Feb. 9, 2009
Cullowhee, N.C. - As basketball hits the home stretch of its regular season and spring sports begin to open their respective seasons, here are various notes from around Western Carolina Catamount athletics - just in case you missed them this week:
* The Lady Catamounts host Furman in Southern Conference action in the Ramsey Center on Monday night (7 pm), capping a three-game home stand ... WCU defeated Furman in Greenville earlier this season, 83-74, behind a career-high 20 from freshman Kaila-Shea Menendez;
* Senior Brooke Johnson, who was recently named ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-District by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), is 20 blocked shots away from a school record ... With 1,267 career points, senior guard Lauren Powell is 24 points shy of moving into ninth-place on WCU's all-time scoring leaders chart ... She currently ranks fourth all-time in the SoCon in 3-pointers made with 202 career treys, 12 shy of third place;
* Also, the Lady Catamounts will host Elon on Monday, Feb. 16 at 7:00 pm in the Ramsey Center ... It is Western's Women's Basketball Coaches of America (WBCA) Pink Zone game with half of the gate revenue being donated to the WBCA Kay Yow Foundation for Breast Cancer Awareness ... Players will be selling pink shoe laces leading up to the game, with everyone encouraged to wear pink to the game on Feb. 16.
* Western Carolina's men's basketball team dropped its first home conference game of the season, falling to The Citadel last Saturday in Cullowhee ... the Catamounts are 8-2 overall at home, including a 6-1 SoCon mark ... WCU is currently tied with Chattanooga atop the SoCon's North Division with identical league marks of 7-6 ... Appalachian State is third, half a game back at 7-7;
* WCU will finish with its final seven games in an 18-day window leading into the SoCon tournament, March 6-9 in Chattanooga, Tenn. ... Four of Western's final seven games are on the road, beginning Wednesday night at the College of Charleston at the brand new Carolina First Center;
* More from the men's basketball hardwood, the Catamounts will look to complete the seasonal sweep of the College of Charleston on Wednesday night ... Western, which has won two-straight over the Cougars for just the second time in series history, has never swept the Cougars in a single season.
* Western Carolina signed 20 student-athletes to National Letters of Intent last Wednesday, Feb. 4, on National Signing Day ... 12 of the signings were on offense with eight on defense ... Of the 20, eight are from the state of North Carolina including Western North Carolina products Randy Pressley (Asheville, N.C./North Buncombe HS) and Wesley Cook (Hendersonville, N.C./Hendersonville HS), with a combined 15 from within a three-hour driving radius of Cullowhee;
* According to Rivals.com, Western Carolina's 2009 Signing Class ranks third nationally behind Northwestern (La.) State (Southland Conference) and Sacramento (Calif.) State (Big Sky) at the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) level ... WCU ranked 123rd out of the 143 Division I schools Rivals.com rated following signing day.
Hornak, Wagner to Speak at Catamount Coaches Luncheon Wednesday
One week after the dust has settled from National Signing Day - and just days before her team takes to the diamond to open regular season play, Western Carolina head football coach Dennis Wagner and head softball coach Christine Hornak are scheduled to speak at this Wednesday's Catamount Coaches Luncheon.
Men's basketball is on the road while the women's coaches are scheduled to be out of town, prompting the change in speakers.
WCU Football signed 20 to National Letters of Intent last Wednesday as a part of National Signing Day. The Catamount Softball team opens play in tournament action Central Florida where it will square off against George Mason, Kansas, Villanova and Bradley.
The Catamount Coaches' Luncheon is slated for 11:45 am until 1:00 pm on Wednesday, Feb. 11 in the first floor Hospitality Room of the Ramsey Center.
Track & Field
* Senior sprinter Manteo Mitchell won the men's 400-meter dash and finished second in the 60-meter event, tying the Penn State facility record at the Sykes-Sabock Challenge Cup Penn State in University Park, Pa. ... Junior Dominique Young finished second in the 200-meter dash ... And the men's 4x400-meter relay team finished third overall - the team is composed of seniors Mitchell, Thomas Funderburk, freshman Benny Davis and Young anchoring the foursome;
* Sophomore Janet Carothers came in third in the 400-meter run with a time of 55.14 to highlight the women's competition for the Catamounts;
* The WCU Track & Field teams continue their indoor season this weekend at the Clemson Tiger Paw Invitational.
* The WCU women's tennis team visits mountain-rival UNC Asheville on Wednesday (Feb. 11) at 1:00 pm ... the team is currently 1-1 after opening up their 2009 Spring season with a road loss at Coastal Carolina and a neutral venue victory over North Carolina A&T last weekend ... Sophomore Izabella Glinska went 2-0 on the week at No. 2 singles and also picked up a victory at No. 2 doubles with freshman teammate Chelsea Best.
* Rivals.com has tabbed Western Carolina Baseball eighth in its preseason prognostications, while also selecting senior RHP Mike Tavernier as all-conference ... Elon was selected over the College of Charleston and Georgia Southern as the league favorites ... the Southern Conference is scheduled to release its preseason All-SoCon teams and polls as voted on by the league's head coaches and media on Thursday, Feb. 12;
* Also from the diamond, three of WCU's seasonal opponents are listed among Rivals.com's preseason top 25 - Georgia Tech at 13; San Diego at 15; and Clemson ranked 20th.