Fall 2012 Season Wrap-UpDecember 11, 2012
CENTRAL, S.C. - The Southern Wesleyan University (SWU) Department of Athletics had one of their most successful fall seasons during their opening 2012 campaign.
Two Warrior teams finished the fall in the postseason and preseason NAIA Top-25, with both the men’s soccer and men’s golf teams coming in at #22. The women’s cross country team finished the season in the Receiving Votes (RV) category of the final NAIA poll, giving the Warriors three teams that are being recognized at the national level.
“Wow, what an amazing fall season for the Warriors,” said SWU Director of Athletics Chris Williams. “It would be hard to imagine a better fall semester for SWU athletics as we look back in history since the beginning back in 1970.”
The men’s soccer team finished the season with a 15-3-2 overall record, and rose to a program best #11 in the NAIA rankings. Head Men’s Soccer Coach Camilo Rodriguez was named the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) Coach of the Year by leading his team to new heights during the 2012 season. The Warriors were 4-3-1 against teams that were ranked in the NAIA Top-25 or RV’s category, and were 1-0-1 against the two teams that played for the NAIA National Championship. Douglas Andrade was named the SSAC Newcomer of the Year and First Team All-Conference after posting 15 goals and 2 assists in his rookie campaign. Daniel Pena joined Andrade on the All-Conference Team after scoring 8 goals and adding 7 assists on the season. Pena was named to the NAIA All-American Third Team, while Andrade was named NAIA Honorable Mention. Raphael Fernandes and Nicolas Luque were both named to the SSAC Second Team, with Luis Malagon and Caio Santos earning their spot on the SSAC All-Freshman Team. Joey Capone was named to the Musco Lighting Champions of Character Team. Luque was also named SSAC All-Academic, while Luque, Fernandes, Pena, and Andrade were all named to the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA) South Region All-Star Team.
Head Cross Country Coach Chip Rouse continues to grow the women’s cross country team into national prominence, even after his team fought through injuries throughout the entire season. The team finished in the RV’s category of the final NAIA Women’s Cross Country poll. Erica Segars won the SSAC Individual Championship for the Warriors and earned herself Runner of the Year honors and a spot on the SSAC All-Conference Team. Segars tied her school record with a time of 18:50 at the Sandshark Invitational on October 20th. Sierra Zemanick battled through early season injury problems to finish 5th overall at the SSAC Championships, and also earning her spot on the SSAC All-Conference Team for SWU. The women’s team finished 2nd overall at the conference meet, and earned a team bid to the NAIA Cross Country National Championships in Vancouver, Wash. The team placed 28th overall at the National Championship. SWU also won the NCCAA South Region Championship. Meg Donaldson, Allison Droddy, and Caroline Hudson were named to the SSAC All-Academic Team, with Droddy also being named a NCCAA Scholar-Athlete. Hudson was named to the Musco Lighting Champions of Character Team.
The SWU Men’s Golf Team placed fourth overall at the NCCAA Men's Golf Championship and won the NCCAA South Region Championship, under the direction of Head Golf Coach Douglas Wilkinson. More importantly, the Warriors have earned a #22 Preseason NAIA Ranking heading into the spring 2013 season. SWU finished one stroke out of 3rd place at the NCCAA Championship with a total score of 897 in three rounds of competition. A total of 17 teams competed at the NCCAA event. The Warriors also had a successful fall season overall. In their five tournaments, SWU never finished lower than fifth, while winning the Mutts Invitational. The season also saw the Warriors break the 18-hole school record with a 288, the 36-hole record with a 579, and SWU golfer David Brown broke the 36-hole record with a 139. Zachary Moore was also named to the NCCAA All-American Team after finishing tied for 10th overall. The honor is Moore's second of his career. Another highlight of the season was Matthew Blackwell making a hole-in-one at the Thomas University Invitational on October 1st. Blackwell used a 6-iron on the par three, which was playing at 192 yards. Brown was also named the NCCAA Student-Athlete of the Week one time, with Blackwell and Brandon Webb being named NCCAA Scholar-Athletes. Brown, Blackwell, Tyler Cozad, and Zachary Casto all were named to the NCCAA All-South Region Team.
The women's golf team was in their inaugural season this past fall, as the Warriors competed in three tournaments. SWU had their best finish of 6th place at the Converse College Fall Tournament. Cynthia Smith qualified for the NCCAA Women’s Golf Invitational as she participated as an individual. She finished 46th overall at the tournament after finishing with a 187 (94-93). This is the first ever women's golfer to qualify for a national championship.
The Men’s Cross Country won the NCCAA South Region Championship and qualified John Fredrickson for the NAIA Cross Country National Championship in Vancouver, Wash. Fredrickson was named to the SSAC All-Conference Team, and also was named to the All-Freshman East Team. Josh Thatcher and Frederickson broke David Payne’s former individual record of 26:44 during the season. Thatcher had a time of 26:43 and Frederickson had a time of 26:38. The men's team won the Toccoa Falls Invitational and had a second and third place team finish this season. Thatcher was named to the Musco Lighting Champions of Character Team, with Erik Delgado earning a spot on the SSAC All-Academic Team, along with Thatcher and Drew Welch. Both Thatcher and Welch were also named NCCAA Scholar-Athletes.
The Warrior Volleyball Team was under the direction of their first year head coach Julia Reininga, and continued their success on the floor, as SWU finished the season with a 22-16 overall record. SWU earned a bid to the NCCAA National Volleyball Championships and just missed out playing in the Championship round, posting their best ever showing at the Championship. Kelsey Deerinwater led the list of award winners as she was named the SSAC Libero of the Year, SSAC All-Conference, NCCAA Second Team All-American, and the Musco Lighting Champions of Character Award Winner. Deerinwater also had a milestone this past season as she recorded her 2,000th career dig. Joining Deerinwater, was Cherilyn Ramsey and Hayley Hoover, as they were both named Second Team All-Conference. Hoover and Danielle York were named NCCAA Scholar-Athletes.
The Women’s Soccer Team was awarded the Team Sportsmanship Award by the SSAC, as Ashley Bowers was named to the Musco Lighting Champions of Character Team. Kaitie Aldrich, Kendall Bacon, Ashley Bowers, Allison Johns, Leah Johnson, Abigail McDonald, and Amanda Robinson were all named to the SSAC All-Academic Team. Johns garnered NCCAA All-South Region honors after posting 6 goals and 3 assists on the season for 15 points. Johns, Robinson, and McDonald were all named NCCAA Scholar-Athletes.
In the five sports (Men’s and Women’s Soccer, Volleyball, Men’s and Women’s Cross Country) that qualify at this time for postseason honors, SWU had 12 student-athletes represented on the SSAC All-Conference Teams and had 14 student-athletes on the SSAC All-Academic Team. The All-Conference teams for men’s and women’s golf will be announced following the 2013 spring season. Congratulations to all of the teams for a great fall season for SWU.