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TAMUC – Sports

Svaerd, Rotich claim LSC Indoor Track Athlete of the Week honors

RICHARDSON – The league office named Texas A&M University-Commerce’s Minna Svaerd and Nicodemus Rotich as the Lone Star Conference’s Indoor Track Athletes of the Week. 

Svaerd – a junior from Karlstad, Sweden – set the top time in the LSC and sixth-quickest time in the nation in the women’s 400-meter dash with an altitude-adjusted time of 55.54 seconds at Texas Tech’s Corky Classic, picking up the event win and a provisional qualifying mark. She also matched the LSC’s top mark and a provisional qualifying mark in the pole vault at 3.68 meters (12-0 ¾), which ranks 19th nationally. 

In his first appearance as a collegian, Rotich – a freshman from Eldoret, Kenya – won the men’s mile run at the Texas Tech Corky Classic with an altitude-adjusted time of 4:11.97. It is the fastest time in the event in the LSC this season by nearly three seconds and is less than a second short of a provisional qualifying time. 

The Lions are next in action on February 1 at the Wendy’s/Pittsburg State Invitational in Kansas. 

LSC WEEKLY AWARDS

Men’s Track

D-9 Arnaud Taki, West Texas A&M

J-21      Nicodemus Rotich, A&M-Commerce 

Men’s Field

D-9 Dhanushka Sandaruwan, West Texas A&M

J-21 Trivett Jones, Angelo State 

Women’s Track

D-9 Leah Belfield, West Texas A&M

J-21      Minna Svaerd, A&M-Commerce 

Women’s Field

D-9 Miriam Zanovello, West Texas A&M

J-21 Fatim Affessi, West Texas A&M

Lions leapfrog to No. 4 in WBCA ranks, No. 3 in D2SIDA

COMMERCE – The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team is the fourth-ranked team in the nation in this week’s Women’s Basketball Coaches Association poll, as announced Tuesday. The Lions have been nationally ranked 14 times in the WBCA poll, seven weeks in a row from 2007-08, and now seven weeks in a row this season. The Lions are also ranked No — 3 in the Division II Sports Information Directors of America poll. 

The Lions are coming off of an undefeated week for the ninth week in a row, picking up a pair of blowout wins at home. The Lions defeated UAFS on Thursday 82-46 and defeated Oklahoma Christian on Saturday 91-64. The Lions have now won 17 games in a row, which is the most consecutive wins by any program in A&M-Commerce history in a single season, and the second-longest win streak in school history, after the 29-game win streak by Lion Football between 1951 and 1953. 

The Lions are one of three LSC teams in the national rankings and the highest-ranked team in the LSC. Lubbock Christian is now ranked ninth, while West Texas A&M is No. 21. A&M-Commerce is one of the three undefeated teams remaining in Division II. They rank in the top 25 in several categories, including first in win percentage, seventh in scoring defense, seventh in scoring margin, 12th in rebounding margin, 13th turnover margin, and 21st in steals per game. 

The No. 4 Lions return to the court on Thursday as they travel to Silver City to face Western New Mexico at 6:30 p.m. CST. They will then face UT Permian Basin at 2 p.m. on Saturday. Both games will be broadcast live on the Lion Sports Network, 88.9 FM, KETR, as well as the Lone Star Conference Digital Network.


WBCA Coaches’ Poll – January 21, 2020 (Poll 9)

 Rank  School (Record)  Pts  1st  Prev.
 1  Drury (16-0)  573  21  1
 2  Ashland (17-0)  554  2  3
 3  Grand Valley State (16-1)  513  0  4
 4  A&M-COMMERCE (17-0)  506  0  6
 5  Alaska Anchorage (18-1)  461  0  7
 6  Indiana (PA) (16-1)  447  0  8
 7  Lee (TN) (17-1)  430  0  9
 8  Hawaii Pacific (16-1)  385  0  11
 9  Lubbock Christian (14-2)  374  0  2
 10  Fort Hays State (15-2)  358  0  13
 11  Sioux Falls (17-2)  322  0  14
 12  Virginia Union (13-2)  291  0  5
 13  Anderson (SC) (14-2)  266  0  16
 14  North Georgia (14-2)  250  0  10
 15  Westminster (UT) (15-2)  249  0  17
 16  Southeastern Oklahoma St. (12-2)  239  0  18
 17  Benedict (15-2)  160  0  21
 18  Azusa Pacific (14-3)  144  0  19
 19  Walsh (16-2)  140  0  23
 20  Adelphi (16-2)  130  0  12
 21  West Texas A&M (16-3)  125  0  25
 22  Colorado Mesa (15-2)  83  0  NR
 23  Catawba (14-2)  51  0  NR
 24  Notre Dame (OH) (15-1)  42  0  NR
 25  Tampa (12-3)  41  0  NR


2019-20 D2SIDA Women’s Basketball Week 6 National Poll (Jan. 21, 2020)

Rank School (1st) W-L  Pts. Prev.
1 Drury (16) 16-0 400 2
2 Ashland 17-0 380 3
3 A&M-COMMERCE 17-0 367 4
4 Alaska Anchorage 18-1 349 6
5 Lee 17-1 327 7
6 Grand Valley 16-1 316 8
7 Hawaii Pacific 15-1 300 11
8 Sioux Falls 17-2 276 12
9 IUP 16-1 267 14
10 Catawba 14-1 261 13
11 Colorado Mesa 15-2 223 18
12 Adelphi 16-2 221 5
13 Walsh 16-2 168 20
14 North Georgia 14-2 161 10
15 Delta State 14-2 146 15
16 Azusa Pacific 14-3 144 23
17 Notre Dame 15-1 129 NR
18 West Texas A&M 16-3 128 RV
19 Southeastern Okla. 12-2 110 RV
20 Bentley 13-4 106 19
21 Lubbock Christian 14-2 95 1
22 Kentucky Wesleyan 18-1 74 25
23 Virginia Union 13-2 59 9
24 USciences 15-3 57 24
25 Belmont Abbey 15-2 39 RV

Otto named Preseason Pitcher of the Year; Lions chose to finish second in expanded LSC field.

RICHARDSON – Tuesday’s 2020 Lone Star Conference softball preseason poll has Texas A&M University-Commerce softball team finishing second. In addition, junior Emily Otto was named the LSC Preseason Pitcher of the Year. 

The Lions are coming off one of their best seasons in history, when they went 40-14 during the year, with a 23-7 record in LSC play. A&M-Commerce finished in second place in the LSC standings and advanced to the LSC Tournament Championship game. The team finished second in the South Central Regional standings and earned the right to host half of the NCAA bracket, falling in the Regional Championship game. The Lions were nationally ranked in every poll throughout the season, ranking as high as No. 2 in the nation, and finishing No. 16 in the postseason poll. During the 2019 season, A&M-Commerce came in ranked on every poll. 

A&M-Commerce had one of the top defenses in the nation, leading all of Division II in fielding percentage during 2019. The team also finished in the top-15 in the country in home runs per game, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, scoring, and shutouts. The pitching staff set single-season records for lowest ERA, lowest opponent batting average, fewest walks allowed, most strikeouts, and most shutouts. Nine Lion players’ names made the All-Conference teams, and four earned gold glove awards. 

The Lions return 17 student-athletes from the 2019 season and return six of their nine primary starters from a season ago. The Lions will be led by junior Emily Otto, who, in 2019, became the first Lion pitcher to be named an All-American. Otto was named the LSC Pitcher of the Year and the South Central Regional Pitcher of the Year, earning 3rd team All-America status from the D2CCA, as well as First Team All-Region status by both the NFCA and D2CCA. Also returning is NFCA and D2CCA All-Region selection Madison Schaefer, as well as All-Conference performers Jodie HillChealsea SliderKinsie Hebler, and Avery Boley. The Lions have also added eight new student-athletes to the team. The Lions received seven first-place votes in the poll, the second-most in the conference, and finished just 26 points out of first place. A&M-Kingsville, the national runner-up in 2019, was chosen to finish first with 32 first-place votes. 

The Lions begin the 2020 season on Jan. 31, as they travel to Conroe to play five games as part of the Arkansas Tech Tournament. The Lions will face fierce competition, including against the defending national champion and No. 1 Augustana, as well as No. 9 Central Oklahoma. 

A&M-Commerce will then return home the following weekend to co-host the A&M-Commerce/UT Tyler Invitational, which takes place Feb. 7-9. The Lions will play four home games throughout the tournament. 

The Lions will host 22 home games, including nine LSC double-headers, during the 2020 regular season. The Lions finished the 2019 season with a 22-5 record at the John Cain Family Softball Field. 

Season tickets for Lion Softball home games are available for $70, with a total of 22 matches spanning 12 different dates. Tickets can be purchased by visiting WeAreLionsTix.com, calling Lion Sales & Service at (903) 468-8756, or visiting the LSS Box Office in the Field House during business hours.

2020 LSC Softball Preseason Poll

 Rank  Team  1st  Total
 1  Texas A&M-Kingsville  32  692
 2  Texas A&M-Commerce  7  666
 3  Tarleton  1  594
 T4  Cameron  527
 T4  Oklahoma Christian  527
 6  West Texas A&M  1  504
 7  Angelo State  486
 8  St. Mary’s  423
 9  Lubbock Christian  401
 10  UT Tyler  356
 11  Texas A&M International  1  276
 12  Midwestern State  271
 13  Texas Woman’s  220
 14  St. Edward’s  197
 15  Eastern New Mexico  135
 16  UT Permian Basin  89
 17  Western New Mexico  62