Liberty’s wrestling team took home the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) National Duals trophy in Dalton, Ga., on Jan. 28. The Flames took down Lindenwood-St. Charles in the final to win the two-day tournament. The win marks the first national title the Flames have won after being reclassified from a NCAA Division I program to a club sport at the end of last season. During the weekend, the Flames joined other schools in a NCWA service project, volunteering at City of Refuge, a homeless shelter in Atlanta, Ga.
The Lady Flames were selected by the conference’s student athletes to receive the Big South Conference Team Sportsmanship Award. The team reached the semifinals of the Big South Women’s Soccer Championship and finished the season with a 9-8-3 record.
The volleyball team broke a conference record by winning its sixth Big South tournament title, which earned them an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship. Three players were named to the Big South Volleyball Championship All-Tournament team: Loren Thomas, (MVP), Lillie Happel and Kelly Haseman. Coach Shane Pinder was named the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) State Coach of the Year.
The football team finished with its fifth-straight winning season and landed in the top 25 in the FCS coaches’ poll. Three players earned All-America honors.
Women’s Cross Country
The Lady Flames earned a top-two finish and a Big South Conference Team Sportsmanship Award. Redshirt junior Jennifer Klugh won her second-consecutive Big South women’s cross country individual title.
Men’s Cross Country
The team finished the season first in the Big South. It was led by redshirt junior Zac Edwards who was named 2011 Runner of the Year.
In its inaugural season, the field hockey team finished 6-11. Since the season came to a conclusion in November, the team has spent much time volunteering in different organizations, such as Operation Christmas Child and the Liberty Godparent Home. Head coach Jodi Murphy also founded and runs Pathfinder Hockey, a non-profit organization that uses field hockey as a platform to bring change to young people around the world, specifically in Uganda.
In its first season, the men’s racquetball team has seen growing interest in the sport and has hosted two tournaments on its home courts at The Sports Racket, bringing in colleges from across the East Coast. A women’s team is being formed and will begin competing in Fall 2012.
The men’s soccer team had a successful season on and off of the field. The team won both the Big South title and the Big South Conference Team Sportsmanship Award, as voted upon by other student athletes. The team went 11-6-3 with huge wins over No. 10 University of Virginia and No. 9 Coastal Carolina. Two former players were selected in the Major League Soccer Supplemental Draft in January.
The Flames have posted huge wins this season, including over No. 1 Penn State at home. Because of its success, the team has been ranked high throughout the season by the American Collegiate Hockey Association.
The team has pulled off significant wins this season, including over last year’s champion, Michigan State, and Colorado State University. The team has been ranked highly during the season and will compete through March.
The crew team had an exciting season, including a trip to the Boston Regatta to row at the same event as many professionals. The men’s and women’s teams ended their season at the Head of the South in Augusta, Ga., where they finished second overall.
The team won national titles at the U.S. Collegiate Archery Association’s 3-D Archery National Championships Oct. 21-23, 2011, in Ohio. The men’s and women’s teams practice on Liberty’s 10-acre, 3-D target range.
The paintball team is working toward Nationals in April and along the way has beaten many top teams, including last year’s champion, the University of Tennessee.
The men’s team placed second overall and the women’s team placed third in the Mid-Atlantic Conference. Earlier in the season, two members and the coach qualified for the world championships in New Zealand this year. A member of the team, Jaime Azuaje, competed in a separate event, a triple-iron triathlon, which consisted of a 7.2 mile swim, 336 mile bike and 78.6 mile run.
In its first year, the disc golf team qualified for Nationals, which will be held in mid-April. The year-round team will host the National Collegiate Qualifier for National Championships in March on its newly designed course.