Fiercely competitive

Scots volleyball ups ante with tougher schedule

Kandis Schram was looking for a way to “toughen up” the Maryville College women’s volleyball team when the veteran coach put together this season’s schedule.

Maryville has become a regular at the NCAA tournament the last several seasons, only to leave the dance much too early for the coach’s liking. This fall, Schram isn’t waiting for the national tournament for Maryville to see those teams. A slower than usual start to the regular season, she said, is an acceptable consequence.

Last year, Maryville sprinted to an 8-1 record to start the year. This season, the Scots find themselves at the other end of the spectrum, holding at 2-7 after a recent Maryville tournament that brought a host of nationally-ranked teams to Boydson Baird Gymnasium last weekend.

“We’re just hoping that we have made a schedule that is fierce,” Schram said. “We’re not going to have the Maryville College record that people are going to expect. We’re going to have more losses. We’re not going to have a 30-5, and we know that. We’re going to have probably eight or nine losses. We’re hoping that the other twenty-some wins will prepare us to have a run in the NCAA.”

The Scots held their own at a Maryville invitational last weekend that included Mount St. Joseph, Southwestern University, Spalding, Thomas More, Hanover and former national champion Emory University, one year removed. Maryville took five of those powerhouses to five sets, two others to four.

“I am excited about the quality of competition we are playing to prepare for our Great South (conference) schedule this season,” Schram said. “We are competing against some great programs, and our players just need to know how to finish. We need to get and stay healthy while experimenting with our lineup to get the right people ready to play.”

Schram said the Scots have something special in the lineup in sophomore setter Teri Lind. The 5-foot-7 inch Lind leads the Scots with 120 assists, adding 11 aces from the service line.

“Teri reported to camp in very good condition and a good frame of mind,” Schram said. “She is running the court extremely well, and we’re excited to have her out there.”

Maryville junior Kristin Findley is putting Lind’s passing to good use, blazing away with a team-best 113 kills through nine matches. Fellow juniors Kara Strickland and Kayla Anderson are next best for the Scots at 48 and 43 finishers, respectively. Anderson and freshman Jillian Galewski pace Maryville with 15 and 14 blocks, respectively.

Maryville is next at home Sept. 25 when it will host Wesleyan College at 1 p.m.

Soccer

Maryville’s men’s and women’s soccer teams are both off to sluggish starts, both 1-3 on the young season. Scots coach Pepe Fernandez, at the head of both programs since 1989, is in search of his milestone 500th win this season. After last weekend’s 2-1 win by the men’s team at Randolph College, Fernandez stands at 498 wins. During his tenure, he has led the men to a total of 262 wins, the women to 236.

Freshman forward Ashley Howarth of Knoxville Bearden has all three Maryville goals on the season, with senior Jessica Peterson collecting an assist on each goal. Maryville hasn’t needed a great deal of scoring, with junior goalkeeper Desiree Simmons stopping 36 shots while allowing only six goals in four matches.

Junior forward Tom Webster, himself a former Bulldog, has found the opposing net for a pair of goals for the Scots. Junior Travis Bolton of Farragut has a single strike for Maryville. Scots goalkeeper Bryan Walker has collected 19 saves while allowing six goals.

The Maryville women host the University of the South on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The Maryville men are next at home on Sept. 26 when the Scots will host the University of Dallas at 1 p.m.

Cross Country

The Scots finished first recently at Johnson Bible College, the primary reason being sophomore Sarah McGinnis. McGinnis was second in the individual scoring in a time of 24 minutes, 23 seconds. The Scots saw four additional runners finish in the top 10, including Rachel Harris (fifth), Colleen Meersman (sixth), Whitney Hunt (eighth) and Erin Cawthorn (ninth).

The Maryville men were second at Johnson Bible College. Travis Wilson, the 2009 Great South Athletic Conference Freshman of the Year, ran to a winning time of 18:35. Hayden Brown followed Wilson home in ninth.

“We learned what we needed to be better as individuals and as a unit,” Maryville coach Tyson Murphy said. “We know we need to work on our strength up tough hills and spend training time working on our endurance.”

The Scots host the Maryville College Invitational Oct. 2 at the College Woods course.

Golf

The Maryville linksters started the season strong at the Jim English Tournament in Danville, Ky. The tournament, hosted by Centre College, saw senior Jeremy Cason stroke a score of 69 and carry a two-stroke margin to the victory for individual title. Maryville finished fourth in the field of nine teams while stroking a 310 combined. Trey Bridwell added a 74. The Maryville women finished in sixth. Paced by sophomore Megan Lee, the Scots carded out at 393. Lee finished in 93 strokes, while junior Alyse Ray was just back at 96.

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