Emerson Talley: The Lenoir-Rhyne women’s soccer team won the South Atlantic Conference Championship over Catawba at the Mecklenburg County Sports Complex in Matthews on Sunday. The Bears and the Indians played to a 2-2 tie after 110 minutes of action. The Bears claimed the championship after winning 4-2 on penalty kicks. Talley started in the championship game and played 36 minutes. In the semifinals on November 10, the Bears shut out Carson-Newman 2-0. Talley played 67 minutes and fired one shot. Lenoir-Rhyne completed an undefeated run through the South Atlantic Conference, finishing 11-0. They are 15-0-4 overall. The Bears received a #1 seed for the NCAA Division II Tournament and will face Carson-Newman in the opening round on Friday at the Moretz Sports Athletic Complex in Hickory. If the Bears win, they will host the second round game against either Columbus State or Flagler on Sunday afternoon.
Ivy Garner: Garner scored a goal for Liberty in the opening round of the NCAA Division I soccer tournament on Friday. Garner notched the equalizing goal for the Flames in the 72nd minute. Georgia’s Kiera Staude scored the game-winning goal in the 85th minute as Georgia won 2-1, denying Liberty its first NCAA Tournament win. Liberty, the champions of Conference USA, ends the season 16-3-1. As a sophomore, Garner was named first-team All-Conference USA. This season, she started in all 20 of the Flames games. She scored six goals and racked up four assists. She was second on the team with 39 shots and had 19 shots on goal, which was tied for second on the squad. It was Liberty’s eighth Division I NCAA Tournament appearance.
Trenton Gill: The Chicago Bears defeated the Carolina Panthers 16-13 at Solider Field last Thursday night. Gill had six punts for an average of 46.7 yards. One of Gill’s punts was returned for a touchdown by Carolina’s Ihmir Smith-Marsette, which was the only time the Panthers saw the end zone all night. Gill had three punts downed inside the 20-yard line. His longest boot was 62 yards. Chicago is 3-7 and will face Detroit at Ford Field on Sunday.
Payton Wilson: As his career at N.C. State winds down, Wilson continues to rack up the honors. On Wednesday, he was named a finalist for the Bronco Nagurski Trophy, given to the best defensive player in college football. The Wolfpack won its third straight on Saturday, beating Wake Forest 26-6 at Allegacy Stadium in Winston-Salem. Wilson finished with seven tackles, a pass breakup and a quarterback hit. Wilson continues to lead the team in tackles and had two tackles for loss against the Demon Deacons. On Saturday, Wilson will play the last true road game of his career when the Wolfpack take on Virginia Tech at Lane Stadium in Blacksburg, VA.
Braxton Mergenthal: The Division III Hampden-Sydney football team’s season came to an end last weekend when #9 Randolph-Macon defeated the Tigers 49-10 at Day Field in Ashland, VA. Mergenthal finished with four tackles for Hampden-Sydney in a rivalry that is considered the Oldest Small School Rivalry in the South. Hampden-Sydney finished the season 6-4 overall, 4-3 in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference. Mergenthal played in ten games this season and collected 22 tackles and one fumble recovery.
Joey McMullin: The Division III Methodist men’s basketball team started its season earlier this month. The Monarchs dropped its home opener to Guilford 74-59 at the Riddle Center in Fayetteville on November 8. In his first game at Methodist, McMullin finished with seven points in 22 minutes. He shot 3-of-7 from the field. He also collected two rebounds. Johnson & Wales defeated Methodist 83-73 in Fayetteville on Saturday. McMullin started and scored six points off 3-of-11 shooting from the field. He also had four rebounds and an assist. On Wednesday, Virginia Wesleyan defeated Methodist 61-48 at TowneBank Arena in Virginia Beach, VA. Once again, McMullin started and played 17 minutes. He scored three points off 1-of-5 shooting from the field. McMullin also had a rebound. The Monarchs will travel to Asheville on Saturday to face Warren Wilson College.