Tag Archives: volleyball

Haley Brown Celebrates in the PoolAngel Mason

MAKING A SPLASH: Angel Mason, at right, takes over a Berry athletic program that has had much to celebrate in recent years. Highlights in 2018-19 include a return trip to the NCAA Division III Swimming and Diving National Championships for senior Haley Brown (seen above in this photo by student Leigh Hadaway).

A former college athlete with 14 years of experience as a coach, administrator and NCAA Division III advocate has been chosen to lead Berry’s high-performing athletic department. Angel Mason will officially begin her service as director of athletics June 1, concluding a successful national search.

“Building on her experience as a player and coach, Angel has established a strong national reputation through administrative positions at top colleges across the country and in her leadership work with the NCAA,” President Steve Briggs said. “She is well-poised to help our program flourish.”

Mason currently serves as senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator at Pomona-Pitzer in California. At Berry, she will provide leadership for a program that has enjoyed tremendous success in the Southern Athletic Association and NCAA Division III. In 2017-18, Viking athletes won eight SAA team titles and qualified for nationals in 10 different sports. This academic year has produced additional SAA team championships in volleyball and football, six individual SAA crowns in swimming, seven conference wins in track and field, and national qualifiers in five sports (with more possible).

“I am excited to join a team of professionals that are focused on serving students first,” Mason said. “There is a bright future ahead for Vikings athletics, and I am honored to have the opportunity to grow with the athletic and greater campus community.”

Click here to learn more about Berry’s new director of athletics.

By student writer Kendall Aronson

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This buzzer-beating 3-pointer by senior Myles Moore lifted the Berry men’s basketball team to its sixth win in seven games to start the 2018-19 season. Commentary on the shot is provided by student Noah Syverson.

Another remarkable fall for Berry athletics is now giving way to a promising winter thanks to a blistering start in men’s basketball under first-year coach Mitch Cole. In opening the season 6-1 – Berry’s best start in men’s basketball since joining NCAA Division III – Cole’s Vikings are building on the momentum created by Southern Athletic Association championships and national tournament appearances in volleyball and football, winning seasons in men’s and women’s soccer, and a pair of national qualifiers in women’s cross country.

Berry volleyball once again had the home fans roaring, finishing with a sparkling 26-4 record highlighted by a second straight sweep of the SAA regular-season and tournament crowns. Leading the way was junior Carson VanCampen, who made history as the first Berry volleyball player to be named a first-team All-American. Emily Hancock and Laura Beier joined her as honorable-mention All-Americans, while Caitlyn Moriarty (14G) was regional Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season.

Berry players celebrate the courage of teammate Justus Edwards.

Berry players celebrate the courage of injured teammate Justus Edwards. Photo by student Leigh Hadaway.

In football, Berry continued its dominance of the SAA by winning its third straight conference championship. The Vikings finished 10-2 overall, including a perfect 6-0 record at Valhalla. The team now sports a 21-1 record in four seasons on the Williams Field turf, including two national playoff wins. Players this year drew strength from the courage shown by sophomore Justus Edwards after suffering a severe injury in September. Read more.

Women’s cross country also enjoyed a banner fall, advancing two runners to nationals. Junior Abby Carroll qualified for the second consecutive year, while Meredith Herman made her first appearance. Their subsequent placements at nationals were the best by Berry in the NCAA era. They also extended their team’s streak of sending at least one runner to nationals in each of the last three seasons.

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

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Friends Reunite at College Reunion Brunch.

Friends from the class of 1978 reunite during the college reunion brunch, held this year at the WinShape HUB on the mountain campus.

What do class reunions, carnival rides, cupcakes, football and soaring voices have in common? All were indispensable ingredients adding flavor to Mountain Day 2018!

Thousands of alumni, students, parents, faculty/staff and friends took this year’s theme of “Better Together” to heart by packing the world’s largest campus for the 104th edition of Berry’s one-of-a-kind homecoming celebration. Those who couldn’t make it back in person joined in the fun via social media thanks to a new tradition rooted in Mountain Day’s origins as a birthday celebration for Martha Berry herself.

Highlights included the Mountain Day Olympics – Friendship and Morgan/Deerfield claimed victory, for those keeping score at home – a glorious fall picnic and the Grand March of Students. Adding to the fun was the return of Mountain Day football, which drew a record crowd of more than 4,600 to Valhalla for another win by Berry’s nationally-ranked Vikings, and the annual Marthapalooza carnival. Campus visitors also got to enjoy two home volleyball matches (both wins!) and daily performances of Neil Simon’s Rumors by Berry’s student theatre company.

Sydney Adams (18C) and Lauren Richardson (18C) shared this Mountain Day selfie from Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany. "Cupcake for Martha" during Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Sydney Adams (18C), left, and Lauren Richardson (18C) shared this Mountain Day selfie from Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany.

Reunion events included a brunch at the WinShape HUB, a pregame tailgate for the “milestone” classes of 1978, 1993 and 2008, and an inspiring 60th anniversary concert by the Berry Singers at Ford Auditorium. There were also alumni games for returning student-athletes and special events honoring beloved faculty members, past and present.

New this year was “Cupcakes for Martha,” a tasty way to toast Martha’s birthday. Alumni and friends made short work of the 1,000 free cupcakes available on campus, while those checking in from the road were more than happy to provide their own sweet treats while sharing selfies from as far away as London and Munich. Search #cupcakesformartha on Instagram and Facebook to view some of the photos.

We’re grateful to everyone who took part in this year’s celebration, as well as Mountain Day sponsor Plainville Brick Company and other community partners for their role in helping to make the event a success. If you missed out, don’t worry – we’re already making plans for Mountain Day 2019!

Related: Photo gallery; Berry Singers concert coverage (with audio); choir photos; reunion photos

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Mountain Day BannerThere’s no denying that the very best Berry experiences are those that bring us together. That’s certainly true of Mountain Day! From the Mountain Day Olympics to the Grand March to the gifts of pennies students drop in the basket at the foot of Lavender Mountain, everything about this grand Berry tradition revolves around our powerful sense of togetherness.

Here’s a quick glimpse at some of the things we have planned for this year’s celebration, which is just a few weeks away. Visit berry.edu/mountainday for a complete schedule (be sure to note special dedications honoring legendary faculty members Dr. Ouida Word Dickey (50C) and the late Dr. Peter Lawler).

As you make your plans, we hope you’ll symbolically join our students in the Mountain Day tradition of giving – it is Martha’s birthday, after all – by supporting crowdfunding projects and other special initiatives. Watch for more information as the event date draws closer.

Reunion BrunchClass Reunions and Related Activities

High School/Academy Reunion Brunch (10 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Hill Dining Hall): Classes of 1973, 1978 and 1983. Registration is $15 for individuals, $25 for couples and $5 for children 6 to 16; cost covers brunch, Mountain Day T-shirt and admission to Saturday night football game. Coffee will be served at 9:30, brunch at 10:30. Register.

College Reunion Brunch (10:30 a.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, WinShape Hub): Classes of 19731978, 1983, 1988, 1993, 1998, 2003 and 2008. Registration details are same as above. Register.

Berry football team takes field at Valhalla. 2013C Reunion (Noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Schroeder’s Deli on Broad St.): Dutch treat; couple and individual price packages available for Mountain Day T-shirts and football tickets. Register.

Milestone Class Reunion Tailgate (3 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Dickey Field adjacent to Valhalla stadium) and Football Game (6 p.m. kickoff vs. Sewanee): Mountain Day football is back! While all alumni are invited to the game, members of our milestone reunion classes (1978, 1993 and 2008) also have the option of attending a free pregame tailgate. Game tickets can be obtained by registering for reunion events above or purchased separately for $6 apiece at berrygameday.com. A huge crowd is expected, so get your tickets early! RSVP.

Other Notable Events

Mountain Day Golf Scramble (Noon, Friday, Oct. 5, Stonebridge Golf Club): Registration is $95 per person. Contact Brian Farrer (02C) at 706-238-5904 for details. Register.

Carl Tallent

Carl Tallent (01C)

Berry College Theatre Company Presents Neil Simons’ Rumors (showtimes all three days at Sisters Theatre): Features scenic designs by Carl Tallent (01C). Tickets are $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and $6 for students. Call 706-236-2263 or visit berry.edu/bctc-tickets.

Examples of Al Christopher's Berry-inspired woodturnings.

Examples of Al Christopher’s Berry-inspired woodturnings.

From Tree to Treasure (10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 6, Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum): Don’t miss this exhibit showcasing the woodturning artistry of Al Christopher (61c). Admission is free.

Alumni Choir Concert (2 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7, Ford Auditorium): Alumni under the direction of guest conductors Ross Magoulas (FFS) and Harry Musselwhite (FFS) will lift their voices in celebration of the 60th anniversary of the Berry Singers, founded by Magoulas in 1958. A reunion lunch will be held at noon ($30 registration; $15 for each additional participant). Contact Dr. Paul Neal for more information. Register for lunch.

Special thanks to Plainville Brick Company for providing support for this year’s Mountain Day celebration. These longtime friends of Berry provided bricks for several campus buildings, so it’s only fitting that they now step forward as Mountain Day’s first community sponsor.

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SAA trophies won by Berry teams in 2017-18

Berry softball seniors

From left, softball seniors Kassie Howard, Brittany Tuttle, Kylie Aiken and Elisabeth Federici show off the eight SAA championship trophies (four regular season, four tournament) won in their four years at Berry.

Eight – that’s the number of conference championships won by Berry teams in 2017-18, a new high for the program in NCAA Division III. The number is even more impressive when you add the 10 individual titles won by student-athletes in women’s golf, swimming and diving, and track and field. It has been a spectacular year by any measure, with national qualifiers in 10 different sports: football, volleyball, cross country, men’s basketball, women’s swimming and diving, women’s track and field (indoor and outdoor), softball, women’s golf, and equestrian.

It would take a year’s worth of Alumni Accents to list all of the highlights produced by Berry student-athletes since our last issue, but we do want to give a virtual “high-five” to the softball team, which won its first NCAA regional championship en route to a sparkling 39-6 finish.

Kudos are also due women’s golf, which earned a top-10 finish in its NCAA national tournament debut, and equestrian, which posted five individual top-10 finishes at western nationals. In addition, Alainna Chretien (18C) capped a stellar track and field career by qualifying for NCAA outdoor nationals – a first for Berry – shattering the school record at 1,500 meters in the process.

Not to be forgotten is the SAA regular-season championship won by Berry’s baseball team, another first in the NCAA era. The Vikings came tantalizingly close to a national tournament bid of their own before closing the season with a 29-13 record.

Visit berryvikings.com for complete coverage of all Berry athletics, including the many individual accolades claimed by Berry student-athletes this spring.

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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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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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Berry Softball

A second consecutive Southern Athletic Association regular-season championship in women’s softball and David Beasley’s 500th win in 17 seasons as Berry baseball coach highlighted the spring sports season. The women’s softball team surpassed its single-season record for wins with 31 and advanced to the finals of the SAA postseason tournament before falling to Birmingham-Southern College. The baseball team set a record of its own with 29 wins, a new high for NCAA Division III. Other notable achievements included a 17-2 finish in women’s tennis and a trip to western nationals for the equestrian team.

Two Berry student-athletes have been invited to compete abroad this summer. Senior volleyball standout and honorable mention All-American Stephanie Quinn will tour Brazil as part of the USA DIII Women’s Volleyball Team, while senior Andrea Cole will take her softball talents to Australia for six games sponsored by USA Athletes International.

Spring also brought news that NCAA competition will come to Berry this fall in the form of the Nov. 15 Division III South/Southeast Regional cross country meet.

Photo courtesy of Lisa Jellum.

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Stephanie QuinnVolleyball player Stephanie Quinn made history this fall as the first Berry student-athlete to win National Player of the Week honors in NCAA Division III. A year after claiming MVP recognition in the inaugural Southern Athletic Association tournament, the senior setter and her high-flying teammates are once again on the championship trail, soaring to the top of the standings with an 11-1 conference record (18-5 overall). If you haven’t had the opportunity to cheer the Vikings in person, join us this Saturday, Oct. 26, as we celebrate 10 years of Berry volleyball with matches against Hendrix and Piedmont. The action gets under way at 1 p.m.

Visit www.berryvikings.com for complete coverage of all Berry athletics. Recent highlights include a national ranking in men’s golf, regional rankings in women’s soccer and men’s cross country, and notable academic recognition in softball. (Photo courtesy of Berry Sports Information.)

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