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TAMUC – Sports

Lions start the season with strong rounds, sitting fourth after 36 holes at Palmer Foundation Invitational.

AMARILLO – The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s golf team opened the 2018-19 season with two rounds under par and are in fourth place after 36 holes of action at the Palmer Foundation Invitational.

The Lions shot a 5-under par 563 (283-280) on the opening day of the season and are in the upper echelon of the leaderboard thanks to strong all-around performances throughout the lineup.

“I’m pretty proud of the way the guys played today, shooting two rounds in a row under par,” said head coach Matt Ward. “I’m pleased with the way they grinded because it was probably not the A-game for anybody. They worked hard, and you could see it. It was entertaining to watch. A little bit of adversity would strike when they made a bogey, and they would come right back with a birdie or a couple of pars and get it back right away.

“There’s always a little bit of an adjustment period with a new coach, but they seemed to take the coaching very well, and I’m proud of them. Hopefully tomorrow we can play just a little bit better and maybe move up a couple of spots. It would be great to finish in the top three, and I think that’s in our reach.”

Blake Hartford (Spring – Klein Collins) is in the top 10 of the individual leaderboard with a 2-under par 140. He started the day with a 67 in the opening round. After standing at 2-over par through 11 holes, the reigning Lone Star Conference champion carded an eagle and four consecutive birdies to finish his series at 4-under par. He notched four birdies in a 2-over par second round.

Lucas McCubbin (Midland) and Zach Burch (Lubbock – Cooper) are tied for 17th at 1-under par 141, with McCubbin carding one of the top rounds in school history on the way to that score. After a 5-over par 76 to start the day, the senior responded with a 6-under par 65, only one stroke short of tying his own school record set at this tournament last season. McCubbin had eight birdies and two bogeys in the second round.

Burch was solid throughout the day, starting with a 2-under par 69 in the opening round with six birdies, recovering from an early double bogey. He notched six birdies in the second round as well.

Joe Wolcik (Cleveland – Tarkington) is in 26th place at even par 142. He was 1-over par in the opening round despite three birdies, but evened things out in the second round with a 1-under round, notching three birdies before closing with nine straight pars. Dallas Millin (Wright, Wyo.) is in 67th place at 9-over par but showed final bright spots with six birdies on the day.

The Lions are nine strokes behind St. Mary’s and three strokes behind MSU Texas and St. Edward’s. Oklahoma Christian is two strokes behind A&M-Commerce and Hutchinson CC is four strokes back of the Lions.

Action in the tournament wraps up with 18 holes of play Tuesday.

Rank  Team Scores Total  Par 
1. St. Mary’s 275 279 554 -14
2. MSU Texas 277 283 560 -8
St. Edward’s 279 281 560 -8
4. A&M-COMMERCE 283 280 563 -5
5. Oklahoma Christian 274 291 565 -3
6. Hutchinson CC 280 287 567 -1
7. Colorado Mesa 284 284 568 E
8. Dallas Baptist 289 281 570 +2
9. Wayland Baptist 286 285 571 +3
10. Colorado School of Mines 290 283 573 +5
Regis 282 291 573 +5
12. Lubbock Christian 290 284 574 +6
13. West Texas A&M 288 288 576 +8
14. Cameron 299 290 589 +21
15. UT Permian Basin 295 296 591 +23

A&M-Commerce 283 280 563 -5 4th
Blake Hartford 67 73 140 -2 t-10th
Zach Burch 69 72 141 -1 t-17th
Lucas McCubbin 76 65 141 -1 t-17th
Joe Wolcik 72 70 142 E t-26th
Dallas Millin 75 76 151 +9 t-67th



Volleyball stays nationally ranked, comes in at 23rd in AVCA poll.

COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team is nationally ranked for the second week in a row. The Lions are ranked 23rd in the latest poll released by the American Volleyball Coaches’ Association, which was released on Monday. Last week, the Lions were ranked 17th.

The Lions went 1-2 last week, defeating Southern Arkansas in straight sets before falling to both Angelo State and Tarleton State on the road in five games.

The Lions are one of two teams from the Lone Star Conference ranked in the AVCA poll. Tarleton State rose from No. 24 in the polls to No. 20 in this week’s poll. Angelo State narrowly missed the top-25 rankings. The Lions have faced five teams currently ranked in the top-25, recording a 4-1 record against currently ranked teams.

The No. 23 Lions will host their home opening match on Tuesday against Texas Women at 6:00 p.m. The Lions were a perfect 11-0 at the Field House last season, and Tuesday’s game will be one of 11 home matches played by the Lions this season. Season tickets are available for the entire volleyball season by visiting the box office in The Field House, visiting WeAreLionsTix.com or by calling (903) 468-8756. Full season tickets are $50.

 2018 AVCA Division II Top 25 Coaches Poll – Sept . 10 (Week 3) 

Rk. Team (1st Place) Pts. Record Prev
1 Nebraska-Kearney (34) 1165 12-0 1
2 Northern State (8) 1104 10-0 3
3 Concordia-St. Paul (6) 1089 8-2 2
4 Palm Beach Atlantic 974 10-0 4
5 Lewis 966 8-2 5
6 Minnesota Duluth 911 8-2 6
7 Southwest Minnesota State 885 7-3 7
8 Cal State San Bernardino 874 9-1 9
9 Central Missouri 784 9-2 10
10 West Florida 712 8-3 11
11 Ferris State 666 7-3 13
12 Rockhurst 624 9-2 8
13 Western Washington 604 7-3 12
14 Gannon 490 11-0 16
15 Central Oklahoma 466 11-2 18
16 Tampa 423 9-1 20
17 Drury 415 8-2 22
18 Wayne State (Neb.) 383 8-2 19
19 Wheeling Jesuit 321 9-3 14
20 Tarleton State 273 8-2 24
21 Regis 249 5-5 15
22 Cal State LA 208 10-0 NR
23 A&M-COMMERCE 171 7-4 17
24 Findlay 145 7-1 NR
25 Colorado School of Mines 128 8-2 NR

Others receiving votes: Angelo State 109; Northern Michigan 104; Florida Southern 61; Missouri Western 46; Central Washington 42; Cal Poly Pomona 23; Upper Iowa 19; Chaminade 18; Augustana (SD) 17; Barry 17; Truman 17; Michigan Tech 14; Washburn 12; Wingate 11; Minnesota State 2



Lions open season with a hot score of 292 to sit in second at Tarleton Invitational, Wongsinth tops the individual leaderboard.

GLEN ROSE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s golf team started the 2018-19 season with one of the best rounds in school history at the Tarleton Invitational at Squaw Valley GC on Monday.

The Lions shot 292 (4-over par), only one stroke off the best round in school history. This is the best score by a Lion team in the first round of a tournament and just the sixth-ever under 300 in the program’s history.

Newcomer Sarah Wongsinth (Udon Thani, Thailand) is the tournament leader with a 3-under par 69, only one stroke back of the school record for a single round. The sophomore transfer eagled hole No. 8 and had birdies on Nos. 7, 10, 12, and 18.

Sophomores Paige-Lee Garris (West Palm Beach, Fla.) and Sophie-Charlott Hempel (Pirmasens, Germany) each shot 2-over par 74 in the round and are in a tie for 10th on the individual leaderboard. The effort ties Hempel’s career-best round, while Garris is only one stroke off of her career-best.

Makena Thomas (San Antonio – Reagan) shot a 3-over par 75 to sit in 16th place, while Lauren Leslie (Fair Oaks Ranch – Clear Brook HS) shot an 11-over par 83 and is in 37th place.

The Lions are five strokes behind St. Edward’s and have a three-stroke lead on perennial Lone Star Conference power Tarleton.

The tournament closes Tuesday with 18 holes of action.

Pl Team Total To Par
1 St. Edward’s 287 -1
2 A&M-COMMERCE 292 +4
3 Tarleton 295 +7
4 Newman 299 +11
5 Cameron 303 +15
6 Ranger College 308 +20
7 Tex. A&M-Kingsville 309 +21
8 Redlands CC 325 +37
A&M-Commerce 292 +4 2nd
Sarah Wongsinth 69 -3 1st
Paige-Lee Garris 74 +2 t-10th
Sophie-Charlott Hempel 74 +2 t-10th
Makena Thomas 75 +3 t-16th
Lauren Leslie 83 +11 t-37th



Lions pick up No. 1 ranking in AFCA Coaches’ Poll for the fourth straight poll.

WACO – The Texas A&M University-Commerce football team is ranked No. 1 in the 2018 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll for the fourth consecutive poll, as announced by the AFCA on Monday morning.

The Lions earned a 27-17 win on the road over William Jewell thanks to three first-half touchdown drives. A&M-Commerce completed over 80 percent of its passes in the game, while the defense had four sacks, 11 quarterback hurries, and eight tackles for loss.

Four Lion opponents for 2018 are in the top 25 or receiving votes. MSU Texas is ranked No. 7, Colorado State-Pueblo is ranked No. 10, and Tarleton and Texas A&M-Kingsville are receiving votes. The Lions picked up 26 of the 33 first-place votes in this week’s poll and have a 32 point lead over Minnesota State.

A&M-Commerce has been ranked in 42 consecutive AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll. It is A&M-Commerce’s 48th all-time appearance in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.

In the polls recognized by Division II as the top rating system, the Lions have been identified as a nationally ranked team 97 times since joining Division II in 1981.

The Lions are on the road for their next contest, returning to Lone Star Conference play on Saturday, September 15, with a 7 p.m. MDT (8 p.m. CDT) kickoff at Eastern New Mexico in Portales, N.M.

2018 American Football Coaches Association Division II Coaches’ Poll
September 10, 2018

Rank School (1st votes) Rec. Pts. Prev.
1. A&M-COMMERCE (26) 2-0 812 1
2. Minnesota St. (3) 2-0 780 3
3. Indiana (Pa.) (2) 2-0 722 4
4. Northwest Missouri St. (1) 2-0 719 6
5. Grand Valley St. (Mich.) 2-0 684 8
6. Ferris St. (Mich.) 2-0 658 9
7. MSU Texas (1) 2-0 656 10
8. West Alabama 2-0 558 11
9. Colorado St.-Pueblo 2-0 531 12
10. West Georgia 2-0 485 13
11. Winona St. (Minn.) 2-0 470 15
12. Ohio Dominican 2-0 391 17
13. West Florida 1-1 384 2
14. Ouachita Baptist (Ark.) 2-0 326 19t
15. Central Washington 1-1 304 16
16. Minnesota-Duluth 2-0 259 24
17. Fort Hays St. (Kan.) 1-1 245 5
18. West Chester (Pa.) 2-0 206 23
19. Colorado Mesa 2-0 201 25
20. Central Missouri 1-1 199 21
21. Harding (Ark.) 1-1 182 7
22. Indianapolis (Ind.) 1-1 169 22
23. Pittsburg St. (Kan.) 2-0 126 NR
24. Sioux Falls (S.D.) 1-1 112 14
25. Southern Arkansas 2-0 92 NR

Dropped Out: Ashland (Ohio) (18), Findlay (Ohio) (19t)

Others Receiving Votes: Colorado School of Mines, 67; Azusa Pacific (Calif.), 64; Valdosta St. (Ga.), 63; Notre Dame (Ohio), 54; Findlay (Ohio), 35; Tarleton (Texas), 31; Florida Tech, 24; Kutztown (Pa.), 20; Wingate (N.C.), 19; Ashland (Ohio), 16; Carson-Newman (Tenn.), 16; Shippensburg (Pa.), 13; Shepherd (W.Va.), 12; Fairmont St. (W.Va.), 11; Edinboro (Pa.), 3; Emporia St. (Kan.), 3; Texas A&M-Kingsville, 2; Missouri Western St., 1.


Lion Soccer at St. Mary’s canceled

SAN ANTONIO – Due to unplayable field conditions at Sigma Beta Chi Field, Sunday’s women’s soccer match between Texas A&M University-Commerce and St. Mary’s University has been canceled.

There are currently no plans to make up the contest.

The Lions (2-1) are next in action on Wednesday, September 12, with a 4:00 p.m. kickoff at Ouachita Baptist in Arkadelphia, Ark.



Top-ranked Lions hold on for 27-17 win at William Jewell.

LIBERTY, Mo. – The top-ranked Texas A&M University-Commerce football team got out to an early lead and held on for a 27-17 win over William Jewell College in non-conference action at Greene Stadium on Saturday.

The Lions move to 2-0 overall on the season and pick up their 12th consecutive victory, extending the longest winning streak in NCAA Division II. The Cardinals fall to 0-1 on the season.

A&M-Commerce will remain on the road for its next contest, returning to Lone Star Conference action at Eastern New Mexico at 7:00 pm MDT on Saturday, September 15.

– The Lions outgained the Cardinals by a 347-259 margin and scored the game’s first 21 points.
– Quarterback Preston Wheeler (Austin – Bowie) completed 24-of-30 passes for 172 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Kane Wilson (New Orleans, La.) completed passes on both of his attempts on the day, and also scored a rushing touchdown.
– Carandal Hale (Greenville) carried the ball 21 times for 84 yards and a score.
– Chance Cooper (Leander – Rouse) had eight receptions for 99 yards, while Marquis Wimberly (Duarte, Calif.) had six catches for 42 yards and a touchdown.
– Kicker Kristov Martinez (Edinburg) added nine points to his already lofty career total, connecting on field goals of 30 and 29 yards and adding three extra points.
– Jalon Edwards-Cooper (Spring – Dekaney) had a team-high eight tackles and a pass breakup. Brucks Saathoff (San Antonio – Reagan) made six stops with a sack, a forced fumble, and two tackles for loss.
– Michael Onuoha (Edmond, Okla.) added two sacks, while Jay Bias (Prosper) recorded one sack.

The Lion defense forced Jewell to punt on each of its first three possessions, allowing the A&M-Commerce offense to get on the board early.

The Lions’ first points of the game came on a Wilson 1-yard touchdown carry with 8:54 left in the first quarter, capping off a 10-play, 41-yard drive.

The lead was extended to 14-0 with 3:21 left in the opening period on a Hale 3-yard touchdown plunge after the Lions went 49 yards in nine plays.

Wimberly’s 10-yard touchdown reception in the corner of the end zone from Wheeler with 8:06 left in the first half put the Lions up by a 21-0 count.

The Cardinals got their first points on the board with 2:41 left in the first half when Bulla Graft caught a tipped pass in the end zone for a 35-yard touchdown, but Martinez’ 30-yard field goal with 13 seconds remaining in half gave the Lions a 24-7 halftime advantage.

Penalties were the Lions’ enemy in the second half, as the visiting team was only able to record three points in the final half hour. Jewell cut the lead to 24-10 with 7:38 left in the third quarter on Dalton Dye’s 28-yard field goal. Dye would only go 1-for-4 on field goal attempts in the game.

Martinez’s 29-yard field goal at the 2:44 mark of the third quarter made it a three-score margin in the Lions’ favor again at 27-10. Jewell quarterback Will Schneider cut the lead to 27-17 on an 8-yard touchdown scramble with 8:58 to play.

The Cardinals intercepted a deep pass with 7:28 to play in the game and plodded down the field all the way the Lion 11 before the drive stalled. Dye’s third missed field goal of the game with just over two minutes remaining sealed the victory for A&M-Commerce.



No. 17 Lions drop hard-fought five-set battle with No. 24 Tarleton.

STEPHENVILLE– The No. 17 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team lost in five sets to No. 24 Tarleton State on Saturday afternoon. The Lions held a 2-1 lead but could not pull out the final two sets on the road. The set scores were 25-22, 26-28, 25-21, 21-25, 8-15.

The loss brings the Lions to 7-4 on the season and 0-2 in the Lone Star Conference. The TexAnns improve to 8-2 on the season and 2-0 in conference play.

The Lions will host their home opener on Sept. 11 when they face Texas Women’s. The match will be played at 6:00 pm at the Field House.

– TSU had 23 blocks in the match, compared to A&M-Commerce’s four. The TexAnns hit .300 in the game while the Lions hit .182.
– Bina Njikam (Keller) had a career-high 18 kills in the match, hitting .394. She also had four blocks
– Jaslyn Wacker (Austin – Vista Ridge) had 13 kills, Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) had 12 kills, and Nicole Gonelli (Round Rock – Stony Point) had 10 kills.
– Rylie Fuentes (Robinson) led the team with 32 assists. Carolina Machado (Sao Paulo, Brazil) had 23 assists, and Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) had nine.
– Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) led the team with 28 digs. Fuentes had 19 digs, and Daniela Santos (Caracas, Venezuela) had 12.

After the TexAnns scored three points in a row to open the first set, the Lions answered back with four in a row to take the lead early. Two early aces from Fuentes gave the Lions a five-point lead at the midpoint of the set. TSU battled back to within one point before the Lions went on a 7-2 run to take a six-point lead. TSU fought back late to cut the Lion lead to two points, but A&M-Commerce held on to take the first set.

The TexAnns led early in the second set, taking a three-point lead before the Lions scored four in a row to regain the lead. The second set was a back and forth battle that was forced into extra points. The Lions had set-point but were unable to win it, and TSU scored four of the final five points of the set to win 28-26.

With the third set tied at six, the Lions scored four points in a row, including two kills from Njikam, to take a 10-6 lead. The Lions held that four-point lead for the majority of the set before TSU made a late rally to tie the game at 20. However, the Lions rallied to score five of the final six points of the set to win 25-21.

The fourth set was back and forth early as well, with neither team able to pull ahead. The TexAnns were finally able to break the tie, scoring five points in a six-point span to build a five-point lead. The Lions battled back to within two points but could not regain the lead and lost the fourth set 25-21, forcing a deciding set.

TSU scored four of the first six points of the set before the Lions went on a 3-0 run to take the lead early. The TexAnns then took control of the game, scoring five points in a row to take a 10-5 lead. The Lions scored three of the next four points to get within three, but TSU took the final four points to win the set and the match.



No. 17 Lions are unable to hold onto the lead in a five-set loss to Angelo State.

SAN ANGELO– The No. 17 Texas A&M University-Commerce volleyball team lost a heartbreaker to Angelo State in five sets on Friday. The Lions won the first two sets but lost the final three. The set scores were 27-25, 25-22, 16-25, 19-25, 12-15)

The loss brings the Lions to 7-3 on the season and 0-1 in the Lone Star Conference. ASU improves to 8-3 and 1-0 in conference play.

The Lions will return to action on Saturday when they travel to Stephenville to face No. 24 Tarleton State. The match will be played at 2 p.m. at Wisdom Gym.

– The Lions won the first two sets but were unable to put the match away.
– The Lions hit .108 in the game, hampered by 35 attack errors. ASU had 13 service errors.
– Bina Njikam (Keller) and Jaslyn Wacker (Austin – Vista Ridge) tied for the team lead with 12 kills apiece.
– Shelley Chapron (Houston – St. Pius X) had 11 kills and led the team with a .435 hitting percentage. Jaryn Wacker (Austin – Vista Ridge) had 10 kills.
– Rylie Fuentes (Robinson) led the team with 25 assists. Celeste Vela (Guadalajara, Mexico) added 11 assists, and Carolina Machado (Sao Paulo, Brazil) had nine.
– Daniela Santos (Caracas, Venezuela) led the team with 21 digs. Savannah Rutledge (The Woodlands – College Park) added 19 digs.

The Lions scored the first two points of the match before ASU scored the next seven points in a row. Trailing 9-4, the Lions then scored six out of the next seven points to tie the game. Njikam had three kills in the rally. She had another kill as the Lions kept piling on, taking a two-point lead midway through the set.

The Rambelles fought back to take a 20-17 lead in the set before the Lions again went on a run, scoring four in a row to take the lead. The teams ended up going into extra points before the Lions scored the final two points to win 27-25. Jaryn Wacker had six kills in the set and Njikam had four.

The teams battled back and forth to start the second set, with the score tied at 12 midway through. The Lions then scored four points in a row to build a lead. After ASU cut the Lion lead back down to just one, another run put the Lions ahead by four once again. The Lions won the second set 25-22.

The third set started close, as the teams were tied at 9-all near the midpoint of the game. The set then started to get away from the Lions. Near the end of the set, ASU went on a 6-0 run and led by as many as 10 in the game. The Lions lost the set 25-16.

The Lions had an early 4-0 run in the fourth set to take the lead before a 5-0 run by the Rambelles gave them back the lead. It was a lead they would not relinquish as the Lions continued to fight but could not climb back into the set and regain a lead. ASU won the fourth set 25-19.

The Lions scored seven of the first 10 points of the fifth set, taking a 7-3 lead. ASU would respond, winning nine of the next 10 points to take a 12-8 lead. The Lions could not recover, losing the final set 15-12.


East Texas Shootout postponed until October 12.

COMMERCE – Due to persistent lightning in the area, the East Texas Shootout cross country meet has been postponed. The event was initially slated to be the opening meet of the season for the Texas A&M University-Commerce cross country teams.

The Shootout will now be held on Friday, October 12, with start times to be announced at a later date.

The Lions will now start their seasons next Saturday, September 15, at the Missouri Southern Stampede in Joplin, Mo. The women’s 5-kilometer race is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m., with the men’s 8-kilometer race set for 9:45 a.m. that day.