WVU Varsity Sports Report

Senior women's soccer player Carolyn Blank has been named WVU's Athlete of the Week for her play over the weekend.

Blank, an All-American midfielder, notched the fastest goal in West Virginia's 10-year NCAA tournament history, leading WVU past Loyola University Maryland in NCAA Championship first-round action on Nov. 13. Blank, the school's all-time leader in games played, proved why she is one of the nation's top players in the air, finishing a corner kick only 89 seconds into the match to give the Mountaineers an early 1-0 lead. The goal is the fastest of the season for WVU and is believed to be the second-fastest ever in 14 seasons of Mountaineer soccer. WVU won the game 2-0.

A Toms River, N.J., native, Blank also helped the WVU defense post its 13th shutout of the season. The three-time all-Big East midfielder took one shot against the Greyhounds and two shots in the second-round 3-0 loss at No. 14 Wake Forest.

Special Notes of the Week

  • The WVU women's basketball team continues Preseason WNIT play this evening and plays host to Marist at 7 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum. The Mountaineers defeated Towson, 79-42, on Nov. 13 in first round action.

  • Last weekend's appearance in the second round of the NCAA Championship was the seventh in 10 seasons for the WVU women's soccer team. The Mountaineers concluded their season with 10 victories, their 10th-consecutive 10-plus win season.

    This Week in Cross Country

    The No. 7-ranked West Virginia University cross country team awaits an at-large bid for the 2009 NCAA tournament … NCAAs are to be held on Monday, Nov. 23, on the campus of Indiana State in Terre Haute, Ind.

    Last Week in Cross Country

    The Mountaineers finished third at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regionals in Princess Anne, Md., on Saturday, Nov. 14 … Villanova took the top spot with 23 points, while Princeton followed in second (77), WVU in third (82), Penn State in fourth (98) and Georgetown in fifth (100) ... senior Clara Grandt was the first Mountaineer to cross the line with an eighth-place showing (20:53), while classmates Marie-Louise Asselin and Keri Bland respectively followed in 13th (21:07) and 18th (21:40) place … also racing well were sophomores Kate Harrison and Kaylyn Christopher, who in 19th (21:40) and 24th (21:45) place, respectively.

    Notes and Quotes

    For finishing in the top 25, Grandt, Asselin, Bland, Harrison and Christopher were all named to the all-region team … Asselin and Bland finished their Mid-Atlantic region careers as just the second and third WVU runners to be named to the all-region team in four consecutive seasons … sophomore Ahna Lewis finished the race in 27th place with a time of 21:45, while junior Jessica O'Connell crossed the line in 74th place (23:39).

    This Week in Women's Basketball

    West Virginia (1-0) takes on Marist (1-0) in second round action of the Preseason WNIT tonight at 7 p.m. at the WVU Coliseum … it marks the first-ever meeting between the two schools.

    Last Week in Women's Basketball

    West Virginia defeated Towson 79-42 in the season opener in first round action of the 2009 Preseason WNIT … WVU used a 41-8 run in the first half and held Towson without a field goal for over 11 minutes … WVU shot a blistering 56.3% from the field (18-32) in the first half and forced 14 Towson turnovers in taking a 43-13 first half lead … WVU's defense held the Tigers to 3-22 shooting in the first half and just 30% (15-50) for the contest … for the game, five Mountaineers reached double figures, led by junior guard Liz Repella's 17 points and seven rebounds and freshman center Asya Bussie's 14 points on 6-8 shooting with eight caroms … junior Sarah Miles posted a new career high with nine assists, along with 12 points and five rebounds while in her first start in a Mountaineer uniform ... junior Korinne Campbell had a double-double with 12 points and a game-best 11 rebounds … WVU out-rebounded the Tigers 49-31, scored 44 points in the paint and had 18 fast break points in the contest … Towson was led by Shanae Baker-Brice's game-best 22 points ... WVU now leads the all-time series with Towson by a 4-0 count.

    Notes and Quotes

    Repella and Miles made their team-leading 34th career starts against Towson … the starts are also all consecutive … Repella notched her team-leading 34th 10-point game of her career … Repella's first 3-pointer of the game moved her into sole possession of 13th place on WVU's career 3-point field goals made list (78) … the Towson attendance was the seventh-largest in Coliseum history for a women's contest … WVU improved to 44-3 all-time in non-conference home games under Mike Carey … WVU is now 22-15 all-time in season-openers and 7-2 under Carey. WVU Varsity Sports Report Issue 12, November 16, 2009

    This Week in Rifle

    The No. 1-ranked Mountaineers play host to No. 2-ranked and GARC foe Kentucky on Saturday, Nov. 21, at 8 a.m. at the WVU Rifle Range … competition will play into the afternoon.

    Last Week in Rifle

    WVU (5-0, 2-0 GARC) resumed action after a month-long break and opened its home season with a 4638-4562 victory over No. 5-ranked Army on Nov. 14 … the Mountaineers trumped the Black Knights in both disciplines, winning smallbore (228-2277) and air rifle (2349-2285) … sophomore Michael Kulbacki led the Mountaineer attack, finishing first overall with a score of 1167 … Kulbacki also won the air rifle discipline with a season-best score of 593 (100, 97, 100, 100, 99, 97) … he also shot 574 smallbore … junior Kyle Smith nabbed the smallbore discipline victory with a season-best score of 583 … Smith also finished third overall with a combined score of 1157 … junior Andy Lamson finished second overall with a score of 1163.

    Notes and Quotes

    The Mountaineers have yet to lose a discipline match this year … WVU secured the top four air rifle finishes, with Lamson and senior Bryant Wallizer tying for second place (589) and sophomore Justin Pentz following in fourth place (580) … WVU and UK have developed a solid rivalry over the last few seasons … the Wildcats were the only team to defeat the Mountaineers last year, winning a shoulder-to-shoulder match (4649-4639) and the GARC Championship (4650-4645) … UK finished second to WVU at the NCAA Championship (4643-4638) … the Mountaineers own a 13-6 regular-season series advantage.

    This Week in Women's Soccer

    West Virginia ends its season at 10-7-6, its 10th-consecutive 10-plus win season … the Mountaineers advanced to the NCAA second round for the seventh time in 10 years.

    Last Week in Women's Soccer

    WVU went 1-1 in NCAA Championship play over the weekend … senior All-American Carolyn Blank notched the fastest goal in West Virginia's 10-year NCAA tournament history, leading the Mountaineers past Loyola University Maryland, 2-0, on Nov. 13 in NCAA Championship first-round action … Blank finished a corner kick only 89 seconds into the match to give the Mountaineers an early 1-0 lead … the Mountaineers carried the momentum of the early goal and added a second goal at the 36:35 mark on a one-timer from forward Bry McCarthy … the Mountaineer defense did its part as well, limiting the Greyhounds to four shots on the afternoon, 11 shots below their season average … WVU's back line and goalkeeper Kerri Butler earned the team's 13th shutout of the season, tying a school record set in each of the past three seasons … on Nov. 15, three first-half goals from 14th-ranked Wake Forest was all the Demon Deacons needed to finish off West Virginia, 3-0, in NCAA second-round action … the Demon Deacons scored goals in the 21st, 25th and 35th minutes … the Mountaineers struggled to get anything going in the second half to mount a comeback until a formation switch with 22 minutes to play with forward Blake Miller finding the crossbar off a direct kick in the 71st minute … eighteen different Mountaineers saw action on the day.

    Notes and Quotes

    WVU returns the bulk of its team as 10 freshmen or sophomores started a match this season … Sunday's NCAA match marked the final contest for four Mountaineers – Mallory Beck, Blank, Nicole Mailloux and Heather Saffel … Blank closes her career as the schools all-time leader in career games played and started … WVU's match against Wake Forest marked the eighth-straight contest away from Morgantown – a program record.

    This Week in Swimming & Diving

    The West Virginia University swimming and diving teams break from competition and will train for the Ohio State Invitational, held Dec. 5-7 in Columbus, Ohio ... additionally, the Mountaineer divers will prepare for the Maryland Diving Invitational, held Nov. 19-20 in College Park, Md.

    Last Week in Swimming & Diving

    On Nov. 13, both teams traveled to Villanova, where they split victories with the Wildcats … the Mountaineer men won, 207-35, while the women were defeated, 135-106 … the men swept the meet with eight different first-place finishers ... freshman Hugh Simmonds and sophomores Taylor Camp and Brad Eichenseer each turned in two wins … for the women, Morgan Callaway, Shaunna Purtell and Austen Carrington each scored first place wins … the women then swam at Rutgers the following day, where they fell 158-125 … Rachael Burnett and Kata Fodor each had first-place finishes, along with the 400 free relay team.

    Notes and Quotes

    "Today was a day where I was really proud to be the head coach of these ladies. It's been a tough week and travel trip, yet the ladies competed with true Mountaineer spirit and pride. With the injuries and illness, we went from trying to win the meet to racing with heart and pride and these ladies did that today and I couldn't be more proud of them." - coach Vic Riggs following the meet at Rutgers

    This Week in Volleyball

    The West Virginia University volleyball team (17-13, 6-8) has completed the 2009 season.

    Last Week in Volleyball

    The Mountaineers went 1-1 in Big East action last weekend ... WVU started the weekend with a 3-0 sweep of Rutgers on Nov. 14 before falling to Seton Hall in a 3-1 match the following day.

    Notes and Quotes

    The Mountaineers ended the 2009 season with their best overall record since the 2004 season, when they finished 18-13 … the last time WVU won six games in the Big East was in 1998 … junior middle blocker Lauren Evans led the team over the weekend with 15 kills and 12 total blocks … sophomore setter Kari Post also had a good weekend with 53 assists and 23 digs, while recording her 13th double-double of the season against Seton Hall with 28 assists and 15 digs … junior libero Bonnie West finished the weekend with 38 digs, giving her 492 on the season, which puts her fourth on the list for most digs in a season at WVU … West is also currently second on WVU's career digs list with 1,501 … she is second behind Michelle Domas (1,630).

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