BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee recently gave Girls Preparatory School its BlueCross Championship Series award for Divsion II-AA's best overall athletic program in 2011-12. The school received a banner to hang in the gym plus a $2,500 cash donation for the honor. GPS has 14 varsity sports and won TSSAA state titles in basketball and bowling with runner-up team finishes in softball and track and field, and basketball and softball coach Susan Crownover won a recent A.F. Bridges Award as the regional female coach of the year. The BCCS award "recognizes athletic excellence and sportsmanship, two of the key tenets the TSSAA strives to promote," TSSAA executive director Bernard Childress said in a release. "I'm extremely pleased that GPS was recognized by the TSSAA for having the most successful athletic program in Division II-AA," athletic director Stacey Hill said. "It is an honor for our coaches and student-athletes to receive this recognition while competing in a division with so many outstanding schools throughout the state."
• Chattanooga's Wes Cash will play today for his fourth USTA national championship this year with Mark Vines of Lynchburg, Va. The top seeds won their Men's 55 hard court doubles semifinal Friday at Indian Wells, Calif., 6-1, 6-2 over David Bohannon and Kevin Kearney from Southern California. Their opponents in the final will be two other Californians, second-seeded Randall Berg and Randy Houston.
• Second-seeded Tennessee Wesleyan College beat third seed Milligan 3-1 in the AAC women's soccer tournament semifinals Friday at Montreat and will face the top-seeded host team for the championship today. Wesleyan had three top individual honorees for the 2012 season: junior Abby Fannin as AAC player of the year, Deanna Dawson as defensive player of the year and Samaira Khan as freshman of the year. Fannin and Dawson were joined on the all-conference first team by Bryan goalkeeper Stephanie Gagnon from Orlando, Fla. Khan was on the second team with teammates Lindsey Brown and Maddie Thomas and Bryan senior Lauren Bowling, and Bryan's Kristin Bryant and TWC's Amy Cooley and Britten Fandrich made the third team. Fannin had 11 goals and six assists in the regular season. She scored the third goal Friday, after Fandrich and Khan scored. Khan had two assists and was assisted by Madelyn Thomas on her goal. Wesleyan outshot Milligan 13-5.
• First-year Bryan head coach Joey Johnson was chosen the AAC men's soccer coach of the year, and the Lions' Gustavo Angel Tamayo, Rasheed Malcolm, Johannes Muller and Josh Oldroyd made the all-conference first team along with Tennessee Wesleyan's John Carrier, Josh Simnett and Luke Winter. TWC's Martyn Freestone and Danny Smith and Bryan's Nathan Adams and Jorge Gonzalez Giron were All-AAC second team, and Bryan's Jordan Devlin and Richard Kirk and TWC's Daniel Cardona and Ben Wilks were third-teamers.
• The UTC volleyball team clinched the program's first berth in the Southern Conference tournament since 2008 by winning 25-21, 27-25, 25-23 Friday evening at Western Carolina. Briana Reid and Sarah Batterton made 13 and 11 kills, Lauren Gainer and Christina Teter had nine apiece and Heather Parman added eight for the Mocs (13-17, 7-8), while Bridget Camacho had 42 assists. Paula Passmore made 26 digs and Reid and Melissa Green had 12 each.
• Bryan College added the AAC volleyball tournament championship to its regular-season title by defeating Montreat 25-18, 25-23, 20-25, 25-18 Friday afternoon at Kingsport, Tenn. Carolyn Evans and Meghan Lowry each had 15 kills and was in on seven blocks for Bryan (32-9), while Taylor Fink had 43 assists. Corrie Walker and Rebecca Adams contributed 16 digs apiece and Madison Akins added 14, Adams served three aces and Chelsea Breaden had eight kills.
• Second-seeded Lee University beat Emmanuel College 23-25, 25-11, 25-10, 25-10 Friday and reached the semifinals of the SSAC volleyball tournament at Montgomery, Ala. Nicole Sumida and Lauren Williams had 12 kills each and Paula Martins and Irene Ojukwu had nine apiece for Lee (26-9), ranked ninth in the NAIA. Camil Martinez had 38 assists and five aces, and Libby Peigen and Ojukwu had 16 and 11 digs.
• Charmaine Johns has traveled from Australia to be honored at Chattanooga State today. The two-time All-American pitcher for the Lady Tigers (2001, '02) is being added to the school's softball Wall of Fame after the current players' 1 p.m. Blue-Orange scrimmage. The 2012 national championship team will have a ring ceremony as well, and the public is invited at no charge.
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