Hootie At Bull Bay Highlights EKU Men’s Golf Schedule

The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate, one of the most prestigious collegiate golf tournaments in the nation, highlights the 2017-18 Eastern Kentucky University men’s golf schedule.

The Hootie will be contested March 25-27 at Bulls Bay Golf Club in Awendaw, South Carolina. The event was first held in 2005 and annually features some of the best teams in the nation. Last year, The Hootie included 10 teams ranked in the top-50 in the national Golfstat rankings.

The tournament is associated with the rock band Hootie and the Blowfish. It regularly draws schools from the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) and the Southeastern Conference (SEC). The tournament has a philanthropic arm supporting the Hootie and the Blowfish Foundation.

Last year, in conjunction with The Hootie at Bulls Bay Intercollegiate Golf Tournament, Hootie & the Blowfish held a concert at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center.

This year’s EKU schedule features 10 regular season events, the Ohio Valley Conference Championship and the potential for two NCAA Championship events.

The season begins Sept. 11-12 at the Joe Feaganes Marshall Invitational in Huntington, West Virginia.

The Colonels will then return to Richmond to play host to the EKU Intercollegiate sponsored by Raising Cane’s on Sept. 16-17 at the University Club at Arlington.

After events hosted by Northern Illinois, Louisville and West Virginia, Eastern Kentucky will close out the fall portion of the schedule at the Duck Commander Intercollegiate hosted by Louisiana Monroe on Oct. 29-31.

The spring schedule begins March 8-11 at the Pinehurst Intercollegiate. The regular season concludes with the Greenbrier Intercollegiate in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia on April 8-10.

The OVC Championship will be played on the Fighting Joe Course at the Shoals in Muscle Shoals, Alabama on April 23-25. The NCAA Regionals are scheduled for May 14-16. The NCAA Championship, hosted by Oklahoma State, will be played at the Karsten Creek Golf Club May 24-30.

— www.EKUSports.com —

Kevin Britton
Assistant Athletics Director for Communications & Branding

UK Volleyball Opens Season With Exhibition Against WKU

For the first time in program history, the Kentucky volleyball program will host an exhibition match. UK will welcome Western Kentucky to Memorial Coliseum Wednesday at 5 p.m. The match is free to the public.

“I’m thrilled with the fact that we are able to do an exhibition for the first time,” head coach Craig Skinner said. “It’s a great opportunity to compete and evaluate where we are during our training camp. It will provide us a chance to look at different lineups and options which will help prepare us for the opening weekend. A big thanks to Western for making the trip and we will look forward to returning in 2018.”

This will be the first match for the highest-ranked recruiting class in program history. The No. 5 class in the nation includes No. 4 Madison Lilley, No. 32 Avery Skinner, No. 46 Gabby Curry and No. 81 Kendyl Paris. Transfer Merideth Jewell from Morehead State will also be in action. Curry and Jewell competed in the spring for the Wildcats.

WKU is the preseason favorite to win the Conference-USA, while Alyssa Cavanaugh was the Preseason Player of the Year in the league. The Hilltoppers won the C-USA with a 30-3 overall record and went a perfect 14-0 in league play to win their sixth straight conference championship. The Lady Toppers advanced to the NCAA Tournament where they lost to Boise State in the first round.

The Wildcats will begin the regular season with the annual Bluegrass Battle, beginning Aug. 25. UK will open the season with Arkansas State at 11 a.m. and will face No. 23 Utah at 9 p.m., both in Memorial Coliseum. The next day, UK will face Cincinnati at 7:30 p.m. to wrap up the tournament.

Kentucky is slated to return 91.9 percent of its leading kill production, including its top-five terminators in Leah Edmond, Kaz Brown, Darian Mack, Emily Franklin and Brooke Morgan. Defensively, UK returns 97.8 percent of its blocking numbers and 84.5 percent of its dig production. Brown, who already holds numerous 25-point rally scoring era records, is UK’s leading returning blocker with 151 rejections a season ago. Ashley Dusek has posted more than 200 digs in all three seasons with the Cats.

· Doors will open one hours prior to first serve. Fans are encouraged to arrive early and travel light for quicker entry.
· Kentucky Athletics is excited to introduce ticket scanning at Memorial Coliseum this season. Season and single-game volleyball tickets will now be barcoded and scanned for validity at each entrance. By barcoding tickets, fans will soon have access to more ticket management features than ever before!
· Bags entering Memorial Coliseum may not exceed 12″ x 6″ x 12″. All bags are subject to visual inspection upon entry. An exception will be made for medically necessary items, after proper inspection.
· Please note, backpacks are not permitted inside Memorial Coliseum, regardless of size.
· Complete match day information can be found at our game day site by clicking here.

All E-lots surrounding Memorial Coliseum including the North Craft, High Street, Rose Street, and Linden Walk employee lots are available for event parking beginning three hours prior to first serve. Additionally, the South Limestone Garage (PS#5) and the Rose Street Garage (PS#2) are available two hours prior to first serve.

Disabled parking is available in the North Craft lot. Spaces are limited and provided on a first come, first served basis with a valid, state-issued disabled parking hangtag.

A shuttle is available free of charge from the South Limestone Garage (Parking Structure #5). The pick-up/drop-off point at the South Limestone Garage is located on Administration Drive. We ask that all patrons access this pick-up/drop-off location by the sky bridge, accessible from level 3 of the parking structure. The shuttle pick-up/drop-off location at Memorial Coliseum is located at the front of the Coliseum on Avenue of Champions.

Shuttle services begin two hours pre-match and will continue 20 minutes after the first serve and will resume post-match for one hour

Follow along with the Cats on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and on the web at UKathletics.com.

For more information contact:
Mike Scholze

WKU Volleyball Headed to UK for Exhibition Match

To kick off the 2017 volleyball campaign, head coach Travis Hudson and the Conference USA-favorite Lady Toppers are heading over to Lexington for a preseason exhibition match with No. 14-ranked Kentucky on Wednesday. Action from Memorial Coliseum will commence at 4 p.m. CT and marks the only exhibition on deck for either squad.

Kentucky and WKU last met on the volleyball court in 2011 during the Kentucky Classic with the Wildcats securing the sweep. The Lady Toppers are 4-13 all-time against the SEC program in regular season contests. While Wednesday’s exhibition will not count towards the all-time meetings between the in-state foes, it will serve as an instrumental training opportunity as both sides gear up for big seasons.

Exhibition play will not strictly adhere to the usual match format. Both teams have agreed to play in a cooperative format so each side’s entire bench can gain valuable match setting action. To help both programs gain beneficial experience during the preseason meeting, extra sets will potentially be added while scoring may be adjusted as well. Changes will be up to the coaches’ discretion and will be relayed to fans and followers as soon as possible via WKU Volleyball social media platforms.

All three of WKU’s All-Americans return as upperclassmen on The Hill this fall with three-time AVCA honorees Alyssa Cavanaugh and Jessica Lucas heading into their final campaigns in addition to Rachel Anderson returning primed for a big junior season. The Red and White trio was named to the C-USA Preseason All-Conference squad by league coaches while Cavanaugh was tabbed the Preseason Player of the Year as well.

The Lady Toppers are coming off their 15th-straight 25-win season in 2016 while stretching their 30-win season streak to three-consecutive campaigns with a 30-3 record. The Lady Toppers secured their sixth-straight regular-season conference championship with an unblemished 14-0 record in Conference USA action and remained perfect by winning the C-USA Tournament for the third-straight year as well. The tournament championship marked the Red and White’s 10th NCAA Tournament appearance since 2002 and the sixth appearance in the past seven seasons.

There will one more chance to catch the WKU Volleyball unit in action for free prior to the Aug. 29 home opener. This Saturday, the squad will put on its inaugural Volleyball 101 and scrimmage. Action will open at 2 p.m. from the main court of Diddle Arena with an hour long scrimmage before splitting into the kids clinic and Volleyball 101 informational session at 3 p.m. Parking in PS2 is free as well.

With the 2017 campaign just around the corner, volleyball season tickets are available online at WKUSports.com or by calling the WKU ticket office at 1-800-5-BIGRED. Season ticket holders will receive 12 general admission tickets with the Flexible Ticket Package that can be used to attend the home games of his or her choice. This plan allows the flexibility to choose which volleyball games the buyer wants to attend and the number of tickets used for each game. Season ticket holders also gain exclusive access to pre-game chalk talks with Hudson, who enters his 23rd season at the helm of WKU volleyball.

How to Follow the Lady Toppers: For complete information on WKU Volleyball, follow the team on Twitter at @WKUVolleyball and head coach Travis Hudson at @TravisHudsonWKU.

Jessica Leifheit
Assistant Director
WKU Athletic Communications/Media Relations

NKU MSOC welcomes FC Cincinnati Reserves on Wednesday

The Northern Kentucky men’s soccer team will host the FC Cincinnati reserve team in a friendly match on Wednesday at NKU Soccer Stadium. The match is set for 7 p.m., and will be broadcast on ESPN3.

“I’d like to thank the staff of FC Cincinnati for giving us this wonderful opportunity and being incredibly supportive of NKU soccer since I arrived on campus,” said NKU head coach Stu Riddle.

“I think every young soccer player harbors an ambition to play at the professional level, so what a magnificent experience for our student-athletes who get to play in this match. I am certain it will benefit us all greatly moving forward.”

Northern Kentucky Norse vs. FC Cincinnati Reserves
Wednesday, Aug. 16 – 7 p.m.
Highland Heights, Ky. – NKU Soccer Stadium

HEAD COACH STU RIDDLE: Stu Riddle begins his first season at the helm of the NKU men’s soccer program. He was most recently the head coach at the University at Buffalo, where he spent four seasons. Last year as head coach of the Bulls, Riddle led the team to a 12-4-3 overall record. For his career, Riddle is 61-68-21 in eight seasons as a head coach.

LAST TIME OUT: NKU went on the road and defeated Kentucky 2-1 in an exhibition meeting on Monday evening. Tom Suchecki scored goals in the 27th and 30th minutes to help the Norse get the victory. Both of Suchecki’s goals came from just outside the box. The first goal was a shot from a bouncing ball near the 18-yard line that went to the left of the keeper. He followed that up with a brace from more than 20 yards out to put the Norse ahead 2-0. Kentucky was able to pull one back in the 75th minute, but NKU held on to preserve the victory.

FRESH FACES: NKU signed 13 student-athletes to its 2017 class. Jim Barkei, Victor Bjurhall, Felix Komolong, Alex Greive, Brett Wilson, Tom Suchecki, Rikard Lindqvist, Edo Durante, Abdul Kooistra, Jake Minkovitz, Joe Paasewe, Harvey Moyes and Isaiah Schatz will all begin their first seasons with the Norse.

Barkei, Koositra, Lindqvist, Suchecki and Wilson are transfers who have played at the Division I level. Komolong, a freshman, is the brother of NKU soccer alum Alvin Komolong. Schatz is also a freshman, and he earned a selection to the U.S. Youth Futsal Team that competed in Costa Rica in late July.

TOP RETURNERS: Midfielder Campbell Morris is back for his senior campaign. Last season, he led the Norse in goals (3) and points (6). Senior Dylan Carss and junior Calvin Murphy will once again provide leadership to the defense. Carss and Murphy played 1,698 and 1,666 minutes, respectively, in 2016 to lead the team.

FC CINCINNATI: FC Cincinnati became the first lower-division team to reach the semifinals of the U.S. Lamar Hunt Open Cup since 2011, after securing a 1-0 victory over Miami FC and will host MLS side New York Red Bulls tonight at Nippert Stadium at 8:00 p.m. ET.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE: The friendly match against the FC Cincinnati reserve team is the second preseason contest of 2017 for NKU. The Norse conclude the preseason slate on Aug. 20 with a home meeting against Urbana.

Ticket Information
Tickets for tomorrow’s match can be purchased at the gate and prices are as follows:
Adults – $5
Groups of 10 or more – $4
Youth (6-17) – $3
Youth (5 & Under) – Free
NKU Students, Faculty and Staff – Free
Admission is included for Go Norse Fund donors with All Sports Passes
Parking Information
Parking – $5 per car in Lot O (adjacent to NKU Soccer Stadium, enter behind BB&T Arena)
Parking is included for Go Norse Fund donors with Fall Sports Parking Passes
Promotional Information
Youth Jersey Night – All youth 14 and under wearing a soccer jersey are admitted FREE
Faculty and Staff Night – All NKU faculty and staff are admitted FREE with an NKU All Card
Free hot dogs for the first 250 fans
Commemorative match posters for the first 500 fans
Fan Information
Artificial noisemakers (i.e. drums and vuvuzelas) are permitted, with the exception of air horns, whistles and amplifiers
Colored smoke is permitted as well

Ryan Wilker
Northern Kentucky University
Athletic Communications Graduate Assistant

Durr scores team-high 16 points as U23 National Team downs Japan to win Four Nations Tourney

The USA U23 Women’s National Team (3-0) jumped out to a 23-10 first-quarter lead against host Japan (1-2) in its final game of the U24 Four Nations Tournament and early on left no doubt as to which team would be crowned tournament champion in a 103-71 win on Tuesday night at Katayanagi Arena in Tokyo.

While its offense was impressive, with 19 assists and five players finishing in double-digit scoring, the USA outrebounded Japan 66-35 and held Japan to just 31.4 percent from the field (27-86 FGs) and 25.0 percent from 3-point (6-24 3pt FGs).

“I thought that was the best we have played in our three games,” said Jeff Walz, USA U23 and University of Louisville head coach. “The kids came out and did exactly what we asked them to do. We knew that Japan was very disciplined on defense, and we tried to attack early, which we did. We shared the ball extremely well and made open shots. It was the best we have shot the ball as well, but a big part of that was because of how well we shared it.”

The USA was led by 16 points from Asia Durr (Louisville/ Douglasville, Ga.), 13 points and six assists from Kelsey Mitchell (Ohio State/Cincinnati, Ohio), 11 points and seven rebounds from Kalani Brown (Baylor/Slidell, La.), 11 points and six rebounds from Jamie Nared (Tennessee/Portland, Ore.) and 10 points from Jordin Canada (UCLA/Los Angeles, Calif.).

It was nearly five minutes into the game before Japan scored from the field, while Durr, Nared and Mercedes Russell (Tennessee/Springfield, Ore.) combined to help the USA start off with a 14-3 lead. The USA went on to earn a 23-10 advantage in the first 10 minutes, in what was its most impressive defensive quarter throughout the tournament, limiting Japan to just 4-of-22 from the field (18.2 percent).

“We started off fast,” Durr said. “We pushed the ball, and we played as a team, which was key. We knew that they were aggressive, and they played hard and they played fast. We figured if we could jump on them soon, then we could take them down quick.”

Japan responded in the second quarter and nearly kept pace with USA, and the score was 44-33 with 1:34 left in second period. But, the USA finished the first half with eight points to lead 52-33 at the midway point.

The run extended into the third quarter, reaching 18 points overall as the USA opened the period with a 10-0 spurt to lead 62-33 with 7:55 on the clock. From there Japan put up 17 points to the USA’s 15 points, and the score was 77-50 headed into the fourth quarter.

The USA once again started off the period with an emphatic run, this time a 9-0 stretch that included points from Durr, Mitchell and Nared and brought the score to 86-50 with 8:14 left in the game. The USA pushed its lead to as many as 37 points, 95-58, at 3:25, and it reached 100 points for the second straight game on a bucket from Ariel Atkins (Texas/Duncanville, Texas) with 56.0 seconds remaining.

The 103-71 win saw the USA shoot 52.7 percent from the field (39-74 FGs) and 50.0 percent from 3-point range (9-18 3pt FGs).

“It’s been awesome, having the opportunity to work with the best of the best in our college game,” Walz said. “I told the team after the game, as impressive as they were on the floor playing, they were just as impressive off the court. They are great young women. They are great ambassadors for our game, and I’m excited to watch not just my team play this coming season, but these young ladies’ teams, because college basketball is in good hands with this group.”

Also today, Australia (2-1) topped Canada (0-3) 79-52. Australia finished in second place, followed by Japan third and Canada fourth.

Nick Evans
Asst. Sports Information Director
Women’s Basketball, Women’s Lacrosse