Career volleyball player makes her mark on UMHB team

Published in the October 12, 2016 issue of The Bells Bump, set, spike. Freshman volleyball player Haleigh Evans has heard these words many times in her years playing volleyball. Originally from Edna, Texas, Evans played varsity volleyball for her high school, but her career started long before then. She first started playing volleyball when she was nine years old and hasn’t stopped since. In fact, her favorite volleyball memory came after tryouts her freshman year. “I found out I made the varsity team my freshman year. [It was] because all the hard work I had been putting in [had] paid off.” But her hard work did not stop there. By the time her high school career came to an end she had achieved many impressive goals. One of her most impressive awards was the Volleyball District Most Valuable Player award, which she received during two seasons. Evans also received impressive awards in cheerleading, track, and academics.  After her success in high school, Evans decided to become a Crusader volleyball player because she has always wanted to play college volleyball. “I just wasn’t ready to give up the sport that I’ve grown up playing, and that I love,” Evans said. With the Crusaders, Evans plays the position of libero. This is a defensive position in which the player stays in the back row and can sub with any back row player at any time in between points. Evans’ position stands out not only in skill, but in color. Her jersey is a different color than her teammates’. Evans has earned quite an impressive record while playing for the Cru. So far this season, she has accumulated 185 digs, which makes her the leader in the number of digs this season for the team. After playing volleyball for nearly a decade, Evans made the easy decision to major in exercise physiology. Her goals with this major are either to coach or to work with individuals recovering from sports-related injuries. Between practicing volleyball and studying, Evans is very busy. However, with what free time she has she likes to catch up on her sleep or go to the movies with friends.  In order to maintain her strength to perform to the best of her abilities in the classroom and on the court, Evans also likes to load up on protein at her favorite restaurant,...

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Cru volleyball set for another successful season

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells With an impressive 8-3 record to start the 2016 season, Cru Volleyball has already made their mark. After going undefeated at the Austin College Invitational Tournament in Sherman, Texas, Cru volleyball has struggled a bit, but Head Coach Rob Frost is optimistic looking forward to the rest of the season. “We’ve played some very good teams,” Frost said. “I feel we are learning fast and have competed well. We have a young group of players taking up most of our starting line up, so I like our upside as we keep working hard.” While it is still early in the season, Coach Frost is confident that this year’s team, while young, has already proved that they have what it takes to make it all the way to the end. “We have a great upside with very athletic players,” Frost said. “We are still young and need to keep learning and growing. The core of our team needs to play together longer. We should get a lot better as we go through this season together, and next year as we return a lot of players who have been together.” Frost and the rest of the team have set high expectations of what they hope to accomplish this season, both on and off the court. “Our goals every year are to win the ASC championship, get to the NCAA Tournament either by winning the ASC championship or receiving an at large bid, and win a national championship,” Frost said. “Aside from winning, we want to use athletics as a platform for ministry. If we can use volleyball to honor God or point someone to Christ, then that is a bigger success than all the wins.” Captains Abby Voskuil and Natasha Evans have stepped up as leaders on the team and have played a huge role in the success of this season. “We are very balanced, everyone contributes significantly, and this is a strength for us,” Frost said. “We are a strong team because everyone works hard at their role. Our captains Abby Voskuil and Natasha Evans have been great leaders for this team. They are easy to follow because they are great teammates and also play a great game on the court. “ Senior outside hitter Abby Voskuil, who won ASC West Division Offensive Player of the Week earlier this month, is pleased overall with this season so far and has high hopes for what is to come. “This season has been tough, yet fun. Every year is a new team and new girls are added, and we are all really...

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Crusaders vs Wildcats: Cru dominates 66-27

Published in the September 28, 2016 issue of The Bells Cru football played host to the No. 3 Linfield Wildcats on Saturday, Sept. 17. However, they did not treat their guests well. The Cru racked up over 500 offensive yards and allowed just one rushing yard en route to a 66-27 victory in front of nearly 7,000 people in Crusader Stadium. The Cru are ranked No. 5 in the country, making this top five matchup the biggest game in the nation in NCAA Division III football last weekend. This game was undoubtedly the biggest test on the Crusaders’ schedule. Going in to Saturday’s game, they were 0-4 all-time against Linfield. They even knocked the Cru out of the playoffs the past two seasons, both with 3-point wins. By all accounts, this was a huge regular-season matchup that was expected to be a close, well-fought game. But they turned it into a statement to the rest of the country. Linfield was able to keep the game close through the first half. After the Cru started the game with a 10-0 run, Linfield was able to come back and take the lead in the second quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run and a huge 55-yard interception returned for a touchdown. The score was 13-10 in favor of Linfield with nine minutes left in the first half. Then quarterback Blake Jackson connected with receiver Wykeyhe Walker for a 42-yard touchdown pass to reclaim the lead. After another touchdown pass from Jackson to DeNerian Thomas and a Linfield score, the Cru took a 24-20 lead into the locker room at halftime. They would not look back from there, as they were able to hold the lead from then on. In the second half UMHB’s exceptional defense and special teams began to take over the game. On the opening kickoff of the second half, receiver Bryce Wilkerson received the kick and took it back 97 yards for a score. Then, on the first play of the ensuing drive for Linfield, defensive back Jaedon Johnson intercepted the pass from Linfield quarterback Sam Riddle. On Linfield’s next offensive drive, Riddle would be picked off again. This time, the interception would be run back 15 yards for another Cru touchdown by defensive back Baylor Mullins. Linfield then bounced back to score on an 8-yard touchdown pass after a long 12-play drive to make the score 38-27 Cru with 7:30 left in the third quarter. But, this was the last time that Linfield would score in the game. In fact, the Wildcats did not get past the UMHB 49-yard line the rest of the game. The Crusaders proceeded...

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Sports Spotlight: Soccer player Caleb Latson takes the field
Sep28

Sports Spotlight: Soccer player Caleb Latson takes the field

Caleb Latson is a senior transfer student from St. Edward’s University who is majoring in Business Management and playing soccer for the school. Business Management may be his major, but his passion is for overseas mission work. Latson said, “If I end up using my degree then great, but if not…it’s a backup plan”. Caleb seems like a person who wants to do what he loves rather than make money from something he hates. His carefree attitude is a trait that the majority of college students would love to obtain. Latson is a transfer student and explains that he transfered because he had friends that attended UMHB and decided to give UMHB a shot as well. His soccer career did not start late in life, Caleb has been playing soccer for most of his life, and knows the game pretty well. When asked why he loves soccer, he says that “[he] loves to win!” Latson plays forward and his strengths are knowing the game, being fast, being technical with the ball, making good passes, and overall having a passion for the sport. Obviously, he is very passionate for the sport, but also depends on his team. He certainly is not a showboat and believes his team has great teamwork and sportsmanship. Latson said, “We are a very good team and they have a lot of heart for the game. We have each other’s backs and we want to win!” In their recent game they won 6-0. He believes that his team has lots of heart and that is how they work so well together. Caleb has dabbled in other sports in his life for fun such as football, tennis, and baseball, but soccer is his passion. The life of a college athlete seems as if it should be difficult, but for Caleb, it is a simple task. He states that “it’s really not that hard,” and he refuses to stress out about it too much. He realizes that he is able to handle the pressure and have great time management skills. He is not only an athlete and student, but he also works for C-Life a few hours a week. When asked what keeps him going in college life he states, “Well, it’s the most logical thing to do. I do not want to dedicate all this time and not receive my degree. Plus, my relationship with the Lord. I look to him for my strength and my purpose. I truly believe that He has me here for a reason and a good purpose”. All in all, Caleb is a carefree guy and has a clear vision of what...

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Inside look at upcoming Crusader Fall Sports: Find out how your favorite sports teams are gearing up for the season

Published in the September 14, 2016 issue of The Bells UMHB football isn’t the only sport in the spotlight this fall semester. The Cru soccer, volleyball, and basketball teams are also gearing up for the season. While each team wants to win their region’s conference tournament and advance to nationals, there are also other goals the coaches are keeping in mind. Basketball The women’s basketball coach, Mark Morefield, is planning to win the division and go on to host this year’s conference. And if they don’t get the chance to host, the team aims to win the conference and progress to the NCCA nationals. “I feel good. I think we are finally starting to put our stamp on the program,” Morefield said. The coach admits that this season will have its ups and downs, but he says during this time the team will grow closer together and sharpen each other’s skills. He also hopes to improve their conference record. Volleyball This season the women’svolleyball team will also be going all out for the upcoming tournaments. “We want to win, but there’s a lot more to athletics and being on a team than just winning,” says head coach Rob Frost, “We had a lot of success on the court last season and lost in the conference championship match. We are working hard to learn and get better, and go further this year.” Soccer Women’s soccer is also on the rise this fall. The team has already played some pre- conference games, and are looking forward to representing the university on the field. At this point, the conference championship is the team’s number one goal, according to coach Barry Elkins. “We have gotten progressively better each year and currently have an experienced team,” says Elkins. The soccer team is comprised of returning players, so each player is well versed in her role on the field. They know how each other works, the coach said. The team plans on building each other up, and picking up where they left off last year. The men’s soccer team is also taking the field once again, with more determination than ever before. Head coach Brad Bankhead said the men had a rough start to the season because of rain delays. But an early win has given the team a positive outlook on the season. Forward, junior Caleb Latson said the team’s morale is boosted when the fans show up to cheer the team on. “We want more people out here with energy to cheer us on as a team,” Latson said. “ You know we are doing it for the school and ourselves, and we love...

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Sophomore Karley Free shines on and off the field
Apr20

Sophomore Karley Free shines on and off the field

Sophomore first baseman Karley Free has played softball for almost all of her life. As a leader both on and off the field, Free has played a significant role in the team’s success this season. “I started playing tee ball at age four,” Free said. “I’ve played select softball since I was eight and I was also on the varsity team at Henderson High School for four years.” While Free has had many people throughout her softball career that have made her into the player she is today, there is a particular person that has been the most influential. “My dad has inspired me most in softball because he’s always been there to push me to get better on and off the field,” she said. Choosing to continue her softball career at UMHB was an easy decision for Free, as it was a perfect place to call home. “I chose to come play at UMHB because it was a different place for me to move to and continue playing that wasn’t too close or too far away from home,” Free said. “My favorite part about playing here is the people. My teammates never fail to make me laugh.” Although Free is only a sophomore, her strong leadership and team skills on and off the field can be seen every single day. “I feel I am a leader on the team because I try to encourage my teammates every day and push them to work hard,” she said. With a 14-15 overall record this season, Free and the rest of the team hope to become more and more successful as this season continues to improve their record. “For the rest of the season, I hope we continue to get better every series and work as a team. Hopefully we can get a spot in the conference tournament,” Free said. The seasoned softball player plans to continue playing softball and hopes to continue her passion for sports in her future career. “I am planning on getting my masters in sports administration/sports management and working in college athletics or at a professional level in baseball,” Free said. Softball has become more than just a game for Free, as it has taught her many more things about life and about herself. “Softball is so important to me because it helped me build a strong work ethic, good character, and become responsible,” Free said. Playing this season hasn’t always been easy for Free, as she recently lost someone who had a huge impact on her sotball career. “I had a close friendship with an umpire since I was about 10 years old that passed...

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