Piedmont Sports Wrap-Up: Oct. 4, 2022

Sophomore+Jessica+Sconyers+goes+for+the+kill+against+LaGrange.+Sconyers+led+the+team+with+nine+kills+and+six+blocks+as+the+Lady+Lions+swept+the+Panthers+on+Oct.+1.+PHOTO+%2F%2F+KARL+MOORE

Sophomore Jessica Sconyers goes for the kill against LaGrange. Sconyers led the team with nine kills and six blocks as the Lady Lions swept the Panthers on Oct. 1. PHOTO // KARL MOORE

Sophomore Jessica Sconyers goes for the kill against LaGrange. Sconyers led the team with nine kills and six blocks as the Lady Lions swept the Panthers on Oct. 1. PHOTO // KARL MOORE

Volleyball

After going winless in non-conference play, the Lady Lions are looking to make a push in the CCS now that conference play has begun. After picking up a big home win against Agnes Scott on Sept. 28, the volleyball team was able to gain some more momentum on Oct. 1 with another 3-0 victory over LaGrange.

Sophomore Jessica Sconyers was dominant at the net as she led the team with nine kills and tallied six blocks.

“It felt really good to win against LaGrange,” she said. “Every time I came off the court everyone was so supportive and kept cheering me on. I remember one point where I had three blocks in a row and we won the rally.  I always try to support these girls and knowing they can rely on me to put the ball down and earn a point means a lot.”

Piedmont was able to jump out early against LaGrange and claim a straight sets 25-16, 25-13, 25-15 win. The Panthers kept it close for a short period of time, but Piedmont maintained control throughout the contest.

The Lady Lions totaled double-digit kills in all three sets while holding LaGrange under 10 in each, including just two kills in the second set.

The Lady Lions Volleyball team will be back in action Saturday, Oct. 8, for a CCS tri-match against Berea College and Huntingdon College.

—Aaron Palmer

Men’s Cross Country

The Piedmont University men’s and women’s cross country team came out hot at the Asics Invitational last weekend. Some cool running weather mixed with a flat, speedy course, resulted in seven out of 12 Lions achieving new personal records which tops last week’s total of six PRs. 

As a team, the men finished fifth out of 14 teams, besting many Division I and II opponents. They were led by senior Darius Smith led the first pack of Lions finishing at 27:08.4 for 33rd place out of 130 runners. Sophomore Layton Bradford was right on his heels, finishing three seconds behind at 27:11.9. Rounding out the strong group was senior Jacob Balot, posting a 27:15.3. All three of these Lions achieved a new personal best.

The next trio of Piedmont runners to PR included Jadon Gonzales with 27.37.5, Tucker Cox at 27:46.3, and Connor Creedon close behind, finishing at 27:47.0.The seventh runner to complete the 8k race in under 28 minutes was sophomore Peter Sligh, charging through at 27:59.3. Senior Gary Halverson and team captain Cole Elrod sailed through the 28s, with junior Walker Capelle finishing them off at 28:59.0. Senior Noah Irwin and sophomore Zane Smith led the Lions home, with Irwin posting a 30:59.6 and Smith grabbing the seventh PR of the day for Piedmont with a time of 31:14.7.

“This week’s race was a fast course, and the whole team came to run fast and capitalize on our training,” said senior Connor Creedon. “Everyone got better, so we are looking forward to this week off.”

Like the men, the women posted an impressive team finish, landing in sixth place out of 12 teams and scoring above Division I and II opponents. Senior Jaycie Ponce sailed through the course, finishing first overall and setting a school record with an 18:37.8 finish. Upperclassmen Imani Vincent (21:24.3) and Leeann Lawrence (21:24.3) ran times of under 22 minutes. The freshman trio of Skyler Seeber (20:25.1), Anna Gibson (20:55.3) and Hannah Marlowe (22:07.3) all shaved their times and achieved personal bests. 

“The team worked really well together this weekend and we were all able to push each other to do the best we could,” said Lawrence. “With all the new personal records for the weekend we’re looking forward to pushing each other even more as conference approaches.”

After two back-to-back racing weekends, Piedmont’s cross country teams get a short break before picking back up in the last regular season meet, the Berry College Invitational on Oct. 15.

—Anya Olson

Women’s Tennis

ITA Regionals were held in Atlanta this past weekend, bringing the Piedmont women’s tennis  team’s fall season to a close.

“We had great competition considering we were playing teams like Emory and Sewanee,” said junior Marion Sloyan. “It was fun to play some individual matches just to see how we all did against some teams, not in our conference. The team did a great job overall. I think we all had positive attitudes out on the court, and we all tried until the very end, even if we were losing.”

A total of 17 Lady Lions competed during the weekend; 12 of them achieved at least one singles victory: Imani Vincent, Alyssa McSpadden, Sarah Row, Kaitlyn House, and Amanda Barrett. Junior Abbey Grace Venham had excellent results, going 4-1 in singles and winning the A consolation draw. In the consolation bracket, Venham won four consecutive matches to win the  matches to draw. Also, six doubles wins were recorded by the Lady Lions this weekend by juniors Dannie Evans and Brook Patton, who went 3-1.

“It was a really fun atmosphere with great competition,” said Sloyan. “The experience was totally worth it, and I can’t wait to go back next year.”

An impressive fall performance has given Piedmont momentum heading into the spring season as they look to work towards the school’s first conference championship in history. The first road match of the 2022 spring season at Johnson & Wales (N.C.) on Feb. 18.

—Leandro Forero

Men’s Soccer

On a gloomy day in Kentucky on Oct. 1 facing Berea College, the Lions looked to get their first win of the season as well as their first ever conference win in the new CCS conference.

Within the first 10 minutes the Lions found themselves at a 1-0 deficit with a corner kick header from the Mountaineers. Without hesitation the Lions respond just eight minuets later with a goal by sophomore Jason Aussin to tie the game 1-1. Berea responded in the 31st minute to take a 2-1 lead, and extended their lead to 3-1 early in the second half to make it 3-1. But the Lions found some leadership from a pair of freshman who scored two goals within two minutes to finish with a 3-3 tie. Colin Vogel scored at 58:51 and Cristi Pascaru tied the game with a goal at 60:10.

“It was a great game with great effort from the team to pull a comeback and gain a point in our first conference game,” senior defender Victor Canas said.

The Lions (0-5-6, 0-0-1) next game is this Saturday, Oct. 8 against Huntingdon College in Birmingham, Alabama.

—Silas Sandles