The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 89, No. 20, Ed. 1, Friday, November 3, 2000 Page: 4 of 10
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4 "Friday November 3y 20Q0 Optimist
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ACU favorite to win South Central region
NCAA Division II
South Central Regional
Cross Country meet
On Saturday the ACU men's and
'women's cross country teams will
attempt to qualify for the NCAA
Division 11 national championships in
two weeks by running in the South
Central Regional meet in Commerce.
The top four mens teams and the top
two womens teams will qualify for
nationals and Jon Murray menls and
womens head cross country coach
docs not think the ACU men will have
any trouble capturing their first region-
"If wc just do what we have been
doing all season then we should have
no problem winning the rcgionals and
advancing to nationals" Murray said
If the mens victory at the Lone Star
Conference meet two weekends ago
was any indication Wildcat runners
should fare well' against a field twice
the size of the conference field. The
South Central Region Is made up of the
Lone Star and MIAA Conferences and
five of the nations top-15 Division II
teams will be present.
According to Tuesday's NCAA
Division II Coaches poll the nationally
ranked mens teams that will be run-
ning on Saturday Include ACU (1st)
Missouri Southern (7th) Truman Stale
(11th) Central Missouri State (12th)
and Pittsburg State (16th).
"1 suspect that our top three mens
runners will get a fast start and run
ahead of the field but I would like to
sec our top five runners in the top-15
finishers in the race' Murray said who
is seeking his first ever regional title as
head cross country coach
him could be lohn Kemboi and Gilbert
Tuhabonyc who have consistently
been the No 2 and No 3 runners
ACU may have to once again run
without Francis Kernel! who has been
plagued the past few weeks by a nag-
ging quadriceps injury Kcmeli is day-to-day
according to Murray who will
make a decision regarding his running
Saturday when he sees how muddy the
10-kilomcter course is
With the majority of a somewhat-
disappointing season behind them the
womens team will simply look to gain
Alfred Rugcma is a strong favorite to more tile race experience this Saturday.
win the mens race after dominating If the women do not qualify for
most of his races this season joining nationals ns a team a freshman runner
coujd be going to nationals anyway
Freshman Justine Nahimana will
Iopk to qualify individually for the
national meet by being one of the top-
two individual finishers in the 6-kilo-meter
The women finished third at the
LSC meet. '
From all appearances the region
meet is just another stop on the road to
the national championships for the
ACU mens cross country team
Barring unexpected circumstances
the men's team should cruise to their
first regional title under Murray and
move on to the national championships.
The recent series
between ACU and
University has not
been anywhere near
the classic gridiron
battles of the 1970s
In 1977 the
Wildcats and Javelinas
played one of the best
Lone Star Conference eames in earlv his
tory a 25-25 tie in front an over-capacity
crowd of 18500 at Javchna Stadium an
attendance record for a LSC league con
ACU went on to win the 1977 NAIA
title dethroning three-time champ
However disappointing seasons fQr
both teams will make Saturday's clash a
battle for respect an J a building block for
next season. -'
Two teams struggling to find consisten-
cy in LSC play will meet Saturday night
when ACU and Texas A&M-Kmgsville
'meet In Kingsville.
The South Division match will kick off
at 7 p.m at Javelina Stadium
The Wildcats have lost four consecu-
tive games since beating Eastern New
Mexico University Sept. 30.
ACU dropped its fifth game this season
by two points or less losing 10-9 to Texas
A&M-Commerce University last Saturday
The Wildcats 1-7 overall are 0-4 at
Shotwell Stadium this season.
TAMKU 2-2 in LSC South play took a
step in'the wrong direction last weekend
losing 35-7 to ENMU in Portales N.M.
The Javelinas have lost three consecu-
History between ACU and Kingsvillc
does not favor the Wildcats who have lost
16 straight games to the Javelinas.
TAMKU dominated ACU in Abilene
last year scoring 40 unanswered points to
The Wildcats have not beaten
Kingsville since a 38-24 victory in 1983.
Saturday's could turn into a defensive
struggle between a solid TAMKU defense
and a Wildcat unit that had not given up
a touchdown in nine quarters until
Commerce scored in the third quarter.
ACU senior running back George
faces St. Mary's in
key regional match
.... AMY PALMER
ACU quarterback Aaron Birdwell attempts a pass downfield against Texas
A&M-Commerce last Saturday at Shotwell Stadium. The Wildcats travel to
Texas A&M-Kingsville in search of their second win this season.
Fisher said the Wildcats conducted a good
practice this week preparing for the
Javelinas LSC fifth-best defense which Is
led by former Wildcat and all-conference
selection Steve Toto
Fisher said the Wildcats cannot afford
four turnovers like they had last week.
"Everybody needs to be on the
same page. If we do that then
we can go down the field any-
time we want to offensively."
' "Kingsville is pretty big on both sides
of the ball" Fisher said. "We have to pro-
tect the ball. Everybody needs to be on the
same page If we do that.-we can go down
the field anytime we want to offensively."
"Practice has been real good this week
and we are going to do fine. The offensive
line has been doing well all season adjust-
ing to our new offensive scheme."
The Javelinas are fifth in total defense
in the conference giving up 281 yards per
However Kingsville has given up 23 1
points per contest
Junior quarterback Aaron Birdwell
leads the Wildcats with 1511 total yards
Offensively TAMKU has struggled put-
ting points on the scoreboard'in tiheir last
four games averaging only seven points
The Javelinas only average 130 yards
on the ground and 120 passing per game
The Wildcats are led by junior line-
backer Ryan Boozer who has a team-leading
The Irving native was selected national
Defensive Player of the Week by d2foot-
ball.com after recording 16 tackles and
blocking a field goal against the Lions last
Junior linebacker Nick Gray is also
having a strong season for ACU leading
the team with six sacks.
Next week the 'Cats face West Texas
A&M in the season finale in Abilene
The volleyball team will conclude the regular season Saturday
afternoon against St Mary's University in a key regional match for
Match time is 2 p.m in Moody Coliseum
At press time ACU was playing Angelo State University in a
match that determined postseason status for both teams in the Lone
Star Conference tournament Nov 9-1 1
But Saturdays match will have even bigger implications for
ACU who need a win against the Rattlers to stay in the hunt for a
spot in the regional tourney
The Wildcats 26-5 overall arc in seventh place in the latest
American Volleyball Coaches Association NCAA Division li
Southwest regional poll one spot ahead of St Mary's
The top six teams in the region will advance to the regional tour-
ney New polls will be released next week
But regional rankings are in the back of the Wildcats' mind
Lindsay DeHoff junior middle blocker said
The rankings are real close" DeHoff said "We have a chance to
make the regional tourney but we are not sure yet St Mary's has
beaten similar people we have Our main focus is to secure second
place in our division because wc have a good chance to win the
ACU is 21-5 against regional opponents The Rattlers arc 21-3
but the Wildcats won the team's only meeting this season an
exhausting five-game match at the University of the Incarnate Word
Classic in San Antonio Sept 2
Junior outside hitter Jennifer Cabamlla and sophomore setter
Knstellc Rodriguez pace St Mary's offensively
Cabanilla is a force at outside hitler for the Rattlers with 537 this
season and Rodriguez leads the team with 1204 assists and 353
The Wildcats will counter with four hitters who have over 270
kills this season
Misti Germany leads the team with 368 kills followed by LSC
South Division Hitter of the Week Lindsay DeHoff who has 352
kills and an LSC-bcst hitting percentage of 332
Jennifer Purvis has 325 kills and Nora Oglesby needed only 29
kills pnor to the Angelo State match to join the 300-kill club
The multiple weapons for the Wildcats have been an advantage
this season DeHoff said
"The offense is spread out" DeHoff said "Teams cannot focus on
one person "
DeHoff said the Wildcats are positive about Saturday's match.
"The match is going to be really close" DeHoff said "We will be
ready and if we stay focused we will do fine "
Last night junior setter Randi Kinzer needed only 21 assists to
break the school single-season mark of 1425 set by four-year
starter Bnttney Binder last season.
This season is the first year Kinzer has started at setter The
Amanllo native broke Binder's school single-match assist record
with 92 against St Mary's
$Kinzer approaches school record
tfjuiuvt-Kuct luuui iwuxr neeaeu n assists last night
?Sii Angelo Stale Unh ersity to surpass (he single sea-
i -f0!? TO of 1'425 M last seon by Brlttney Binder the
jrounger sister of ACU head coach Brek Horn Kinzer.
i ranked 10th In the hhilmi m Mr a a mi.. n l...
I . '"" '""- "" II MM.
l wceim assist per game (12 77) - leads the Lone Star
HXpnlerence in bothjtotat assists and assist average.
t5w&"rv'fta'Et"nS'wvl"s tjf " .'
t if. . .
LOIE STAR CONFERENCE FOOTBALL
LSC North Division
LSC South Division
Angelo State 2-1 '
Eastern New Mexico 3-2 f h
Tarleion State 2-2 -
West Texas A&M 2-2 '
niA&M.KinuvtUe . 2.2
f$A&M-Commercc 22' -
AMiene uinstian to
LSC football news
Last Saturday LSC game bciWeen
Tarleion State and Angelo State was
postponed by lightning It has been
rescheduled for Nov. 18 but only If
j neither team Is selected for the NCAA
" - Division ll playoffs which begin that
Tarleton State Is 3-3 and currently
ranked eighth In the West Region
The Texans are Just one game back In
the overall LSC race and South
Division title hunt with league
records of 4-2 and 2-2. respectively
Angelo State Is 4-3 overall and leads
the South Division with a 2-1
The Lone Star Conference tied with
the Mid-American Intercollegiate
Athletic Conference for most pb)ers
taken In the Xf"L Draft with five (his
; Texas A&M-Klngsvtlle had three
former players taken in the draft
while' Angelo Slate and Central
. Oklahoma each had one player
picked Tv A ;
- Courtay opMnltne H(poittr-Ncwt
NCAA title realistic for cross country
Jon Murray head mens and womens
cross .country coach is about as cool-
natured as any coach can be who has the
best mens cross country team in the nation-
No I did not say NCAA Division II I
said the nation.
Yes the ACU mens cross country team is
the best team in the nation.
Ask the University of Arkansas.
They'll tell you.
ACU a Division II school defeated the
top-ranked team in NCAA Division I not
once but twice this fall.
The Wildcats outran the Razorbacks at
the Oklahoma State University Jamboree
and even at Arkansas' own venue the. Chile
Pepper Invitational in Fayetteville Ark.
Both times the Razorbacks were ranked
first in the nation but ACU used ractful
running to win.
As a matter of fact the Wildcats have not
lost this year winning all five meets includ-
will simply have
too much depth
for anyone at
ing an easy tenth straight Lone Star
Conference crown inAbiIcne.
The same results can be expected this
weekend when the men run at the South
Central regional meet in Commerce.
"It will be another step towards our goal
of a national title" Murray said.
A regional title will be the first for
Murray who has coached the mens and
womens programs since 1991.
The men finished third last year in a
tougher reoion with Adams Smtp nnH
Western State College
The tough course at Commerce will be
more of an obstacle than the Wildcats
Missouri Southern University is the only
team ranked in the top ten at the meet and
the-Wildcats defeated them by more than 80
points at Oklahoma State.
But Murray is quick to mention that
MSU was without its best runrfer
Maybe he will find a way to break
through a pack of ACU runners that swept
the top six two weeks ago at the LSC meet.
The Wildcats will simply have too much
depth for anyobdy at the regional meet.
The true test will be against Western
State and Adams State ranked second and
third respectively behind ACU.
'The Wildcats' first cross country national
title in school history will look good with 48
track and field trophies
Here’s what’s next.
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The Optimist (Abilene, Tex.), Vol. 89, No. 20, Ed. 1, Friday, November 3, 2000, newspaper, November 3, 2000; Abilene, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101681/m1/4/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Abilene Christian University Library.