2011/2012: Big South Champion Showcase
The Lady Flames volleyball team posted a stellar 10-1 home record the past season at the Vines Center. Shane Pinder’s team won their fifth straight regular season Big South title on their way to the program’s sixth Big South Tournament Championship, a shutout victory over Radford University. The team then represented Liberty in the national tournament, losing a hard-fought match to Big Ten heavyweight Pennsylvania State University.
Coach Shane Pinder won VaSID Coach of the Year, and Loren Thomas earned two COBRA magazine awards, including All-Region team and honorable mention All-National team.
Track excelled across the board this season, with the men winning their sixth straight Big South Championship.
In the field, the men’s pole-vault team finished with a complete sweep. Kolby Shepherd cleared 16 feet, 0.75 inches for the individual title.
The discus team finished first, second and fourth. Ryan Smith won the title with a throw of 169 feet, 11 inches.
Kyle Wheeler broke a Liberty record in the high jump, winning with a height of seven feet, one inch.
Ryan Smith won the shot put with a throw of 55 feet, 2.25 inches. Jacob DeValve won the decathlon, the ninth Liberty athlete to win the event in the last twelve years.
Topping Liberty’s scoring on the track were both of Liberty’s relay teams (4×100, 4×400), which placed second. Among the top individual efforts, Leonard Robbins won the 400-meter dash, running it in a sizzling 47.37 seconds.
Men’s Cross Country
The men’s cross country team won their seventh consecutive team championship in October 2011. Zac Edwards claimed the individual title, running the eight-kilometer course in a record time of 23:56. Edwards was one of five Liberty runners to finish in the top 11.
The golf team won the program’s second straight Big South Title in April of 2012. Liberty won the tournament with a record setting score at the Patriot Golf Club in South Carolina. The 20-under par score of 844 broke a championship record set by Coastal Carolina University in 1999. Sophomore Chase Marinell, sophomore Niklas Lindstrom and senior Robert Karlsson each earned Big South all-conference honors for their top finishes.
The no. 4-seeded men’s soccer team defeated no. 2-seeded Gardner-Webb in the Big South Championship, 3-1. Kyle Breitmeyer, Phillip Aseweh and Darren Amoo scored goals in the game, with Amoo’s goal placing him at the top of Liberty’s all-time scoring list. The Flames then moved on to the national NCAA tournament, where they lost a tight match to Old Dominion University in a penalty kick shootout.
Aseweh and Amoo were both selected in the Major League Soccer supplemental draft following the season. Aseweh was taken by the Houston Dynamo, while Amoo landed with the Columbus Crew.
The Lady Flames basketball squad won the program’s 13th Big South Championship, defeating High Point University on the Panthers own court, 81-73. The Flames then advanced to the national tournament, losing to would-be national runner-up Notre Dame University.
As a team, Liberty led the nation with a 15.6 rebound margin. It was the tenth consecutive season the team has appeared in the top 10 in that category. Redshirt senior Avery Warley finished seventh in the nation individually, rebounding 11.5 rebounds per game. Warley also ranked no. 19 in the country with 15 double-doubles.
Newcomer Reagan Miller earned the Virginia Sports Information Directors Rookie of the Year Award.