Daily Archives: October 18, 2015

UWF soccer set to anchor Homecoming Week

Jason Dustin

Sports Editor

At the centerpiece of the University of West Florida’s Homecoming Week will be the men’s and women’s soccer games, which will be played back-to-back, on Friday at the Pensacola campus’ Soccer Complex.

Beginning at 2 p.m. is “The Tailgate,” which is touted by the Homecoming Committee as a good reason to “grill your favorite game day grub, and socialize with past, present, and future Argos.”  

This year’s opponent will be Delta State University. The men’s game begins at 5 p.m. and the women’s is scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m.

Head coach Bill Elliott’s men’s squad opened the year with five straight wins and appearance in the national rankings. Following a four-game stretch of alternating wins and losses, the Argonauts have strung together consecutive wins once again.

Their overall record is 8-2, which is significantly better than DSU’s record. The Argos’ .500 record in their four Gulf South Conference games is only one game better than DSU in conference.

Steve Bartlinski’s women’s team opened the season with five road games and compiled a 4-1 record during that stretch.  They have gone 4-2 since then, bringing its season record to 8-3.

Earlier in the season, Elliott said his team was young once again, but more experienced than last year’s team and described the team as balanced.

The women’s team is in a similar situation.

“We only have two seniors on the team, so it bodes well for the future,” Bartlinski said. “We’ve got a bunch of new faces. I like that grit and the fight.”

Spread the news: UWF volleyball is dominating opponents

Jason Dustin

Sports Editor

Following her team’s second game of the season, which it lost in the fifth set, Melissa Wolter answered questions with a furrowed brow and a slightly clenched jaw.

When it was mentioned that her University of West Florida volleyball team matched up well against its opponent, 2014 national finalist and current No. 3 Southwest Minnesota State University, she made note of the victorious program’s experience and pedigree. She then paused, remained physically disconcerted with the loss, and turned to address the question and briefly revealed the tiniest hint of a smile.

“But definitely,” the coach said, “we can play.”

She was right.

The Argonauts would lose again a week later to Ferris State University, a team that was ranked No. 5 at the time, at the Colorado Premier Challenge. They have not lost since then.

The latest American Volleyball Coaches Association Division II poll ranked UWF 18th in the nation, following a three-win week in which the Argos had defeated Gulf South Conference rival, and previously undefeated, Valdosta State University. Wolter’s team is now 17-2 on the season, and 10-0 within the GSC, a record powered by a current 13-game winning streak.

Since losing to Ferris State University, UWF has won 39 of 41 sets. For the season they have won 53 sets and lost only nine. It is ranked 11th in the country in kills per set, averaging 14.3. The Argos also rank favorably in assists, averaging 13.2 per set, good for 15th.

Within the GSC they rank first in assists, blocks, digs and kills, and second in hitting percentage.

Here is a closer look at some of the reasons why the Argos were selected as preseason GSC favorites for the fifth consecutive year and thus far met expectations.

Melissa Wolter

This is Wolter’s 13th season as head coach. She recorded career win number 300 at UWF on Sept. 19, in a win against GSC rival University of West Georgia. She is now the fifth-winningest coach in GSC volleyball history.

In addition to her win total, the three-time GSC Coach of the Year award winner (2008, 2010, 2011) ranks second in GSC career winning percentage.

Autumn Duyn

The senior from Venice, Florida, has recorded 10 or more kills in 10 matches in 2015. This impressive production includes a team, single-game, season-high of 20 kills during a Sept. 11 win against Missouri University of Science and Technology. She also logged single-game totals of 15 and 16 kills.

The two-time GSC Tournament MVP (2011, 2012) also ranks second on the team in digs.

Tori Martella

Martella, a junior from Jacksonville, established the UWF single-game, four-set record with 34 digs against Shorter University. As a result, she was tabbed GSC Defensive Player of the Week honors.

Her season total of 295 digs leads the GSC and outpaces any other Argo by more than 100.  She has had four matches, to date, of 20 or more digs.

She also ranks third on the team in assists.

Corisha Smith

The UWF Field House fan favorite, known for her thunderous kills, has recorded three games of 10 or more. The junior from Inwood, West Virginia, saved her best match for the most important win of the season against Valdosta State University. She recorded 18 kills in the first-place clinching win.

“People can see that she hits the ball really hard,” Wolter said, following the VSU victory. “But what people don’t know, until you watch her in a match like tonight is that kid thrives under pressure.”

Monique StCyr

Wolter refers to StCyr as the “quarterback” of the team.

The sophomore from Williamsburg, Virginia, recorded a season-high 53 assists and has had seven games of 35 or more.

The UWF Field House Crowd

The 835-person crowd at the VSU showdown was the 10th highest total in GSC history.  It was the highest total of any GSC contest this decade.

“I always feed off of the crowd,” Smith said. “It instills confidence in all of us too, that they trust what we can do and know that we’re a pretty good program.”  

For the full volleyball schedule, visit the volleyball schedule page on the GoArgos website.

UWF athletics weekly roundup

Jason Dustin

Sports Editor

The swimming and diving team debuted, amidst accolades the streaking volleyball team swerved before righting the ship, and the women’s soccer team swept the week and have now strung together three wins as they head into Homecoming week.

Swimming and Diving

The University of West Florida swimming and diving team opened the 2015 season at home, in a four-school meet.  

The Argonauts finished the two-day meet with a record of 2-4. UWF’s three opponents were all Division I schools.

The highlight of the meet for the host Argos was provided by All-American Monica Amaral, a junior diver from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Amaral set a new school record in the 3-meter springboard, breaking her own mark, according to a UWF Athletic Communications press release.  In doing so, Amaral qualified for the NCAA national tournament.

The swimming and diving teams next compete on Friday, Oct. 30, in Sewanee, Tennessee, at the Sewanee Invitational.

Women’s soccer

The women’s soccer team heads into Homecoming Week having found some rhythm.

Head coach Steve Bartlinski’s team defeated the University of North Alabama 3-2, on Sunday, Oct. 11, in Pensacola.  The Argos were fueled by senior Amber Pennybaker, who had two goals.

UWF’s second win of the week came against the University of Alabama in Huntsville, on the road, on Friday, Oct. 16.  Sophomore Daryl Bell paced UWF with two goals in the 4-0 shutout win.

UWF now has three of the top seven goal scorers in the Gulf South Conference. Kaley Ward is tied for second in the GSC with eight goals, while Bell and Pennybaker are tied for third with seven.

The Argos’ schedule for the week includes a Sunday, Oct. 18 tilt in Livingston, Alabama against the University of West Alabama and a Homecoming matchup on Friday, Oct. 23, against Delta State University at the UWF Soccer Complex.

Men’s soccer

The men’s soccer team narrowly missed riding a three-game winning streak of their own into Homecoming Week.

On Sunday, Oct. 11, the Argos defeated Concordia College 3-0, in Pensacola. Chandler Castleman, a sophomore from Pace, scored twice.

UWF pushed the University of Alabama in Huntsville to overtime on Friday, Oct. 16, in Huntsville.  Jorge Chirinos scored his second, second-half goal of the contest in the 86th minute, on an assist by Marteinn Urbancic.

The men play next on Sunday, Oct. 18 at the University of West Alabama, before their Homecoming match against Delta State University, on Friday, Oct. 24, in Pensacola.

Volleyball

The UWF volleyball team surrendered its 13-game winning streak in its first match in Carrollton, Georgia at the South Region Crossover, which was hosted by the University of West Georgia.

The Argos finished 1-2 at the tournament after falling to nationally-ranked programs No. 14 Florida Southern College, 3-1, and No. 17 Palm Beach Atlantic University, 3-0, before defeating Barry University 3-1.

The team is now 18-4 on the year.

Earlier in the week the GSC had named UWF junior middle blocker Kathryn Torre, and junior outside hitter Corisha Smith conference Defensive and Offensive Players of the Week, respectively.

The Argos will remain at UWG on Sunday, Oct. 18, to face its GSC rival. The three-match week will continue on the road on Tuesday, Oct. 20 in a rematch with Valdosta State University, and at the University of West Alabama on Saturday, Oct. 24.

In other news, the UWF men’s tennis doubles team of senior Kenny Brasil and junior Alex Peyrot placed fifth at the 2015 USTA/ITA National Small College Championships on Friday, Oct. 16, according to a UWF Athletic Communications press release.  The pair entered the tournament seeded third.

The men’s and women’s cross-country teams continue to prepare for the GSC championships, which will take place on Saturday, Oct. 24, at the Oakville Indian Mounds Course in Danville, Alabama.