UST Athletic Roundup
The University of St. Thomas volleyball team and soccer team competed in the Association of Independent Institutions (AII) Volleyball and Soccer Conference Tournaments this weekend, Nov. 11-14, and the men’s basketball team travelled to San Antonio to play St. Mary’s University.
The Lady Celts volleyball team won the AII Conference Tournament for the second year by defeating Ohio Dominican in four sets this past weekend, Nov. 12-14.
UST junior volleyball player Lauren Poe was named the Most Outstanding Player at the tournament. Poe was also named to 1st Team All-Conference along with senior Heather Hardy, junior Casey Mulryan and senior Keanne Smith. Junior Courtney Johnson and junior Sarah Curiel-Thompson were named to 2nd Team All-Conference. Jill Reynolds, UST head volleyball coach, was named Coach of the Year for the second consecutive year.
This win advances the Lady Celts to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Volleyball National Championship opening round. The volleyball team will head to Lubbock Christian University on Saturday, Nov. 21 to play the No. 20 Lady Chaparrals.
“The team is thrilled to make Nationals for the second year in a row,” Reynolds said. “We are looking forward play Lubbock Christian this weekend, and hope to continue to the finals.”
The top 24 teams will go to the 30th annual NAIA Volleyball National Championship finals held from Tuesday to Saturday, Dec. 1-5, in Sioux City, Iowa.
The men’s soccer team ended their season in Phoenix at the Association of Independent Institution (AII) Conference Tournament semi-finals. The No. 2 Celts played the No. 3 Cougars of California State University of San Marcos on Nov. 12 at the Rose Mofford Sports Complex.
The game was a back-and-forth battle for much of the first half with neither team being able to establish many chances to score. The scoreless game was broken in the 39th minute when the Cougars were awarded a penalty kick. The Cougars’ midfielder scored the penalty kick, which ended the first half 0-1 for the CSUSM.
The Celts worked hard in the beginning of the second half, but were not always composed. UST dug in and fought hard, but missed an opportunity just minutes later to equalize the score. The Cougars took advantage of being up a man, and scored the final goal of the match in the 60th minute. The Celts never quit and kept fighting till the final whistle.
Junior Jad El-Masri led UST with 4 shots in the match, and junior Lukas Simon finished with 7 saves.
“The team showed steady improvement throughout the year,” said Aaron Champenoy, UST head soccer coach. “I am very proud of this group of young men. They have sacrificed a lot over the last four months and continued to push this program every year. We will miss our seniors – Armen Allahverdian and Colin Moe – who gave a lot to this team for the last three year.”
The team was also able to experience more of the country with a visit to the Grand Canyon National Park. The group drove three hours, but made a stop to enjoy the snow near Flagstaff, Ariz. Champenoy said the landscape of the snow and the Grand Canyon left the team in awe, and the Canyon will be an unforgettable experience for these young men.
The men’s basketball team played St. Mary’s Sunday, Nov. 15, in San Antonio.
The Celts lost 74-65. Patrick Graves led the Celts with 14 points. Travis Lampley was the second leading scorer with 13 points, and led the team in rebounds with 8 and assists with 7. With 10 points, Bryan Kaase was the third highest scorer.
“I was happy with the team’s effort,” said Todd Smith, UST head basketball coach and athletic director. “They battled against a great NCAA team, and for their fourth game of the year, they showed great progress.”
The team is 2-0 at home. Come support the Celts at their third home game at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 19, at Jerabeck Gymnasium, 4000 Mt. Vernon.