men’s tennis

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Photo by Jeff Montgomery

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

The Great American Conference Tournament championships started this week. The men’s and women’s golf teams will play in the golf championship April 13-15 and the men’s and women’s tennis teams will play their tournament April 18-20.

The women’s tennis team won the Great American Conference regular season championship Saturday with a 6-3 victory against East Central Oklahoma. The Lady Bisons improved to 15-5 overall and finished the regular season 6-0 in GAC action with their 10th-straight victory. Harding won two of three very tightly contested doubles matches. Ali Rowden and Katie Huff won at No. 2 in a tiebreaker, 7-3, and Lauren Doversola and Arielle Butler won 9-7 at No. 3. Piper Huey gave Harding a 3-1 lead with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 2 singles, her ninth-straight singles victory. East Central closed the match to 3-2 with a victory at No. 3, but Harding pulled back to a two-point lead with Rowden’s three-set victory at No. 1. The Lady Bisons clinched the match-winning point when East Central’s Augustina Moren had to retire from her match with Butler at No. 5 with a shoulder injury. Harding added a sixth point with Kaleigh Wagner’s 6-1, 6-1 victory at No. 6. Earlier in the week, the Lady Bisons shut out Ouachita Baptist 9-0 on Tuesday and then defeated No. 50 Arkansas-Fort Smith in non-conference action 6-3. Women’s tennis was also ranked No. 4 in the first NCAA II Central Region Rankings, released Wednesday on NCAA.com. The top seven teams in the 31-team NCAA II Central Region advance to the NCAA II Tournament that starts May 3. The two teams that reach the finals of the Central Region advance to play May 13-16 at the championship rounds in Surprise, Ariz.

Elsewhere …

Baseball: Harding dropped the first two games of the series with Henderson State 4-3 and 8-3 but bounced back to win the final game of the series 7-0. Matt Calhoun led the Bisons at the plate hitting .462 in 13 at bats. He had six hits, including two doubles, an RBI and a run scored. Collin Campbell led the Bisons on the mound in the third game to get the win. Campbell got his second shutout of the season. He gave up five hits and struck out three. Campbell is the only Harding pitcher to record a shutout.

Softball: Harding played six GAC games this week as they finished the Arkansas Tech series on Tuesday with a split and then took one of a four game series at Henderson State this past weekend. Amanda Berdon led Harding, batting .471 on the week. She had eight hits, four home runs, six RBI and five runs scored. Courtney Derrick hit .391 on the week, including a grand slam in the 9-5 win at Henderson State. Amber Rollins had a team-high 3.65 ERA on the week. In 15 1/3rd innings pitched, she had 11 strikeouts.

Men’s tennis: Harding went 2-1 for the week. The Bisons fell at Ouachita Baptist 5-4, then beat Arkansas-Fort Smith 8-1 and East Central Oklahoma 6-3. Harding will be the third seed in the GAC Tournament. Jon Mark Rowden and Brandon Hogland won all three of their singles matches.

Men’s track and field: Men’s track and field team won seven events and posted three NCAA provisional results Saturday at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock Open. Sophomore Corey Bassett won the 100 meters in 10.55 seconds, an NCAA provisional time that ranks second among Lone Star Conference runners and tied for 14th in NCAA Division II. Junior Donatella Luckett placed second in 10.60, also a provisional time and the third-best among LSC runners. Senior Landon Belcher won the 400 meters in 48.63. It was his second-straight event victory in the 400 meters and the fifth of his career. Freshman Luke Goodspeed won the 1,500 meters in his collegiate debut in the event with a time of 4:09.81.

Women’s track and field: Harding junior Ewa Zaborowska ran the sixth-fastest 1,500-meter time this season in NCAA Division II, and the Lady Bisons collected four event titles Saturday at the UALR Open. Zaborowska, who earned All-America honors last season with a fifth-place finish in the 1,500 meters at NCAA II Nationals, won the event in an NCAA provisional time of 4 minutes, 30.96 seconds. She holds the school record in the 1,500 meters at 4:26.24. Zaborowska has won six times in nine 1,500-meter races in her career. Freshman Amber Webb won the 5,000 meters in 18:14.50, her first career event victory. Sophomore Kelsey Taylor won the steeplechase in 12:12.37. Harding had the top three finishers in the steeplechase with Amber Priest second and Sarah Shepherd third. The Lady Bisons had one event victory and four second-place finishes in the field events. Senior Kristen Celsor won the high jump for the second time this season and ninth time of her career. She cleared 5 feet, 4.25 inches.

This week’s schedule: (Home games in bold)
Monday, April 14

  • Men’s and women’s golf at GAC Tournament, TBA

Tuesday, April 15

  • Men’s and women’s golf at GAC Tournament, TBA

Wednesday, April 16

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff, 11 a.m.
  • Baseball vs. University of Arkansas-Monticello, 3 p.m.

Thursday, April 17

  • Men’s and women’s track and field at Mt. SAC Relays, TBA

Friday, April 18

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Ouachita Baptist University, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball at Ouachita Baptist University, 3 p.m.
  • Men’s tennis vs. East Central Oklahoma University at GAC Tournament, 1 p.m.
  • Women’s tennis vs. TBA at GAC Tournament, 4 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at University of Central Arkansas Open, TBA

Saturday, April 19

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Ouachita Baptist University, 12 p.m.
  • Baseball doubleheader at Ouachita Baptist University, 12 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at University of Central Arkansas Open, TBA
  • Men’s and women’s tennis at GAC Tournament, TBA

Sunday, April 20

  • Men’s and women’s tennis at GAC Tournament, TBA

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

Nathan Looney, assistant sports information director

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Less than a week away from the men’s and women’s Great American Conference golf tournament championship, all the spring sports are down the home stretch for seeding in the GAC Tournament.

The Natural State Golf Classic is supposed to be a 36-hole event. But when Harding and No. 47 Southeastern Oklahoma State University both had two-round scores of 583, it became a 37-hole event that the Bisons won in a playoff. Southeastern led Harding by nine strokes with only four holes to play, but a couple of bad holes for the Savage Storm and two key birdie putts for Harding — one by Lucas Collins on the 16th hole and a 20-foot putt by Brad Lamb on 18 — knotted the score. To break the tie, the two teams went back to the par-5, 545-yard first hole. Each member of the two teams played the hole, and the best four scores for each team made up the team score. Harding had all five of its members available to play, but Southeastern had only four after team member Coleman Caldwell had withdrawn from the tournament on the eighth hole after suffering an injury. With nerves apparent, only one player birdied the hole, Southeastern’s Jeff Hunter, who was the tournament’s individual medalist. But after eight of the nine players finished the hole, Southeastern had a team score of 22, and Harding had a score of 20 with Nathan Kannenberg staring down a two-foot putt to win it. He made it, and Harding had its second tournament title of the 2013-14 season in the 11-team event.

“It was the most exciting golf I’ve been a part of,” head coach Dustin Howell said. It was the eighth time Harding had hosted the Natural State Golf Classic at the Red Apple Inn and Country Club and its first victory. Harding had four players finish in the top 10. Collins, Kannenberg and Alex Williamson all shot 4-over 146 to tie for fourth. Jordan Perry tied for eighth at 5-over 147, and Lamb tied for 29th at 13-over 155. However, Lamb shot 2-over 73, tied for Harding’s second-best score in the second round. Brittany Marquez led the Lady Bisons in the tournament, finishing tied for 18th as the team finished 10th.

Elsewhere …

Baseball: Harding fell in the series opener at Southwestern Oklahoma on Friday 8-2 but bounced back to win the series Saturday with a sweep as the Bisons won 9-2 and 10-7. In the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Erin McCarver and Noah Chandler both had four-hit games. McCarver was 4-for-6 with two runs and an RBI, his second four-hit game of the season. Chandler was 4-for-5 with a run and two RBI. It was Chandler’s first four-hit game as a Bison. Each of the first six hitters in Harding’s lineup had two hits or more. The hits kept coming in game two as five Harding players had multi-hit games, including Matt Calhoun, who was 3-for-3 with two runs scored and his 10th double of the season. A two-run double by Chandler in the first gave Harding a 2-0 lead. Southwestern answered with a run in the first and another to tie the game in the third. But the Bisons took the lead for good with a run on Davis Richardson’s RBI single in the fourth and a six-run fifth inning that included an RBI double from Guerra and a run-scoring single from Richardson. Logan Holthaus got the win in game one, and Collin Campbell got the win in game two.

Softball: Harding picked up its first series sweep this past weekend. The Lady Bisons won 3-0 and 7-3 on Friday against Southwestern Oklahoma and then won 4-1 and 10-2 on Saturday. The Lady Bisons had seven hits in game one, led by Courtney Derrick who had three. Starter Amber Rollins went the distance to get her first shutout of the season and the Lady Bisons second shutout this season. In game two, Harding scored six runs on six hits in the sixth inning. Marley Edwards knocked in Kimmy Hendricks for the first run. Then Amanda Berdon hit a two-run homerun to give the Lady Bisons the lead. Brooklynn Moon and Carolyn Clayton knocked in the other two Harding runs. In the third game, Clayton got things going for Lady Bisons in the first with two RBI. The Lady Bisons scored again in the fourth inning, and Edwards knocked in Harding’s fourth run in the fifth after Hendricks tripled to right center field. In the final game of the series, Harding had a season-high five doubles and had 15 hits. It was the third time this season Harding has had 15 or more hits in a game. Six different Harding players had multiple hits. Courtney Chambers led the Lady Bisons going 3-for-3.

Men’s tennis: Harding went 1-2 on the week. The Bisons defeated LeMoyne-Owen College 9-0 but fell to Southeastern Oklahoma 6-3. Mathaus Spiering and Jon Mark Rowden won both singles matches this past week. Spiering defeated Southeastern Oklahoma’s Alberto Blesa, who was ranked No. 13, 7-6, 3-6 and 11-9. It was Spiering’s fifth-straight singles victory. He improved to 15-2 overall, 10-1 in dual matches, and 6-1 against regionally ranked opponents.

Women’s tennis: Harding won both of its GAC matches this week. The Lady Bisons upset No. 29 Arkansas Tech University on Friday 6-3 and then defeated Southeastern Oklahoma on Saturday 8-1. In its match against Arkansas Tech, Harding trailed 2-1 after doubles but got five singles wins for the team victory, snapping a four-match Arkansas Tech winning streak. It was the third victory against a nationally ranked team in program history and the highest-ranked team Harding has defeated. In the match against Southeastern Oklahoma, Harding won all three doubles matches for the eighth time this season.

This week’s schedule: (Home games in bold)
Tues., April 8
Men’s and women’s golf at Henderson State Invitational, 8 a.m.
Men’s and women’s tennis at Ouachita Baptist University, 2 p.m.
Softball doubleheader at Arkansas Tech University, 4 p.m.

Thurs., April 10
Men’s and women’s tennis vs. University of Arkansas-Fort Smith, 1:30 p.m.

Fri., April 11
Baseball vs. Henderson State University, 3 p.m.

Sat., April 12
Baseball doubleheader vs. Henderson State University, noon
Softball doubleheader at Henderson State University, 1 p.m.
Men’s and women’s tennis at East Central University, 9 a.m.
Men’s and women’s track at University of Arkansas at Little Rock Open, TBA

Sun., April 13
Softball doubleheader at Henderson State University, 1 p.m.
Men’s and women’s golf at GAC Tournament, TBA

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

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Photo by Jeff Montgomery

Photo by Jeff Montgomery

After a rainy Friday, the rest of the weekend was sunny and in the 60s, which set up for great weather to watch Harding sporting events.

The Harding men’s and women’s track teams hosted the annual Bison Invitational on Saturday. Ewa Zaborowska, Kristen Celsor and Rachael Domeyer each reached NCAA provisional marks on the women’s side, and on the men’s side Jacob McDonald set a new school record in the hammer throw, and Josh Syrotchen recorded an NCAA provisional mark in the discus. Zaborowska won the 800 meters in 2 minutes, 12.25 seconds, the fourth-fastest time in the event this season in NCAA II. Celsor cleared 5 feet, 6 inches, to tie the seventh-best height in NCAA II, and Domeyer won the javelin with a school-record throw of 132 feet, 4 inches, which ranks 15th in NCAA II this season. Harding’s women had several other event victories Saturday. In the sprints, Shana Holmes won the 200 meters in 25.91. Both distance events went to the Lady Bisons. Dallis Bailey won the 1,500 meters in 4:55.95, and Kelsey Taylor won the 5,000 meters in 18:45.46. The Lady Bisons won both relays. Holmes, Sarah Coleman, Rachael Price and Celsor combined to win the 4×100 meters in 49.53. Tammy Kim, Holmes, Zaborowska, and Celsor won the 4×400 in 3:58.63.

On the men’s side Jacob McDonald won the hammer with a throw of 156 feet, 10 inches, breaking his own record of 147 feet, 2 inches. Josh Syrotchen, won the discus with a throw of 164 feet, the fifth-best discus throw in NCAA II this season, and only four inches short of Harding’s record of 164-04 set by Bryan Rampey in 1997. Harding also won four other field events. Trey Adkison won the pole vault (13-11.75), Andrew Dather won the long jump (19-05.50), Ryan Cagle won the shot put (48-10), and Max McBride won the javelin (178-08). The Bisons also had an outstanding meet in the running events. Donatella Luckett won both the 100- and 200-meter dashes. He ran 11.04 in the 100 meters, and 23.04 in the 200 meters. Landon Belcher won the 400 meters in 49.45. In the distance events, Lucas Goodspeed won the 800 meters in 1:57.24, Taylor Lively won the 1,500 meters in 4:02.70, and Andrew Evans won the 5,000 meters in 15:17.65. Stephen Hedlund won the 400-meter hurdles in 55.70. Harding’s teams won both relays. The team of Corey Bassett, Kevin Naceanceno, Dillon Bagwell and Luckett won the 4×100 meters in 43.00. Naceanceno, Trevor Holloway, Bagwell and Belcher won the 4×400 relay in 3:20.52.

Elsewhere …

Baseball: Harding bounced back after a losing skid to sweep Northwestern Oklahoma in Great American Conference action on Saturday and Sunday. The Bisons won the first game on Saturday 11-4 and then won both games on Sunday 10-5 and 4-2. On Saturday, Trent Wooldridge, Erin McCarver and James Anderson had three hits each, and the Bisons scored in five straight innings to get the win. On Sunday, Noah Chandler went 5-for-6 with two doubles and three runs scored to lead the Bisons in the doubleheader. Cameron Walker got the win in game one, Hunter Payne got the win in game two, and Collin Campbell got the win in game three. Andrew Fiddler and Bronson Smith both recorded a save in the series.

Softball: The Lady Bisons struggled with the wind in Oklahoma this weekend. Harding dropped the first two games of the series on Friday and then split the doubleheader on Saturday. In the Lady Bisons’ 13-9 win on Saturday, Courtney Derrick, the first batter of the game, hit a homerun to right field to give Harding the lead. The Lady Bisons led the rest of the way as they scored in every inning and hit a season-high seven homeruns with Amanda Berdon hitting two. It was her first career multi-homer game and pushed her season total to five. Kinsey Beck (2), Carolyn Clayton (3), Kimmy Hendricks (4) and Courtney Chambers all had homeruns. It was Chambers’ first collegiate homerun. Harding also picked up two GAC wins against Arkansas Tech on Tuesday.

Men’s tennis: Harding went 0-2 on the week. The Bisons fell to Nebraska-Kearney and No. 16 Northwest Missouri by a 4-5 score. Mathaus Spiering won at the No. 1 singles for Harding in both matches.

Women’s tennis: Harding went 3-0 this week. The Lady Bisons defeated Nebraska-Kearney 6-3, Northwest Missouri 5-1 and Southern Nazarene 7-2. Harding led 4-3 over Nebraska-Kearney as the final two singles matches moved to the third set. The Lady Bisons needed only one win from either Piper Huey at No. 2 singles or Lauren Doversola at No. 4 singles, but both won. Against Northwest Missouri, Harding’s No. 1 doubles team of Benyapa Phumtip and Huey upset Lorena Jarolim and Alexis Bartek, ranked No. 5 in the Central Region, 8-5 to give the Lady Bisons a 1-0 lead. With a 2-1 lead, Harding quickly won two singles matches at No. 4 and No. 6. Kaleigh Wagner won 6-0, 6-0 and Doversola won her fourth-straight singles match. The Lady Bisons stayed undefeated in GAC action this season in their win over Southern Nazarene. Harding won 2-of-3 doubles and then won 5-of-6 singles matches.

Men’s golf: Harding saved its best for last Tuesday in the final round of the Jim Bishop Toyota Classic in Alabama, a 54-hole tournament played over two days on the Robert Trent Jones Fighting Joe Course. The Bisons entered the third and final round in 13th place but tied for the second-best round of the day and jumped to 10th of 14 teams with a 306. Harding finished at 938 after shooting 311 and 321 in Monday’s first two rounds. Harding’s best individual score of the third round was a 2-over 74 from Jordan Perry.

This week’s schedule (home games in bold):

Tuesday, April 1

  • Men’s and women’s golf host Natural State Classic, 8 a.m.
  • Baseball vs. Union University, 3 p.m.

Wednesday, April 2

  • Men’s tennis vs. Ouachita Baptist University, 1 p.m.

Thursday, April 3

  • Men’s tennis at LeMoyne-Owen College, 3 p.m.

Friday, April 4

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 2 p.m.
  • Baseball at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, 2 p.m.
  • Women’s tennis at Arkansas Tech University, 2 p.m.

Saturday, April 5

  • Softball doubleheader vs. Southwestern Oklahoma State University, noon
  • Baseball doubleheader at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, noon
  • Men’s and women’s tennis vs. Southeastern Oklahoma, 1 p.m.
  • Men’s and women’s track at Ole Miss Invitational, TBA

Remember to check HardingSports.com for all the latest information on your Bisons and Lady Bisons.

Nathan Looney, assistant sports information director

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