Athletic departments across the country were thrust into an unprecedented state of chaos in the first half of 2021. Due to the COVID pandemic, most fall sports were postponed until the time traditionally reserved for just spring sports. With winter sports finishing their runs at the beginning of the semester, most schools had every single team playing simultaneously.
With so many events happening at once, it has been hard to keep up with everything. I have put together a four-part series recapping the extra busy spring sports seasons for Belmont, Lipscomb, Tennessee State, and Vanderbilt.
For part three we’ll take a look at the Bisons, led by a track and field star who made it all the way to the US Olympic Trials.
The Bisons compiled an 18-29 record, including an 8-13 conference mark, and were swept out of the opening round of the ASUN Tournament. Bullpen ace Tyler Guilfoil made All-Conference with a Second Team appearance. Lipscomb pulled off a huge upset at No. 4-ranked Tennessee, a College World Series participant, with a 4-1 victory in Knoxville.
Intra-Nashville: L at Vanderbilt 11-3, L at Belmont 5-4, W at Belmont 10-9, L vs Belmont 11-2
Lipscomb finished 18-18 with a 5-7 record across ASUN games. The Bisons gave top-seeded Liberty a spirited series in the first round of the conference tournament before falling in game three. Five-tool shortstop Amy Vetula garnered Second-Team All-Conference honors.
Intra-Nashville: L vs Belmont 5-1, W vs TSU 3-2
The cross country squads excelled in a shortened season, with the women placing second at the ASUN Championships and the men finishing third. Courtney Brenner and Freshman of the Year Lydia Miller placed fourth and fifth for the women, while Brady Johnson and Patrick Smith were seventh and eighth for the men.
Brenner, who was also named the ASUN Scholar-Athlete of the Year, became the first-ever runner in the history of the women’s program to qualify for the National Championship, cappoing her decorated career with a 118th place finish.
Lipscomb placed seventh out of nine teams at the ASUN Championships, with junior Austin Aliff leading the way with a 10th-place finish individually.
The women’s golf team earned their best-ever ASUN Championship placement in program history, finishing fourth overall in the three-day event. Sophomore Olivia DiPalo placed 10th in the medalist field.
The Bisons went 6-5-2 with a 1-2-1 record in ASUN play, bowing out in the conference tournament semifinals. Three Lipscomb players earned All-Conference status: Noah Gulden (First Team) and Hayes Wood and Honore Kalala (Second Team). The Purple and Gold also knocked off No. 20 Liberty on the road 3-2.
Intra-Nashville: L at Belmont 2-1
The women’s soccer squad went unbeaten in regular season ASUN play with a 6-0-2 record (7-3-2 overall), but were upset in their first match of the conference tournament. Bisons were littered all across the All-Conference team - ASUN Defensive Player of the Year Shelby Craft joined Cami Rogers and Kelli Beiler on the First Team and Emily Patti and Molly Grant made Second Team.
Following a 9-7 regular season, the men’s tennis team fell in the semifinals of the ASUN Tournament. Top seed Pablo Caffarena earned First-Team All-Conference honors.
Intra-Nashville: L at Vanderbilt 6-1, W at TSU 6-0, L vs Belmont 4-3, W vs TSU 7-0, L at Belmont 4-3
The women’s tennis team also took a bow in the ASUN semifinals following a 10-9 regular season. Top seed Kate Popova earned her third consecutive First-Team All-Conference placement.
Intra-Nashville: L vs Belmont 5-2, L at Vanderbilt 7-0
Track and Field
Grad student Shane Streich headlined a highly successful outdoor campaign, becoming the first men’s track athlete at Lipscomb to qualify for the US Olympic Trials and the final of a NCAA Championship event. He narrowly missed the cut in the 800m at the Trials, placing eighth. At the NCAA Final, he finished sixth to earn a First-Team All-American spot with a school-record time of 1:46.70.
Stretch and fellow 800m runner Joanthan Schwind qualified for the National Championship race, while Jonathan Imes joined the duo at the NCAA Regionals in the 400 (he placed 21st).
Streich was named the Most Outstanding Track Athlete and Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the ASUN after winning gold in the 800m and 1500m. The Bisons earned 13 medals overall, with Imes’ 400m win being the other gold.
The Lipscomb volleyball squad returned to their dominant ways, racking up a 17-3 overall record, finishing 11-1 in ASUN play, earned a seventh conference crown, and qualified for an eighth NCAA Tournament, where they fell to No. 23 Georgia Tech 3-1 in the first round.
Honorable Mention All-American Megan Kuper, Sami Rubal, and AVCA South Region and ASUN Freshman of the Year Delaney Dilfer were named to the All-South Region team, while Meg Mersman was an honorable mention. Kuper and Rubal were also on the ASUN All-First Team, while Dilfer and Mersman were on the Second Team and Brandon Rosenthal was named Coach of the Year.
This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.