2014 Fall Sports Preview
As the Lee University athletics program completes its last provisional year of the NCAA eligibility process, the expectation and the talent level is rising for the Flames' sports teams.
The fall sports teams will be the first to try and prove that they belong in the NCAA Division-II. Men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, and volleyball all look to cement their place as contenders in the Gulf South Conference.
Although Lee University is in the final year of the NCAA eligibility process, competing in the postseason will still occur within the NCCAA.
Men's and women's golf both won the NCCAA National Championship, and they look to repeat their wins after bringing in recruits to replace the loss of talented seniors.
Men's and women's cross country placed 5th and 6th in the conference meets. However, Athletic Director Larry Carpenter feels that they will move up after Cross Country Head Coach Caleb Morgan brought in good recruits.
According to Carpenter, men's and women's soccer brought in good recruiting classes. And since both teams reached the NCCAA National Tournament, they look to improve and finish their respective seasons victoriously.
Volleyball will be comprised of a new lineup after bringing in nine recruits. However, Carpenter and Volleyball Head Coach and Assistant Athletic Director Andrea Hudson believe that they can improve on their 3rd place finish in the Gulf South Conference.
All of the teams look to not only compete in the Gulf South Conference, but it is a goal of the athletic department for all sports teams to rank within the top half of the conference.
'What we want for every team is to finish in the top half of every conference. It's more about where we finish to see where we are at, since we can't compete in postseason play,' Hudson said.
Carpenter and Hudson both believe that, due to the move to the NCAA Division-II, the potential for the Lee University athletics program has abundantly grown.
Carpenter said that the primary goal of the athletic programs at Lee University is to raise the level of talent and competition to our conference in Division II.
'We want to provide to our coaches and athletes all that we can to ensure that we can really make an impact on the conference and on the national stage,' Carpenter said.
Hudson spoke about the advantages of recruiting in the NCAA.
'I believe we have access to more players in the NCAA. There's just something about kids wanting to go to an NCAA school,' Hudson said.
Carpenter and Hudson both feel that this upcoming sports season looks bright.
'I think our coaches have had good recruiting classes and are excited about the incoming players. I expect that we will have another good year,' Carpenter said of the upcoming fall sports.
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