The Sports Roundup » 2012-2013
The Year of the Lady Bears
The 2012-2013 athletic year saw improvement in almost every sport, with two women’s teams - basketball and tennis - earning CIAA championships. One other - men’s tennis - earned an NCAA berth.
The football team, on the arm of James Stallons, rewrote the Shaw passing record book, claiming all but one single game and season record. The volleyball team improved greatly over their 2011-2012 campaign, winning ten games, and coming within one point - the third tiebreaker - of making the CIAA tournament. The young team lost only one senior and looks to be in position to make a strong run at the tournament this season.
The men’s cross country team had their highest finish ever in the NCAA Regional Championship. The women’s team, featuring mainly freshman runners, is looking to make strides in the 2013 season.
As the calendar turned to the winter months, Shaw’s bowlers and basketball players took to the lanes and courts.
The bowling team qualified for the CIAA tournament while the men’s basketball team closed the regular season with a three-game winning streak. The men finished the season 16-11, 10-6 in the CIAA.
The women’s basketball team continued their winning ways, coming off their national championship season with another strong performance, despite the loss of eight players from the championship team.
With a strong non-conference schedule behind them, the Lady Bears dropped their first CIAA game of the season to Elizabeth City State, but then won nine straight to firmly announce their intention to take yet another CIAA Championship. Shaw finished the conference schedule 13-3, earning the top seed in the CIAA Tournament.
The Lady Bears then swept through the tournament, claiming their third straight title, before advancing to the NCAA tournament. The Lady Bears were recognized by the Raleigh City Council for their accomplishments, which included a 25-5 record.
As the weather warmed, Shaw’s spring teams took to the field - with almost all of them improving on the previous year’s performances.
The softball team, led by Head Coach Kimberly Miller, initiated a new event this past season, hosting the first Shaw University Softball Challenge. The challenge drew 25 teams and raised funds for the athletic department. A number of teams also took part in a community service activity, teaching young softball players some basic skills and exercises. Next year’s challenge promises to be even bigger and better. The men’s tennis team fell just short of their ninth straight CIAA title, but still earned a berth in the NCAA tournament. The Bears had an outstanding season - once again going through regular season conference play undefeated.
Three tennis Bears - Juan Sanchez, Charles Silva and Andre Monti - were named to the prestigious CIAA Commissioner’s All-Academic Second Team. The Commissioner’s team recognizes 20 student-athletes from all sports and all schools who have excelled on the field of competition and who have at least a 3.2 GPA. These athletes are the best of the best that the CIAA has to offer.
The women’s tennis team not only swept through the CIAA regular season undefeated, but claimed their third CIAA Tournament Championship in four years and earned a spot in the NCAA Tournament. They finished their season with a strong performance against regional power Indiana (PA), dropping a 5-3 nail biter that came down to the final two games.
Student assistant coach and former Lady Bear standout player Lolia Kienka was named the CIAA’s Woman of the Year for her successes on the court, in the classroom and in the community. It is the only career honor presented by the conference each year. Kienka graduated in May with a double major in business and international relations with a 3.91 GPA.
Both the men’s and women’s track and field teams were extremely young, but by the CIAA Championships, Shaw had developed some strong performers. Darian Brown was named All-CIAA in the men’s 110-meter high hurdles, Morgan Moore for the women’s discus throw, and Marquise Brown for the men’s long jump. The Bears also had some strong performances in the relay races.
Most importantly, 35 student athletes crossed the stage and got their diplomas in May - and eight of the student-athletes graduated with honors.