Piedmont Sports Recap: Soccer teams rebound … and more

Forward+Cameron+Earls+posted+a+hat+trick+against+Ferrum+College.+PHOTO+%2F%2F+KARL+MOORE

Forward Cameron Earls posted a hat trick against Ferrum College. PHOTO // KARL MOORE

Men’s Soccer

After a disappointing loss in the season opener against Berry College, Cameron Earls decided to take matters into his own hands.

The Lions were held scoreless in their season opener at home, an obviously disappointing start.  While the first game of the season would make a great first win, the loss seems to be a blessing in disguise.  In the two games since the loss, a fire has been lit within team captain Camero Earls.  He has scored all four of Piedmont’s goals this season.

In the first game of the weekend, Earls had a hat trick against Ferrum College.  This offensive performance in the first half was all that the Lions needed to cruise past Ferrum 3-1.

The second game of the weekend, against Averett University, wasn’t quite as eventful as the first, but Earls didn’t miss a beat.  He scored an easy goal off of a throw in during the 21st minute of the game.  This was all the Lions needed as they improved to 2-1 on the season.  When Earls was asked about his weekend, he said, “as soon as we were able to, we got right to work”.

This weekend’s performances led Earls to an USA South Athlete of the Week award.  He won the men’s overall soccer player of the week award.

The Lions will be traveling to Maryville, Tennessee this weekend to take on Southern Virginia University.  They will be looking to improve to 3-1 and add yet another road win.

–Noah Aaron

Women’s Soccer

The Lady Lions opened the season with a home game against Berry. The team saw how each player can make their impact on the field.

With the new additions of freshman this year seeing, how they can adapt from high school ball to college is a big step. Freshman goalie Laila Allen made a great impact with her college debut making 7 saves, leaving Berry struggling to try and put points on the board.

Both defenses played well, but Piedmont would deliver the dagger with five minutes to go in the game to win 1-0. Freshman Victoria Sierra played a ball in from the corner leaving senior Kaity Hemperly with a opportunity to put the ball in.

This gave Hemperly her third career point while at Piedmont, and the win for the Lady Lions.

–Walker Brown

Men’s Cross Country

The Piedmont’s Men’s Cross Country team kicked off their season on Sept. 1 when they travelled to Berry College for their first cross event of the season.

“It went about as expected,” Head Coach Jamie Jimison said. “It didn’t look like one of our best on paper, but it was a great first step in the right direction for us to go with.”

The Lions came out hot, finishing second place overall. The team was led by junior Gary Halverson, who finished fourth overall with a time of 27:52.8, and senior Connor Moranos who was the only Lion besides Halverson to in the top 10, finishing ninth with a time of 28:24.8. Coach Jimison said he was very pleased with the way Halverson ran his race. “He has a high ceiling, as we start to focus on speed work. He has the ability to make a big drop in times this season, and significant improvements on his performance.”

Freshman runner Tucker Cox’s run also put a smile on Coach Jimison’s face. “Its tough to predicate where a freshman stands coming from high school because college meets have longer races,” Jimison said. “I was very pleased with his performance, and the way he ran the last half of the race.”

The Lions look to keep the hot start going as they travel to UNG this week for their second cross meet on Sept. 10.

–Christopher Donsereaux

Women’s Cross Country

The Lady Lions began their season at Berry College with a one-two finish on Sept. 1.

Valeria Angel, the 2021 USA Southwest Division Champion came in first place with a time of 25:20.9. She is now on a role with a 2 first place win streak.

“The race was very encouraging and a great start,” Valeria Angel said. “I put in a lot of work over the summer so I think this season will be rewarding.”

Junior Jaycie Ponce, who did not make an appearance last season due to an injury, came in second place right behind Angel with a time of 25:48.2. It is a great motivator for not only Ponce, but also for the team to encourage them for future races.

“I think the race went well, since it was my first 6k ever,” Ponce said. “I was happy with my performance, and it was a good race to see how the rest of the season will go for me.” “I think my performance will continue to improve.”

The next race for the Lady Lions will be on Sept. 10 at the UNG Invitational in Oakwood, Georgia.

–Leo Galarza

Women’s Golf

This past weekend the Piedmont Women’s Golf competed at the Transylvania Invitational in Lexington, Kentucky. The Lady Lions completed two rounds on Saturday, Sept. 4 and concluded the third round on Sunday, Sept. 5. The Lions would finish 6th out of 10 teams at the Invitational.

The Lions were led by two new coming freshmen Sarah Fox and Lizzie Hamilton. The first two rounds Fox would finish with scores of 92 and 86, while Hamilton had scores of 88 and 87. Fox would then lead the way in round 3 Sunday with a score of 83 and Hamilton would score an 86.

Finishing 38th in the Invitational, freshman Selah Anderson showed out with scores of 90 and 86 on Saturday, then scored 89 on Sunday. Senior Mattie Morris and sophomore Savannah Barefoot would both finished tied for 45th. Barefoot started the first two rounds with a total score of 183 and finished round three with 87. Morris scored a 181 the first two rounds and scored an 89 the third round.

Senior Carson Weiner shot a total of 176 the first two rounds and shot a 91 in her individual third round. Junior Morgan Calhoun also shot an individual performance of 97 in the third round.

The next event for the Lady Lions is this weekend Sunday and Monday on Sept. 12-13. They look to compete in the MCC Intercollegiate Invitational in Montgomery, Alabama.

–James Whitmer

Volleyball

The Piedmont University volleyball team concluded their first tournament this past weekend at the Averett Cougar Classic. The Lady Lions faced off against Guilford College, William Peace University, Washington and Lee University, and Roanoke College. Unfortunately, the team was unable to conjure a win in the tournament.

“I am honestly proud of how we kept improving and kept fighting even though the results weren’t what we wanted,” said volleyball head coach Jamie McCormack. “We never let it beat us down. We got better every time we stepped on the court.  For this weekend’s tournament we are taking the court with a lot more confidence, which I am expecting to translate as a more aggressive style than what we started last weekend with. We will keep improving day by day and I have no doubt we will be where we need to be by the time it matters most.”

While the team did not receive the results they were looking for in the record column, the Lions fought very hard, and the stats show. As a team, the lions had a total of 105 kills, 14 aces, 17 blocks, and 183 digs. At the conclusion of the tournament, senior defensive specialist/libero Jessica Beil and freshman outside hitter/right side player Jenna Ash led the team in digs- Beil with 16 and Ash with 14.

At times, the Lady Lions were on the kill offensively. Ash recorded 22 kills, junior middle blocker/ride side player Hannah Kate Chadwell racked up 20 kills, sophomore outside hitter/right side player Alaina McDonald had 18 kills, and junior outside hitter/right side player Bri King had 17. Freshman outside hitter/right side player Jessica Sconyers also contributed offensively with 13 kills.

The Lions had a lot of help getting set for the kills. The team totalled 99 assists, 47 of which belonging to sophomore setter Brooklyn Gunn. There were also key contributions from junior setter Jennifer Herrera and senior setter Taylor Brown.

Sconyers, Ash and Chadwell led the team defensively up front. Sconyers recorded 7 assisted blocks and a solo block along with her 13 kills. Hannah Kate Chadwell recorded 2 solo blocks and 3 assisted blocks. Ash also contributed with 4 assisted blocks and 22 kills.

After the tournament, they sit 0-4 against teams outside of their conference.

The Lady Lions will look to bounce back in their next tournament at the Oglethorpe Stormy Petrel Classic in Atlanta from Sept. 10-Sept. 11.

–Matt Kodrowski