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OPSU Aggie Update

Brock Kappelmann - November 11, 2019 7:18 am

Dave Beyer

GOODWELL, Okla. – On a day when the Oklahoma Panhandle State University community paid tribute to local first responders at its “Guns & Hoses” event, the football team saw its defense respond to Southwestern Assemblies of God University by pitching a 35-0 shutout at Anchor D Stadium. Before a crowd of 1,736 fans, the Aggies (3-6, 3-4 SAC) allowed just 270 offensive yards to the Lions.


(For the record, the Goodwell Police Department won the “Guns & Hoses” competition for the third-consecutive year. Chief Wes Gray accepted the perpetual trophy for his department in halftime ceremonies).


From the moment the game ball was helicoptered in by Apollo Med Flight until the final horn, OPSU’s defensive unit was on the spot. SAGU managed just 54 passing yards, as a trio of Lion quarterbacks were constantly harassed by the Panhandle stoppers to the tune of four sacks, 13 pass break-ups, two fumbles lost and a “pick-six” interception.


Senior all-American linebacker Diamante Pounds will probably by in SAGU’s nightmares for some time, after making 16 tackles, three for losses of six yards, a sack and a break-up. Pounds and the Aggies’ defense handed the Lions just their sixth shutout since 2004 and first since 2012.


Senior defensive end Jasper Smiley did a little bit of everything against the Lions. Smiley finished the game with five total tackles, 2.0 sacks, 3.0 tackles for losses of 23 yards, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.


On the offensive side of the ball, sophomore quarterback Tony Brown ran for three touchdowns of one yard each. Those all came after Brown had opened the scoring with a 79-yard pass-and-run to Seth Barbarino on the second play of the game.


Tony Brown finished to day with 94 rushing yards on 15 attempts. He completed 2-of-9 throws for 83 yards. OPSU threw the ball just 17 times in the game.


The Aggies held the 28-0 halftime advantage after the productive first half.


The final score of the day came in the third quarter, as SAGU signal-caller Brylen Harlen attempted a deep throw and Aggies’ defensive back Malik Brown timed his jump perfectly, cutting off the intended receiver, to pilfer the pass. Brown then returned the ball, weaving his way through would-be Lion tacklers, going the 60 yards for a score and a 35-0 Panhandle State lead.


Panhandle State will close out the 2019 season and first under Head Coach Bob Majeski – next Saturday, November 16 versus Lyon College from Batesville, Ark. Kickoff at Anchor D Stadium will be 2 p.m., with OPSU’s annual Chili Cook-off taking place from 12-2 p.m. during the tailgating.

GOODWELL, Okla. – Oklahoma Panhandle State University Volleyball ran into a buzz saw in its regular season finale, dropping a 3-0 decision to the NAIA’s No. 18-ranked team, Oklahoma City University. The Aggies (9-19, 6-14 SAC) lost to the Stars (30-1, 20-0 SAC) by set scores of 25-14, 25-12, 25-20 at Anchor D Arena.

In pre-game ceremonies, the OPSU team recognized Chair of Biology – Dr. Justin Collins – as its Honorary Coach, as a part of “Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day.”

Hannah Murray capped off a nice weekend of games with a nine-kill effort against OCU. Murray also had 13 digs and hit .179 for the match. She had a total 20 kills in the two matches over the weekend.

Senior Ruth Ard had four kills and four blocks in her final home-court appearance as an Aggie. Richelle Carroll chipped in three kills, while Skylar Cleavinger and Mia Moore each had a pair of kills.

Setter Keeley Johnston had 20 assists, 10 digs and two blocks. Libero Ashley Sanchez had 11 digs. Sanchez also had Panhandle Sate’s lone service ace of the match.

The Aggies will get another crack at Oklahoma City this coming Tuesday (Nov. 12) in the OKC, in the opening round of the SAC volleyball tournament. Panhandle will be the No. 8 seed and the Stars the No. 1 seed.

Cross country caps 2019 at SAC championships; Glover runs to All-SAC honors

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. – Oklahoma Panhandle State University’s young cross country teams closed the books on a very successful 2019 season at the Sooner Athletic Conference championships. The Aggie women placed fifth in the tough league race, with the men finishing seventh, on the Woodson Park course.

The highlight of the day for OPSU was, without a doubt, sophomore Shayna Glover – from Goodwell – finishing 11th in the women’s 5K race to earn All-SAC accolades. Glover covered the course in a season-best time of 20:16.5 minutes, to become the first OPSU female runner in at least two decades to earn an all-conference award in cross country.

Fellow sophomore Vanessa Gonzalez also earned top-25 finish, crossing the line in 21st place (21:40.9). Aggie teammates Gabrielle Ramos and Anahy Castro hit the tape back-to-back in 30th and 31st, respectively. Ramos’ time was 22:41.6 and Castro’s 22:45.0 minutes.

Sarai Ortega ran a 23:59.8 to place 37th and Emily Westeman a 25:17.2, good for 41st, to round out the Panhandle women’s runners.

In the men’s 8K event, OPSU freshman Justin Duran completed his “season sweep” of leading the Aggies in every race by coming in 36th at the SAC championships. Duran posted a time of 28:50.5 minutes.

Sophomore Baruc Ortega was the second Panhandle State runner to finish at 31:23.1, good for 50th. OPSU men occupied the 56-58 spots with Daniel Gaytan (33:56.6), David Gaytan (35:15.1) and Jovanny Rodriguez (35:44.7). Asher Kraft capped the OPSU men’s runners.

“I was very proud of our performance as a team,” Panhandle Head Coach Denise Levine said. “As for Shayna, she was a different kind of focused today. She was determined and ready and it showed in her race. I am super proud of my whole team, and their commitment this season.”


CHICKASHA, Okla. – An incredible inaugural men’s soccer season for Oklahoma Panhandle State University came to an end on Friday, as OPSU lost in the opening round of the Sooner Athletic Conference post-season tournament to No. 3-seed University of Science and Arts-Oklahoma. The Aggies finished the season 9-6-2 overall, after dropping the 2-1 overtime decision to the Drovers (12-5-1) at McLaughlin Field.

Panhandle State – which defeated USAO in the regular season, 3-2 – gave the Drovers’ side all it wanted on its home pitch. The teams went into the halftime locker room, knotted at 0-0, thanks to five saves by Aggie goaltender Cristhofer Monje in the segment.

Monje was equally effective in the second half. Monje registered nine saves in the final 45 minutes of regulation – including stopping a penalty kick attempt – to keep his team in control.

Panhandle broke the deadlock in the 50th minute of play, as Cheslon Carrolisen tallied his team-leading 13th goal of the season to make it 1-0, besting Drover net-minder Daniel Merkel. OPSU made that lead stand up for the next 27 minutes of the match.

That’s when USAO got the equalizer. With a two-on-one advantage, the Drovers’ Abdel Nait-Zerrad sent a ball from the left side to the front of the Aggie net and found teammate Devon Charles charging hard to direct the ball past a diving Monje to make it 1-1. That score stood for the balance of regulation.

Just 1:38 minutes into overtime, USAO ended the Aggies’ season with its second consecutive goal scored, this one by Telmo Lertxundi.

Monje finished the night with 14 total saves, as USAO took 30 total shots and 16 on-goal. The Aggies had eight shots, overall, with six directly on-frame for the match.

Carollisen had two shots, both on-goal. Allan Gamboa had three attempts, with two saved.

“While I’m gutted that the season has come to an end in such a cruel way, I’m very proud of this young group for all they have accomplished in such a short amount of time,” Panhandle Head Coach Brandon Misuraca said.


GOODWELL, Okla. – After dropping the first two sets of the evening, the Oklahoma Panhandle State Volleyball team saw its comeback bid fall short, losing the home Sooner Athletic Conference contest to Southwestern Christian University, 3-0. The Aggies (9-18, 6-13 SAC) fell to the Eagles (14-13, 9-10 SAC) by set scores of 25-21, 25-15, 23-25, 25-20 at Anchor D Arena.

With its back to the proverbial wall after losing the first two sets, Panhandle battled back in the third. In the two opening sets, the Aggies led early and saw SCU comeback for the win. However, in the third, the tables were turned as OPSU took the lead at 7-6 and saw that increase to 9-6 on three-straight winning serves by Katelyn Faulk. Sydnee Saunders also strung together three-consecutive winning serves as Panhandle surged out to its largest advantage, 18-3. The Eagles clawed back to within a single point, before a well-timed service ace by Keeley Johnston put the set in the Aggie column.

In the fourth set, SCU took the lead at 2-1 and never trailed as it closed out the match.

Saunders led the Panhandle State attack with 12 kills and a .212 hitting percentage for the night. She also had five digs and one ace to her ledger.

Hannah Murray was close behind with 11 kills. Murray boasted a team-best 21 digs, to go along with a pair of assisted blocks.

Seniors Ruth Ard and Kendra Butler – who were both honored in pre-game ceremonies – contributed eight and seven kills, respectively. Ard also got it done on defense, with six blocks, while Butler added two blocks.

Johnston had a match-leading total of 40 assists, along with 19 digs and two blocks. Richelle Carroll had six kills and seven digs, while libero Ashley Sanchez made 16 digs in the back row.

The Aggies will close out the regular season at home on Saturday (Nov. 9/1 p.m.) versus Oklahoma City University, the No. 18-ranked team in the nation for the NAIA.







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