If you thought two weeks ago was impressive, wait until you hear about last week.
Two weeks ago, North Carolina schools (mainly Campbell) won several Big South Weekly Awards. Campbell dominated the football awards, while High Point University joined to soccer awards.
New to the table this week, however, is volleyball. While college volleyball has been in full swing for over a month now, awards are just starting to pop up. If you follow along with Big South volleyball, great. If not, I will fill you in: High Point University is typically one of the best performers in the conference.
Let us start off with football, which saw weekly awards split between Campbell University and Gardner-Webb. Starting with offense, the Big South Offensive Player of the Week was Gardner-Webb senior running back Jayln Cagle, who hails from Kannapolis, NC. In the 24-21 victory at Western Carolina, Cagle ran for 138 yards and two touchdowns. Cagle’s first touchdown was a 46-yarder that tied the game at seven, and his second was a two-yard score in the second quarter.
Continuing on with offense, we saw Cagle’s teammate, redshirt-sophomore kicker Kurt Everett (Medina, Ohio) win Big South Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance at Western Carolina. Cagle made all three of his PAT’s, and he made the game-winning, time-expiring 33-yard field goal to give the Runnin’ Bulldogs their first non-conference road victory since 2016.
Joining Gardner-Webb in the Big South Weekly Football Awards were two Campbell teammates: Brevin Allen, the sophomore defensive lineman from Greensboro, NC who won Big South Defensive Player of the Week, and Cameron Davis, the freshman running back from New London, NC who won Big South Freshman of the Week. In Campbell’s win over conference rival Presbyterian, Allen had eight tackles (three-and-a-half of which were for loss), one sack, and a quarterback hurry. Allen forced a turnover-on-downs with a stop on fourth-and-five. In that same game, Davis ran for 137 yards on 22 carries. Davis picked up seven first downs, while recording five rushes of at least 10 yards.
Moving on to Women’s Soccer, Campbell and High Point each won an award. For Campbell, senior forward Alexa Genas (Albuquerque, NM) won Big South Women’s Soccer Attacking Player of the Week. For High Point, forward Sam Gerhart won Big South Freshman of the Week.
In the Camels’ two victories last week (3-2 vs. Gardner-Webb, 5-0 @ USC-Upstate), Genas totaled a pair of goals and assists. Against the Runnin’ Bulldogs, Genas converted on a penalty kick in the 71st minute to give Campbell the 3-2 lead for good. At the Spartans, Genas recorded a goal and two assists, headlined by her third-minute goal, which moved her into the top ten in conference history for career goals.
In the Panthers’ two victories last week (2-1 @ UNC-Asheville, 6-2 vs. Hampton), Gerhart recorded a goal and two assists. At UNCA, Gerhart’s 22nd-minute tally proved to be the eventual game winner, and vs. Hampton (senior night), Gerhart recorded a second-half goal and an assist.
Moving on to Men’s Soccer, High Point took home two weekly awards, while Campbell snagged one. For High Point, sophomore midfielder Alex Abril won Big South Men’s Soccer Attacking Player of the Week, and forward/midfielder Jordan Lonchar won Big South Freshman of the Week. For Campbell, senior midfielder Gideon Betz won Big South Defensive Player of the Week.
In High Point’s two wins last week (4-3 @ UNC-Asheville, 1-0 vs. UNC-Greensboro), Abril recorded two goals and an assist. In Asheville, Abril scored two second-half goals, including the game-winner in the 87th minute. Against UNCG, Abril assisted on his teammate Jordan Lonchar’s goal at the 27:24 mark in the first half (only goal of the game). In those same two games, Lonchar recorded two goals and an assist. In Asheville, Lonchar recorded a goal (21:34 mark of the first half) and an assist (75:39 mark of the second half). Against UNCG, Lonchar scored the game winner in the first half of play.
In Campbell’s two wins last week (2-0 @ Wofford, 1-0 vs. USC-Upstate), Betz was a key player on an impressive defensive unit. In Spartanburg, Betz helped limit the Terriers to no shots in the first half, while in Buies Creek, Betz helped limit the Spartans to one shot on goal for the entire match.
Enter volleyball, who is new to this week’s edition of the Big South Weekly Awards. Remember how I said High Point is usually dominant in Big South conference play? Well, they won an award this week, as junior defensive specialist Abby Bottomley (Virginia Beach, VA) won Big South Defensive Player of the Week (for the third week in a row) for her performance in wins against Hampton and Campbell. In a four-set victory against Hampton, Bottomley recorded an impressive 26 digs, five assists, and four service aces. In a three-set sweep of Campbell, Bottomley recorded 21 digs.
Campbell University joined High Point University in the Big South Weekly Awards for North Carolina-based schools, as freshman defensive specialist Elyse Gross (Santa Monica, CA) won Big South Freshman of the Week for her performances against Radford and High Point. At Radford, Gross recorded 21 digs, while at High Point, Gross recorded 18 more.
As the seasons get deeper into conference play, I look forward to bringing you all even more weekly updates. If you have not started following along with the Big South Conference, I highly recommend you do so, because it is home to some of the most talented student-athletes in the country.
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