Saturday, October 18, 2014

UTPA Broncs Volleyball Overpowered by UMKC Kangaroos

Edinburg, TX – In match that never really found defensive rhythm, the University of Texas-Pan American women’s volleyball team (5-16, 2-5 in WAC) dropped the Western Athletic Conference match against the University of Missouri-Kansas (18-3,6-0) on Saturday afternoon by a final score of (3-0).


UTPA opened the first set in strong fashion, matching UMKC point for point in the early going in route to a slim 5-4 deficit. That success would not be sustained, however, a series of defensive lapses quickly left the Broncs out of sorts on both sides of the net. The formidable Kangaroos attack seemed to take control from that point forward to propel UMKC to a 25-10 first set lead.


Despite the lopsided score, the opening set had a mass of drama midway through as the officiating crew stopped for extended periods on three separate occasions as they discussed a controversial kill call, a perceived rotation violation, and the continued protest by UTPA coach Bryan Yale’s regarding that violation.


The Broncs would open Set 2 back on their heels, transitioning their attack away from the left side and toward the middle of the court in an attempt to kick start their offense behind middle blockers Haley Durham and Maria Kliefoth. That strategic transition would find limited success as the Kangaroos pounded their way to a second set victory of 25-18.


With victory within their grasp, UMKC opened the final set on defensive flurry sending multiple UTPA attacks bouncing back at the point of attack. With both team locked in a variable defensive slug fest, the final set saw three separate volley’s span over 1:30 each before Kangaroos finished on a 15-7 run to close the match.


With the midway point of their conference season fast approaching the Broncs will look to bounce back from Saturdays defeat when they hit the road for matchups with Grand Canyon and Cal State-Bakersfield on October 23 and 25. The Kangaroos will next head to Chicago State for a match on October 24th, before returning home to face that same Cougar team on October 26th.




Maria Kliefoth

(6 kills, 1 solo-block, and 6 assisted blocks)


Emma Hagedorn
(9 kills and 6 assisted blocks)

Preview: UTPA Broncs VB vs. UMKC Kangaroos (10-18-2014)

Edinburg, TX – There are few things more important in to ultimate success of a collegiate athletics program than wins. Statistics and highlight reel worthy plays can add to the allure of a program, however at the end of day wins are what history remembers.

For the University of Texas-Pan American Women’s Volleyball team (5-15, 2-4 in WAC) wins have been at a premium for most of the year. But that doesn’t mean that their season is lost. The Broncs are just two games out of second place as they near the halfway point of the conference season.

Fresh off a decisive 3-1 victory over the Chicago State Cougars, the Broncs will look to build upon that success when the play host to the University of Missouri-Kansas City Kangaroos on Saturday from the UTPA Fieldhouse.

UMKC (17-3, 5-0 in WAC) are riding high having defeated SEC opponent Missouri 3-1 on Monday in what was clearly a program defining match up at home. The Kangaroos hold a decision 2-0 advantage over the Broncs in their time a WAC opponents having been victorious in both of their matches in 2013-2014.

UTPA is led by Junior middle blocker Haley Durham who is among the WAC leaders in hitting percentage (9th), Kills (7th), blocks (9th) and points (8th).

On the other side of the net The Kangaroos will look for solid performance from Junior Jessica Hedin, who has notched spots among the WAC best in Kills (10th), Aces (4th), Digs (8th) and Points (10th).

First serve as at 1:00 p.m. with live audio and video with the voice of the Broncs, Jonah Goldberg, on at approximately 12:50.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

UTPA Broncs drop thriller to UMKC Kangaroos 2-1 (October 12, 2014)


Edinburg, TX – In what was quite possibly the toughest loss of their young season, the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs Women’s Soccer team dropped their second straight match against the University of Missouri Kansas City Kangroos 2-1 in double overtime on Sunday afternoon.


The Broncs (8-3-4, 2-2-1 in WAC) put up a valiant effort against the Kanagroos (8-3-2, 4-0-0 in WAC) the very team that throttled them by six goals the prior weekend.


In what was clearly one of the most physical matches either team will see all season, the Kangaroos took an early 1-0 lead at the 33:49 mark of the 1st half on a laser by Kaley Tott that slipped past goal keeper Aubrie Coley. UMKC would control the tempo for most of the first half holding UTPA to just 2 shots on goal leading to halftime.


The Broncs would open the second half with a vastly different defense strategy, moving four players to the back in an effort to address the lopsided time of possession for the first half.


That move would pay off quickly as the added defensive pressure would free up Hanna Spets to capitalize of a corner kick assist from Emily Ortiz and push a header into the back of the net, pulling the match even at 1-1.


A defensive stalemate would ensue, with both teams scraping back and forth to the tune of 3 yellow cards and a red over the rest of the second half and one overtime session. Tired and weary both squads trotted out to open the second half.


It appeared that the match would end in a 1-1 impasse until a controversial breakaway, following a midfield scramble between Nikki Lynch and Hannah Pressley. In the midst of the struggle, it appeared that Lynch forcefully yanked Pressley backward resulting in her loss of ball control. The referee’s viewed the play as clean, allowing Lynch to then quickly advance the ball to Whitney Lucas who rifled it home for a 2-1 victory with :57 left.



Aubrie Coley

(17 saves)
UMKC Kangaroos
Whitney Lucas
(Game winning goal in 2OT)

Preview: UTPA Broncs Women's Soccer vs. UMKC (10/12/2014)

Edinburg, TX – There are a few overarching goals for every collegiate soccer program, battle your way to a winning season, a post-season berth, and maybe… just maybe a championship. For a first year, program most of those goals are grossly out of reach. The challenges seem overwhelming, develop a team from scratch, recruit athletes, and install an offensive and defensive strategy.


That is exactly what the University of Texas-Pan American Broncs (8-2-4, 2-1-1 in WAC) are poised to do in their first year as a program under the direction of head coach Glad Bugariu. They can make huge strides in that direction on Sunday as they play host to Western Athletic Conference Leader, the University of Kansas City Kangaroos (7-3-2, 3-0-0 in WAC) from the UTPA Soccer/Track and Field Complex at 1:00 p.m.


UTPA is led by a pair of stellar freshman, Andreya Barrera and Aimie Inthoulay who rank third in the WAC with 16 points each through 14 games. Defensively, the Broncs put their trust in freshman Aubrie Coley who is holding opponents to 1.30 goals per game.


UMKC are paced on offense by senior Ellie Chadwick who has amassed 11 points on the season good enough for 5th overall in the WAC. In goal, Kangaroos have their greatest strength, in Nina Tzianos who lead the WAC at 0.71 goals allowed per game.


This will be the second match on the year, following a 6-0 victory by UMKC on October 5th.  The Broncs will next host Utah Valley University on October 17th, while the Kangaroos will head home for a match with Grand Canyon University on that same date.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Atlanta Braves vs.Oakland Athletics (August 17, 2014)

Atlanta, GA – Ask any MLB pundit and they will tell you month of August is the most important month of the regular season. A successful close to the season can propel a team to a deep playoff run, while a timid crawl to the finish does not bode well for a short playoff opening series.
Unfortunately for the Atlanta Braves, the month of August has been less than kind. Despite a strong start to the season, Atlanta has limped to 2-8 record over the first half of the month to fall behind the pace in both the division and wildcard races.
The Braves (63-60) hoped to make that put that stretch behind them on Sunday when they welcomed to Oakland Athletics to Turner for field for the final game of their weekend series. A win would give the Braves pivotal series sweep and improve their record to 4-1 in their last five games.
The Athletics (73-50) have been faced with struggles of their own, having lost six of their last seven games, following the trade that sent star outfielder Yoenis Cespedes to Boston, and brought pitching ace John Lester to the Bay Area.
The Athletics would open the scoring in the top of the second on a colossal shot to deep center by Nate Freiman that was measured at 459 feet, for a 1-0 lead.
That lead would be short lived, as The Braves would respond in the home half of that inning on a single by Evan Gattis that scored Justin Upton from third.
Atlanta would take the lead in the fourth at 3-1, capitalizing on a two run blast to left field by Justin Upton.
Oakland would cut into the deficit in the top of the 7th, benefiting from a second long homerun by Freiman, pulling the game to 3-2.
The Braves would extend their once again to 4-2 on a laser to left by Chris Johnson, which Gattis followed with single to end the night for Lester with no outs.
The Athletics would battle back again in their half of the eighth, capitalizing on a sac fly by Coco Crisp to score Sam Fuld from third, cutting the deficit to 4-3.
That would do it for the scoring as Craig Kimbrel pitched a perfect ninth to secure the series defining victory at home.
The Braves will next make the trip to Pittsburg, PA for a three game set, while the Athletics head home for two game set with the New York Mets.


Justin Upton (2/3, 2 RBI, 2 Runs)

Nate Freidman (2/4, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 2 Runs)



Thursday, July 25, 2013

Can a Step Down Be a Step in The Right Direction?

The life of a Div. I basketball coach is one of dedication and sacrifice. For many, the road can be a cold and lonely place as they trek across the country in search of the talent necessary to form the back bone of the team's success.

The pinnacle of the college coaching profession is a position as the head coach of a NCAA Division I program. However, there is very little room on the summit as each year a mass of coaches is purged from among the horde to make way for the next group intent upon leaving their mark.

But what happens to the all of these discarded coaches, who at one time were marked as the saviors of their programs. For some, a trip back to Division II or a position as an assistant with an established program seems like the obvious choice to breathe life back into a wavering career.

This is exactly the situation that Denny Downing, former Women's Basketball Coach at The University of Texas-Pan American,  was a faced with in April after the university decided to move the in a different direction after four of the most successful seasons in program history. Where would his career take him?

The answer would come via the road less traveled, as news broke on Tuesday that Orangefield High, a small 3A school just east of Beaumont, TX, had approved Downing to take the helm of their Girls Basketball program in 2013-2014.

For Downing the move was a calculated decision as he hoped to take over a program with a solid foundation that he could build into a dynasty. A point he made clear to Gabriel Pruett of TheOrangefield Leader  saying, “I wanted to go somewhere where the team had support, in the past we had to create interest. That was not the case in Orangefield. I feel very fortunate they chose me. I wanted to go somewhere where the school wanted me and I was not some novelty."

Though the high school coaching ranks lack the glamour and prestige of even the smallest collegiate programs, that doesn't mean it doesn't provide the type of security that even the most elite coach would envy. For a collegiate coach, quality recruitment is the name of the game.  A poor recruitment could mark the end of their tenure with the program. However, high school coaches are afforded the opportunity to develop talent rather than simply evaluate.

Downing has been successful in every coaching stop on his resume, and if his renewed vigor can spread to his team, he should continue that success in Texas 21-3A.

Friday, May 17, 2013

UTPA Broncs Baseball vs. UVU Wolverines (May 17, 2013)

Edinburg - As the 2012-2013 regular season nears its end The University of Texas-Pan American Broncs hold their  fate squarely in their hands. Win and secure at least a second place finish in the GWC, lose and they could fall as far as fourth.

In game two of a sweltering double header from Edinburg Baseball Stadium The Broncs did just that by defeating  GWC opponent The Utah Valley University Wolverines by a final score of 6-5 in dramatic fashion.

The Broncs (27-27, 17-9 GWC)have been on a bit an upswing,  having won their last two contest to end a six game losing streak. This entire season has been a seesaw affair with the team seemingly on the verge of a breakthrough, but have never quite reached that stable ground.

The Wolverines(23-28, 14-9 GWC) hoped to use their season ending series with UTPA to solidify their hold and second place and possible propel themselves into a battle for first with Northern Colorado. However, those hopes were dashed on Thursday night after a 13-0 pounding at the hands of UTPA.

UTPA jumped out a quick 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first behind an RBI single by Aaron Moore to plate Shane Ammon.

UVU would counter in the top of the second, pulling the game even at 1-1 after Mark Kruegar scampered home for 3rd on a wild pitch by Broncs pitcher Dylan Bandura.

The Broncs would take the lead again in the home half of the third, capitalizing on a single by Aaron Moore to score Bryan Ramirez from second to set the score at 2-1.

The lead would be short lived as the Wolverines would pound out three runs on four hits in the fourth, to take their first lead at 4-2.

UTPA would cut into the deficit in the fifth to pull the game to 4-3, using a single by Shane Klemcke to score Moore who started the inning with a lead-off triple.

UVU would extend their lead to 5-3 in the seventh, behind a single to left field by Greyson Bogden.

The Broncs would cut the lead to 5-4 in the home half of the inning, taking advantage of a single by Derek Hagy to score Moore from second base.

That score would remain intact as UTPA came to the plate in the bottom of the ninth, looking to string together enough offense to wrestle a vital GWC victory away from UVU.

The Broncs offense would come through in  a big way, as every player that came to the plate would reach base in route to a walk off single by Hagy to secure the 6-5 victory.

The thrilling victory was facilitated by an interesting 5-2 defensive shift by UVU, which saw the center fielder  slide in as if a third middle infielder to protect against the suicide squeeze.

UTPA will look to complete the series sweep on Saturday as the will host UVU for a Saturday matinee at noon.

Away Box Score

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