Here is the first edition of SnakeBytes for the 2012-13 season.
AND WE’RE OFF … The 2012-13 sports season is underway, as men’s and women’s soccer, volleyball, both cross country squads and both golf teams have seen their first competition of the year. Florida Southern had 12 of its programs participate in NCAA postseason competition in 2011-12 with the women’s golf team finishing second at the NCAA Division II Championship. FSC placed 14th in the nation in the 2011-12 NCAA Division II Learfield Sports Director's Cup, which recognizes the top overall athletic programs in the country. The Mocs were the highest finishing Sunshine State Conference member. At the conference level, FSC once again won the men’s competition for the SSC Mayors’ Cup. Fifty-two Moccasin student-athletes received Division II Academic Achievement Awards for academic excellence and 123 were named to the SSC Commissioner’s Academic Honor Roll for the spring semester.
NEW FACES … The Athletic Department did a lot of heavy recruiting prior to the start of the 2012 school year adding 10 faces to the athletic department. Ben Greenberg (Assistant AD for Athletic Communication), Matt Parker (Sports Information Intern) and Chrissy Curran (Assistant Athletic Trainer) all joined the athletic department staff. Many of the sports teams have additions to their coaching staff as well. Jeremy Duerr (Assistant Men’s. Basketball Coach), Bryce Currie (Assistant W. Basketball Coach), Derrick Rose (Assistant Men’s Lacrosse Coach), Rob Williams (Assistant Men’s Lacrosse Coach), AJ Mack (Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach), Joe Ferraro (Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach), Rob Koehler (Assistant Volleyball Coach) and Blake Rawlins (Assistant Volleyball Coach) all joined their respective sport.
JENKINS FIELD HOUSE LOBBY RENOVATED … Walking into Jenkins Field House is a new experience all its own as the lobby and area leading into the field house has had a makeover. One of the more drastic changes in the lobby is that the ceiling has been lifted by two feet and three round circular columns have been added. Instead of multiple trophy cases, one major trophy case, which has become the focal point of the lobby, was added to display the 27 National Championship trophies won by the various sports programs at the college. The lobby’s entrance also saw a makeover as the doors were moved to each far end of the lobby and the front has been enhanced by floor to ceiling glass windows from door to door.
WYNEE WARDEN TENNIS CENTER DEDICATION … The Wynee Warden Tennis Center has been officially opened and dedicated. The ten-court facility was dedicated September 14 with special guest, tennis legend Chris Evert on hand. Wynee Warden generously donated a considerable amount of the funds to Florida Southern for the 1.6 million dollar complex to be built. The facility features the U.S. Open blue hard court surface and a grandstand that has a seating capacity of 400 overlooking the two championship courts named after Warden’s two sons, Andrew and Chandler. After the ribbon cutting, Evert and head women’s tennis coach Trish Riddell, volleyed back-and-forth as the first official tennis action on the new courts.
JENKINS CLUBHOUSE ANNOUNCED … The Florida Southern baseball program looks to be in a new home come the spring season. The baseball team will still play at historic Henley Field but the addition of a 3,500-square-foot clubhouse behind right field will give the program a major-league-like facility to move into. The facility, named after generous donor and Lakeland native David Jenkins, will contain a locker room, training room, laundry facilities and a kitchen. “Our goal is to win national championships, and this is a start, said head baseball coach Lance Neikro. The Jenkins Clubhouse “will improve recruiting more than you can imagine.”
SSC PLAYERS OF THE WEEK presented by VALIC … The Sunshine State Conference released the SSC Players of the Week presented by VALIC and not one but two of FSC’s Volleyball players. Senior outside hitter Anne Pietkiewicz averaged 3.20 kills, 2.40 digs per set and hit .274 this past weekend while at the Armstrong Atlantic Classic in Savannah, Ga. to garner the SSC Offensive-Player-of-the-Week. Receiving the Defensive-Player-of-the-Week honors was freshman defensive specialist Arielle Fernandez. Fernandez averaged 4.00 digs per set this weekend to help the Moccasins clinch four region wins. She had double figures in digs in three matches, one being a career-high 21 digs in FSC’s closing game in Savannah. Volleyball wasn’t the only women’s team making an impact this week. Sophomore goalkeeper Erin Moseley was also been selected as the Sunshine State Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Week in women’s soccer. Moseley shut out Nova Southeastern in their 1-0 victory with eight saves last week. She is the first FSC player to earn defensive player of the week since the 2009 season and only the second Mocs’ goalkeeper, in the history of the program to achieve the honor.
VOLLEYBALL WINS SEVEN STRAIGHT… The Florida Southern volleyball program got off to a rough start at the beginning of this season, losing close matches to really good opponents. However, after starting the season 1-4, the Moccasins have bounced back and won seven straight matches to go into conference play with an 8-4 record. The Mocs started their seven game win streak in Boca Raton at the Lynn Invitational as Anne Pietkiewicz led her team to three consecutive three-set wins against Assumption (Mass.), Valdosta State and UPR-Mayaguez. Pietkiewicz hit .388 with 31 kills and 24 digs. The volleyball team then traveled to Savannah, Ga. to participate in the South/Southeast Region Crossover at Armstrong Atlantic. There, the women played and won four region matches in two days. On Friday, the Jill Stephens led Mocs beat south region rival North Alabama, and later in the day dispatched No. 22 Flagler in a four set match. Saturday afternoon the women opened play against UPR-Rio Piedras and closed out the day with a hard fought five-set match against tournament host Armstrong Atlantic. Freshman Arielle Fernandez, who won SSC Defensive-Player-of-the-Week honors for her performance, averaged 4.00 digs per set, had three double digit dig games and recorded a career high 21 digs against Armstrong Atlantic
MEN’S SWIMMING TEAM HONORS SIX NATIONAL CHAMPIONS … The 2011-12 Florida Southern men’s swimming program produced six national champions this past season. These six individuals were recognized and given their NCAA Division II National Championship rings in front of the whole student body at last week’s Convocation in Bramscomb Auditorium. The rings were presented by Florida Southern President Dr. Anne Kerr, FSC Athletic Director Pete Meyer, and head coach Duncan Sherrard. The six national champion swimmers from last season were seniors Jeb Halfacre, Miguel Ferreira, Bruce Janzen, Stephen Swan, and sophomores Luis Rojas and Allan Gutierrez. There were three events that the Mocs became national champions in, the 400-yard medley relay (Ferreira, Halfacre, Janzen and Swan), the 800-yard freestyle relay (Halfacre, Ferreira, Rojas and Gutierrez) and the 200-yard backstroke, where Halfacre won his third consecutive individual national championship and set a new NCAA record time of 1:43.41.
MEN’ S CROSS COUNTRY EARLY FAVORITE … Led by returning juniors Chris Yanichko and David Tomchinsky, the Moccasin cross country squad was ranked second in the Preseason NCAA Division II South Region rankings that are compiled by the United States Track & Field Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA). The Mocs are the highest ranked SSC member. The team showed why they are the early favorites by opening the season with a win at the Tampa Early Bird Classic. Yanichko and Tomchinsky finished second and third respectively while freshman runner Jose Perez finished seventh giving the Mocs three runners in the top-ten.
MEN’S GOLF OPENS SEASON AT HISTORIC BETHPAGE STATE PARK… The Doug Gordin led Moccasin Golf Team opened their season in New York, on the Red Course at Bethpage State Park, this past weekend as they were one of three non Division I schools to participate in the McLaughlin hosted by St. John’s University. The Mocs finished sixth out of 16 teams with a three round total of 865. In his first collegiate tournament, Joseph Leavitt, who was playing as an individual, was the highest finishing Florida Southern golfer. His 54-hole total of 212, four over par, was good enough to garner him t-11th finish.
WOMEN’S GOLF RANKED PRESEASON NO. 2 … After coming off their fifth national runner-up finish in the 2012 NCAA Division II National Championship tournament, the women’s golf team has entered the 2012-13 season ranked second in the Golf World/NGCA D-II Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Senior Honorable Mention All-American Megan Kiley returns as the Mocs’ top golfer along with four other golfers who saw tournament action, including three who were on the national runner-up team. Coach Robbie Davis has also brought in five new comers to the program. The women opened up the season with a fifth-place finish at a rain shortened NCAA Division II Fall Preview at LGPA International.
THE MOCS REPORT … Listen to the the weekly Mocs Report on WLKF (1430 AM) in Lakeland at approximately 7:40 a.m. FSC Asst. Athletic Director for Athletic Communication Ben Greenberg provides information and updates on Moccasin Athletics each week with “Mayhem in the AM” host Len Erickson. The program will air each Friday morning throughout the school year.
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