Player of the Week honors on Feb. 13, and Kelsey Waters earned the same award on March 6.

Lacrosse

The Hatters (2-8 overall, 2-1 in ASUN) have played three nationally ranked teams in USC, Colorado and Towson.

Stetson recorded the first shutout in program history with a 24-0 win at Delaware State on April 2 and has seven games remaining in the regular season.

Sam Maguire became the third player in program history with 50 career goals.

The ASUN Tournament is May 4-7 in Jacksonville.

Men's Rowing

Head coach Mark Wilson announced his resignation on Feb. 22. Assistant coach Ryan Worth has led the team through the spring.

The Hatters won six gold medals and a silver medal at the FIRA Championships in the first weekend of April. The team captured the team points trophy at FIRA for the first time in history.

Andrew Rouse won his fourth consecutive gold medal in the 1x at FIRA.

The SIRA Championships are April 14-15 in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The Hatters close their spring season at the Dad Vail Regatta, May 12-13 in Philadelphia.

Women's Rowing

Head coach Mark Wilson announced his resignation on February 22. Assistant coach Stephen Harris has led the team through the spring.

The Hatters won three state championships at the FIRA Championships in April. Among the championships was a gold medal in the 1x.

The team will compete at the SIRA Championships April 14-15 in Oak Ridge, Tenn. The Hatters conclude the season at the MAAC Championships on May 12 in West Windsor, New Jersey.