Club Sports teams capture national championships

May 31, 2015

The 2014-15 athletic year has shaped up to be the most successful yet for Liberty University’s Club Sports program, which clinched two team trophies and several individual national championships in the spring semester.

Women’s Hockey

The second-seeded Liberty University ACHA Division I women’s hockey team became the first in Club Sports history to claim a national championship at any level with a 4-1 triumph over top-seeded, defending national champion Miami of Ohio, March 8 in the York (Pa.) Ice Center.

The Lady Flames went 5-0 in the tournament to finish 31-4-1 overall.

Tournament MVP Chantal Lischynski, the Lady Flames’ starting goalie, was one of eight seniors — including All-Tournament defensemen Madison Fischer (pictured above) and Autumn Kucharczyk — who concluded their careers as champions after finishing runner-up in 2013 and third last winter.

Head Coach Paul Bloomfield was selected as the ACHA DI Women’s Coach of the Year.


Liberty University’s wrestling team crowned two individual champions and wrapped up its first National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) national championship tournament title, March 12-14 in Allen, Texas.

Sophomore Ryan Diehl (pictured above), the 133-pound NCWA defending national champion (22-3), became the first to be selected as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler for a second year in a row after scoring an 11-1 major decision over Naval Academy Prep’s Adam Connell in the 141-pound final.

At 174 pounds, Liberty freshman Josh Llopez capped a 24-2 season by capturing an NCWA national championship with an 8-2 decision over Penn State-New Kensington’s Phil Marra.

After posting third-place team finishes in its first two years in the league and finishing runner-up last season, the Flames finally broke through for a team championship. Liberty was so dominant in the tournament that it didn’t need the 24 team points it earned by winning its second NCWA National Duals crown in January. Nine of Liberty’s 17 wrestlers earned All-American status with top-eight showings as the Flames, ranked No. 1 since the preseason, rolled to the title with 194 team points. That was 66.5 points more than runner-up Middle Tennessee State.


The Flames archery team demonstrated incredible accuracy in its section of the 45th annual United States Collegiate Archery (USCA) Indoor National Championships, held March 7-8 in Lancaster, Pa.

Out of more than 2,000 competitors from 16 sectional events around the country, Liberty junior Ian Rigney (pictured above) captured national indoor champion honors in the men’s bowhunter division with 1,178 total points out of a possible 1,200.

Senior Hunter Jacobs finished third overall in the men’s compound division with a two-day score of 1,124.

Besides Rigney, the three other Flames in the men’s bowhunter category — junior Chris Britton (1,104), freshmen Jason Lynch (1,074), and Zach King (1,047) — finished second, third, and fifth, respectively, in the Pennsylvania sectional field of nearly 200 contestants. Liberty’s only female bowhunter, junior Deanne House-Knecht, placed second out of more than 30 contestants in the section.

Tae Kwon Do

Liberty University’s Tae Kwon Do team struck gold twice at the 40th annual National Collegiate Taekwondo Association (NCTA) national championships, hosted by the University of Delaware over Easter weekend.

Freshman middleweight Jonathan Healy captured a black belt national championship and freshman heavyweight Tykeyah Henderson (pictured above) earned a yellow belt title.

Healy, who was named NCTA Freshman Athlete of the Year, will now have the opportunity to represent Liberty and Team USA at the July 7-13 World University Games in South Korea.

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