Sunday Sports Brunch: Who did Alabama sign in gymnastics, softball and golf?
Early signing period has arrived
It’s that time of year when athletes sign on the dotted line and make their college choices official. The University of Alabama has been busy signing and announcing future stars in various sports.
The Crimson Tide gymnastics team signed Corinne Bunagan, Lilly Hudson and Jordyn Paradise.
Bunagan is from Ramsay, N.J., and has competed in the World Championships. Paradise, from Tampa, Fla., is a two-time USA Junior Olympic National Championships qualifier. Hudson has been a Junior International Elite competitor and is from Fleming Island, Fla.
The UA men’s golf team signed Selma’s Jones Free of Morgan Academy, team winner of back-to-back AISA state championships in 2018 and 2019. Free was medalist at the 2019 Future Masters Championship and the AISA state championship.
The UA women’s golf team signed Isabella van der Biest of Kingsport, Tenn., who averaged 69.8 strokes per round for her career. She won the 2018 Tennessee Large School Girls State Championship and finished runner-up in 2019. (Tennessee high school golf is a fall sport.)
Alabama softball signed six players in a 2021 class that is ranked No. 5 in the nation by Extrainnings Sofball.
The six include 2020 Gatorade Tennessee Player of the Year, Aubrey Barnhart, an infielder and catcher from Goodpasture Christian School; Georgia all-state infielder Megan Bloodworth; two-time Gwinnett County Player of the Year, outfielder Dallis Goodnight of Mill Creek High School in Dacula, Ga.; utility player and three-time Michigan all-state player Kali Heivilin, who holds Michigan's single-season home run and runs scored records; Hewitt-Trussville utility player Jenna Lord, a 2019 first-team all-state pick; and three-time first-team all-state outfielder Jordan Stephens from Tampa.
Northridge player among UWA signees
The University of West Alabama volleyball team has signed Northridge High School libero Kaylie Lake, who helped the Jaguars to the AHSAA 6A quarterfinals. Lake ended her high school career with 446 digs and 58 service aces.
Also signing with UWA is 5-foot-11 setter Chyna Dixon from Westside High School in Anderson, S.C., where her career stats include 541 assists, 383 kills and 280 digs.
UWA’s baseball team signed infielder Braxton Bullard of Kennesaw, Ga.
Mia McCarthy, a guard from Tonawanda, N.Y., has signed to play women's basketball. She averaged 14.5 points her junior season and has scored 1,024 career points.
Crimson Tide golf ends fall play
The final fall event for the Alabama men’s golf team was its own Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate at Birmingham’s Old Overton Club. Play ended Tuesday with an 11-over-par, 12th-place finish (276-287-288/851).
Wilson Furr (67-72-70/209) and Thomas Ponder (67-72-70/209) both finish tied at 19th at 1-under par. Tyler Lipscomb tied for 40th (68-71-74/213) at 3-over, Davis Shore (74-73-74/221) finished 58th and Canon Claycomb (76-72-74/22) 63rd.
Auburn won the tournament in a playoff after a three-way tie among Auburn, Vanderbilt and Georgia at 821. The field was composed of SEC teams.
Moresco finishes fall with a 10th-place finish
Also playing its final tournament of the fall was the Alabama women’s golf team. The No. 9-ranked Crimson Tide finished fifth at Georgia’s Liz Murphey Fall Collegiate Classic last weekend. Alabama shot 303-291-286/880. No. 7-ranked Auburn (293-281-290/864) was the team winner in the all-SEC field.
Finishing 10th and leading Alabama at 1-over par, was Angelica Moresco (76-71-70/217). Kenzie Wright (74-69-77/220) finished T-19th at 4-over. Michaela Morard finished T-26th (79-73-71/223). Polly Mack (78-78-72/228) finished T-51st, and Emilie Overas placed 54th (75-84-73/232).
COVID strikes again
Alabama’s volleyball matches against LSU had to be postponed by a day due to precautionary safety measures. The matches were moved to Sunday and Monday.
Though fans are not allowed to attend due to COVID safety measures, they can watch Sunday’s 1 p.m. match on ESPNU. Alabama brings a 1-5 record into the series. LSU is 2-2.
Last weekend, Alabama played at Georgia, where it won its first match of the season. UA won 3-1 by set scores of 25-23, 25-19, 21-25 and 25-23. Georgia prevailed the next day, winning 3-0 by scores of 25-23, 25-21 and 25-22.
Soccer season over for UA
LSU defeated Alabama 2-0 on Friday to eliminate the Crimson Tide at the SEC Tournament in Orange Beach.
Taylor Dobles scored both goals for the Tigers. Alabama was not without opportunities, leading the Tigers in shots (21-16) and corner kicks (12-1).
LSU advanced with its first victory, improving to 1-6-2. Alabama finished 2-5-2.
Alabama’s Riley Mattingly was named second-team All-SEC. Felicia Knox was named to the SEC All-Freshman team.
Alabama took a 2-4-2 record into this week’s single-elimination defeated No. 15 Auburn, 1-0, on the road on Nov. 6, to close out the regular season.
Walker on women’s basketball watch list
The 2021 Katrina McClain Power Forward Award watch list was announced this week, and Alabama’s Jasmine Walker is among the players named. Walker was second-team All-SEC in 2020 and led Alabama in league play with 13.6 points and 7.6 rebounds against league teams.
UA tennis players win 32 matches
In men’s tennis, Alabama hosted the Four-In-The-Fall tournament Nov. 6-8 and ended fall individual-play season by winning 32 of its 42 singles and doubles matches over the weekend, with 20 singles wins and 12 doubles wins.
Jeremy Gschwendtner and Alexey Nesterov were co-champions in the tournament’s Houndstooth Draw. Nesterov and Sam Fischer teamed to win the Houndstooth Draw in doubles. Gschwendtner and Vincent Rettke paired to win the Crimson Draw.
Swim team opens with a win
The Alabama swimming and diving team opened the season on the road Nov. 6 at LSU and left Baton Rouge with a 194-104 men’s win and a 183-117 women’s win.
On the women’s side, Rhyan White and Kensey McMahon both won three events, White in the 100 and 200 backstrokes and the 100 butterfly. McMahon won the 500 and 1,000 freestyles and the 200 butterfly. On the men’s side, Derek Maas won the 100 and 200 breaststrokes. Matt Menke won the 200 and 200 backstrokes, and Nicholas Perera won the 200 butterfly and 200 individual medley.
Alabama’s next meet is set for Nov. 19-21 in Knoxville against Tennessee and Virginia.
Prep basketball has started
High school basketball seasonis here.
The American Christian Academy boy’s team opened Thursday with a 64-49 home win against A.L. Johnson. Hudson Thrasher had 18 points and 11 rebounds. Max Milligan was close behind with 17 points, and J.P. Brasfield scored nine.
ACA (1-0) plays at Brookwood on Tuesday, Nov. 17.
On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Northridge girls opened with a 40-32 win against Oak Mountain. Sophomores led the way with Fantasia Wilson scoring 14 points and Aniyah Cabbil scoring 12. Junior Alana Green scored 10.
The Tuscaloosa Academy boys won its opener Tuesday, 66-19 against North River Christian Academy. Sam Rowley scored 20 and Bo Abston 11 in the win. NRCA was led by Willie Scott’s six points.
Locals report Holes-in-One
Grover Snyder hit a milestone in his golf game Nov. 4. The Links at Tuscaloosa reported that Snyder made his 20th hole-in-one there. The ace came on the No. 3 hole and was witnessed by Harold Barnes, Rita Richardson and Ken Richardson.
Later in the week, on Nov. 7, Will Turley holed No. 10 in a single shot. His was witnessed by Jeff Hurn, Darryl Shaw and Tim Lovett.
Tide athletes honored for classroom work
The 2020 Division 1A Faculty Athletics Representatives announced award-winners of student-athletes who “graduate with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.8 or above and have participated in at least two years of NCAA intercollegiate athletics at a Football Bowl Subdivision institution.”
Alabama had 30 honorees, including quarterback Mac Jones; All-Americans Bailey Hemphill (softball), Allie Surrency (women’s swimming and diving), Kaylee Tow (softball) and Samantha Zelden (women’s track and field); Raien Emery (rowing); Daniel Kober (men’s swimming and diving); Nealy Martin and Alex Plavin (soccer); Alba Cortina Pou (women’s tennis); Kolby Robinson (baseball); and Alexey Nesterov (men’s tennis).
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