published Tuesday, December 3rd, 2013

Lee University's Leah Fortune gets top NCCAA award

Leah Fortune, center, is a Lee University senior who was honored with the top national award, the Michelle Akers Award, in NCCAA women's soccer. Leah Fortune is joined by Lee women's soccer coach Matt Yelton and NCAA Executive Director Dan Wood. The award was presented at the NCCAA pre-tournament banquet on Sunday evening.
Leah Fortune, center, is a Lee University senior who was honored with the top national award, the Michelle Akers Award, in NCCAA women's soccer. Leah Fortune is joined by Lee women's soccer coach Matt Yelton and NCAA Executive Director Dan Wood. The award was presented at the NCCAA pre-tournament banquet on Sunday evening.
Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

Lee University senior Leah Fortune was honored Sunday evening with the National Christian College Athletic Association's top annual award for women's soccer, the Michelle Akers Award, and Monday afternoon she scored the Lady Flames' goal in a 1-1 pool-play tie with Palm Beach Atlantic in the NCCAA Division I national tournament in Kissimmee, Fla. PBA (8-6-3) netted its only shot of the day, by Elizabeth Gonzalez in the 15th minute, while Lee (14-3-2) took 27 shots and had a 9-0 advantage in corner kicks but scored only on Fortune's goal from an Ode Fulutudilu assist at 63:08. Fortune got off nine shots, four on goal; PBA goalkeeper Allison Fox made nine saves. The tournament doesn't go to overtimes in pool play. The Lady Flames face Dallas Baptist at 2 p.m. Wednesday. The Lee men open play today at 2 against Mid-America Christian. The Akers award goes to the player who best models the skill and Christian values of the United States' first women's soccer star. "I'm thrilled that Leah was selected for this honor," coach Matt Yelton said in a Lee release. "Leah is a respected leader, an excellent student (3.95 GPA) and a follower of Christ who just happens to be a fantastic soccer player. She never takes a play off." Said Fortune: "I am very honored and humbled to receive the Michelle Akers Award. Not only did Akers set an example on the playing field; she lived for a purpose beyond the field. I believe the Lord truly has given me every talent and ability to glorify his name." She added that she was "blessed" by the "influence and encouragement" of her teammates and coaches.

Basketball

• University of Tennessee at Chattanooga senior basketball player Taylor Hall was named to the all-tournament team of the Waikiki Beach Marriott Rainbow Wahine Showdown, where she had a double-double in each game as the Mocs went 1-2 this past weekend. She averaged 13.3 points, 13 rebounds, three assists and two blocked shots a game in the tournament, with 19 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks against Minnesota and 16 rebounds against Hawaii. She shot 14-of-26 from the field and 12-of-13 on free throws in the three games and leads UTC with 14 points, 9.5 rebounds and 4.5 assists a game for the season.

• Dalton State College continued its remarkable debut as a four-year men's basketball team with an 80-79 win Monday night over Southern Polytechnic in Dalton. The Roadrunners (10-1), whose only loss was by two points at Tennessee Wesleyan, needed a 3-point shot at the final horn to win, after leading 45-35 at halftime Monday with 18 points from Preston Earle, who finished with 29 points and nine rebounds. Ricky Sears had 18 points and seven rebounds and Sean Tate had 14 points and five assists in the win. For the Hornets (3-5), Chris Key and Kevin Phillip had 19 and 16 points and seven and nine rebounds.

• Cleveland High School graduate Ish Sanders contributed 23 points and seven assists as Carson-Newman beat Lees-McRae 98-70 in men's basketball Monday. He made four 3s and became the Eagles' top scorer in their NCAA era, which began in 1992, with 1,487 points. That beat the old record by 15. Sanders is seventh overall in program history.

• The University of the Cumberlands beat Hiwassee College 66-50 in men's basketball Saturday in Madisonville, Tenn., boosting the Patriots' record to 6-3 and leaving the injury-plagued Tigers 1-7 against varsity programs going into a home game Saturday against Dalton State. Hiwassee plays at UTC next Tuesday.

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