Season on the line for Panthers
By KEVIN ECKLEBERRY
They’ve already secured their first winning season in 25 years.
Now, the LaGrange College Panthers will try to make history by winning their first-ever USA South tournament game.
The conference’s men’s soccer tournament begins today, and it’ll be Maryville hosting LaGrange College in a first-round game at 6 p.m.
Maryville is the number one seed from the West division, while LaGrange College is the West’s number four seed.
The winner will advance to the semifinals on Saturday to face either North Carolina-Wesleyan or William Peace, and the championship game is Sunday.
It’s been a successful season for the Panthers (10-8), who have won their most games since 1993 when they went 10-7.
If LaGrange College is going to keep its season alive, it’ll need to get past a red-hot Maryville team.
Maryville (11-3-1 overall, 10-2 in the USA South) has won five consecutive games, and that includes a 4-1 victory at LaGrange College on Oct. 14.
Jude McEvoy, a freshman standout, leads the Panthers with 12 goals, and he has four multi-goal games.
Senior Adam Curry is next with six goals, Nick Huberty has five goals, and Errick Sturm and Justin Threatt have three goals apiece.
Qua Tucker, a senior from LaGrange High, and Asher Herndon have two goals apiece.
Tucker, a midfielder, has been a key member of the team for four year, and he has started nearly every game the past two seasons.
Cory Aycock has started every game at goal keeper, and he averages more than four saves a game.
VOLLEYBALL: LaGrange College, which closed the regular season with road wins over Berea and Agnes Scott on Saturday, will try to keep its season alive with a victory today in the opening round of the USA South tournament.
LaGrange College (10-11 overall) is 8-6 in the conference, and it is the number five seed from the West division.
LaGrange College’s opponent will be Piedmont, the West’s fourth seed.
Those two teams will square off at 5 p.m. at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, and the winner will advance to the semifinals on Friday.
LaGrange College and Piedmont have played twice this season, and they each won once.
LaGrange College is led by Jazzlyn Kenner, who has a team-best 228 kills, while Mimi Loftus (159), Leigha Reynolds (121) and Paeton Robinson (105) are each in double digits in kills.
Lauren Sanders is tops on the team with 354 assists, and Robinson and Madison Lewis have 183 and 134 assists, respectively. Lewis is a freshman from LaGrange High.
Courtney Swafford is tops on the team with 319 digs, and she’s followed in that category by Leigha Reynolds (173), Sanders (147) and Robinson (117).
CROSS COUNTRY: LaGrange College’s men’s and women’s teams participated in the USA South championships last week at Maryville College, and they both finished ninth.
Holly Moreland finished the six-kilometer course in a time of 26 minutes, 22 seconds to place 28th out of 114 runners.
Next for the Panthers were Davida White (28:05), Jaelynn James (31:45), Karli Whitaker (31:55) and Natalie Glass (35:07).
Byran Storie led the men’s team with a time of 28:39 in the eight-kilometer race, and he was 22nd out of 94 competitors.
Storie was followed by Robert Allen (34:24), Tyler Baars (35:00), Darius Wonnum (35:17), Jacob Shelton (35:59), Gavin Battle (40:39) and Dylan McCollugh (40:39).
Battle is a sophomore from LaGrange High.