Tag Archive | "athletics"

Volleyball breaks even at South Region Crossover

By Scott Pauley

The UWF Volleyball team finished a tough weekend with a win against Florida Southern on Saturday to end the South Region Crossover Tournament at 2-2, after losing two games and junior Autumn Duyn to an ankle injury on Friday.

The tournament started out well with UWF winning in straight sets against Eckerd. The Argos continued to roll with the momentum of a six-game winning streak they carried into the tournament.

UWF was led by a trio of hitters in Sarah Scott, Duyn and Lindsay Homme who all tallied 13 kills against Eckerd to lead an impressive offensive performance in the match. Duyn, Kate Keegan and Colleen Stars all had double-digit digs in the match and led the Argos defensively.

Disaster struck Friday when Duyn rolled her ankle badly in the second set against Barry.The Argos dropped three straight sets to lose 1-3. The rotation had to adjust to playing without Duyn for the first time in two years.

“It definitely sucked seeing her go down. She’s one of our best players,” Scott said of Duyn’s injury.  “We have 19 players on our team for a reason, and we recruited them to do their job so that’s what we have to do moving forward.”

Friday evening saw No. 3 Tampa come into a raucous Field House as the Argos were able to channel the energy of a good crowd and win a tight first game 25-21. UWF gave up too many errors in the following sets to overcome a very talented Tampa team and lost 1-3.

Both Bellairs and Scott said that the ability to sustain the energy that drove them to win game one against Tampa and improve their defensive play, would be a key to success moving forward as the team attempts to win in Duyn’s absence.

Saturday’s victory came on the back of Maddy Lenzini, as she was able to find her groove and lead the Argos with 16 kills to mark her new career best. UWF had strong team defense in the team’s defensive performance that saw six Argonauts tally 10 or more digs and really stood as a quality answer to Friday’s defensive struggles.

The Argos need to prepare their new rotation as they may be without Duyn for a couple of crucial conference matchups this weekend. Conference rival Shorter comes to town on Friday, and Lee will face the Argos for their annual “Pack it Pink” match in support of breast cancer awareness on Saturday.

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Swimming wins first meet in Birmingham

Staff Reports

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – After picking up the first two wins in program history on Friday against Birmingham-Southern and Centre, the West Florida women’s swimming and diving team came back on Saturday to place first of seven teams at the Birmingham-Southern Relays at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

The seven-team field included Bethel, Birmingham-Southern, Brenau, Emmanuel, LaGrange, Sewanee and West Florida.

“We raced exceptionally well today against some very good schools,” said UWF head coach Andrew Hancock. “We had a couple of tough breaks early with some disqualifications, and that really put us in a hole. We had to battle back, and we learned a lot about our team today. We learned that they’re resilient. We learned that they can face adversity and overcome it. These are the qualities that will serve us well at the end of the year.”

The event included 10 relays for women’s teams, and UWF claimed wins in the 100 freestyle relay, 200 freestyle relay, 300 backstroke relay, 300 butterfly relay and 300 IM relay.

“We had a great time with the relay meet,” explained Hancock. “Our team had a lot of fun with some swims that we usually don’t get to swim. Overall it was a great experience last night and today.”

The Argonauts will return to action in a tri-meet on the road on Nov. 9 against LaGrange and Thomas (Ga.). For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.

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Flag football starts with preseason tourney

By Brian Achatz

The Immortals bested the competition in the preseason flag football tournament at The University of West Florida. The third annual tournament took place Oct. 17 at the UWF Intramural Fields.

Intramural Graduate Assistant Dale Russell said he thinks the tournament is more focused on practice than it is on winning.

“The main purpose is to allow our officials to train,” Russell said. “The overtime rules allow us to get more games in at the tournament.”

The event gave intramural referees and participants a final chance to test their skills. The double-elimination tournament started with round-robin play before breaking the teams into two pools. All games were played with overtime rules.

“We are very excited for the upcoming season,” Russell said. “Clearly the students are excited too since all of our regular-season leagues filled up in three days.”

Seven teams and more than 20 officials participated in the tournament.

“It’s awesome getting hands-on training,” sophomore referee Damarrian Pitts said. “The teams were respectable, and players were lenient while working with us.”

Pitts, like other officials, is also playing intramural flag football.

“I’m excited to get out there and play, it will help my officiating skills,” Pitts said.

Junior Corwinn Toliver said his team is full of misfits who came together at the last minute.

“Team Nice is full of athletes,” Toliver said. “We have all played football or another sport.”

Toliver played flag football last year with a different team and was able to make it to the second round of the playoffs.

Teams holding practice Thursday night also occupied the intramural fields.

The Punt Destroyers are one of the handful of favorites for the regular season, and went 6-0 last season.

“It slipped our minds, hopefully we should take it all this year,” Grant Golombeski said.

The Punt Destroyers are one of the few teams who have stuck together since last season.

“We’ve had to cut a few players, but we added some younger siblings of players and friends to the team,” Golombeski said.

Brad Klimek, quarterback of the Punt Destroyers, is optimistic about his team’s chances of success this season.

“I can out throw any quarterback in intramurals, straight up,” Klimek said. “We like to use the deep ball to fuel our fast-paced offense.”

The regular season kicked-off Monday night at the Intramural Fields. Spectators are welcome at games Monday through Thursday nights.

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Students get ready for basketball at Hoop-A-Palooza

By Danielle Lockamy

On Tuesday, Oct. 16, the Argonauts hosted their first Hoop-A-Palooza to kick off the 2013-14 basketball season.

“This season, I am most excited to go out and win, as well as have a lot of fun,” senior guard Nate Johnson said.

According to the men’s basketball team’s Head Coach Bob Stinnett, the team was fully prepared as of Oct. 16, the first day of practice.

“We have eight returning players this season which already makes us more prepared than last year,” said Stinnett.

The event began with students cheering on the teams as they were introduced by name, height and grade. Players from both teams and fellow Argonauts chosen from the crowd participated in “Around the World” and three-point challenge competitions. The winners of the games received $10 gift cards to Pita Pit.

Throughout Hoop-A-Palooza, raffle tickets were drawn to win Publix gift cards, polo UWF shirts, Domino’s pizza, and Beats by Dre. At the end of the night, the final raffle was drawn for a chance to receive free tuition for a semester. Two raffles were drawn with hopes that one lucky winner would make the half-court shot and win the free tuition. However, both contestants came up just short of the hoop.

“I really enjoyed Hoop-A-Palooza,” said Alonzo Byas, freshman. “It was a great way to get pumped about the upcoming season.”

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Savi wins USTA Small College Championship

Staff Reports

FORT MYERS, Fla. – University of West Florida senior Bruno Savi can now be mentioned as one of the greatest West Florida men’s tennis players in the history of the program. Savi defeated Marko Boskovic 6-4,6-3 in the singles championship match of the USTA/ITA DII National Small College Championship, a feat that has only happened two other times in the history of the program.

Savi exacted a bit of revenge in the win after the Santana do Livramento, Brazil native and his teammate Felipe Frattini lost to Boskovic and his partner in the first round of doubles competition.

“This is a great honor for me to be the singles champion,” Savi said. “I have been working very hard over the summer for this exact moment. It was special to play the regional in Pensacola and I knew this was going to be tough but I feel like I played by best tennis today.”

“Bruno is one of the best players we’ve had here at UWF and is a great leader for us,” head coach Derrick Racine said. “Last year he got injured in the regional final and didn’t get the opportunity to finish the match. It was great to see him put in the hard work after that loss last season and come back and win it this year as a senior.”

For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.

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Swimming and diving struggles against FSU, Tulane

By Brian Achatz

Coash Andrew Hancock

Coash Andrew Hancock

Friday marked one small step for University of West Florida athletics and one giant leap for the UWF women’s swimming and diving team.

Twenty-three Argos made their debut at the UWF Aquatic Center in the first meet in school history. The Argos were bested by Division I opponents Florida State and Tulane, but still left room for moral victories. For UWF coach Andrew Hancock it was not all about winning.

“This is something our team will remember forever,” Hancock said. “We wanted to find a balance between competition and enjoying the moment.”

UWF sophomore Peggy de Villiers finished second in the 50-yard freestyle, marking the best finish for UWF of the day. Lydia Ware from Florida State finished two hundredths of a second ahead of de Villiers, making it the closest separation between first and second place of the meet.

After her finish, de Villiers was congratulated by several teammates while a cheer from the crowd echoed in the UWF Aquatic Center.

“I was happy about it,” de Villiers said, “I was seeing how well I could compete. When I saw (Ware) next to me I knew I was close to taking it.”

The transfer from Cape Town, South Africa was humble after her event in UWF’s inaugural meet.

“It’s such an honor to compete,” de Villiers said. “I love UWF, and I’m really happy to be here.”

De Villiers obtained another second place finish in the 200-yard freestyle relay, shared with teammates Emily Mitchell, Carla Robles and Cheryl Corvo.

The Argos finished top five in six of the individual events. In addition to the 50-yard freestyle, de Villiers grabbed fifth in the 100 free and fifth in the 100 butterfly. Anna-Marie Macht finished third in 100 breaststroke and fourth in the 200 individual medley. Savanna Antonetz finished fifth in the 100 backstroke.

“That was fun,” Hancock said. “We targeted the 200 (relay) and several other events as ones we wanted to do well at, so it kind of all worked out for us.”

UWF competes Oct. 18 in Birmingham against Birmingham-Southern College and Centre College.

The Argos will host two more meets during their inaugural season. The next home meet will be Jan. 2 against Carson-Newman University, Darton State College and Queens University.

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Campbell, Palmer lead the Argos to the win in soccer

By Brian Achatz

Chelsea Palmer

Chelsea Palmer

The No. 8 ranked University of West Florida women’s soccer team is building momentum in the later games of its season.

The Argos, ranked third in the country in overall defense, produced their fifth shutout of the season Sunday with a 4-0 win over Shorter University.

“We’ve got to improve every match,” coach Joe Bartlinski said. “With so little time left in the regular season are kids are going to work hard.”

UWF showed that their hard work has paid off thus far. The Argos produced 16 shots in the first 17 minutes in Sunday’s match against Shorter. One of those shots found the back of the net when forward Chelsea Palmer crossed the ball to midfielder Shelby Bush and put the Argos up 1-0.

“We work hard to move the ball and if you don’t have an open shot, that’s why you have teammates,” Palmer said.

The Argos would hold the lead for the rest of the game. However, UWF was not done scoring and Palmer still had a few more assists to dish out.

Midfielder Sashana Campbell had two goals on the afternoon. A throw-in from Palmer was directed to Campbell by defender April Syme for a goal in the 36th minute. Nearly 30 minutes later Palmer found Campbell on a cross to put the Argos up 3-0.

“I’m a striker. I’m out here to do my job and that is scoring,” Campbell said.

In the 78th minute Kaitlyn Culotta scored, marking the  fourth straight game in which she has recorded a point.

“Communication is one of the things we have to get better at,” Bartlinski said. “The Gulf South Conference is such a tough tournament, we have to improve.”

The defending national champions have five games left until the Gulf South Conference tournament begins.

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Dive in! Swimming and diving to kick off homecoming

By Scott Pauley

UWF Dive Team looking ot face off against Tulane and Florida State.

UWF Dive Team looking ot face off against Tulane and Florida State.

UWF looks to make a big splash as the UWF women’s swimming and diving team will hold its first ever meet at home against Florida State University and Tulane University on homecoming weekend.

“It’s huge. It’s exactly what I was hoping we would be able to put together,” UWF coach Andrew Hancock said. “With people coming to be curious about the sport and check it out, my goal is to give them something to really show them what the sport can be at the highest level.”

The ability to jump into the water and compete on the same stage as potential Olympians and possible NCAA Division I All-Americans is appealing to Hancock. He says he hopes to take advantage of the curiosity a new sport brings to a collegiate fan base.

As for the athletes, UWF has more experience than most would expect for a first-year program, thanks in large part to a roster with five upperclassmen transfers who have experience swimming at the collegiate level.

Aspirations are high for the team as junior swimmer Emily Mitchell said, “I really want to make it to Nationals. I think that’s a goal for everyone.”

Mitchell is not the only swimmer on the team that believes in the team’s ability to compete at a high level in its first year.

“We decided that we want to win conference, or at least top three in conference,” junior Paige Edens said. “And just be a team and get to know each other since this is our first year together.”

Hancock comes to UWF from a successful Cleveland State swimming program where he was an assistant coach and recruiting coordinator after swimming competitively for the school for four years.

Hancock has the recruiting for UWF headed in a positive direction, as both Mitchell and Edens said, their trips to Pensacola swayed their decision, as did getting to meet Hancock and the rest of his staff.

“When I came on my recruiting trip, Coach Andrew was awesome, and the school seemed so nice,” said Mitchell, a transfer from Darton State College in Georgia. “It was a really pretty and newer school; and it’s a really good academic school.”

Hancock believes that adding the sport broadens the demographic of UWF student athletes while bringing with it some of the trademark characteristics of successful swimmers.

“I think in general our sport is characterized by hard work, long hours, time management and discipline. We’re usually good in the classroom,” Hancock said. “So I think athletically we obviously offer something different to look at, but we are also good examples to be held to outside of the pool as well.”

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Volleyball sweeps foes during weekend roadtrip

Friday, Oct. 4 at North Alabama

Staff Reports

Argos celebrate their victory over Huntsville.

Argos celebrate their victory over Huntsville.

FLORENCE, Ala. – The No. 20-ranked West Florida Volleyball team defeated Gulf South Conference opponent North Alabama 3-0 (25-20,29-27,25-20) Friday night on the road. West Florida improves to 10-4 overall and 5-1 in the GSC with the win.

The Argonauts looked very strong offensively on the night highlighted by a .310 team attacking percentage in the first set. Junior Autumn Duyn had 11 kills and tallied four blocks while senior Jenny Bellairs tallied 10 kills at a .529 clip. Sophomore Maddy Lenzini had nine kills with a career-high .438 hitting percentage.

West Florida recorded nine blocks as a team and held UNA to a .204 hitting percentage on the night, including a .108 hitting percentage in the third set.

Senior Lindsay Homme totaled five kills in the match, and moved up to third place all-time for kills at UWF with 1,017.

For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.


Saturday, Oct. 5 at Ala.-Huntsville

Staff Reports

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – The No. 20-ranked West Florida Volleyball team swept Alabama-Huntsville 3-0 (25-18, 25-19, 25-15) on the road Saturday afternoon. The win was West Florida’s fifth in a row, all against conference opponents. The Argos improve to 11-4 overall and 6-1 in the Gulf South Conference with the victory.

Three Argos tallied double-digit kills, led by reigning GSC Offensive Player of the Week Autumn Duyn’s 12 kills at a .522 clip. Jenny Bellairs had 10 kills, including six in the third set.

The West Florida defense was able to hold UAH to a .105 hitting percentage and compiled 8.5 team blocks in the conference match.

The Argos will begin a three game homestand against Montevallo on Oct. 8 at 6 p.m., followed by games against conference opponents West Alabama and Valdosta State.

For information on all UWF athletics, visit www.GoArgos.com.

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UWF football to kick off inaugural season at the Maritime Park

By Scott Pauley

The University of West Florida and the Community Maritime Park Associates have announced a deal to allow UWF’s football team to play its inaugural season in 2016 at the Pensacola Bayfront Stadium, the home of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos.

The proposed agreement will allow UWF to move forward with plans to start football in 2016 by eliminating the need to have a stadium built on campus before the season begins, thereby reducing the startup costs of a new football team.

“Many of the details of the agreement are being worked out, but the terms as of now are that UWF will pay the CMPA $5,000 per game to rent the facility and the CMPA will receive $1 for every ticket sold,” said Matt Rowley, director of athletic communications for UWF, in an email. “The concessions part of the agreement is still unclear because that information will be addressed in an agreement with the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the CMPA. The agreement is in concept and has yet to be finalized.”

The stadium will seat about 5,000 people with the proposed configuration for UWF’s games. UWF President Judy Bense said the Bayfront Stadium was designed to be a multiple-use stadium and was created with the idea of eventually bringing football teams into it.

Rowley mentioned the university would try to accommodate students with transportation to the games.

In addition to this announcement for football, the UWF Board of Trustees passed a resolution Friday supporting the plan to bring football to the school in 2016. This step will allow UWF to continue on the path to include interviewing and hiring a coaching staff by spring 2014.

The first class of student-athletes will enroll in fall 2015, and will begin practicing and scrimmaging to prepare for the inaugural season the following fall.

The long-term plan for football calls for coaches offices, practice fields, strength and conditioning areas and locker rooms to accommodate football. In the immediate future, coaches offices will be located in the Field House.

Bense also said the school is more than halfway to the goal of raising $1.4 million to start the hiring process and field a team. The money came from donors who will be named at a later date, and the savings from the athletic fees that students pay with tuition.

“As our enrollment has grown, part of the athletic fee has gone to athletics, and Athletic Director Dave Scott has been squirreling away some of that money for football,” Bense said.

At a meeting of the UWF Football Founders Committee on Tuesday, Bense said she decided to “stop beating her head against the wall” while trying to gain funding for football from the state legislature. UWF will now look for funding primarily from private donations in addition to the budget from the athletic fees.

“Private giving through the Argonaut Athletic Club supplements the program budgets for the current sports, and private giving will be essential to the football budget as well,” Rowley said, but added that no cuts have been made to current sports budgets because of football.

The budget for the football program will be funded on a yearly basis. Funds will come from current athletic fees, scholarships, private donations, corporate sponsors and ticket sales. The budget is expected to grow each year leading up to the 2016 season.

“The program budget for football will be similar to the budgets for UWF’s current sports in many ways,” Rowley said. “None of UWF’s current sports are fully-funded with the maximum number of scholarships, and football will be the same.”

The current plan with the CMPA does not call for any new fees associated with football.

Current athletic fees have been increased to expand sports at UWF, including women’s swimming and diving.

Bense spoke to the CMPA about her vision for the inaugural season and painted a picture of the spectacle that she hopes football in historic downtown Pensacola will be.

“I was thinking the other day about our homecoming parade, our first one, and I can see it coming down Palafox Street,” Bense said. “I can see it with our first marching band. I can see it with our first drum corp. I can see it with our cheerleaders, with high school bands flanking us, and we’re going to have a heck of a time in downtown Pensacola.”

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