GSU sports: A year in review

Hayden Boudreaux

After a spectacular final season in the Southern Conference most sports have come to a close. The George-Anne sports staff compiled a comprehensive review of each team and how they fared throughout the last season. There were many ups and downs for every sport but they made every student at GSU proud to be an Eagle.

Women’s Tennis: SoCon Tourney 4/16

As the women’s tennis team‘s last match came to an inevitable close during the quarterfinals of the 2014 SoCon Championships, they reflected back on their performances this past season. During their eventful few fall months of invitationals, the Eagles were able to secure some impressive wins and tough losses against teams like Wofford and Kennesaw. They began their season with a sweeping three-game win streak which eventually fell during their midseason play. Fortunately for the Eagles, coming back and defeating Western Carolina in March was a big confidence boost and they again found their stride. The Eagles concluded their regular season with a steady 10-11 record and their conference play with a record of 4-5.

Swimming and Diving: Broke 11 records at CCSA (2/22)

The 2013-2014 swimming and diving team spent the season breaking records left and right. The team took third place at the CCSA Championship meet and broke 11 records at that meet alone. Senior Kristen Bates’ NCAA B-cut time in the 100m Breaststroke and sophomore diver Emma Weisel’s representation at this year’s NCAA Zone B Championships were some individual highlights. Mid-Major Final Rankings put GSU at number 68, a tremendous accomplishment from their 120th spot in the fall.

Men’s Tennis: SoCon Tourney 4/16

Georgia Southern University’s men’s tennis team went 5-18 with the season ending in the quarterfinals of the 2014 Southern Conference Championships in a 4-0 defeat by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. It was the final season for seniors Oliver Webb and Marco Osorio; Webb was named to the 2014 SoCon First Team All-Conference as his final award.

Softball: Purvis perfect game 3/5

The regular season is wrapping up for the Georgia Southern University softball team and they have a lot to be excited about. The Eagles currently sit atop the Southern Conference and have notched wins over several top opponents including the University of Wisconsin. They also nearly knocked off top ranked University of Tennessee on two separate occasions. Team leaders include: senior pitcher Sarah Purvis, who pitched a perfect game and a no-hitter, leading batter senior shortstop Kourtny Thomas and the solid bat of senior Shelby Morrill.

Volleyball: First round of NCAA Tourney 12/5/13

It was a thrilling year for the Georgia Southern University volleyball team as they captured the Southern Conference championship in GSU’s last season in the conference. With big wins over Division-I opponents such as Ole Miss and Central Michigan the Eagles have given themselves experience heading into next season. The team made it to the first round of the NCAA Tournament but fell to Florida State University. Junior Jamie DeRatt led the team in kills and looks forward to leading the team moving forward.

Women’s Basketball: Eliminated from SoCon Tourney 3/8

Improvement was seen in the Georgia Southern University women’s basketball team throughout head coach Chris Vozab‘s second season. They opened the year by traveling to Auburn and nearly upsetting the powerhouse. The Eagles struggled to keep a rhythm as the season progressed but defeated Wofford College in the first round of the SoCon Tournament. They were later defeated by the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Junior guard Anna Claire Knight lived up to her preseason all-conference title and averaged a team high 15.9 points per game.

Women’s Soccer: Ends final season in SoCon 11/12/13

It was a hard fought year for the Georgia Southern University women’s soccer team. To open the year they lost all-conference senior goalie Katie Merson before the first game. Continued injuries at the goalkeeper position required a club soccer player, junior goalkeeper Molly Williams, to step in and perform. Senior forward Alex Murphy and sophomore midfielder Nora El-Shami led the team in goals. A loss to Davidson in the final game of the season kept the team from advancing to the SoCon Tournament.

Baseball: Defeated UGA in two of three games (2/15-16)

With seven games left in the regular season, the Georgia Southern University baseball team has found themselves at sixth in the conference. The season started off promising with wins over the University of Georgia as well as Georgia Tech. Late in the season internal trouble resulted in the loss of three players. Junior outfielder Aaron Mizell has been an asset at bat for the Eagles, cranking 11 home runs. The Eagles are still fighting for a spot in the SoCon Tournament.

Men’s Basketball: Lost to Miami 81-80 (11/11/13)

It was a season of ups and downs for the Georgia Southern University men’s basketball team. In the third game of the season they went toe to toe with the University of Miami in a thriller but fell 80-81. Redshirt junior Jelani Hewitt served as a team leader and averaged over 19 points per game. They fought through the first two games of the tournament before they were bested by Wofford College.

Football: Defeated Florida 11/23/13

This season the Georgia Southern University football team gave the fans their money’s worth. It was the final season for former head coach Jeff Monken as well as the triple option and the old look of Paulson Stadium. Senior Jerrick McKinnon was a staple for the Eagles in the backfield and looks forward to being drafted into the NFL next week. The finished the season with the prolific victory over the University of Florida 26-20.

Men’s Soccer: Finds home in Sun Belt (2/11)

The Georgia Southern University men’s soccer team wrapped up their season with three more wins than last year. All-conference senior goalkeeper Neal Bates was a tremendous asset in goal, allowing only 1.40 goals per game. The Eagles pushed past the first round of the SoCon Tournament but were defeated by Elon before the championship game.

Men’s Golf: Won SoCon Tourney on 4/22

The 2013-2014 Georgia Southern University men’s golf team walked away with a SoCon title in its last season in the conference, before the jump to the Sun Belt in the fall. The team was highlighted by strong performances from senior Will Evans and juniors Charlie Martin and Scott Wolfes.

Women’s Rifle: Won first event against Wofford (10/27/13)

This was the inaugural season for the Georgia Southern University women’s rifle squad. Their first program win came against Wofford last October. Freshman Kathryn Youngblood had the team high shot average at 561.2. With a new shooting range under construction the future looks bright for the new GSU rifle program.