published Sunday, July 13th, 2014

Lee OK'd for final phase of NCAA provisional status — and more Chattanooga region sports news

Lee University officially has been approved by the NCAA Membership Committee for the final phase before the Cleveland school has full Division II and Gulf South Conference membership in the 2015-16 academic year. Five other institutions, including the University of Virginia's College at Wise, were cleared along with Lee to move into the "provisional year." Former Lee conference rivals Shorter, Union and Trevecca Nazarene universities and Young Harris College were among the eight schools approved for active DII status, having started the process a year ahead of Lee. "I am thrilled to learn of the positive action of the NCAA DII Membership Committee," Lee's president, Dr. Paul Conn, said in a school release Saturday. "We feel that we had a very strong year, and we have learned a lot in the process. We appreciate so much the support of the NCAA DII staff in helping prepare us to enter the third year of this demanding and exciting process." Conn gave special praise to Cole Strong, Lee's director of special projects, athletic director Larry Carpenter and the coaches for the school's progress in the process.

Tennis

• The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga women's tennis team continued a tradition this past week by earning the ITA's Team Academic Award for the eighth time since 2000, and four of coach Jeff Clark's Mocs were recognized as ITA Scholar-Athletes for grade point averages of at least 3.5 on a 4.0 scale in the 2013-14 school year: senior Alexa Flynn, juniors Kaylene Chadwell and Claire Mulyadi and sophomore Alison Stone. The team honor requires a minimum aggregate GPA of 3.2. "I am proud of our team for displaying excellence on the tennis court and in the classroom," Clark said in a school release. The team went 18-5 in 2014, 7-2 in the Southern Conference, and returns eight of its nine letter winners.

Soccer

• The Chattanooga Football Club Academy under-14 girls' team will play today for its age-group championship match in the US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup tournament at Greenville, S.C., after smashing the Huntingdon Valley (Pa.) AA Freedom 4-0 in the last round of robin-play play Saturday. Lainee Bohannon scored three goals and Hope Sanders added her third goal of the tournament. The CFC Academy girls will face the West Coast FC United White from Southern California in the final; those teams tied on Thursday, each going 2-0-1 in the division.

• The Covenant College women's soccer schedule for 2014 was released this past week, and its first two weekends include first-ever meetings against four schools. Mark Duble's 21st season as coach begins Aug. 29 and 30 in Memphis with matches against host Rhodes and Texas-Dallas. After the Sept. 2 home opener against Sewanee, the Lady Scots will go to Emory, Va., for Sept. 5-6 games against first-time foes Emory & Henry and Marymount. Then they have three home games in a row against Berry and USA South opponents Greensboro College and Ferrum before seven away contests in an eight-game stretch that also includes homecoming on Oct. 4 against LaGrange.

Softball

• Former Walker Valley High School and Cleveland State Community College outfielder Leslie Still Nunnelly has signed to continue her softball career with Bryan College's on-the-rise NAIA program. "I am ecstatic for Leslie and this opportunity for her," Cleveland State coach Katie Willingham said in a release. "She's a hard worker and she will push herself to be better every day. She is a driven leader on and off the field, and having athletes like Leslie makes any coach's job easier." Known for her speed, Nunnelly said she liked Bryan for its proximity to her home and the inviting Christian atmosphere of the Dayton campus. "Leslie shows a great presence in the outfield," Bryan coach Rocky Stinson said. "She will be versatile playing either corner spot and being a second center fielder. At the plate she gives us a solid option for the top or bottom of the lineup. ... I look to Leslie as a staple in the 2015 lineup."

Golf

• Stan Gann Jr. of Bonaire shot a 4-under-par 66 Saturday and took a three-stroke lead at 204 in the 2014 Georgia Amateur golf tournament at Macon's Idle Hour Country Club. Calhoun's Chad Wilson fell back into a tie for 41st at 219 with a 77, and two-time champion David Noll Jr. of Dalton shares 54th place at 221 after a 73. The tournament ends today.

Swimming & Diving

• The Sewanee men's and women's swimming and diving teams both earned CSCAA Team Scholar Academic All-American awards for the spring 2014 semester. Teams must have a 3.0 or better aggregate grade point average and an NCAA national qualifying team, and Sewanee was honored for the 41st consecutive semester. The men's team had a 3.40 GPA, which was in the top 14 in NCAA Division III; the women's GPA was 3.25.

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