If every week goes like the last one, it’s going to be a great year for UCA sports. Volleyball started their season by mopping up the [weak?] competition at the Southern Miss Invitational. Men’s soccer went on the road and beat the defending Horizon League champs (Loyola-Chicago) 2-1 in overtime and then shutout Western Illinois for the 1-0 win. Women’s soccer split two home matches, getting the win against Lipscomb and falling 1-0 to Louisiana Tech.
The three teams combined for a 6-1 weekend. And all three will not get four days off before things pick back up again on Friday.
Volleyball gets the week started in the Stetson Tournament at 11am Friday. First up is 1-3 Hampton University. A couple hours after that one ends, the Sugar Bears face 1-3 Stetson. They are done for the day, but things get started even earlier on Friday with a 9am start against a Florida Atlantic team that will be playing their first matches of the season this weekend. FAU finished with three wins last year and was winless in the Sun Belt. The same league as South Alabama who beat FAU 3-1 to end FAU’s 2011 season. Reading all of that, it appears that the final match, against Wofford, may be the stiffest competition of the weekend? Wofford is 1-2 on the season with their win coming against Ole Miss.
Friday – 11am vs. Hampton
Friday – 5pm vs. Stetson
Saturday- 9am vs. Florida Atlantic
Saturday - 3pm vs. Wofford
Men’s soccer makes their first appearance at home this weekend. If you’re a fan, you might want to make plans to be there, because 1/3 of the season’s home games will be played. Also, if you developed a dislike for Lipscomb during Friday’s women’s match, you’re in luck. Losers of two straight, the Bisons (yep, like Harding, not a typo) were winners of four games last year – two more than the 2011 Bears. The 2012 Bears have already matched that total and can really raise expectations for the season with another win. Following that up is Oral Roberts, who was one of the two 2011 wins. The Bears defeated ORU in the season opener last year in Tulsa.
Friday – 4pm vs. Lipscomb
Sunday – 2:30pm vs. Oral Roberts
Women’s soccer takes on two SWAC schools this weekend and starts in Itta Bena against Mississippi Valley State. The two teams met in Conway last season and played to a 0-0 stalemate after two overtimes. The MVSU Web site doesn’t appear to have any 2012 information, but from Facebook it appears that they are 0-2. Things – if you can believe this – get MUCH easier after that. The trip to face Alabama A&M should be a good chance to further pad the scoring stats. AAMU has been outscored 32-0 in their first four contests. They just played their closest match of the year, a 5-goal loss to Jacksonville State. I don’t think I need to say much else.
Friday – 6pm vs. Mississippi Valley State
Sunday – 1pm vs. Alabama A&M
Saturday also gets the cross country season underway at the Memphis Twilight, and the tennis team is hosting the Campus Showdown (PDF). I’m not sure if that means our team will be included or not. Oh, and there’s a football game in Mississippi on Saturday. I’m guessing we’ll be discussing that more here on the blog this week.
Well, things keep trucking along. So let’s see what’s on tap for this week.
I’m not going to talk much about this for various reason, but let’s just say the Bears have lost 2 in a row [3-2 (0-1)], and now travel to Texas to face nationally ranked SFA at home. Kickoff is 2pm on Saturday, and the game will be aired on SLC-TV (Channel 42 in LR).
Enough really can’t be said about what these ladies (and their coaches) are doing. In the NCAA RPI that came out last week, the Sugarbears were ranked #62 in the nation! The latest numbers should come out later today. They currently have a record of 17-6 (7-0). This past week they started a stretch of conference road games and won both of them. They even won at UTA for the first time in program history. This week they travel to Lamar on Thursday and then to McNeese on Saturday. Lamar is currently 2nd in the SLC East behing UCA with a record of 8-9 (4-2) and McNeese is last in the SLC East with a record of 7-14 (1-5). The Sugarbears will look to keep the nation’s longest conference win streak (well, tied with Hawaii) alive, it currently sits at 29!
3. Men’s Soccer
The Men’s Soccer team has a record of 3-7 (0-1) on the year. Their 2-game win streak was snapped by Memphis on Tuesday by a final of 2-1. This team has lost 6 games by one point this season. They have 6 games left this season (all MVC games) and only 2 of them are at home. This week they will host Eastern Illinois [3-7 (0-2)] on Wednesday and travel to Illinois to face Bradley [5-6-1 (0-1-0)] on Saturday.
4. Women’s Soccer
The Women’s Soccer team has a record of 4-7-2 (0-3-1). They have 5 games left in the season, and the next 3 are at home starting with NW St on Sunday the 17th of October.
This past weekend the softball team wrapped up their Fall schedule with a 7-1 record. The only game they dropped was to Tulsa (by a score of 2-0) in Springfield, MO. Here is a recap of their fall schedule:
|Sun.||9/26/2010||Northern Oklahoma College-Tonkawa (DH)||Conway, Ark.||W 6-2, W 14-0 (6)|
|UCA Fall Tournament|
|Sat.||10/2/2010||Paris JC||Conway, Ark.||W 9-1 (5)|
|Sat.||10/2/2010||Lyon||Conway, Ark.||W 9-3|
|Sun.||10/3/2010||Arkansas-Pine Bluff||Conway, Ark.||W 8-0 (6)|
|Sun.||10/3/2010||Central Baptist||Conway, Ark.||W 4-0|
|Missouri State Tournament|
|Sat.||10/9/2010||Missouri State||Springfield, Mo.||W 7-2|
|Sat.||10/9/2010||Tulsa||Springfield, Mo.||L 0-2|
6. Cross Country
This past week the men’s and women’s cross country teams ran in the McNeese State Cowboy Stampede in Lake Charles, LA. The women placed 3rd in the race behind UTA and LSU, while the men placed 5th behind McNeese, Lousiana Tech, LSU, and UTA. This week they will run in the Chile Pepper Festival in Fayetteville on Saturday.
Plug for Basketball
Basketball Pick Your Seat Promotion (Farris Center); Tues 10/12 starting at 5 p.m.! One night only BOGO on all Courtside & Reserved seats! Coach Williamson and his team will be on hand for pics & autographs… Watch Coach Matt Daniel and his Sugar Bears workout live!
Baseball finally takes a real road trip this week. Basketball finishes up the season. Softball plays Ole Miss and finally gets out of Mississippi. Tennis is still at home, looking for its first win against a D1 opponent.
Baseball - Tuesday @3 at Oral Roberts; Weekend Series at Nevada
After picking up a series win over Saint Louis last weekend, the Bears head to Tulsa today to take on a winless ORU team. This is only the fourth game of the season for the Golden Eagles, and it will be their first home game. They were swept last weekend by Florida International, twice with late inning collapses. And when I say late, I mean 9th and 10th inning losses. They are sure to be upset about the start to their season after being picked to win the Summit League yet again. The weekend series with Nevada will get its own post later in the week.
Softball - Wednesday @6 at Ole Miss; Saturday and Sunday at Corpus Christi
The softball team will play its 6th straight game in Mississippi on Wednesday night. So far, they are just 2-3 and winning against the Rebels (10-5) would be a nice one heading into the first conference weekend. Not that pre-season polls are a good judge, but Corpus was picked a couple spots ahead by the coaches and one spot behind by the SIDs. Last season the team started off SLC play with a 2-1 series win at home against UTA. Winning the opening series would be a great way to start again this year.
Women’s Basketball – Wednesday night @7 at SFA; Saturday @2 against McNeese
The SBs look to bounce back after an ugly 27-point loss. Problem is that their next opponent is one game ahead of them in the East Division, so having to face SFA next will make the challenge much more difficult. The win might give the Sugar Bears a leg up in the race for the East as SFA has to play at UTSA on Saturday while 3-11 McNeese comes to Conway to close out the season. The Sugar Bears lost by 11 at home in the first matchup with SFA. That was a long time ago though.
Men’s Basketball – Wednesday @7 against SFA; Saturday @3 at McNeese
If the Bears hope to get to match last year’s SLC win total of three, it’s not likely to happen until Saturday. SFA is 20-7 on the season and leads the East with a 10-4 record. The beat the Bears by 15 at their place. McNeese is one of three East Division teams sitting at 5-9 right now. The good news is that they are just 3-12 on the road. The bad news is that they also beat the Bears by 15 – on the road – earlier in the season.
Women’s Tennis – Saturday @10 against Sam Houston
So far it looks like the Southland has one set of teams that are just better than the other set. Five teams are a perfect 2-0, but on the other side are four teams that are 0-2 or worse. That, of course, includes the Sugar Bears at 0-3 so far. And you guess it. Sam Houston is one of the 2-0 teams.
- Women’s Soccer has an alumni game @3 on Saturday
- Men’s Soccer will be in Tulsa for a 2:00 start.
The week was full of mixed results. The home schedule went 3-3 (if tennis counts as going 0-1). The road schedule was a much worse 2-6.
Women’s Basketball – against Nicholls; @ SELA
Sugar Bears cruised to an easy 83-68 win against an inferior Nicholls team with just a single SLC win. The win gave them 20 wins on the season, 10 of those coming in Southland competition. Four SBs finished in double figures in the game. Unfortunately, an abysmal shooting performance against SELA resulted in an equally abysmal 27-point loss. The SBs attempted more field goals in the game, but couldn’t get anything to drop in the second half. 18.8%? 0-7 from 3-pt range? That’s not going to win you any games, especially when you were already down by four at the half.
Baseball – @ UALR; Weekend series against Saint Louis
It took a long time for to get it going on Tuesday. The ran our of outs in the 8th inning while threatening to really put the game in reach, and the result was a 5-9 loss. The Bears took advantage of great performances on the mound by Wild and Ward on Friday, coasting to a 12-5 win (three of those SLU runs were unearned). Saturday was the opposite as the Bears struggled big time on the mound and lost 13-6. They made it a 2-2 week by winning the weekend series on Sunday 6-4. Blake Roberts was absent from the lineup on Friday but continued his red-hot start to the season on Saturday and Sunday. Roberts has a hit in all five games he’s played so far, leading the team with a .556 average. More on baseball’s week in a later blog post.
Men’s Basketball – @ Nicholls; versus SELA
On Wednesday, the Bears never had a shot after halftime. They went to the break down eight, but after the Colonels scored first top open the second half, the Bears never got it back down to a single-digit deficit. On Saturday, they battled to get it to overtime by working hard on the glass, but rebounds can only take you so far when you shoot 22% in overtime. How about this for a stat: Points off turnovers – SLU 25, UCA 4. Yikes.
Women’s Tennis – versus McNeese State
McNeese showed that the ladies still have a long way to go, defeating the SBs 7-0. Lindsey Short was the long player to appear evenly matched with her opponent, winning the only set for the SBs.
Softball – @ Mississippi Valley; @ Hattiesburg Tourney
They finished the week with a 2-3 record. Candice Gauntt had a five-hit game in the only weekend win, setting a new school record. The team has shown a lot of improvement in power at the plate. They finished with nine homers in 55 games. Only one player had two all season. Well, they already have nine through 15 games in 2010. Freshman Kelsie Armstrong has taken Holli Hill’s role as the innings-eater inside the circle. Armstrong is currently 5-4 with a 2.89 era and has thrown 53-1/3 innings.
Four things going on in Conway this week if you only count baseball once:
- Women’s Basketball – Wednesday night @7 against Nicholls (4-20, 1-11)
Sugar Bears won by 7 at home in the first meeting over a month ago. A loss at home would be a huge let down.
- Baseball - Friday @3, Saturday and Sunday @1 all against Saint Louis (2-1)
The Bears haven’t played SLU since 2007 when they swept them at home. The Billikens had their fourth game of the weekend rained out. Before that they beat UAPB and lost to UALR. For your weather report, it looks like the highs for the weekend should be the low 50s.
Side note: The recently added UALR game Tuesday @4 is close enough to be considered a home game.
- Men’s Basketball – Saturday @4 against SELA (15-10, 7-5)
The men only lost by 7 on the road. SELA’s coming off a 10-point home win over SFA, but they play at Corpus Christi on Wednesday before facing the Bears.
- Women’s Tennis – Saturday @10 against McNeese State
This will be the second SLC opponent for the Sugar Bears after losing to Corpus Christi. McNeese is 4-1 and has not played a conference opponent.
Away from home:
- Softball plays Mississippi Valley Wednesday @4 and then stays in Mississippi for a tournament in Hattiesburg over the weekend.
- Men’s basketball plays Nicholls Wednesday @6:30.
- Women’s basketball plays SELA Saturday @3.
- There’s even a spring game for the men’s soccer team on Saturday against Tyler Junior College in Texas. This will be their second game this spring if they were able to get in the game yesterday. If you know what happened or if nothing happened, leave a comment below.