Lady Cru continue hot streak
Jan29

Lady Cru continue hot streak

THE BELLS — Not five, not six, but seven. The Lady Cru basketball team is on a seven-game winning stretch and not looking to end their hot streak anytime soon. The Cru are in the middle of conference play and with 10 games left, every match-up is crucial. The Crusaders have already improved their record from last year with many games left to play. Last season, the women finished 8-17 overall and 6-13 in conference play. Currently, the team is 9-6 and 9-3 in conference play. Head women’s basketball coach Lisa Curliss-Taylor talks about the team’s seven-game winning streak. “It feels good, but not comfortable at all.  I am always thinking about the next opponent.  It’s hard for me to enjoy each win because I know we still have a lot of season left, but I am trying to work on that,” she said. The Cru are not thinking about their record. They are taking every game one at a time and not looking past any of their opponents as each game should make them stronger. “I am proud of our team so far.  We have been through a lot of adversity over the past one and a half years, but I believe that adversity is what is going to make us a tougher team.  We are learning how to win, and that says a lot from where we were last year,” Curliss-Taylor said. Freshman physical therapy major Jonelle Smith spoke about the team’s preparations before each game. “We always take it one game at a time. That’s what you have to do, have to focus on what’s happening now. And we physically prepare ourselves by getting extra time in the gym outside of practice, and we mentally prepare ourselves by listening to music,” Smith said. Of the 19 women on the roster, Jovana Miles, a computer studies major, is the lone senior. Miles reflected on her role. “Being the only senior on the team feels great to be able to contribute to my team’s success and be able to influence my teammates in a positive way,” she said. The teamwork has been a big piece to the winning results displayed by the Lady Cru. “Our team chemistry has definitely gotten better and is one of the main reasons why we have been successful,” Miles said. Junior exercise sport science major Taylor Tucker also believes the players’ relationship have improved significantly. Tucker said, “The team chemistry has gotten so much better compared to the beginning of the year. We had so many new people, but now that we all know the program and what is expected,read each other on...

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Broncos, Seahawks to meet at MetLife
Jan29

Broncos, Seahawks to meet at MetLife

THE BELLS — The perfect scenario for Super Bowl XLVII—the number one ranked offense against the number one ranked defense. Can Richard Sherman and the Seattle defense keep Peyton Manning and the Broncos’ explosive offense from taking home the trophy? “I think this will be one of the best Super Bowls in a while. We are going to get to see the two best teams all year go head to head,” junior pre-physical therapy major Jeremy Corbin said. With the late game heroics of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman sealing the team’s ticket to the Super Bowl, a lot of talk has been made about the stingy Seattle defense. But the true test will come Feb. 2. The game is full of storylines, but one of the biggest is the fact that Manning has the chance to hush his critics who say he chokes in big games. UMHB fans hope otherwise. “I really like the way the Seahawks play, but when it comes down to it, I think I am going for the Broncos because I want to see Peyton Manning win another championship. He deserves it,” senior exercise sport science major Edwin Munoz said. Another interesting factor that comes to play is the fact that the big game is going to be played in the cold at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. This could prove to be a problem for Manning and company if the weather is to the point that it affects the passing game. No matter the outcome of the competition, it will make history because it will be the first Super Bowl to be held in an outdoor stadium in a frigid northern city. “I don’t necessarily like the fact that the game is being played in the cold. I think that big games like this should be played in indoor stadiums or at least in warm temperatures so we can see both teams at their very best,” Corbin said. Although all the factors will have an effect on the outcome, Manning’s experience in the big game should come in handy. He will be making his third appearance in the Super Bowl. But this time, it is with a different organization. If Manning brings home the Lombardi trophy he will become the first player ever to win it with two separate teams. Manning and the Broncos plan to leave it all out on the field because they understand the journey  they’ve made to the MetLife Stadium. “Being in my 16th season, going to my third Super Bowl, I know how hard it is to get there,” Manning said in an interview with Fox Sports follwing...

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Women’s volleyball gets national bid
Nov20

Women’s volleyball gets national bid

For the first time in program history, the Crusader volleyball team has received a bid to play in the NCAA Division III National Championship tournament. Following a season in which they won a school record 29 games, the team received an at-large bid after failing to secure an automatic berth by winning the conference tournament. Head coach Rob Frost said that the team’s determination has been one of the main reasons for its success. “I’m very excited,” Frost said. “The girls have worked extremely hard, and I’m very happy for them. There is no substitute for the girls’ hearts and the amount of effort they have put in.” The Cru opened the conference tournament Nov. 7  with a 3-1 win over East Texas Baptist University in Richardson.  The team lost the first set 25-19, but managed to win the next three by scores of 26-24, 25-14 and 25-23 to take the match. Sophomore hitter Lauren Powell, who led the Cru with 17 kills in the match, said the win gave new energy to the team. “We were fired up and had set our minds on winning the whole thing,” Powell said. The Cru advanced to face Hardin-Simmons in the next round where they were swept by scores of 25-16, 25-17 and 25-13. Sophomore setter Shelby Prather racked up 12 assists in the match to go along with nine digs. Powell said the loss was a surprise as the team wasn’t able to play to its full potential like they knew they could. “I believe we expected to be able to control that match better than we did,” she said. “In the end, we couldn’t pull it out, and I think that frustrated us because we knew exactly what we were capable of doing, and it just didn’t happen for us.” The team then faced ETBU for a rematch in an elimination game. The match was a mirror image of their first-round meeting as the Cru managed to win the first set 25-18, but lost the final three by scores of 25-20, 25-20 and 25-13 to force their elimination from the tournament. Powell led the team with 15 kills while Prather and sophomore setter Kendall Pye accumulated 23 and 19 assists respectively. Sophomore hitter Cheyenne Dowdey thought the team was competitive in the tournament given the lack of experience and youth . “I think we carried ourselves well in the conference tournament considering we are such a young team,” she said. “I think everyone on the team played their hearts out and put everything into the wins we received.” Powell said that following the loss, many of the players believed...

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Sport Spotlight: Alison Bullock
Nov20

Sport Spotlight: Alison Bullock

Alison Bullock is a senior exercise sport science major from Rockwall, Texas, and  attended Heath High School. Bullock has been a key player for the Cru all four years and served as a team captain. Her freshman year, she earned Honorable Mention All-ASC. Her junior year, she received Third Team All-ASC Honors. This season, Bullock earned First Team All-ASC Honors and was also named to the All-ASC Tournament team. Bullock helped the Cru this year to a school record of 14 wins. The Cru fell in the ASC Championship Tournament semifinals 1-0 to UT-Dallas. Once Bullock learned about UMHB, she stuck with her plan of becoming a Crusader. “I looked into the school, and I came here, and I thought it was a really nice campus. I liked a lot of the girls that played on the (soccer) team, and it just drew me in,” she said. Bullock has enjoyed the relationships she has made playing soccer. “I really just like the friendships you make … Especially here, UMHB, it was like a huge family,” she said. Her favorite soccer experience happened this fall. “The conference tournament this year was my favorite memory. We hadn’t made it until this year and it was just a great way to end my senior year,” she said. Bullock’s sister, Taylor is also a part of the team. Taylor played for the the Cru and now serves as an assistant coach. Both sisters have enjoyed success with the Cru program. Alison said, “It’s nice to have her there all the time. She’s always been involved with soccer just as much as I have. It was fun being able to spend that time with...

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Lady Cru soccer finishes season after loss to UT-Dallas
Nov20

Lady Cru soccer finishes season after loss to UT-Dallas

The ball crosses the line as the crowd erupts in screams of joy as the women’s soccer team makes it to the semifinals of the American Southwest Conference playoff tournament. Head Women’s soccer coach and UMHB Alumnus Barry Elkins said. The shot “was the most amazing finish I’ve ever seen. In all my years of playing soccer, I’ve never seen a winning goal like that.” Elkins, a former soccer player for the university from 1992-95, became head coach last year. He has already helped coach the team into its first winning record in four years and received ASC Coach of the Year. The tournament Nov. 7-9 put the team to the test. Elkins said, “This was our first trip, and I had no experience in the ASC tournament. We played pretty good, finishing 2-1 against Concordia scoring the last second, [then] played University of Texas at Dallas in the semifinals. Although the Cru fell short, there was still plenty to be proud of. “They had a goal in the end to win the game. We didn’t make any real mistakes that stood out,” Elkins said. The team featured seven freshmen starters. One is freshman nursing major Kathryn Parker. She received ASC Offensive Freshman of the Year after leading the ASC in shots (74). “No one knew what to expect. I felt really good though. I had my goals, but I didn’t know if I could accomplish them,” Parker said. The Cru faced adversity all year but fought through it all.Parker said the training “was working for us. The closer we got to the tournament you have more injuries that you have to worry about because you’re worn out from the season.” A big loss came when the team had to play without one of their leaders. “Our center back Charis Brantley got hurt and it really affected our second game because of how much she contributes to the team.,” Parker said. The Cru have a lot to look foward to next season. Elkins said, “as well as we did, we can improve. This gave us a cornerstone for what’s to...

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The Cru remain undefeated
Nov20

The Cru remain undefeated

The Cru finished out ASC conference play this past weekend against Mississippi College in a 56-30 win against the Choctaws in Clinton Miss. The win boosted the Cru’s overall record to 10-0 overall and undefeated in conference play. The Choctaws played the Cru closer than any other team this season, trailing only by a touchdown at half. But after the 56-yard pass to senior tight end Eric Nelson early in the second half, the Cru never looked back and cruised to victory. “Mississippi College is a good football team and we knew we would have to come out and fight. We weathered the storm and came out with the win with the help of big plays on offense and defense,” senior safety Cody Jones said. Jones was the leading tackler for the Cru with nine tackles and two intercepted passes to set up the Crusaders explosive offense with good field position. The competitive play was no surprise to the Crusaders, who had been preparing for a tough match all week in practice. “Mississippi College is playing well and keeping everything within the framework of the offense and defense. They have beaten everyone in the conference except Louisiana College,” head coach Pete Fredenburg said. Quarterback Zach Anderson kept up the good work, passing 14-20 with three touchdown strikes, tallying up 180 yards in all. The Crusaders were balanced against the Choctaws with senior running back Elijah Hudson carrying the ball well and racking up more than 100 yards on the ground. “I think we played well, it was good to get out there an get tested a little bit. But even 10 games in we still have work to do,” Hudson said. Most programs would be content going into the postseason 10-0 and crushing their opponents by at least three touchdowns every game.  But the Cru are not done polishing their skill sets in all aspects of the game. “We are working hard to improve our front four pass rush and our screens on offense,” Fredenburg said. But Fredenburg does acknowledge the success that his squad has had this season. “We are playing very well right now and hope to continue the improvements each week,” he said. It does not matter who the Cru face in the playoffs, players know  they own their own destiny from here on out. “I feel like we are one of the best teams in the nation, but at this point that doesn’t mean anything. From here on out, each game will be the biggest game of the season,” Hudson said. Winning on Saturday was something that will stick in the minds of all of...

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