published Saturday, November 5th, 2011

Lee teams begin basketball season

With their sights again set not on getting to the NAIA Division I tournaments but advancing far there, the Lee University basketball teams begin their seasons with homecoming games today. The Lady Flames, 25-7 last season, open at noon against a Tennessee Wesleyan team that went 30-4 and won 22 games in a row before losing in the second round of the NAIA Division II tournament. Jeff Rice's Lady Bulldogs still have a 22-game win streak against league opponents and are favored to win the Appalachian Athletic Conference again with seniors Leah Frazier, Candace Cain and Rochelle Davidson and other high-contribution returners including Heather Gibson and Cody Houck. Lee women's coach Marty Rowe lost a 2,216-point career scorer and a two-sport NAIA final four participant but expects solid leadership from seniors Angela Spann and Kally Eldridge and sophomore point guard Hollie German. Eight other returners played varying amounts in 2010-11, and Jenna Adams from McMinn Central and Jordan Neuharth from Walker Valley are freshmen expected to help right away. Lee men's coach Tommy Brown lost the Southern States Athletic Conference player of the year and four other 2010-11 seniors, but Johnny Godette is back after averaging nine points and six rebounds a game and leading the 23-9 Flames with 16 points in their final loss, and juniors Brice Sharp and Patrick Shaughnessy got nine and 12 starts at guard and inside, respectively, and are counted on for more this season. The 11 new Flames include senior NCAA Division I transfers Tyrone Caldwell (Austin Peay) and Josh Henley (Gardner-Webb) and junior college transfers Alex Wells (Chattanooga State), Duran Blue and Dorian Smith. Chad Lee from McCallie and Cory Billingsley from Sweetwater are key freshmen.

Wrestling

• The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga lost its season-opening wrestling match Friday evening at Maclellan Gymnasium, 31-9 to Old Dominion. Brandon Wright's 3-2 decision at 165 pounds and Niko Brown's pin at 197 were the only points for the Mocs, who lost three one-point decisions. "They out-hand-fought us, they rode us out, and that can't happen," UTC coach Heath Eslinger said. "The good thing is that it is early. We have a lot of time."

Volleyball

• GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The UNC Greensboro volleyball team defeated UTC 26-24, 25-20, 25-15 in a Southern Conference match Friday night. Heather Parman and Jennifer Kuroski led UTC (5-23, 3-10) with 11 kills apiece, while Bridget Camacho had 21 assists and Melissa Green had 17 digs.

• CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Lee University, ranked fourth in the NAIA, beat visiting Brenau 25-11, 25-10, 25-13 in SSAC volleyball Friday night. Arlene Ferreira had 11 kills and 12 digs, Stephanie Todd and Christa Hutchison had eight and seven kills, Gretchen Higdon and Kelsey Leffew had 19 assists apiece and Libby Peigen made 11 digs for Lee (27-2, 14-1).

• DAYTON, Tenn. -- Kerrie Reinhardt, Kaylan Dilts, Chelsie Blackburn and Laura Adams made 11, 10, 9 and 8 kills as Bryan College won 25-18, 15-25, 25-21, 25-17 over first-place Union College (13-2) in an AAC volleyball match Friday night. Taylor Fink had 38 assists and 12 digs and Corrie Walker had 21 digs for Bryan (19-17, 13-3). Columbia College dropped Tennessee Wesleyan to 5-22, 0-16 with a 3-0 win in Athens.

• JACKSON, Miss. -- Sewanee lost its two matches in the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference volleyball tournament Friday and finishes its season this morning. The 12th-seeded Tigers (8-23) lost 25-17, 25-16, 25-17 to fifth-seeded Trinity despite nine kills and 16 digs by freshman Jamie Sue Wilson and 23 assists by classmate Rachel Schuman. Wilson had eight kills and Schuman set 17 assists in a 3-0 loss to Hendrix, when another freshman, Kayla Sewell, had 14 digs.

Soccer

• CLEVELAND, Tenn. -- Former Lee University women's soccer standouts Christiane and Linn Christensen will have their jerseys retired today as part of homecoming festivities at the school. They were part of Lee's first two NAIA national championship teams and also helped the start-up women's golf program. The twins from Norway will be honored at halftime of the 2:15 p.m. men's basketball game and again at the 5:30 p.m. soccer match between the top-seeded Lady Flames and Spring Hill in the first round of the SSAC tournament. Both Christensens were first-team NAIA All-Americans in 2008 and '09, and Christiane (No. 27) was MVP of the NAIA tournament both years and the national player of the year as a senior. Christiane had 32 goals and 23 assists in her two years at Lee and was the SSAC player of the year while Linn (No. 28) was the defensive honoree both times and also totaled 17 assists with eight goals. The 2009 Lee team allowed only six goals in 24 games. Both Christensens graduated summa cum laude and were NSCAA Academic All-Americans.

• BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- The sixth-seeded Sewanee women lost 1-0 to third seed Centre on a late-second-half goal in the SCAC soccer tournament Friday, ending the Tigers' season at 6-11-2.

Baseball

• Chattanooga State is holding a free open baseball tryout today at 1 p.m. for 2012 high school graduates interested in playing for the Tigers. Anyone interested needs to be signed in and ready to go by 1. Players will hit on the field and go through 60-yard dashes and defensive evaluations; pitchers will have short bullpen sessions.

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