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Mercer Sports: The Cluster Roundup

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Mercer Sports: The Cluster Roundup

Haley McDuffee plays against KSU.

Haley McDuffee plays against KSU.

Provided by Mercer Athletics.

Haley McDuffee plays against KSU.

Provided by Mercer Athletics.

Provided by Mercer Athletics.

Haley McDuffee plays against KSU.

Kyle Mullins, Sports Editor

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Men’s Soccer

The men’s soccer team fell in their first game to Georgia State 0-2 and their second match to the South Carolina Gamecocks 1-2.

On Sept.1, the team will be hosting the Big South/ Socon Challenge at Bear Field where they will play against teams like Gardner-Webb, Wofford and Winthrop.

Will Bagrou is the active career leader in the SoCon for points (63), goals (25) and game-winning goals while Jeremy Booth is currently the active career leader in the SoCon for wins (23), shutouts (14) and ranks second in career saves with 140.

Women’s Soccer

The women’s soccer team is hoping to recover from a shaky part of their season. In the Mercer Invitation, they played against Siena and Kennesaw State and fell to both teams 0-2. In their most recent match against Kennesaw, the team took 10 shots and 5 shots on goal, but they were unable to make anything fall into the net.

“It was another tough loss tonight, but I am very proud of how the team reached both games this past weekend when we were down at the half,” said Head Coach Tony Economopoulos in a Mercer Athletics press release. “We’ve just been a little bit unlucky in front of the goal but after 90 minutes on both Friday and Sunday, I felt we were the better side, we just couldn’t put away our chances. We are young which has its learning curve but I feel that this team is progressing in the right direction and believe the future will be very good.”

The team does however have a 2-2-0 record with two victories racked up in the beginning of the season against Troy and Montevallo.

The team will be travelling Sept. 1 to Milwaukee, Wisconsin for the Marquette Invitational. They will face Loyola Chicago University and Marquette University.

Women’s Volleyball

It’s been a couple of weeks of new adjustments for the Women’s Volleyball team. With a brand new coach, and a new roster of players to work with, the team is trying to find their rhythm in these first couple of matches.

The team went 1-2 in the Gamecock invitational in Columbia, South Carolina. They fell against South Carolina and North Florida, but managed to pull out a 3-1 set victory against Troy.

Emily Krogman and Paige Alsten both had impressive weekends, with Alsten managing to accumulate 34 kills in the team’s two Saturday matches.

“We had some very strong statistical individual showings this weekend but the best thing to come out of the weekend would be we started to see some desire to play ball in this system,” said Head Coach Derek Schroeder in a press release. “We had some offensive success, and that fed the fire to want more. I think that means next week in practice we should see a lot of growth.”

Cross Country

Both cross country team’s will open their seasons Sept. 1 at the Strut’s season opener at Jacksonville, Alabama.

Football

Mercer football kicks off their season Aug. 31 in their home season opener against Jacksonville. This will be the first opportunity for Mercer fans to see how this season’s roster handles the void left by the departure of a last year’s large senior class, including former Mercer quarterback John Russ who has been replaced by Kaelan Riley, a 6-foot-3, 222 pounds redshirt freshman.

Riley said he was prepared for this upcoming season knowing that Russ leaving would leave a vacancy. He described the assets he brings to the team that he thinks could help lead them to wins.

“I think I’m pretty tall and can see over the line maybe a little better than John could,” said Riley.  “Otherwise, I’m pretty coachable. I do what my coaches tell me to do, and I learn pretty quickly.”

Head Coach Bobby Lamb said he believes that the new roster shows promise for a successful season.

“It’s very exciting. You lose 30 seniors who were here when the program started and got us off the ground and laid the foundation, but we have a great new cluster from the team last year,” Lamb said. Every year is different, but our coaches have done a great job recruiting and filling our needs. We’re deep in a lot of positions which we haven’t been in the past. That’s the thing that excites us. If we do have an injury, we can plug someone else in and be ready to go.”

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