Tag Archives: NCAA Division III

Men's Basketball Team Celebrates Championship

Above: Members of the Berry men’s basketball team celebrate at midcourt after winning the Southern Athletic Association tournament championship. The Vikings became the first No. 8 seed in SAA history to accomplish the feat.

Genesis Leggett Qualifies for Indoor Nationals

Sophomore Genesis Leggett made history in March as Berry’s first NCAA qualifier in track and field. She competed in the weight throw at indoor nationals.

Basketball, equestrian, swimming and diving, track and field, softball, and golf – regardless of the sport, Berry student-athletes can’t get enough of national competition this semester, and more is yet to come!

In the last week alone, Berry has locked up NCAA Division III national tournament invitations – and conference championships – in softball and women’s golf.  The baseball team can join them by winning this weekend’s SAA championship series in the friendly confines of Bowdoin Field. The men’s 4×100 relay team may also get a crack at nationals after blazing to victory at the SAA track and field championships.

Earlier this semester, senior Haley Brown earned honorable mention All-America recognition as one of four national qualifiers from the women’s swimming and diving team. Sophomore Genesis Leggett, meanwhile, became the first Berry track athlete, male or female, to compete nationally in the NCAA era, qualifying for indoor nationals in the weight throw. Not to be outdone, six members of the equestrian team have punched their tickets to nationals in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association.

Fittingly, all of this success got started with a bit of madness – February Madness, in this case – courtesy of the men’s basketball team. After finishing eighth in the regular season, the Vikings made history with three wins in three days to claim Berry’s first conference championship in men’s basketball since 1992. Read more about their magical run in this oral history by student Noah Syverson.

Follow the action in all sports at www.berryvikings.com.

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Volleyball CelebrationBerry players and fans celebrate the Vikings’ stunning come-from-behind victory over Covenant College in the second round of the NCAA Division III Atlanta Regional. Photo courtesy of Jack Lewis.

Football Celebration

Senior Antonio White Jr. hoists the SAA championship trophy as Berry celebrates a perfect 10-0 regular season. Photo by student photographer Matt McConnell.

Historic success in volleyball and football provided a spectacular climax to fall semester for Berry’s intercollegiate athletics program. Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) and Tony Kunczewski each earned conference and regional Coach-of-the-Year recognition after leading their respective teams to Southern Athletic Association championships and NCAA Division III national playoff appearances.

Powered by the All-American trio of Hannah Kate Thompson, Carson VanCampen and Emily Hancock, the volleyball Vikings finished a perfect 14-0 in conference play – a first in SAA history – dominated the SAA tournament and advanced to an NCAA Division III regional final, another program first. Their final win total (30) represents a new high for Berry volleyball in the NCAA era.

The football team also claimed perfection in conference play, led by two-time All-American and 2017 D3football.com National Defensive Player of the Year Mamadou Soumahoro and many other All-Conference and All-Region performers. The Vikings defeated Huntingdon College in the first round of the national playoffs before a hard-fought loss to Division III power St. Thomas of Minnesota capped an 11-1 finish, the best in Berry history.

The softball Vikings also swept the SAA last spring, winning regular-season and postseason titles, giving Berry three unbeaten conference champions in 2017.

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Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late into the fourth quarter of Berry's home opener against LaGrange.Mason Kinsey prepares to catch a touchdown pass late in the fourth quarter of Berry’s home opener against LaGrange. The Vikings won the game 28-14, part of a 14-game winning streak dating back to last October.

Berry volleyball players celebrate their first-ever win over Emory University.

Hannah Billiard (15) and her Berry teammates celebrate during their first-ever win over Emory University.

To say it’s been a splendid fall for Berry’s volleyball and football teams would be something of an understatement. Both have earned national rankings and kindled championship dreams by dominating their peers in the Southern Athletic Association.

The volleyball team made history Oct. 22 as the first SAA program to finish the regular season with a perfect 14-0 record in conference play. Next up is the SAA tournament, to be held Nov. 3-5 in the friendly confines of the Cage Center. A victory in that event will guarantee the Vikings and coach Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) a trip to nationals. SAA tournament website.

The football team has enjoyed similar success, soaring to a best-ever 9-0 start that includes a 7-0 mark in conference play. The Vikings have clinched a share of their second consecutive SAA championship and can win the title outright with a home victory over Trinity (Texas) on Nov. 11. Regardless of the outcome of that game, coach Tony Kunczewski’s team has already assured itself of a first-ever appearance in the NCAA Division III national playoffs. Complete coverage.

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Sydney Weaver (17C)

Sydney Weaver (17C)

Genesis Leggett throws the shot put

Freshman Genesis Leggett throws the shot put for Berry during the SAA championships at Valhalla.

Sydney Weaver (17C) made history this spring as the first Berry student-athlete to compete in the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf Championships, finishing seventh overall. The first-team All-American has taken her last swing for Berry, but she’ll continue to serve the program as a graduate assistant.

Weaver’s success was one of many athletic highlights for Berry this spring. Others included a No. 5 national finish and All-America recognition for men’s golfer Ryan Elmore (17C); national equestrian crowns for sophomores Allie Robertson and Emily Lambert; Berry’s first All-American in men’s lacrosse; two conference championships for Southern Athletic Association Women’s Field Athlete of the Year Genesis Leggett; and numerous regional and national honors for Berry’s record-breaking softball team.

Berry facilities were also on display, with Valhalla hosting Georgia High School Association state championships and the SAA track and field championships, the newly-christened Kay Williams Field hosting an NCAA Division III softball regional, and the Rome Tennis Center at Berry College welcoming the NCAA Division I Atlantic Coast Conference championships.

Visit www.berryvikings.com for complete coverage of Berry athletics.

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Berry Softball Player on "The Price is Right"The hits just keep coming for Berry softball, even on days off. Sitting in the studio audience of The Price is Right during a spring-break trip to California, players and coaches were thrilled to hear one of their own – sophomore Kayla Sangrey – exhorted to “Come on down!” Even better, Sangrey eventually won her way on stage alongside host Drew Carey.

Sangrey’s brush with game-show fame is one highlight among many for the Vikings, who earlier this season made history by earning Berry’s first No. 1 national ranking as a member of NCAA Division III. Fresh off a third straight sweep of the Southern Athletic Association’s regular-season and tournament crowns, the team is now taking aim at what could be Berry’s first-ever NCAA championship.

Visit www.berryvikings.com to follow their progress and that of other Berry student-athletes pursuing championship dreams.

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Conference championships in football and women’s cross country highlighted another successful fall for Berry’s student-athletes.

The football team posted a best-ever 9-1 record in its fourth season of competition, closing with a five-game winning streak to share the Southern Athletic Association crown with Washington University in St. Louis. Highlights for Berry included road wins over SAA rivals Hendrix and Centre and a perfect 5-0 record at Valhalla. Also notable was a thrilling 22-19 overtime win over Millsaps made possible by a play you simply have to see to believe. Click the video and you’ll know why it was named d3football.com National Play of the Week.

In women’s cross country, senior captain Danielle Patterson paced Berry to first place in the SAA meet and sixth in the NCAA Division III regional (held in the Clara Bowl). Her time of 22:32.30 in the latter race qualified her for NCAA nationals, a first for Berry.

Fittingly, both of Berry’s SAA-winning coaches, Tony Kunczewski and Paul Deaton (91C), earned conference Coach-of-the-Year recognition. Student-athletes in a number of sports also claimed individual honors this fall. Visit www.berryvikings.com for complete coverage.

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Audrey Morgan

Audrey Morgan

Todd Brooks

Todd Brooks

The visionary donor who helped spur development of the Gate of Opportunity Scholarship Program and the administrator who has led Berry’s athletic program during a period of tremendous growth have been granted honorary membership in the Berry Alumni Association. Audrey Morgan and Todd Brooks join an impressive list that includes former college presidents, beloved faculty members and other close Berry friends.

Morgan has committed more than $7.5 million to programs and facilities benefiting Berry students, including $1 million in matching funds to encourage support for a new campus theatre. She is a member of the Board of Visitors and a recipient of Berry’s honorary doctorate.

Brooks, meanwhile, has served two stints as athletic director, helping guide Berry’s transition to NCAA Division III and the Southern Athletic Association and assisting in the planning process for the Cage Center and Valhalla.

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Caitlyn JansenWhen Berry’s highly successful volleyball program returns to action this fall, Caitlyn Jansen (14G) will be at the helm. She succeeds Mika Robinson, whose eight-year tenure came to a close when she accepted a similar role at Rollins College in Florida.

Jansen has been a familiar face on the Berry bench for the last four seasons, serving as a graduate assistant in 2012 before being promoted to full-time assistant in 2013. During this time, Berry has posted an impressive 94-36 record while earning two Southern Athletic Association regular-season championships, a pair of SAA tournament crowns and two NCAA Division III national tournament appearances. Last summer, she served as assistant coach under Robinson during an all-star tour of Brazil.

Before coming to Berry, Jansen played and later coached at Christopher Newport University, where she was 2009 USA South Conference Player of the Year and a two-time All-American. As an assistant coach in 2011, she helped Christopher Newport advance to the Division III national finals.

“I am extremely excited that Caitlyn has accepted our offer to be our next women’s volleyball coach,” said Berry Athletic Director Todd Brooks. “She had a storied career as a student-athlete at Christopher Newport University and has been an integral part of our volleyball program as our assistant coach. These experiences have prepared her well for this opportunity.”

Read more.

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Football Players Celebrate Win Over LaGrange

Berry football players celebrate the first of seven consecutive victories. Photo courtesy of Kevin Eckleberry of the LaGrange Daily News

An NCAA Division III regional appearance in women’s volleyball and Berry’s best football season to date highlighted a strong fall semester for the college’s intercollegiate athletics program. Berry is currently second overall (first in the men’s standings) in the race for the Southern Athletic Association’s Presidents’ Trophy, recognizing excellence across all sports.

The women’s volleyball team enjoyed a banner season under eighth-year coach Mika Robinson, posting a 25-8 overall record and hosting an NCAA regional for the first time in program history. The Vikings advanced to the second round before losing in five sets to SAA rival Hendrix, an eventual national semifinalist. Robinson’s club was led by junior Jessica Gum and senior Katie O’Rourke, both honorable-mention All-America selections by the American Volleyball Coaches Association.

The football team also challenged for an NCAA playoff berth, battling into the final week of the regular season before falling just short of the automatic bid awarded to the SAA champion. Still, the Vikings finished with a 7-3 overall record that included a 4-1 mark at Valhalla, Berry’s new on-campus stadium for football, lacrosse, and track and field.

Other fall highlights included second-place conference finishes in men’s and women’s cross country and winning seasons in men’s and women’s soccer. Two members of the women’s soccer team, junior Maggie Midkiff and senior Becca Proschansky, were named Capital One Academic All-Americans by the College Sports Information Directors of America for their combined achievements on the playing field and in the classroom.

Visit www.berryvikings.com for complete coverage of Berry athletics.

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Brazil Tour 2015

From left, Mika Robinson, Hannah Kate Thompson and Caitlyn Jansen.

Mika Robinson set aside her duties as Berry women’s volleyball coach for a few days this summer to provide leadership for the USA D-3 volleyball team during its Brazil Tour 2015. The team – consisting of All-American, All-Region and All-Conference players from across NCAA Division III – played five matches in four different cities during the 10-day tour, concluding their visit in the shadow of the famed “Christ the Redeemer” statue in Rio de Janeiro. Also representing Berry were assistant coach Caitlyn Jansen (14G) and rising sophomore Hannah Kate Thompson.

Visit the Berry volleyball blog to read more about their experiences.

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Todd BrooksTodd Brooks has returned to Berry as athletic director after two years at Virginia’s Christopher Newport University. He succeeds Dr. Tom Hart, who stepped down in May.

“Todd Brooks’ return to Berry is our good fortune,” said Debbie Heida, vice president for student affairs and dean of students. “Todd helped build our current athletic program, and his experience at Christopher Newport enhances the work he will do in leading our program to greater heights. I am pleased to welcome Todd back to Berry and to Rome.”

Brooks’ previous tenure as Berry athletic director (1998 to 2013) was highlighted by significant growth for the program, including the addition of numerous sports, completion of the Steven J. Cage Athletic and Recreation Center, transition from NAIA to NCAA Division III, and creation of the Southern Athletic Association. Twice during that time he was named Athletic Director of the Year by the Southern States Athletic Conference. He is also a past recipient of Berry’s Martindale Award of Distinction, one of the college’s most prestigious faculty/staff honors.

Read more.

Photo by student Lauren Neumann

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Berry Equestrian ChampionsBerry’s equestrian program is once again tops in the nation, winning the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association’s western nationals for the second time in five years with help from individual championships by Amanda Petersen (intermediate horsemanship) and Mariel Wrench (novice horsemanship). The team championship was the seventh overall for Berry student-athletes.

Other spring highlights included a No. 4 national finish in men’s golf and a first-ever NCAA Division III national tournament appearance in women’s softball. Both teams won Southern Athletic Association tournament championships, with women’s softball setting a new benchmark for wins with 34 after placing second in the NCAA’s Atlanta Regional.

Visit www.berryvikings.com for complete coverage of Berry athletics.

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