Sports

Winthrop tennis team to take on Auburn in Atlanta in NCAA's; Lax 2nd in Big South

Winthrop (14-5), shown playing earlier this season, defeated second-seeded Liberty in the semifinal before losing to No. 1 High Point in the Big South title match.
Winthrop (14-5), shown playing earlier this season, defeated second-seeded Liberty in the semifinal before losing to No. 1 High Point in the Big South title match. Winthrop University

Winthrop’s women’s lacrosse team capped an impressive season by finishing as the runners-up in the Big South Women’s Lacrosse Championship Sunday at High Point’s Vert Stadium.

Winthrop (14-5) defeated sixth-seeded Longwood, 22-6, in Rock Hill in the opener, then scored a 16-10 victory over second-seeded Liberty in the semifinal. Top-seeded High Point knocked off the Eagles in the final, 18-7, to claim the title and the Big South’s automatic NCAA tournament bid.

Nicole Beatson closes the year as the leading goal-scorer in Division I lacrosse, finding the net 91 times this season.

Winthrop student-athletes collect their degrees

Winthrop announced Thursday a group of 41 student-athletes among its Spring 2018 commencement class. Those student-athletes received their degrees as part of commencement exercises Saturday.

18 male and 23 female athletes completed their studies at the university, including men’s basketball standout Xavier Cooks and national women’s lacrosse scoring leader Nicole Beatson.

A full list of the graduating student-athletes can be found on the Winthrop athletics website at winthropeagles.com.

Women’s tennis Atlanta-bound for NCAAs

The Big South Conference champion Winthrop women’s tennis team learned its NCAA tournament destination earlier this week. The Eagles will head to Georgia Tech’s Ken Byers Tennis Complex, where they will face the Auburn Tigers at noon Friday. Auburn (20-10) will battle Winthrop (19-5) in the postseason for the second time in five seasons. The Tigers took the first matchup, 4-1, in 2014.

The winner of the Winthrop-Auburn match will face off with the winner between Georgia Tech and Eastern Kentucky. Georgia Tech is the host school, and the fourth national seed.

Admission is free to the regional event.

More postseason play for Proctor and Kauffman

The top-35 doubles team of Megan Kauffman and Lauren Proctor will be part of Winthrop’s team entry in the NCAA tennis tournament, and will then go on to compete in the individual competitions, held May 23-28 at Wake Forest.

Kauffman and Proctor are still undefeated in 22 matches this season, and will be one of 32 pairs selected for postseason play. Proctor will be among the 64 players chosen for singles play.

Kauffman and Proctor have continued to ascend in the team rankings throughout the year, and are currently 35th in the Oracle/ITA Division I rankings released April 24.Proctor, 20-2 on the season, is ranked 36th in singles competition.

Track & field teams competing for championships

The men’s and women’s outdoor track teams will participate in the Outdoor Track & Field Championship Wednesday-Friday, May 9-11. The events will be held at High Point University’s Vert Stadium. The events start at noon each day. Admission is $5 per day. A full event schedule can be found on the championships page at bigsouthsports.com.

Softball heads to Big South tournament

The Winthrop softball team (17-30) secured the sixth seed in the double-elimination Big South Softball Championship, to be contested May 9-12 at Radford Softball Stadium in Radford, Va. The Eagles, led by retiring head coach Mark Cooke, will face off with the third-seeded host Highlanders at 2:30 Wednesday afternoon.

Winthrop women’s basketball hires new assistant coaches

Winthrop women’s coach Lynette Woodard announced earlier in the week three new members of her coaching staff.

Lewis Shine will join the Eagles from Division II Central State University, and will take the role of associate head coach. Jackie Alexander, who was most recently the video coordinator for the women’s team at the Air Force Academy, will be an assistant coach. Nellie Schafer will assume the role of director of basketball operations, having served as the assistant video coordinator for the national semifinalist UConn women’s team.

“In this rebuilding stage for us, Coach Shine brings knowledge and experiences that will help us bring a championship mentality and culture to Winthrop women’s basketball,” said Woodard in a release issued by the university. “Coach Alexander brings to our program energy, enthusiasm and a passion for the game. She is a hard worker, she is disciplined and has a passion for student growth in academics and athletics.”

“(Schafer) is a joy to work with,” added Woodard.“She will help us brand a championship culture in our basketball program here at Winthrop University.”

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