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LeTourneau University – Sports

MEN’S SOCCER

 

RICHARDSON, Texas – Going toe to toe with the No. 3 team in the American Southwest Conference, the LeTourneau University men’s soccer team would find themselves on the losing end of a 1-0 overtime loss at the University of Texas-Dallas at the UTD Soccer Field in Richardson, Texas on Thursday, October 26.

LETU falls to 3-8-4 overall and 3-5-2 in the ASC while the Comets improved to 9-5-2 and 6-3-1 in conference play.

The YellowJackets were put into a position to play defense from the start as UTD would let off their first shot just 29 seconds into the game. LeTourneau would look to take advantage of counter attacks that would be made possible from the Comets pressuring the ball into the attacking third of the field as shots by Porfirio Benitez and Alec Wier would give the YellowJackets their first opportunities of the game.

Texas-Dallas would draw a foul in the box in the 25th minute, leading to a penalty kick and prime opportunity to break a scoreless deadlock but would see the penalty kick saved by LETU goalie Miguel Cabrera. UTD would earn a corner kick following the save which would lead to another shot that would end up sailing high of the net. The final eight shots of the first half would go to the Comets, but no damage would be seen for the YellowJackets as the game would remain tied going into intermission.

In the second half, each team would start to see opportunities open up with the pace taking on a similar feel to the first half with both sides looking to utilize the full width of the field. Another counterattack by LeTourneau would see the ball played the length of the field to a pressing Varney Carter who would beat the UTD goalkeeper to the ball who was coming out to make a save. Carter would pitch the ball over John Nicknish, but see the opportunity hit off the crossbar and back into play as LETU would nearly take a 1-0 lead.

Shots would continue coming at a steady pace throughout the regulation, with both teams having to make diving saves which would end up sending the game into extra time.

Texas-Dallas would continue their defensive press on LeTourneau in extra time, forcing the YellowJackets back into their third which would allow the Comets to put up four shots in the opening five minutes of overtime. UTD would earn a corner kick that would wind up in a boot by Jordan Henderson, but another save by Cabrera kept the Comets off the board. A second corner kick with just one minute remaining in the second overtime would be cleared out by LETU before being sent back into the box by Jesse Ardila who would find Danny Meyer to net the only goal of the game with 53 seconds left in extra time.

Cabrera would come up big all night long, making 12 saves on the night while facing a total of 30 shots by the Comets. LeTourneau would put up 13 shots in the game, led by Benitez with four shots and Wier with three shots.

The YellowJackets will play their final game of the regular season on Saturday afternoon, heading to Brownwood Texas to square off with Howard-Payne University at 3:30 p.m. Last year against HPU, LETU would drop a 3-2 overtime decision at home. The previous three games between LeTourneau and Howard Payne have wound up going to overtime.

 

CROSS COUNTRY

LONGVIEW, Texas – The LeTourneau University women’s and men’s cross country teams are set to compete in the American Southwest Conference Cross Country Championships this Saturday with the men beginning at 8:00 a.m. and the women starting at 9:15 a.m.

Concordia University Texas is the host team for the championships which will be at Old Settlers Park in Round Rock, Texas.

The men’s team is coming off a ninth-place finish at the Mississippi College Invitational Invitational in their last meet, where junior Michael Field led them. Field finished the event consisting of NCAA Division II and Division III teams in 18th place while posting the third-best time by an ASC runner in the met. Last year, Field earned First-Team All-ASC honors by finishing second overall at the meet.

Freshman Kirstiana Welch, who has been LETU’s top finisher in six of the seven meets this year, led the Yellowjackets on the women’s side.

A Mineola, Texas native, Welch is one of the top runners in the ASC. She has the third-best two-mile time in the conference this season while also posting the eighth best 6K time. Additionally, Villines has posted four top-10 finishes at meets this year.

LeTourneau will compete against ten other teams on Saturday, with regional qualifying on the line. In last year’s ASC Championship meet, both the YellowJacket men and women finished fourth overall in the team standings.

 

MEN’S BASKETBALL

 

RICHARDSON, Texas – Following last year’s record-breaking season that saw a run to the American Southwest Conference Tournament Championship game, the LeTourneau University men’s basketball team has been picked to win the ASC East Division as announced by the conference offices Wednesday morning.

LETU received a total of 97 points and nine of the 17 first-place votes to edge out the University of Texas-Dallas who has been picked second with 93 points and four first-place votes. Texas-Tyler was picked to finish third with two first-place votes and a total of 83 points followed by East Texas Baptist (74 points), Louisiana College (58 points, one first-place vote), Belhaven (33 points, one first-place vote) and the University of Ozarks (33 points).

In the ASC West Division, Concordia University Texas has been tabbed preseason favorites after receiving 68 points and six of the 11 first-place votes. Sul Ross State University picked up three first-place votes to finish second with 55 points just ahead of Mary Hardin-Baylor who came in third with 54 points while last year’s ASC West Division and tournament champion Hardin-Simmons picked up the remaining two first-place votes while coming in fourth with 42 points. Howard Payne and McMurry rounded out the west division by being picked fifth with 27 points each.

On top of being picked as ASC East Division preseason favorites, the YellowJackets landed three players on the conference “Players to Watch” list this upcoming season with senior Alec Colhoff, junior Caleb Loggins, and sophomore Nate West all named to the list.

Colhoff enters his senior year after being named a first-team All-ASC East Division player last year and leading LETU in scoring with 16.3 points per game in 2016-17. The Katy, Texas native broke the LeTourneau record for most 3-point field goals in a season with 82 and is currently seventh all-time in 3-point field goals made in a career at LETU.

Loggins was an ASC East Division Honorable Mention selection last year while also being named to the ASC All-Defensive team. Last year against the University of Ozarks, Loggins recorded the first triple-double in school history with 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists while finishing sixth in the ASC with 47 total blocks.

West appeared in 28 games a year ago and started 22 while being named to the ASC All-Tournament team after scoring 70 points in three games during the tournament. The Houston, Texas native was an ASC East Division All-Freshman Team selection and was the highest scoring freshman in the conference averaging 14 points per contest.

LeTourneau will open up the 2017-18 campaign on Wednesday, November 15th with a home game against Austin College in Solheim Arena at 7 p.m. Last year, LETU went 22-6 overall and 12-4 in the ASC, dropping only two games once the calendar flipped over to 2017 and won 18 of their final 20 games.

VOLLEYBALL

RICHARDSON, Texas – Opening up a four-game season-ending road trip, the LeTourneau University volleyball team would be unable to overcome the American Southwest Conference East Division Champion University of Texas-Dallas in a 3-0 loss in Richardson, Texas on Tuesday, October 24th.

LETU falls to 10-19 overall and 4-12 in the ASC with the loss while the Comets improved to 19-8 overall and 13-3 in conference while earning the right to host next week’s ASC Tournament.

It would appear as though the YellowJackets would come out ready to play early on by matching the host Comets point for point with the first 14 points of the match traded back and forth. The first set eventually saw UTD open up a 10-8 lead before a kill by freshman Hailey Matthews to pull LeTourneau back within a point, but 13 straight points by the Comets would give Texas-Dallas a commanding 23-9 lead en route to taking the set 25-11.

Things would go in favor of UT-Dallas early on in the second set as the Comets would score six of the first seven points of the game to open up a 6-1 lead before the YellowJackets managed to fight back to within two at 6-4. The Texas-Dallas lead would balloon out to 15-8 and then even more significant to 18-10 as LETU’s final point of the set would come on a kill by Lauren Egby-McNeal to make the score 18-11. Another massive run by UTD saw the last seven of the game go to the Comets as the score would finish 25-11 for the second straight set.

LeTourneau’s best set of the match came in the third game as the YellowJackets would hold leads of 3-2 and 4-3 early in the contest. Texas-Dallas would go back and keep an 8-6 lead with six of the next eight points before LETU would take their largest lead of the night at 14-10 and force a Comet timeout. The YellowJackets would manage to hold onto their lead until the UTD tied the set at 19-19 in the midst of a 3-0 run to take a 20-19 lead and force a LeTourneau timeout. Following the timeout, LETU would tie the match at 20-20 and reclaim the lead at 21-20 while trading points to see the game tied again at 22-22. UTD managed to end the game on a 4-1 run to win the set 25-23.

Texas-Dallas would outhit LeTourneau .270-.058 in the match while collecting 42 kills compared to only 22 for LETU. The YellowJackets out-blocked the Comets 5-4 but would see the most significant stat disparity come at the service line where UTD held an 11-2 advantage.

Senior Elyse Wright led the YellowJackets in kills with six while Torie Langston had a team-high four blocks in the match. Korissa White had 13 set assists to go along with 11 digs to collect her eighth double-double of the year while Audrey Galindo had 12 digs.

LeTourneau’s final weekend of the 2017 season will get underway on Friday evening at the Centenary College Halloween Tournament with a 6 p.m. match against Milsaps College.

Matt Kinney
Sports Information Director