LeTourneau Men’s Basketball Receives 35 Votes In D3hoops.com Preseason Poll
LONGVIEW, Texas – Coming off a historic 24-5 season which included a second consecutive American Southwest Conference East Division regular-season title and the first NCAA Tournament win in school history, the LeTourneau men’s basketball team received 35 votes in the D3hoops.com men’s basketball preseason Top 25 poll.
The 35 votes put LETU just outside the top 25 teams coming into the 2018-19 season and it is the most votes ever received by a YellowJacket basketball team in a top-25 poll. Last season, LeTourneau found themselves receiving four votes in the final D3hoops.com poll of the year, marking the first-time LETU gained national recognition in the poll. The D3hoops.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors, and media members from across the country, and is published weekly. Points are awarded on a 25-24-23-22-etc. basis.
Defending national champion Nebraska Wesleyan received 24 first place votes and 624 points to lead the rankings, followed by Wisconsin-Oshkosh (567 points) and Augustana (Illinois) with 539 points and one first-place vote.
LETU will kick off the 2018-19 campaign with a trip to the west coast beginning on Friday, November 9th when they take on Willamette University in Salem Oregon for the first time in school history. Tip-off is slated for 7 p.m. pacific time and will be followed up on Sunday, November 11th when the YellowJackets play at preseason number four Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.
LeTourneau Men’s Soccer Dropped By #15 Patriots 6-0
LONGVIEW, Texas – Playing the number 15 nationally-ranked team for the second time this season, the LeTourneau University men’s soccer team would see a four-match winning streak snapped in a 6-0 home loss to the University of Texas-Tyler at the LETU Soccer Field on Thursday, October 11.
Falling to 5-5-1 overall, the YellowJackets still keep their four-match American Southwest Conference winning streak still kept intact as tonight’s matchup was a non-conference match. The Patriots improved to 10-1-1 overall with their only loss of the season coming to NCAA Division II number 3-ranked Midwestern State University.
How It Happened:
Facing their toughest opponent to date, LeTourneau would be forced to play in their defensive third of the field from the opening minutes of the game as the Patriots would blitz YellowJacket goalie C.J. Leyva with four shots in the opening 10 minutes.
After making three saves and watching the other shot he faced sail high, Leyva would be unable to stop a shot from Jose Poo as a pass into the 18-yard box would be controlled and put into the back of the net to put UTT up 1-0.
Just four minutes later, Texas-Tyler would add a second goal and keep the pressure on the YellowJackets as LETU would be forced to wait until the 21st minute to find their first shot of the game.
Following a group substitution of 10 new Patriots in the 29th minute, UTT would add a third goal in the first half just five minutes before halftime as a corner kick would be redirected into the net to put Texas-Tyler in full control at the break.
Needing to try and gain momentum to mount any kind of comeback, LeTourneau would get a corner kick in the 50th minute to start off the second half but be held without a shot on the set piece as the Patriots would clear the ball away.
Dealing with more offensive pressure from Texas-Tyler, LeTourneau would fend off five more shots from the Patriots and put a shot up that would go wide left before seeing UTT score a fourth goal at the 56:58 mark.
Things would then calm down for a large chunk of the second half until the Patriots tacked on two final goals just 48 seconds apart in the final five minutes to put a cap on the six-goal victory.
Texas-Tyler would hold a 29-3 advantage in shots in the game, and be awarded nine corner kicks throughout the match compared to just one for the YellowJackets.
LeTourneau’s three shots would come from starter Eric Smith and substitutes Teddy Bogba and Moises Soto-Barrera as each of the trio would attempt one shot.
A battle for sole possession of fourth place in the American Southwest Conference is up next for LETU when they host the University of the Ozarks at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 13. The Eagles are coming off a 3-3 draw at East Texas Baptist University on Thursday night after scoring two goals in the final seven minutes of regulation to force overtime.
LeTourneau Women’s Soccer Falls 1-0 In-Home Clash With Texas-Tyler
LONGVIEW, Texas – Playing against a second-straight East Texas opponent, the LeTourneau University women’s soccer team conceded the only goal of the game in the 67th minute to fall by a final score of 1-0 to the University of Texas-Tyler at the LETU Soccer Field on Thursday, October 11.
The loss leaves LETU with a 7-4-1 overall record while the Patriots improved to 8-2-1 overall. Despite both teams being members of the American Southwest Conference, the game did not count toward conference standings as UTT will leave the ASC after this year as part of NCAA Division II reclassification.
How It Happened:
Not much action would take place in the opening 45 minutes of play, as neither team would be able to hold on to possession and push the ball into the attacking third consistently throughout the first half.
After a pair of corner kicks by Texas-Tyler that would lead to shots for the Patriots, the YellowJackets would put up a shot of their own from sophomore Jennifer Martin in the 16th minute but watch the shot sail wide right.
Things would then go stagnant for the next 10 minutes of action until a shot from UTT forced one of four first-half saves from LETU keeper Mackenzie Wilbanks as Patriots would outshoot LeTourneau 12-4 in the first half.
After withstanding the first half barrage to keep the score tied at 0-0 heading into halftime, LeTourneau would start the second half with a more offensive mindset and hold possession in the Texas-Tyler half of the field before the Patriots would reclaim possession and push things back over to the YellowJacket half of the field 15 minutes into the period.
With the match still scoreless in the 64th minute, UTT would make a trio of subs that would almost instantaneously pay dividends as replacement Kiara Rolen take a shot from just outside the 18-yard box and find the back of the net to put the Patriots up 1-0 at the 66:21 mark.
Looking to tie the score in the final minutes, LETU would be provided prime opportunities with a pair of shots in the 80th and 81st minutes as Madison Urbana would force a save and Rebekah Stevenson would put a header over the net.
The two shots would ultimately prove to be the final opportunity for the YellowJackets as Texas-Tyler would manage to keep LeTourneau out of the attacking third of the field for the remainder of the game to hold on to the one-goal victory.
In what proved to be an extremely competitive match, the only outlier in the box score would be a 22-7 advantage for the Patriots in shots as LETU would hold a 4-3 advantage in corner kicks.
Wilbanks would turn away 10 shots for the YellowJackets to keep them in the match the entire night, with six saves coming in the second half.
Junior Kelli Sonnier would be the only LETU player to record more than one shot in the contest, finishing the match with two.
Returning to ASC action on Saturday afternoon, LeTourneau will look to rebound with a 1:00 p.m. matchup with the University of the Ozarks at the LETU Soccer Field. The Eagles earned a 2-0 victory over East Texas Baptist University in Marshall, Texas on Thursday night.
Dig Pink Night Spoiled For LeTourneau Volleyball By Texas-Tyler
LONGVIEW, Texas – Squaring off against nationally ranked Tyler Patriots for the second time this season, the LeTourneau University volleyball team came up short as they fell in three sets in front of their home crowd on Dig Pink night on Tuesday, October 9th.
With the loss, the YellowJackets fall to 7-14 overall while the number 17-ranked Patriots picked up their 11th straight win to improve to 16-1 overall.
How It Happened:
UTT wouldn’t waste any time jumping out to an early lead on LETU early in the match, scoring six straight points to force a YellowJacket timeout in the first set after conceding the first point.
Using a 4-0 run which included a pair of kills from freshman Kianna Crow, LETU would manage to pull back within two at 9-7 before seeing the Patriots pushing their lead back to four at 13-9.
Facing a 13-11 deficit, LeTourneau would see UT-Tyler manage to break open the set with an 8-0 run and take a commanding 21-11 lead as the Patriots would manage to earn a 25-15 first set victory.
Knowing what to expect following the first set, LETU would keep pace with Texas-Tyler to open up the second set as Lauren Egby-McNeal would produce back-to-back blocks to tie the match at 7-7.
After seeing the Patriots reclaim the lead at 11-8 and 12-9, the YellowJackets would be able to pull back within a single point at 13-12 before being forced into a timeout following a 3-0 UTT run.
The 3-0 run would allow for Texas-Tyler to gain momentum in the set as part of a 6-1 run to claim a 19-13 lead that would end up being too big to overcome for the YellowJackets as UTT pulled away for a 25-18 victory.
Going back to what had worked for them in the previous two sets, UT-Tyler would jump on LETU to start the third set and open up a 10-5 lead using a 4-0 run after seeing Lexie Welton pull LeTourneau within one at 6-5.
Trying to stop the bleeding, LETU would call a timeout and manage to break serve for the Patriots at 10-6 before seeing a 7-0 UTT run force their final timeout of the match.
Despite the efforts, LeTourneau would not have an answer for Texas-Tyler as the Patriots would go on to claim the third set 25-13 and end the match.
Crow recorded a team-high 11 kills for the YellowJackets while Sydney Spillers led LETU in assists (11) and Liz Williams walked away leading with 12 digs.
The Patriots dominated their offensive attack opportunities, recording a .189 attack percentage and took an eleven-point advantage in kills (36-25).
LETU held their own defensively with seven blocks while the Patriots had 10 to go along with a 4-1 advantage in service aces over the YellowJackets.
LETU stays close to home in their next set of matches when they travel to Tyler, Texas to take part in the ASC crossover this weekend at Texas-Tyler. LETU will begin the weekend with a Friday afternoon matchup against Concordia University Texas at 1 p.m. The Tornados will enter Friday’s matchup with a 12-8 overall record while sitting at 6-3 in ASC action.
Sports Information Director