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Athletics takes some big wins

The year in review

Volleyball

ASU VolleyballThe Belles volleyball team made history by going 34-4 and making it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Division II Tournament for the first time ever. Lone Star Conference Coach of the Year Chuck Waddington led his squad to the LSC regular season and tournament championships for the second straight season. The Belles then hosted the South Central Regional Tournament, which they won for the first time ever to advance to the Elite Eight. Once there, the Belles took on Alaska-Anchorage, winning the first set but losing the match to end their magical season. Mallory Blauser and Brianna Sotello were the team’s offensive leaders, earning All-America honors from both the American Volleyball Coaches Association and the Division II Conference Commissioners Association. The Belles were also helped by freshman setter Meghan Parker’s 1,424 assists, which earned her both LSC Freshman of the Year and AVCA National Freshman of the Year honors.

Football

ASU FootballHead coach Will Wagner led the Rams to a 5-6 record that included wins over Northern Michigan, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Oklahoma Panhandle State, West Texas A&M and UT-Permian Basin. The ASU defense allowed just 341.5 yards per game, which ranked second in the conference, and had three players in the LSC top 10 in tackles: Justin Jackson, Melvin Robinson and Willie Brown. Sophomore Markus Jones led the LSC in tackles for loss with 16 and was second in sacks with 7.5. Jackson, Jones and Bright Ihegworo all earned postseason accolades. Jones and Ihegworo were named to the Don Hansen All-Super Region Four Team, while Jones and Jackson earned second team D2CCCA All-Super Region Four honors.

Soccer

Angelo State SoccerThe Rambelles soccer team finished the season 11-7-2 overall and 7-5 in the Lone Star Conference. They were led by senior forward Demi Tsambasis, who was second in the conference in goals (13) and total points (29). Tsambasis was named to the D2CCA All-Region first team and was also recognized for her work in the classroom by being named to the NSCAA Scholar All-America Team. ASU once again made a trip to the postseason and defeated Texas Woman’s University in the opening round of the LSC Tournament before falling to Texas A&M-Commerce in the semifinals.

Cross Country

Cross CountryBoth the Rams and Rambelles placed sixth at the Lone Star Conference Championships. Devitt Smetana was the lead runner for the Rams, winning individual titles at the Cowboy Classic and the ASU Cross Country Classic. Smetana also finished in the top 10 of every race except the South Central Regional Meet, where he still led the Rams with a 48th-place finish. Rambelles runner Kelsey Warren also had an individual win at the ASU Cross Country Classic, and she was the top Angelo State performer at the regional meet with a 44th-place finish.

Men’s Basketball

Mens BasketballIn his second year at the helm, head men’s basketball coach Cinco Boone led the Rams to a 17-12 overall record and a second straight appearance in the Lone Star Conference Tournament final. The Rams started off the season strong, rattling off 10 straight wins before their first loss, and kept battling through a tough LSC schedule to make it to the conference tournament as the No. 8 seed. Their run to the tournament final included a stunning upset of No. 1 seed Tarleton State in the opening round, followed by a victory over Texas A&M-Kingsville. But they fell just short in the final against UT-Permian Basin to end the season. Guard Quay King was named to the All-LSC first team and the D2CCA All-Region second team.

Women’s Basketball

Womens BasketballThe Belles basketball team had a historic season, making it all the way to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA D-II Tournament. Lone Star Conference Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year Jasmine Prophet led the Belles to 26-6 overall record, and ASU won the LSC regular season championship for the first time since 2005. The Belles were eventually named the No. 2 seed for the South Central Regional Tournament in Pueblo, Colo., and made it to the tournament final before losing. Prophet and guard Taylor Dorsey were both named to the All-LSC first team and the D2CCA All-Region first team. Prophet also earned second team D2CCA All-America honors, and Dorsey earned All-America honorable mention.

Softball

Angelo State SoftballThe Rambelles softball team fell just one win short of a second national championship. Posting a record of 60-7, they won the LSC regular season title and hosted a D-II South Central Regional Tournament and a Super Regional on their way to the national tournament. Once at the national tournament, the Rambelles won their first three games before ending the season with a loss in the championship series. Led by All-Americans Brandy Marlett and Kenedy Urbany, as well as LSC Coach of the Year Travis Scott, the Rambelles broke the ASU record for most wins in a season and went 26-3 in LSC play. Marlett set a new ASU single-season record for strikeouts and was named LSC Pitcher of the Year. Urbany broke ASU’s all-time home run record, and outfielder Courtney Barnhill was named LSC Freshman of the Year. Four Rambelles were named to the NFCA All-Region Team and the coaching staff was named the South Central Region Coaching Staff of the Year.

Baseball

Angel State BaseballThe Rams baseball team had another successful season, posting a 43-15 overall record, winning a second straight LSC regular season title at 17-6, and hosting the D-II South Central Regional Tournament for the first time in program history. The Rams made it to the semifinal of the regional tournament before finally being knocked out. Jacob Boston earned LSC Player of the Year honors, Nick Novak was named Freshman of the Year, Matt Waller won Academic Player of the Year and Kevin Brooks was named Coach of the Year. Overall, seven Rams made the All-LSC first team. Four ASU players were named to various all-region teams, and Boston was named a third team D2CCA All-American. Following the season, Shannon (Toronto) and infielder Tyler Coolbaugh (Baltimore) were selected in the Major League Baseball draft.

Indoor Track & Field

The Rambelles indoor track and field team finished in the top 25 at the NCAA D-II National Meet for the seventh straight season after finishing second at the LSC Championships. Kami Norton earned first team All-America honors as the national runner up in the pentathlon. The Rams finished third at the LSC Championships, and their 4x400-meter relay team picked up second team All-America honors after finishing 10th at the national meet. Fourteen ASU athletes earned All-Lone Star Conference honors.

Golf

Angelo State GolfIn his second year at the helm, head coach Keith McCutchen led the Rambelles golf team to a sixth-place finish at the Lone Star Conference Tournament. The Rambelles also finished in the top 10 at six regular season tournaments and posted their single-round low of 309 at the Oklahoma Intercollegiate. Kamryn Cummings led the team with an 18-hole average of 77.8

Outdoor Track & Field

The Rams placed 10th at the NCAA D-II National Meet, and freshman Nils Fischer capped off the outdoor season by winning the national championship in the javelin. Both the Rams and Rambelles finished in second place at the LSC Outdoor Championships, and the Rambelles finished 13th at the national meet. The two teams combined for 16 All-America first team selections at the national meet and three school records during the year. Fischer was named the LSC Male Field Athlete of the Year while Kenneth Turner took the Male Track Athlete of the Year honors. Norton was honored as the LSC Fred Jacoby Female Academic Athlete of the Year after being named the LSC Indoor & Outdoor Female Academic Athlete of the Year.

Outdoor Track and Field