ETSU athletics wins yet another A-Sun All-Sports Trophy

Saturday, May 19, 2012

MACON, Ga. (May 19, 2012) – East Tennessee State University is the Bill Bibb Trophy winner for the sixth consecutive time, edging Kennesaw State by 4.5 points to claim the 2011-12 Atlantic Sun All-Sports championship.

ETSU is the award’s only winner in six years, but this year’s race was the tightest since the league began awarding the trophy in 2006-07. The Buccaneers received a balanced effort from their men’s and women’s programs, tallying 144 from the men to also claim the Jesse C. Fletcher Trophy and 141 from the women. The Buccaneers won championships in women’s soccer, men’s tennis and men’s outdoor track and field and the 144 points were the most recorded by any men’s team.

Kennesaw State trailed ETSU by only 4.5 points with 280.5, receiving 114 from its men’s teams and 166.5 from the women. The Owls recorded team titles in men’s indoor track and field, women’s golf and softball. This is also the third consecutive season that the Bucs and Owls finished one and two in the final standings, respectively. North Florida finished third with 271.5 points with team titles in men’s golf and women’s tennis. The Ospreys’ finish equals their best, also finishing third in 2010-11. Florida Gulf Coast’s 256.5 points placed it in fourth place, equaling its best finish recorded in 2009-10. The Eagles’ four team titles were the most by any team this season, winning titles in women’s and men’s soccer, women’s basketball and softball. Only four programs have won four or more titles in a season in the award’s six-year history. Belmont finished with 252 points to place fifth, with team titles in volleyball, men’s basketball and baseball.

USC Upstate’s sixth-place finish is its best since joining the A-Sun. The Spartans tallied 238.5 points with a team title in men’s cross country. Lipscomb follows the Spartans in seventh with 217.5 points and team titles in women’s cross country and volleyball. Jacksonville’s Dolphins claimed team titles in women’s soccer and the seventh consecutive indoor and outdoor track and field titles to finish with 213 points in eighth place. Stetson and Mercer rounded out the standings with 198 points and 155.6 points, respectively.

ETSU’s men posted 144 points to also claim their sixth consecutive Jesse C. Fletcher Trophy, the award going to the school in the A-Sun with the best overall men's sport finishing in the 2011-12 season. The Buccaneers totaled 30 points from their men’s tennis title, 27 from men’s golf, 18 from outdoor track and field, 19.5 from men’s basketball, 15 from indoor track and field, 13.5 from soccer and six from baseball for 144 points. USC Upstate got 30 points from its cross country title and a strong showing in baseball of 27 points to move it out of a previous tie with North Florida and into second place with 139.5 points. North Florida finished third with 121.5 points, as golf led the way with 30 points and tennis added 27 for the Ospreys. Belmont moved up into its final position of fourth on the strength of 30 points from baseball and basketball and 24 points from cross country. Kennesaw State (114) rounds out the top five as the Owls won the indoor track and field title and had strong performances in baseball and golf.

Men’s soccer led the way with 27 of FGCU’s 105 points as the Eagles finished in sixth, followed by Lipscomb with 100.5 points. Stetson followed in eighth with 97.5 points, its best performance coming from soccer. Mercer (96) and Jacksonville (51) rounded out the men’s standings.

Kennesaw State claims its second Sherman Day Trophy in the last three years, the award going to the school in the A-Sun with the best overall women's sport finish in the 2011-12 season. KSU’s softball success moved the Owls from a previous tie in third with ETSU to the top spot, totaling 166.5 points and edging last year’s champion Jacksonville by 4.5 points. KSU received 28.5 points as co-champs with FGCU in softball and 27 points for their championship in golf. They also received 21 points in tennis and volleyball, 18 for indoor and outdoor track and field, 15 for basketball, 12 for soccer and six for cross country. KSU has finished first or second in each of the last four years.

Jacksonville’s 21 points from its seventh consecutive indoor and outdoor track and field championships and a share of the soccer title (27 pts.) helped it to finishsecond with 162 points. JU has finished first or second in each of the six years of the award, winning in 2010-11, 2008-09 and 2007-08.

FGCU’s soccer, basketball and softball titles and a solid effort in volleyball helped it secure third place with 151.5 points, topping fourth-place North Florida by a mere 1.5 points. The Eagles also finished third in the 2009-10 season and have been in the top half of the standings since joining the A-Sun in 2007. FGCUjoined Jacksonville as the only schools to claim three championships.

North Florida fell two spots from the previous rankings to fourth, as the Ospreys’ tennis title (30 pts.) and strong showing in cross country (27 pts.) helped them to 150 points in the final tally.

ETSU claimed a share of women’s soccer and finished as runner-up in tennis, but finished with 141 points to finish fifth. Belmont finished sixth with 135 points, their strengths in sharing the volleyball title along with strong showings in cross country, soccer and basketball. Lipscomb claimed the cross country and volleyball honors and posted a solid showing with 21 points in softball to finish with 117 points in seventh. Stetson finished as runner-up in basketball for 27 points, USC Upstate got 24 points from softball and Mercer received its best finish from women’s golf (21 pts.) to round out the women’s rankings with 100.5, 99 and 70.5 points, respectively.

Points for the all-sports standings are awarded on a descending basis in three-point increments and are established according to the number of teams participating in each sport. In team sports, points are awarded based on a school's regular season finish. In individual sports, such as cross country, golf, and track and field, points are awarded based on their A-Sun Championship standings. In the event of a tie, the two schools split the combined points.

The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun boasts six of the top eight media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of themost prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region:Belmont University, East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University. Northern Kentucky University becomes the A-Sun’s newest member on July 1, 2012.