Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Getting to Know Derek Schwandt

After Derek Schwandt was named the new head coach of the Liberty men's tennis program, LFSN reporter Alan York spent some time getting to know Schwandt.

Schwandt was introduced as the sixth men's tennis head coach in school history on May 30. He comes to Liberty after serving as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech (2013-17), Fresno State (2011-12) and Virginia (2009-10). While at those three schools, Schwandt helped his teams claim four conference titles and advance to the NCAA Men's Tennis Championship seven times.
Liberty University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw had this to say about Schwandt's hire, "Derek is an ideal Liberty fit who is passionate about training champions for Christ, providing a world class student-athlete experience and achieving victory with integrity," said McCaw. "In addition to his experience as a Collegiate National Team coach with the United States Tennis Association, he has played an important role in building successful programs at Virginia, Fresno State and Georgia Tech."

Schwandt Named Flames New Men's Tennis Coach

Liberty University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw has announced the hiring of Derek Schwandt as Liberty's new Head Men's Tennis Coach.
Schwandt comes to Liberty after serving as an assistant coach at Georgia Tech (2013-17), Fresno State (2011-12) and Virginia (2009-10). Schwandt helped his teams claim four conference titles and advance to the NCAA Men's Team Championship seven times.   
"Derek is an ideal Liberty fit who is passionate about training champions for Christ, providing a world class student-athlete experience and achieving victory with integrity," said McCaw. "In addition to his experience as a Collegiate National Team coach with the United States Tennis Association, he has played an important role in building successful programs at Virginia, Fresno State and Georgia Tech."
During his five seasons with Georgia Tech, the team advanced to the NCAA Men's Team Championship the last three years, making second round appearances in 2016 and 2017.
The 2017 Yellow Jackets' squad reached a high of No. 12 in the nation and finished the year ranked No. 19. During the 2017 season, Georgia Tech posted a 17-7 dual match record, including wins over No. 16 Stanford, No. 21 South Carolina, No. 31 Florida State and two wins over No. 35 Duke.
"I would like to thank Liberty University, Ian McCaw and the hiring committee for the incredible opportunity to lead Flames men's tennis," said Schwandt. "I'm thankful for the love and support of my wife, Rachel, my parents and my coaching mentors. Thank you to all of the student-athletes who competed in several inspiring battles at Virginia, Fresno State and Georgia Tech. It's awesome to reflect on God's faithfulness in preparing me for this mission to train Champions for Christ at Liberty."
"My vision is to build a program that contends at the top national level. I will lead the Flames to an excellent standard each day in the way that we train and fight for the team in matches," continued Schwandt. "I'm looking forward to creating a culture of hard work, grit and enthusiasm at Liberty. It's an awesome experience to coach a team that fights for something bigger than each individual."
Schwandt helped garner some of the nation's brightest stars with Fresno State and Georgia Tech's recruiting classes ranked No. 12 in the country in 2012, No. 11 in 2013 and No. 14 in 2014.
Schwandt recruited and coached the 2016 and 2017 ACC Player of the Year Christopher Eubanks. The ITA All-American Eubanks is ranked No. 7 in the nation and made his third-straight appearance in the NCAA Singles Championship, reaching the quarterfinals in 2017.
Schwandt was named to the USTA Collegiate National Team staff during the summer of 2014 and 2015, coaching the top American college players on the ITF Futures pro circuit. He led Virginia standout Mitchell Frank to the 2014 Tulsa, Okla., Future title and a runner-up performance in Godfrey, Ill.
In his two years at Fresno State, the Bulldogs won two-straight Western Athletic Conference regular season and tournament championships and rose to No. 14 in the Intercollegiate Tennis Association rankings in 2012.
In 2012, Schwandt coached Fresno State to a win over No. 9 Stanford for the first time in program history. The Bulldogs went to their second-straight NCAA Tournament and fell to No. 27 San Diego in the first round.
In 2011, he led Fresno State to their first WAC Tournament title since 1999 and a No. 37 national team ranking. The Bulldogs defeated No. 19 Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA Championship before falling, 4-3, to No. 14 Cal in the second round.
Schwandt served as the Volunteer Assistant Coach at Virginia during the 2009 and 2010 seasons. During Schwandt's time at Virginia, the Cavaliers won the 2009 and 2010 ITA National Team Indoor championship, the 2009 and 2010 ACC Championship and the 2009 and 2010 NCAA doubles title.
The Cavaliers also reached the quarterfinals of the NCAA Men's Team Championship in 2009, and the semifinals in 2010. He coached under Brian Boland, the 2008 and 2016 ITA National Coach of the Year and winner of four of the last five national championships (2013, 2015-17).
From 2005-08, Schwandt played ITF Futures and ATP Challengers around the world, including tournaments in South America, Mexico, Canada, Central America and India. He earned an ATP world ranking in singles and doubles. His top singles victory was over Marcus Fugate (587 ATP) 6-7, 7-6, 7-6 in the 2008 Binghamton Challenger.
Schwandt is a 2005 graduate of the University of Richmond where he received his bachelor's degree in business administration, concentrating in economics. The two-time All-Atlantic 10 selection (2004 and 2005) helped the Spiders win three Atlantic 10 conference championships (2002, 2004 and 2005) and make three team appearances in the NCAA Men's Team Championship.
Schwandt completed his master's degree in sport psychology from Fresno State in May 2012 with a perfect 4.0 GPA. Schwandt's book review on John Wooden was published in the June 2012 issue of The Sport Psychologist.
Schwandt is a native of Kennett Square, Pa., and is married to the former Rachel Eddy.
What They Are Saying about Derek Schwandt
 "Derek Schwandt is a great hire for Liberty University. I have known Derek from his early days as a successful player and coach. Derek is a man of deep faith and integrity. He is the type of person that every parent wants their child to play for as he represents all that is right about college athletics. I am excited for everyone who loves Liberty Athletics, but most importantly, the student-athletes who have Derek as their coach and mentor. Derek has the leadership skills and knowledge to build a nationally competitive program at Liberty. He will lead Liberty to new heights and build a championship program on and off the court. Today is a great day for Liberty Men's Tennis."
Brian Boland
Head of Men's Tennis for USTA Player Development
Former Head Coach, Virginia
"Derek is one of the most talented up and coming young coaches in the country in my opinion. Not only does he possess the tools to win at the highest level, his relationship with Christ is the most important thing to him in his life. For these reasons, I believe this is an incredible hire by Ian [McCaw] and a perfect fit for the future of the Liberty Men's Tennis program."
Matt Hill
Head Coach, Arizona State
 "Derek has done an incredible job at Georgia Tech, on and off the court. He brought an impeccable work ethic to recruiting and development. He has a passion for tennis, coaching and people and he is well deserving of this opportunity at Liberty. He represented Georgia Tech with the highest level of integrity and was a big part of our success over the past few years. We will definitely miss him here, but I know great things are ahead for Liberty. We all thank him for the time and effort he gave to Georgia Tech. We are better because of him."
Kenny Thorne
Head Coach, Georgia Tech
 "I'm excited to see Derek build an excellent tennis program for Liberty! He's an exceptional on-court coach that will create meaningful relationships with each of his student-athletes. Derek is a relentless worker whose character is second to none and he'll be a great role model for his teams."
Jay Udwadia
Head Coach, Oklahoma State

Johnson Resigns as Liberty's Men's Tennis Coach

Liberty University Director of Athletics Ian McCaw announced head men's tennis coach Chris Johnson has resigned from his coaching duties. Liberty will immediately begin a national search for the sixth head coach in the program's history.
"God has called me to Liberty twice and I am eternally grateful for each one," said Johnson. "I can think of no greater calling than to train Champions for Christ. Thank you to everyone who supported me and my family during this journey. We are forever grateful. Go Flames!"

Johnson has been a part of the Liberty tennis programs since he was hired as head men's and women's tennis coach on Aug. 7, 2006. He served as head coach of both programs for six seasons before shifting his entire focus to the men's tennis program for the 2012-13 season.
During his 11 seasons as head men's tennis coach (2006-17), Johnson posted a 117-124 overall match record and a 30-47 mark in Big South play.
During his six seasons in charge of the women's tennis program (2006-12), Johnson guided the Lady Flames to a 64-58 overall record and 23-18 mark in Big South action.
Johnson became the first head coach in men's tennis program history to reach the 100-career win mark, accomplishing the feat when Liberty defeated King College on Jan. 30, 2016.
During his time at Liberty, Johnson coached three Big South Players of the Year (Men's – 2016; Women's – 2007 and 2008), three Big South Freshmen of the Year (Men's – 2010; Women's – 2008 and 2011) and 38 All-Big South honorees.
Johnson was named the Big South Men's Tennis Coach of the Year in 2015 and garnered Big South Women's Coach of the Year honors in 2008.
In 2013, Johnson coached the doubles tandem of Shea Thomas and Jorge Azuero to the program's first-ever ITA Atlantic Region championship. With the regional title, the pair earned a trip to the USTA/ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships in Flushing, N.Y.
In 2016, Johnson helped Sam Matheson become the first nationally ranked singles player in program history. Matheson was ranked as high as No. 93 in the country and earned the program's first-ever at-large singles selection to the NCAA Men's Tennis National Championship.

Tickle Garners VaSID All-State First Team Selection

Liberty lacrosse senior defender Victoria Tickle was voted to the Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) University Division Women's Lacrosse All-State first team, as announced by the organization on Friday.
Tickle is the third Lady Flame in program history to receive first team distinction, joining Colleen Ekert (2015-16) and Jen Freymond (2013). She was one of 11 players from the Commonwealth selected to the first team.
The Fairfax, Va., native put together the best season of her career as a senior, setting a new program record for ground balls with 53 while also compiling a team-best 27 caused turnovers. Tickle, who finished No. 36 in the country in ground balls per game (2.79), was also a Big South All-Conference second team selection and was named to the Big South All-Tournament team.
Tickle was named to the VaSID All-State first team on Friday.
Tickle scooped up three or more ground balls in 13 of Liberty lacrosse's 19 games. The signature performance of her career came on Senior Night against Radford on April 19. She notched six caused turnovers and corralled six ground balls, both career bests, in a 13-10 victory over the Highlanders.
Tickle closes out her distinguished Liberty career seventh all-time in school history in both ground balls (102) and caused turnovers (57). She graduated in May with a Bachelor of Science in elementary education.
Virginia's Maggie Jackson was tabbed the VaSID Player of the Year, while the Cavaliers' Sammy Mueller earned VaSID Rookie of the Year distinction. James Madison 11th-year head coach Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe received VaSID Coach of the Year honors for the fourth time.
2017 VaSID All-State University Division Women's Lacrosse Team

VaSID Player of the Year – Maggie Jackson, Virginia
VaSID Coach of the Year – Shelley Klaes-Bawcombe, James Madison
VaSID Rookie of the Year – Sammy Mueller, Virginia
First Team
G – Megan Gianforte, Richmond
D – Abby Junior, William & Mary
D – Kaitlin Luzik, Virginia
D – Rebecca Tooker, James Madison
D – Victoria Tickle, Liberty
M – Kasey Behr, Virginia
M – Maggie Jackson, Virginia
M – Haley Warden, James Madison
A – Kim Egizi, Richmond
A – Kristen Gaudian, James Madison
A – Kelly Reese, Virginia
Second Team
G – Emily Poelma, James Madison
D – Kerri Caruso, Old Dominion
D – Leslie Espenschied, Richmond
D – Natalie Ledwitz, Old Dominion
M – Alexa McGovern, George Mason
M – Sammy Meuller, Virginia
M – Elena Romesburg, James Madison
A – Besser Dyson, Virginia
A – Sam Geiersbach, Richmond
A – Sky Hyatt, Virginia Commonwealth
A – Kristine Loscalzo, Virginia Tech

Barr Named CoSIDA Academic All-American

Liberty senior field hockey student-athlete Serena Barr was voted to the 2016-17 CoSIDA Academic All-America® At-Large second team, as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) this afternoon.
Barr is the first Liberty student-athlete to garner selection to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® team this year and first player in Liberty field hockey program history to earn the award.
Barr is the first player in Liberty field hockey program history to garner selection to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® team
The at-large teams for the Academic All-America® program include the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming & diving, tennis and water polo for both men and women. The team also includes the sports of beach volleyball, bowling, crew and field hockey for women, and volleyball and wrestling for men.
Barr, a native of Lurgan, Northern Ireland, graduated summa cum laude in May with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health and a perfect 4.00 GPA.
She earned CoSIDA Academic All-District™ honors in May, joining former Lady Flame Helen Doolittle (2011-14), who merited selection in both 2013 and 2015.
Barr was also one of four Liberty student-athletes to receive the Big South Conference's George A. Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence, given annually to the male and female-student athletes who attain the highest GPA during their college careers.
She was chosen as the 2016 Zag Field Hockey National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) Division I National Scholar Athlete in late March. The Northern Ireland native was the only NCAA Division I field hockey-student athlete to receive the honor.
Barr also was named to the Zag Sport/NFHCA Division I National Academic Squad and Scholars of Distinction lists in all four seasons she competed for the Liberty Lady Flames field hockey team.
In her final season in a Lady Flames uniform, she was named to the 2016 Longstreth/NFHCA Division I All-America second team, becoming the second All-American in program history. Barr guided the Lady Flames to a runner-up finish in their inaugural season in the BIG EAST Conference in the fall of 2016 and was voted BIG EAST Co-Defensive Player of the Year for her efforts. 

Crist and Dollar Close Year as No. 7 Doubles Duo in Atlantic Region

The Liberty women's tennis squad's doubles unit of junior Evangeline Crist and sophomore Anna Dollar ended the 2016-17 season as the No. 7 doubles tandem in the Oracle/ITA Division I Regional Rankings for the Atlantic Region.
Dollar (left) and Crist (right) after being recognized at the FLAMESPY Award show.
"Anna and Evangeline stayed consistent through both the fall and spring seasons and as a result, produced some great results," stated Liberty head coach Jeff Maren. "I believe that they will come back this year ready to play and will most likely improve upon that ranking."
The duo finished the season with a 17-11 overall mark, including a 9-3 record in the fall. The pairing went 5-2 in Big South play, this spring, in guiding the Lady Flames to a 7-1 Big South mark and a share of their second straight conference regular-season title. Both players were voted to the Big South Second Team All-Conference Singles list.
Crist and Dollar, who opened the spring with an identical No. 7 ranking, became the first pair in Liberty women's tennis history to qualify for the semifinals at the 2016 ITA Atlantic Regional, last October.
The duo upset Maryland's third-seeded team of Ekaterina Tour and Arnelle Sullivan, who finished the year ranked No. 3 in the region, 8-5, at the regional. Their upset earned the Best Upset Award at Liberty's sixth annual FLAMESPY Award show in April.
Through three seasons, Crist has 74 total doubles victories, third-most all time in program history. She also has the fourth-best winning percentage in school history for doubles play (74-32, .698), followed by Dollar (45-22, .672), who won 20 total doubles matches as a sophomore.    

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Women's Tennis Transfer Medina Receives Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars Award

Maria Medina, an incoming transfer for the Liberty women's tennis team, was recently recognized with the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award.
Medina, who competed at State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota (SCF), was the only National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA) tennis student-athlete to receive the honor this year, handed out by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine.
Medina was recently recognized with the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award. (Photo credit: SCF Athletics)
The native of Caracas, Venezuela was named to the tennis third team and was one of 60 college tennis players in the nation to receive the award. The Sports Scholars Award is given to undergraduate students of color who exemplify academic and athletic achievement. Students must be at least a sophomore and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.2, as well as demonstrate community activism. This year, over 1,200 student-athletes from around the nation were nominated.
"Maria exemplifies what it means to strive for excellence in all areas of life, so this award couldn't have been given to a more deserving person. Arthur Ashe is considered to be an ideal role model within the tennis community, so this is a great honor for Maria to have her name mentioned in the same breathe as his," stated Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren. "We are very excited to have Maria join us this fall! Her character and commitment will help us to reach new heights next season."
Medina won the 2016 Oracle Championship for the junior college division and placed runner-up in the overall Oracle Championship. She was also the NJCAA National Runner Up in No. 1 singles in 2016. In 2017, Medina and her doubles partner were the NJCAA Region 8 champions in the No. 1 doubles draw.
She holds a 10 Universal Tennis player rating (UTR) and was ranked No. 1 in the country in both singles and doubles for most of her two years at State College of Florida.
Medina was ranked as high as No. 862 in singles on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) pro tour before attending State College. 

Women's Tennis Announces Summer Camp Information

The Liberty women's tennis program has released details for its 2017 Competitive Edge Camp.

The Liberty University Tennis Camp will feature two separate weeks of camp, June 12-15 and June 19-22. The clinic will run from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. each day at the Cook Tennis Center on Liberty's campus.
The summer camp is open to any and all entrants ages 6-18. The cost is $220 per week. To register for the 2017 Competitive Edge Camp, click on the Tennis Camp – 2017 tab on the women's tennis page on LibertyFlames.com.
For questions, please call 434-592-5461 or 434-592-6259, or email Liberty Women's Tennis Head Coach Jeff Maren at jdmaren@liberty.edu.

2017 Lacrosse Season Recap

Following the end of the 2017 season for Liberty lacrosse, LFSN's Alan York had a chance to recap the season with Liberty Women's Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle.

The Lady Flames posted a 4-3 mark in Big South competition, this spring, to earn the No. 4 seed for the 2017 Big South Women's Lacrosse Championship. Liberty defeated No. 5 seed Longwood in the quarterfinals in Lynchburg before falling to No. 1 seed and eventual Big South champion High Point.

2017 Season Highlights
  • Six Liberty players garnered Big South All-Conference recognition, led by 2017 Big South Freshman of the Year Carly White. White became the second Lady Flame in program history to receive the award, as Kayla Foster received the same honor in 2016. White also earned a spot on the Big South All-Conference first team, while Foster, a sophomore, and seniors Courtney Brown and Victoria Tickle were chosen to the second team. Sophomore Brianna McCaffrey and junior Lindsey McNamara both received Big South All-Conference honorable mention, while Brown was honored on the Big South All-Academic team for her work in the classroom. Brown and Tickle were named to the Big South All-Tournament team.
  • The Lady Flames were well-represented in the Big South weekly awards. Foster was named the Big South Women's Lacrosse Offensive Player of the Week on Feb. 14, while Hannah Quast collected Big South Freshman of the Week honors on that same day. Sophomore goalkeeper Katherine Widrick was selected as the Big South Women's Lacrosse Defensive Player of the Week on April 4, while White was named the Big South Freshman of the Week on April 11.
  • On her way to being named Big South Freshman of the Year, White played her best lacrosse during conference play. The native of Marietta, Ga. tallied 17 goals, eight assists and 25 points in seven Big South regular-season contests. White poured in 23 goals to go along with 14 assists over the final 10 games of the year. She wrapped up the season third on the team in points with 43 (25 g, 18 a).
  • Foster paced Liberty with 65 points (32 g, 33 a), while McCaffrey led the squad with 40 goals. Foster broke the school record for assists in a season and became the program leader for career assists (62) in her second season in a Lady Flames uniform. McCaffrey's 40 goals are tied for the third most in a single season in Liberty lacrosse history, and her 123 shots in 2017 set a new program record.
  • Foster's marquee performance of her sophomore campaign came on April 12 at Gardner-Webb. The native of Sewickley, Pa. broke the Liberty lacrosse single-game program record for both assists (8) and points (11). After two seasons at Liberty, Foster is fifth all-time in Lady Flames' history in points (116).
  • Paige Britton helped lead Liberty to an 18-8 victory over Longwood on April 5 with a career-high six goals, the second most in a single contest in Liberty lacrosse history. The Lady Flames distanced themselves from the Lancers on that day with a 13-0 run spanning the tail end of the first half and most of the second half. The victory moved Liberty to 2-0 in Big South play.
  • The Lady Flames defeated Radford, 13-10, on Senior Night, April 19. The team honored its seven seniors (Ashlyn Altieri, Eden BayukPaige BrittonCourtney BrownCasey ThateVictoria Tickle and Melanie Via) prior to their final home regular-season contest. Brown paced Liberty with three goals, while Tickle, Via and Thate helped cause 25 Radford turnovers and also recorded 40 ground balls as a unit. Both marks were the second most in a game in program history. Victoria Tickle finished with six caused turnovers (second-best single game in program history) and six ground balls.
  • Liberty finished the season third in the nation in both caused turnovers per game (12.47) and ground balls per game (23.42). Individually, McCaffrey placed inside the top 50 in both shots per game (No. 31, 6.47) and draw controls per game (No. 45, 4.05). Foster closed out the season 41st in the country in assists (33) and 43rd in assists per game (1.74), while Victoria Tickle finished No. 36 in DI in ground balls per game (2.79).
  • Redshirt sophomore Kaitlyn Cassidy-Fischetti and sophomore Brittany Tickle both scored their first career goals, this season. Cassidy-Fischetti's first career marker came on March 25 in the first half at VCU. The Toms River, N.J., native finished the year with seven goals and five assists. Tickle scored the first two goals of her career at Gardner-Webb on April 12. Her first career goal came with 2:15 to play in the contest, while the second tally occurred with 32 seconds remaining. Tickle's first goal, assisted by Foster, gave Foster her program record-breaking eighth assist of the match.
  • Freshmen contributed in the scoring column for the Lady Flames throughout the season. White led the first-year group with 25 goals, followed by Grace Fletcher (19), Quast (11), Jenna Joyal (9) and Nikki Stumpf (5). 

Liberty Lacrosse Adds Maddi Little for 2017-18

Liberty Lacrosse Head Coach Kelly Nangle has announced the addition of Maddi Little for the 2017-18 academic year.
Little, a defender from Malvern, Pa., is the seventh player to join Liberty's 2018 recruiting class, joining Claire Bratchie, Emily Browne, Brooke Bryan, Anna Keebler, Mackenzie Poist and Mia Toscano.
Little, a defender from Malvern, Pa., will be a part of the Liberty lacrosse program beginning in the fall.
"When one door closes, another one opens. God works in mysterious ways, that I know," Little said. "I cannot wait to be a part of this team."
Little is still competing at Conestoga High School in Berwyn, Pa., and is a senior captain for the Pioneers. Conestoga currently holds a 21-1 record and has already claimed the Central Athletic League title as well as District 1 championship.
The Pioneers also won Central Athletic League titles in 2015 and 2016 when Little was a sophomore and junior. As a junior, she was a part of the state championship-winning Conestoga squad. During her sophomore campaign, the team finished runner-up in the state.
Little has played at the club level for Phantastix Lacrosse, based out of Philadelphia.

Liberty Lacrosse to Hold 2017 Overnight Summer Camp, June 19-21

The Liberty women's lacrosse program will hold its Liberty Lacrosse Overnight Summer Camp from June 19-21.
Liberty women's lacrosse will hold its Liberty Lacrosse Overnight Summer Camp from June 19-21.
The summer clinic will be held at the East Campus fields (2200 Liberty Mountain Dr., Lynchburg, VA 24502). Check-in will be from 12-1 p.m. at the East Campus Field House on June 19, and the clinic will dismiss on June 21 between 11-11:15 a.m.
The summer camp is open to any and all entrants limited only by number, age, grade (9-12) and/or gender. The cost is $500 per player. All resident campers will be housed in the residence halls on Liberty University's campus.
All camps will feature the entire Liberty lacrosse staff as well as other NCAA Division I coaches. The camp will focus on teaching the skills, concepts and game situations that will give each player confidence to make decisions on the field and prepare them to play at the next level.
Training sessions will include small-sided, full-field and various scrimmage opportunities against other campers. Campers will also be educated about the recruiting process, strength and conditioning and speed training.
The Liberty Lacrosse complex features two synthetic turf fields recently replaced in November 2016, as well as a team clubhouse including locker rooms, a team room equipped with a full kitchen, a players' lounge and the coaches' offices.
To register for the 2017 Overnight Summer Camp, click on the Lacrosse Clinics tab on the lacrosse page on LibertyFlames.com, or see below.
For questions, please contact Liberty Lacrosse Assistant Coach Nina Dunay (ndunay@liberty.edu or 434-582-2144).

Liberty Field Hockey Unveils 2017 Schedule of Games

The Liberty field hockey team, which finished second in its inaugural season in the BIG EAST Conference in 2016, has unveiled its 2017 schedule.
Liberty field hockey will open regular-season play at home against James Madison on Aug. 26.
The Lady Flames will face five of the top 10 teams from last season's final National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA) poll, including the 2016 national champion Delaware Blue Hens.
"Our 2017 schedule is packed with some of the very best competition in the country. One of our goals for the upcoming season is to make the NCAA Tournament, and I believe that this schedule will prepare us to do so," stated Liberty Field Hockey Head Coach Nikki Parsley. "Our tough out-of-conference opponents will also help to get us ready for a competitive BIG EAST schedule. I very much look forward to embarking on the 2017 season."
Liberty will play a pair of road exhibition contests against Commonwealth opponents Richmond (Aug. 15) and William & Mary (Aug. 19). The Lady Flames open the regular season vs. James Madison on Aug. 26 at the Liberty Field Hockey Field.
Liberty's first road contest will be against Michigan on Sept. 1 in Ann Arbor, Mich. The Wolverines finished No. 10 in the final NFHCA poll and No. 13 in the final NCAA RPI. The Lady Flames, who finished No. 25 in the NCAA RPI in 2016, will then travel to face in-state foe Longwood on Sept. 8.
Two days later on Sept. 10, 2016, Division I Field Championship title winner Delaware pays a visit to Lynchburg. Liberty's first BIG EAST match will be against Villanova on Sept. 16 at the Liberty Field Hockey Field. The Lady Flames defeated the Wildcats, 5-1, last season in Liberty's first-ever BIG EAST contest in Conshohocken, Pa.
On Sept. 17, Liberty and Mid-American Conference (MAC) member Kent State will square off for the first time. The Golden Eagles posted a 14-7 mark, last year and won the MAC to earn a spot in the NCAA Field Hockey Championship for a third straight season.
The Lady Flames will play a pair of road matches in the state of Connecticut on Sept. 22 (Quinnipiac) and Sept. 24 (Yale). Liberty will conclude the month of September with a home BIG EAST showdown versus Old Dominion, Sept. 29.
Parsley's squad will commence the month of October with a road matchup at No. 16 Wake Forest (Oct. 1), followed by road bouts at BIG EAST foe Georgetown (Oct. 6) in the nation's capital and a non-conference test at No. 2 Maryland (Oct. 8) in College Park, Md.
The middle of the month of October for Liberty will feature three straight home contests against 2016 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship winner No. 6 Connecticut during Homecoming Weekend (Oct. 14), followed by an Oct. 20 matchup against Providence.
The Lady Flames will then host Duke, the No. 1 team in the final 2016 NFHCA poll, on Oct. 22 in what will be the fourth all-time meeting between the two programs. Liberty's final BIG EAST regular-season match will be at Temple, Oct. 27. Temple was the host school for the 2016 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship.
The 2017 BIG EAST Field Hockey Championship will be contested at Providence in Providence, R.I. from Nov. 3-5. The winner of the tournament will receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Liberty field hockey has advanced to the NCAA Field Hockey Championship twice in program history, when the Lady Flames won the NorPac Championship titles in both 2013 and 2014. Liberty won an NCAA Championship for the first time in 2014, a 3-1 victory over Richmond in Lynchburg.