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Sports Wrap-up

By Tex Armstreet & J.K. McMillen
On November 16, 2017

Wide Receiver Dontez Byrd catches a pass for a touchdown during a Nov. 4 homecoming game against Austin Peay State University. APSU won the game 35-28.

Football: The Golden Eagles faltered in their first game following their first win of the season over Tennessee State, as they lost to Austin Peay 35-28. Junior Luke Ward started at quarterback in place of freshman Andre Sale, who has been the steady starter all season. Ward started because he’d never been given the chance to prove himself, according to head coach Marcus Satterfield’s post game comments.

Tech fell to Murray State in their ninth loss of the season by a score of 31-21.

Despite the loss, senior wide receiver Dontez Byrd broke his own record for the most receiving yards in a single season, according to TTU Sports Information. Byrd finished the game with a season-total 976 receiving yards, eclipsing his record total 933 yards. In the final game of the season against UT Martin on Nov. 18, Byrd could possibly break his own record for receptions in a single season. Byrd currently has 72 receptions, while his record total from last season stands at 74. Byrd is also poised to potentially become TTU’s first ever 1,000-yard receiver.

The Golden Eagles are scheduled to return to Tucker Stadium for the final game of the season on Nov. 18, against in-state rival UT Martin.

 

Tennis: Senior Eduardo Mena was defeated in his only two matches at the Oracle ITA Fall National Championship in Indian Wells, California. Nov. 1 saw Mena defeated by Florida State University player Guy Iradukunda, which ended in the tiebreaking round after no winner was concluded after three sets. His trip to the consolation bracket saw his defeat at the hands of Michael Geerts of Arizona State University. Mena rallied back after a defeat in the first set with a win in the second set, but Geerts ultimately defeated Mena in the third and final set.

The rest of the tennis team competed at the Wake Forest Fall Inivitational in Winston-Salem, North Carolina from Nov. 3-5. The most successful Golden Eagle was junior Wenceslao Albin, who took home a singles championship after defeating University of North Carolina-Charlotte’s Scotty Cameron in the finals of the B2 singles bracket. Albin and freshman Arthur Justo made it all the way to the finals of the doubles bracket as well, before being defeated by Oriol Puig Forne and Alejandro Garcia Moreno, also of UNC-Charlotte.

 

Soccer: Tech’s only soccer match of the OVC Tournament ended in a 1-0 double overtime loss to Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 3. The team earned a double bye with their strong end-of-season performance, which placed them directly into the semi-finals.

The night before, however, saw multiple honors bestowed upon members of the soccer team.

Junior goalkeeper Kari Naerdemann was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Year for the third consecutive year, as well as being named to the All-OVC First Team, an honor also bestowed upon senior Lauren Brewer, who was named to the first team for the second consecutive year.

Senior Karigan Owens and junior Mayra Tarraga Manzanal were named to the All-OVC Second Team, while freshman Kendall Powell and junior Tina Marolt were named to the All-Newcomer team.

 

Cross Country: The TTU Cross Country season finished in Tuscaloosa, Alabama at the Nov. 10 NCAA South Regional, where Tech had six runners in competition.

OVC Freshman of the Year Purity Sanga led the way for the women, finishing eighth in a 6k, earning All-South Region honors and breaking the TTU record set by her teammate, senior Micayla Rennick, in the process. Sanga is eligible to earn an at-large bid for the Nov. 18 NCAA Tournament. Rennick, Madison Stremler, and Anna Cooper ran their final races for TTU, finishing in 101, 198, and 207 place respectively.

OVC Male Athlete of the Year Gilbert Boit ran in a 10k along with sophomore Brannon Cheplak, with Boit finishing in thirteenth position and earning All-South Region honors, while Cheplak finished thirty-fifth.

 

Volleyball: The volleyball team’s winless streak extended to ten straight matches after back-to-back losses to Morehead State on Nov. 3 and Eastern Kentucky on Nov. 4. The team ended its season in Nashville, finally ending the losing streak by defeating Tennessee State 3-2 on Nov. 10. The season ended with a loss to Belmont on Nov. 11. The volleyball team ends the season with an overall record of 4-24, with an 0-8 record at home. Two wins came on the road, and two matches were won at neutral sites.

 

Men’s Basketball: The men’s team began their season with a 94-56 win over Midway University on Nov. 10.

All but one of TTU’s starting five scored double-digit points, with the exception of junior forward Courtney Alexander II, who scored no points and only attempted one shot, though he did grab nine rebounds.

Senior forward Curtis Phillips Jr. led the scoring effort with 19 points, while senior forward Mason Ramsey scored 16 points. Senior guard Aleksa Jugovic and graduate guard Kajon Mack both scored 10 points.

(Play in first round of Emerald Coast Classic on Monday, Nov. 13.)

The team will stay in Cookeville for two consecutive games against Boyce College on Nov. 16 and Kennesaw State on Nov. 18.

 

Women’s Basketball: The women’s basketball team earned Tech basketball’s first win of the season when they defeated Tennessee Wesleyan 84-66. Three TTU starters scored double-digit points, with freshman Kesha Brady leading the way with 21 points, while junior Akia Harris and senior Shug Hickson followed close behind with 14 and 11 points, respectively.

The women’s basketball team begins a two-game road trip on Nov. 14 when they travel to Middle Tennessee State, with a Nov. 17 matchup against East Tennessee State following. The team returns to the Hooper-Eblen Center on Nov. 20 for a game against Radford.

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