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Fall sports entering tournament time at Milligan

Kassi Butcher • Updated Oct 30, 2019 at 12:00 PM

The winter months are closing in and the Milligan College fall teams are beginning to prepare for Appalachian Athletic Conference tournament and championship events.

MEN’S SOCCER BEGINS GEARING TOWARD AAC TOURNAMENT

The men’s soccer team just finished its most impressive regular season since 2012. The Buffs finished their regular-season conference schedule with a record of 5-6 — with three of those losses, including two in double overtime, coming by one goal.

The team is currently led by senior Roberto Fernandez Garrido, who leads the AAC and nation with 25 goals and shots on goal with an average of 3.25 a game. The team is also led by senior Joel Dominguez, who has seven assists on the season and ranks second in the AAC in assists, and junior goalkeeper Jan Kuepper, who has 40 saves on the year.

Milligan’s biggest game of this season was against then-ranked No. 17 Tennessee Wesleyan on Saturday, Oct. 5, when the Buffs pulled off the upset and defeated the Bulldogs 3-1.

Milligan finished the regular season seventh overall and will take on the No. 2 seed, Bryan, on Saturday, Nov. 2, at 7 p.m. at Bryan. The Buffs faced Bryan this past Saturday and fell to the Lions 6-2.

WOMEN’S SOCCER PREPARES FOR TOURNAMENT PLAY

The women’s soccer team had a nice regular season, finishing 10-2-1 in the AAC.

The Buffs’ two losses came from AAC regular season co-champions Truett-McConnell and Tennessee Wesleyan. Their tie came against Reinhardt, which finished with the same record as Milligan but got the higher seed going into conference tournament play due to the Eagles having a higher goal differential.

The team is currently led by senior Bekah Cundiff, who leads the AAC with 17 goals. Sophomore Ashlen Burch tops the team with six assists on the season, and freshman goalkeeper Lauren Davies has 49 saves.

Milligan is currently on a six-game winning streak and has won seven out of eight games in the month of October. Milligan will go into the AAC tournament as the No. 4 seed and will face No. 5 Bryan College on Tuesday, Nov. 5, at 5 p.m. at Anglin Field.

CROSS COUNTRY PREPARES FOR CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON

The nationally ranked men’s and women’s cross-country teams ran their last regular season race on Friday, Oct. 25, in a dual against Montreat College on the Tweetsie Trail.

Both teams won with record breaking times on both sides. Nathan Baker finished first on the men’s side with a time of 14:56 and Avery DeWolf came in first place on the women’s side, jumping to No. 2 in the record book with a 5K time of 17:44.

Milligan rewrote the record book on the men's side. Baker's time of 14:56 became the fastest in Milligan men's 5k history, while Tim Thacker (15:06), Alex Mortimer (15:28), Jake Crow (15:31) and Cory Aulich (15:35), rounding out Milligan's top five, all moved onto Milligan's all-time list as well.

On the women’s side, Dewolf, Bekah Owen (17:51) and Amy Ferguson (18:06) all jumped into the all-time top 10 for Milligan 5K.

With the regular season ending, Milligan now turns its attention to the AAC Championships and NAIA Championships, set for Saturday, Nov. 9, and Friday, Nov. 22, respectively. The men enter the AAC Championships in first place, and the women enter in second place behind SCAD, which is also ranked No. 1 in the nation. The women are currently at No. 7 in the nation and the men are No. 13.

VOLLEYBALL ON CUSP OF PERFECT OCTOBER

The women’s volleyball team has only two regular-season games left before AAC tournament play begins. Milligan is just one win from clinching the No. 1 spot in the North Division. Union currently sits at No. 1 and the Buffs will host Union for their final game of the regular season on Nov. 7. Milligan fell to Union previously this year in five sets.

Milligan is currently being led by Kellee Geren, who tops the AAC with 1,068 assists this year and is averaging 9.6 a set. Layla Grant also leads the AAC with 48 aces and is the Buffs’ leader in digs with 504. Carley Gregory has 318 kills on the year so far, and Julia Codispoti has 56 blocks.

The Buffs are undefeated in the month of October and are currently on a nine-game winning streak. Milligan hosts Montreat College, a team it defeated in five sets at the beginning of this month, on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

MEN’S BASKETBALL BEGINS SEASON WITH A WIN

Milligan began its redemption season Saturday afternoon with senior Desean Green scoring the winning shot in the last seconds of play to defeat nationally ranked University of the Cumberlands 67-66. This was the fourth year that the Buffs have opened up with the Patriots and this is the first time in that four-year history Milligan has picked up the win.

Green had a game high of 18 points with nine rebounds and five assists. Jacob Cawood finished the night with 14 points and was 3 for 6 on three-point shots. Tyler Nichols had 12 points and three assists, and Bo Pless had 11 points. Milligan posted a total field-goal percentage of .407.

The Buffs head into AAC play as they open up with Bluefield at home on Wednesday, Nov. 6, at 7:30 p.m. Milligan will then play an exhibition game on Friday, Nov. 8, at Elon.

WRAPPING IT UP FOR THE BUFFS

Both the golf and the tennis teams finished their fall schedules and are now preparing for their spring seasons. For golf, the women finished in second place in the AAC championship, and the men finished in fourth.

The tennis teams finished its season with two wins over UVA Wise. The men won 7-0 and the women won 4-3. It came down to Rachel Dove coming from behind in her match for the women to pick up the victory. Dove was in the No. 6 spot and dropped the first set 1-6, then won the second set 6-1, then in the third set Dove won the super tiebreaker 10-2.

The swimming teams competed in Barbourville, Kentucky, this past weekend with the women coming in first place and the men coming in second behind reigning AAC champs Union.

Maggie Halloran and Ben Hawkins highlighted the Buffs’ performances. Halloran took all three individuals and anchored two winning free relay teams. Halloran also had a new national-A cut in the 200 freestyle and a national cut in the 200 backstroke.

Hawkins broke the school record for the 400 individual medley and went on to anchor and win the 200 freestyle relay coming right off the 400 individual medley. He also achieved national cuts in the 100 breaststroke and 400 individual medley.

The Buffs will dive back into action on Friday, Nov. 1, at Emory & Henry. They will then return home and face Lees-McRae on Saturday.

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