CHARLIE BERGMANN: Local Athletes Display Talents On Next Level
Alicia Hill is a leader on and off the volleyball court at UNC-Pembroke.
The senior from Bennett was all-conference in volleyball, basketball and softball while a student at North Moore High School.
Last week, the 5-foot-10 outside hitter for the Braves had 16 kills, six blocks and 20 digs in a 3-2 victory over Limestone College.
In the first match of a weekend tournament at Wingate, she had 12 kills in a 3-0 victory over Queens. She had 37 kills in the three matches as the Braves, 4-3 overall, went 1-2 in the tourney.
Hill is playing a bigger role as an attacker this year under coach Jeff Billington. She ranks second on the team in kills, digs and service aces.
"She's done extremely well, bringing senior leadership to the court," Billington said last week by phone before leaving with the team for Wingate. "She's adapted well to playing on the outside and has done a fantastic job for us. She also has one of the best jump float serves in the conference."
Hill is the President of the Student Athletics Advisory Council (SAAC) that addresses concerns of student-athletes and engages in fundraising activities.
Local high schools are well-represented in volleyball at colleges in the state. Competing against Hill in the Braves' 3-0 loss to Wingate on Saturday was sophomore Ashley Craven, a former all-conference player at Pinecrest.
Stephanie Carter, another all-conference player for the Patriots, has begun her sophomore season as a member of the team at Lenoir-Rhyne and former Patriot teammate Samantha Oldham is a junior member of the Pfeiffer squad.
Melissa Powers, like Hill, a former three-sport athlete at North Moore from Bennett, led Catawba to a 3-0 victory over Pfeiffer on Friday. The sophomore middle hitter recorded 15 kills.
It was painful to watch how easily Rutgers moved the ball on the ground in its 21-16 victory over North Carolina last Saturday.
Getting his baptism under fire in the ACC for the Tar Heels was former North Moore star Cameron Thomas, a back-up redshirt freshman defensive tackle. Things don't get any easier for coach John Bunting's squad with Virginia Tech coming to Chapel Hill this Saturday.
Another redshirt freshman defensive tackle, Antwon Murchison, was credited with two tackles and a pass break-up in Clemson's 54-6 season-opening victory over Florida Atlantic. The Tigers and the Pinecrest graduate have a tough ACC contest this Saturday at Boston College.
Greensboro College back, Torrey Lowe, a former teammate of Murchison's at Pinecrest, is a preseason All-American selection by Don Hansen's Football Gazette.
The sophomore was last year's Conference USA-South Rookie of the Year. He set 11 school records, including most pass receptions (70) and most all-purpose yards per game (156).
"I've thought of letting him call the plays," Pride coach Neal Mitchell said in a news release, "but he's too humble to call his own name, so I won't do that."
Last year, Mitchell lined up the 6-2, 196-pound player at flanker, running back and quarterback, in addition to having him return kickoffs. This year he is considering having Lowe also return punts.
But the Pride was unable to force one in Saturday's 38-13 opening loss against Mars Hill. Lowe's 152 all-purpose yards, including six catches for 86 yards, were just below last season's average.
In the other kind of football, Pinecrest graduate Katelyn Burwell recorded a shutout in her first college start as the goalkeeper for the Lenoir-Rhyne women's soccer team. She recorded two saves in the 4-0 victory over Lees-McRae last week.
Three former Pinecrest players are members of the Wingate men's soccer team that is off to a 2-2 start.
Senior defender Matt Capasso took five shots (four on goal) in Sunday's 2-1 victory over Davis and Elkins. His former Patriot, now Bulldog teammates include juniors Jonathan Gribben, a midfielder, and Jonathan Shute, a goalkeeper.
The UNC men's golf team got its fall season underway in St. Andrews, Scotland, of all places.
Sophomore Robert Riesen, a Pinecrest grad, finished in tie for eighth place individually with rounds of 67-73-71--211.His Tar Heel squad won the event, called the International Collegiate, by two strokes over second place Wake Forest.
Riesen was an All-ACC golf and academic selection last spring.
University of Miami senior golfer, Josie Shinn, also made the All-ACC academic team. The Pinecrest graduate recently added to those laurels by being named to the National Collegiate Golf Coaches Association's 2005-2006 All-American Scholar team.
Shinn was a 2005 All-ACC golf selection. She begins her final year for the Hurricanes in the Cougar Classic in Charleston, S.C., this weekend.
Corrine Carr, an incoming freshman at Furman, will be involved in team qualifying this week for a spot in the Cougar Classic. Jack Ulrich, a teammate of Carr's at The O'Neal School in 2005, is a freshman member of the men's team at Furman.
Local runners were also involved in college action last weekend.
Union Pines graduate Brandon DiBianca helped the Wingate men's cross country team finish second in the Queens Invitational held at McAlpine Park in Charlotte. The junior covered the 8K course in 27:40 to finish in seventh place.
Former Pinecrest runner, Grant Karshner, a sophomore at UNC-Pembroke, finished in 30th place in the 5K race at the South Carolina Gamecock Invitational.
Two local spring high school graduates could make their college cross country debuts this Saturday in the Converse Eye Opener Classic at Spartansburg, S.C.
Former Pinecrest runner Katie Fields is a member of the Wofford team. Union Pines grad Bonnie MacDonald represents the St. Andrews Presbyterian College women's team.
Charlie Bergmann can be reached at email@example.com
More like this story