WSCC ATHLETICS: Women’s golf and men’s tennis win respective ACCC championships; volleyball’s season ends at nationals

Wallace State’s men’s tennis team is the 2021 ACCC Tournament champion. Pictured are, front row, from left, Connor Coots, Tristian Du Plassis, and Gage Anderson, back row, from left, coach Tim Garner, Sebastian Gamez-Para, Vinicius Aragao, Tad Euler, Eli Hagan, Hudson Thompson and Alex Rainer. (WSCC Athletics)

HANCEVILLE, Ala. – Wallace State’s women’s golf and men’s tennis teams won their respective Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) Tournaments over the weekend.

Wallace State’s women’s golf team won a fourth consecutive ACCC title behind low medalist Lauren Cole and All-Tournament members Maddie Nelson and Abigail Baker at Guntersville’s Eagles Nest Golf Course.

The Lady Lions, who have won all four tournaments they have played in this spring, won the 2021 title by 42 strokes, and Cole won her 7th career low medalist title at Wallace State, carding a 10-over par 154.

“I’m proud of our team, and we’re excited to be champions. Our sophomores have remained dedicated to our program, and I’m glad they get to enjoy a championship after having last season cut short,” said Wallace State women’s coach J.J. Adams. “While we have room to improve as a team until nationals, we’re looking forward to traveling down there. We have a good chance for a strong showing.”

Adams was named the 2021 ACCC Coach of the Year.

Cole registered a 79 over the opening 18 holes and closed out the two-day event with a 75. The sophomore from Glencoe has earned low medalist honors in all four tournaments this spring for Wallace State.

Nelson was the individual runner-up, finishing with a 176 (85-82), and Baker was fourth, carding a 170 (81-89). 

Hannah Sanders was ninth overall (175) for Wallace State and Carly Havens 12th.

Jeff State was the conference runner-up. The field also consisted of Calhoun, Snead State and Northeast Alabama.

Wallace State’s women travel to the NJCAA Division I Women’s Golf Championship on May 10-13 in Ormond Beach, Fla.

The Lady Lions will seek to improve next month on a program-best 10th-place finish at nationals in 2019.

“We’re young from a program standpoint, but the expectations we have are high. We want to be the best program we possibly can be, and it begins by loving the game and taking it seriously. This team has embraced those expectations,” Adams said.

Wallace State tennis

Wallace State’s men’s tennis team is the ACCC champion for the third time in four seasons.

The Lions swept through the two-day event over the weekend at the Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater after an undefeated march against conference foes in the regular season.

“Our guys have played great all season. Our practices have been as impressive as our matches. That’s fueled them to get better every single day,” said Wallace State tennis coach Tim Garner. “Our ultimate goal since the first day of practice has been to win conference and advance to nationals, with the hopes of us finishing a season. I think having not being able to finish last season motivated our guys even more. It’s one of most motivated teams I’ve been around.”

Wallace State’s Sebastian Gamez-Para was named the ACCC Men’s Tennis Player of the Year after winning his No. 1 singles match, 6-3, 7-6.

“While it is important to me, this should be an award for the entire team. We’ve been working hard for this championship,” Gamez-Para said.

Also winning singles matches for Wallace State were Gage Anderson (6-1, 6-0), Hudson Thompson (6-1, 6-2), Tristian Du Plessis (6-1, 6-0), Connor Coots (6-0, 6-0) and Eli Hagan (6-2, 6-2).

In doubles action, Anderson and Thompson prevailed 8-2. Para and Coots collected an 8-3 match win in addition to Du Plassis and Hagan (8-3). 

Garner was named the 2021 ACCC Men’s Coach of the Year.

The Wallace State women also have a chance to win a conference championship. They’ll play a tiebreaking match against Marion Military Institute on Wednesday at 11 a.m. in Gardendale.

The men advance to the NJCAA Division I Championships in Plano, Texas, on May 17-21.

Wallace State athletics has now won five ACCC championships during the 2020-2021 academic year (men and women’s cross country, volleyball, men’s tennis and women’s golf).

Wallace State volleyball

Wallace State volleyball’s outstanding season ended at the NJCAA Division I Championships in West Plains, Mo.

The Lions finished the campaign with a 34-2 record, finishing undefeated in the regular season and losing only three sets until the national tournament. Coach Randy Daniel also surpassed the 500-win mark at Wallace State this season and was named the ACCC Coach of the Year.

The 12-seeded Lions lost to Iowa Western and Missouri State University-West Plains in the tournament.

Wallace State opened with a 21-25, 7-25, 12-25 loss to the eventual national champion Reivers.

In their next match, the Lions won the opening two sets before Missouri State-West Plains rallied to win the final three (26-24, 25-16, 23-25, 13-25, 5-15).

Sophomore Harlee Kate Reid finished with 21 kills and 13 digs in her final Wallace State match, while Mattrice Harris and Haven Hall added 14 kills apiece.

Savannah Rutledge racked up 53 assists and 12 digs. Temperance Chatman had 21 digs and Tori Walker added 17.

After having its Fall 2020 season delayed until this semester, Wallace State volleyball didn’t miss a beat, winning its 11th ACCC Tournament title in 12 seasons and a 13th straight regular-season championship. The Lions made their 19th overall national championship appearance.

Harris, Reid and Savannah Rutledge were each ACCC 1st-team selections this season for Wallace State and Hall was a 2nd-team selection. Reid was the ACCC Tournament MVP and Rutledge, Harris and Hall joined her as All-Tournament selections.

Sophomores on the team were Harris, Reid, Walker, Anna Renshaw, Laci Reese and Courtney Patterson.

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