published Friday, April 20th, 2012

Tennis Mocs advance in SoCon tournament

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- After sweeping the doubles matches for one team point and going up 2-0 with Pavels Grigorjevs' 6-1, 6-1 defeat of Connor Evins at No. 6 singles, the eighth-seeded University of Tennessee at Chattanooga tennis Mocs needed two three-set singles wins to edge ninth seed Davidson 4-3 in the rain-delayed opening match of the Southern Conference tournament Thursday. The Mocs (14-8) face top-seeded College of Charleston at 8:30 this morning. Davidson's Nicky Kunz beat UTC's Chris Smith 6-0, 6-3 and Calum Gee topped the Mocs' Ankit Chopra 6-2, 6-4 at Nos. 3 and 4 singles to pull the Wildcats even, and they went ahead when Joe Schafer outlasted UTC's Roberto Vieira 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 at No. 1. But Manuel Barroetavena topped Chris Mark 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 for his Mocs-high 21st singles win of the year, and Jackson Tresnan gave UTC the win with a 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 decision over Robert Lightbourn at No. 5. Tresnan was up 5-2 and 40-love in the third set, but Lightbourn tied him at 5-5 before ultimately losing on a double-fault. "I have never been a part of anything like that before," Mocs coach Carlos Garcia said. "Jackson kept his composure throughout the match and pulled out the win."

Volleyball

• UTC volleyball coach Travis Filar announced Thursday that libero Catherine Chason from Alpharetta, Ga., and setter Rachel Rhinesmith from Shakopee, Minn., had completed the Lady Mocs' 2012 recruiting class, joining four fall signees. "All six of these individuals are great athletes and even better people to add to our Chattanooga volleyball family," Filar said in a school release. "They are going to bring a sense of confidence and leadership into our program." The 5-foot-7 Chason was a captain and all-state player the last two years at Greater Atlanta Christian School, which went 41-5 and was a state runner-up in 2011. She holds GACS records for games, digs and wins and has been a mainstay also for the prestigious A5 Volleyball club program. "She is an incredible individual and embodies all the core values that our program is about as a student and an athlete," Filar said. "Foot speed and quickness allow her to cover a lot of ground at the libero position. She is going to be a very solid backcourt player for us and brings in a strong serve." The 6-foot Rhinesmith was primarily a right-side hitter for Shakopee High, which has won four consecutive Minnesota state titles, but was a setter and a front-row attacker for two top Midwest club programs the past three years. "We knew that primary focus for 2012 would be the setter position. We believe we have found a hidden gem in Rachel," Filar said. "We are most excited about her potential as a setter because she is going to be able to focus on that position here. She is like a sponge in soaking up information."

Basketball

• Lee University basketball sharpshooter Ryan Westbrooks has been invited to play in the Music City Classic with mostly NCAA Division I players on April 28 at Belmont University in Nashville. The event will include 3-point and slam-dunk contests as well as an all-star-type game. Dee Bost of Mississippi State, Gerald Robinson of Georgia, Ivan Aska of Murray State, Kenny Gabriel of Auburn, James Justice of Martin Methodist and Belmont's Scott Saunders and Mick Hedgepeth are among the other invitees. Tickets are available at www.ticketsnashville.com and proceeds will benefit Soles 4 Souls.

Lacrosse

• ROME, Ga. -- Lindsey Knapp scored four goals and Michelle Scannell and Kimberly Leuthold added three apiece as third-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan won 18-13 over Reinhardt in the National Women's Lacrosse League tournament quarterfinals Thursday. The Lady Bulldogs face No. 2 seed Savannah College of Art and Design at 2 p.m. today at Ben Brady Field, followed by host Shorter against top-seeded Indiana Tech. Shorter edged Aquinas 17-14 and SCAD topped Davenport 19-9; Indiana Tech beat Missouri Baptist 22-11. Tess Sasse had two goals and two assists for TWC, and Kelsey Crow scored two goals as well.

Volleyball

• Standout volleyball setter Rachel Richards from Grafton High School in Newport News, Va., signed scholarship papers recently to play for NAIA power Lee University, where her sister Lacey already is a student. The younger Richards is 5-foot-8 and a National Honor Society member with a 3.7 grade point average, and she has four years of experience with the Hampton Road Juniors club team. "We are very happy that Rachel chose to come to Lee," Lady Flames coach Andrea Hudson said in a school release. "After watching her play last year, we felt she had the skills to play here at Lee. As a setter she delivered the ball with consistency and accuracy."

• GREENEVILLE, Tenn. -- Catcher Bri Shoemake from Ooltewah gave Carson-Newman a quick lead with her 16th double of the season in the first inning of the Lady Eagles' South Atlantic Conference opening-round softball tournament game Thursday, but fifth-seeded Tusculum won 5-1 with a four-run seventh inning.

Running

• The 44th running of the Chickamauga Chase is set for Saturday morning in the Chickamauga Battlefield, with 1,700 total runners expected for the main 15-kilometer and accompanying 5k races. They will begin at 8:30.

• The annual Area 4 Special Olympics track and field meet will be held Saturday at McCallie School, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Spectators are encouraged.

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