MSU Athletics

MSU Athletics

Freshman Farah Abdulkarim finished 22nd out of 228 runners on the men's side, and senior Alex Morris led the Morehead State women Saturday as both cross country teams competed at the Vanderbilt Commodore Classic at Percy Warner Park in Nashville.

"Both teams raced in the pouring rain, which made the course much more challenging," said head coach Stephen Picucci. "They both ran tough in a very strong field."

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Senior quarterback Austin Gahafer threw for 258 yards and three touchdowns as Morehead State football rolled past Linoln (Pa.) during family weekend, 56-6, Saturday at Jayne Stadium.

With the win, the Eagles improved their record to 1-2 on the young season.

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The Morehead State volleyball team (3-5) defeated Appalachian State (2-5) in five sets on Friday at Wetherby Gym in the first match of the Eagle Challenge.

The Eagles dropped the first set to the Mountaineers, but took the second and third sets. The match was forced into a fifth set after Appalachian State won the fourth, where Morehead State closed out the contest on a 9-2 scoring run. The Eagles won 21-25, 26-24, 27-25, 19-25, 15-11.

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In its second double-overtime contest of the weekend, Morehead State (2-2-1) played Chattanooga (1-3-1) to a 0-0 tie.

"We just fought and played for another 110 minutes," head coach Warren Lipka said. "That's our first shutout of the year, I'm proud of that."

Eagles goalkeeper Caitlynn Mason recorded her third start of the season, where she garnered five saves off 17 Chattanooga shot attempts. She now leads Morehead State with 14 saves on the season, in addition to this afternoon's shutout.

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Morehead State senior slot receiver Jake Raymond became the program's career leader in receptions Saturday night in the season opener at James Madison as the Dukes used a high-powered rushing attack to defeat MSU 80-7 at Bridgeforth Stadium.

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Morehead State volleyball jumped out to a two-set lead, but failed to convert two set points in the third and eventually fell to West Virginia in five sets on Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Eagles move to 2-4 on the young season.

"I was pleased with the way we came into the match this morning. We were focused and deliberate with our play," said head coach Jaime Gordon. "We led in most major statistical categories, but let a couple of match point opportunities slip past us."

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The Morehead State cross country teams each fared well in the 2016 season opener Friday night as the program hosted the Eagle Opener 5K races at the former Sunnybrook Golf Course.

The men finished second, highlighted by an overall second-place showing from freshman Farah Abdulkarim. The women came in third place.

Abdulkarim, who enrolled last spring and ran track, crossed the line in 15:46.3, just five ticks behind individual winner Fredrick Kanda of Eastern Kentucky.

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The Morehead State soccer team earned its first victory of the 2016 season with a 2-1 win at Bowling Green on Thursday.

"Great win against a quality team on the road," said head coach Warren Lipka. "I am really proud of how this team has responded after our first two matches."

Freshman goalkeeper Eva Ýr Helgadóttir recorded her first career start, following sophomore Michelle Washburn's 11-save performance at Illinois last week. Helgadóttir notched six saves off 20 shots.

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Morehead State has finalized its 2016-17 men's basketball schedule.

The 30-game slate features 15 home games, highlighted by contests at Johnson Arena against OVC foes Belmont on Jan. 14, Eastern Kentucky on Jan. 21, and Murray State on Feb. 8. The Eagles will travel to ACC member Pittsburgh on Nov. 25, Big Ten member Purdue on Dec. 3, and SEC member Mississippi State on Dec. 22.

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The 2016-17 edition of the Morehead State women's basketball schedule is complete.

Though game times have yet to be finalized, each of the Eagles' 30 regular season opponents have been slated on the calendar.

Morehead State will warm up with an exhibition contest with Transylvania (Ky.) on Nov. 3, but officially tip off the season with the Donna Murphy Classic, beginning Friday, Nov. 11 at Johnson Arena.

"We know it's going to be a very challenging schedule, a very challenging season," said head coach Greg Todd. "We look forward to the challenges."

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Morehead State athletics has announced that it will release a limited-edition Phil Simms bobblehead, presented by Pepsi. Simms, a two-time Super Bowl champion and NFL Hall of Famer, played for Morehead State from 1974-1978, and his No. 12 is retired.

"We are proud to offer the Phil Simms bobblehead for football season ticket holders," said Assistant Athletic Director for External Affairs Brad Smith. "We encourage our alumni, fans and families to purchase football season tickets and support our wonderful students."

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Despite a career effort from sophomore goalkeeper Michelle Washburn and a strong showing by the Eagles defense, the Morehead State soccer team fell to Illinois by a score of 2-0.The final goal did not come until the game's 86th minute.

"We had a couple of late chances," head coach Warren Lipka said. "It showed our girls didn't quit."

Washburn did not disappoint after earning the starting nod to kick off the 2016 season. The Georgetown, Ky. native notched a career-high 11 saves after recording just 19 over six games as a freshman.

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Morehead State earned one first-place vote and has been picked sixth in the 2016 Ohio Valley Conference preseason poll, as voted on by the league's head coaches and sports information directors. The Eagles earned 134 points, just 16 points shy of second-place Southeast Missouri.

Murray State, who won its second OVC Tournament title last year, was picked first and received 18 of the 22 first place votes and 198 points. Southeast Missouri earned 150 points for a second-place finish.

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Morehead State will honor the achievements of former football standout Howard Murphy by retiring his jersey and hosting a dinner in his honor on the weekend of Sept. 9-10.

The dinner, which is free, will be held on Friday, Sept. 9 at the Morehead Conference Center from 5-7 p.m. All former football athletes and their families, especially those from the 1959-62 teams, are invited to attend as well as all community members wishing to share in this event.

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Following the program's best conference finish in the previous 10 seasons, the Morehead State football program continues to be favored as one of the Pioneer Football League's upper echelon teams.

In a poll of the league's head coaches, the Eagles have been tabbed for fourth in 2016.

The Eagles finished 7-4 and 6-2 in the league in 2015, narrowly missing first place and a berth in the FCS playoffs by just one loss. Morehead State returns five primary starters on both sides of the ball. The Preseason PFL Teams will be announced Tuesday.

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When he's not tied up with duties as the Morehead State head football coach, Rob Tenyer does his best to promote a cause close to his heart.

Organ donation.

This fall, for the fourth season in a row, MSU will have a game-day event to promote that effort and Kentucky Organ Donor Affiliates. KODA, as it is known, was formed in 1987 and is dedicated to saving lives through organ and tissue donation and transplantation. In addition to Kentucky, KODA serves parts of Indiana and West Virginia.

The date for this year's MSU game-day event has not yet been set.

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Former Morehead State women's basketball standout Almesha Jones has signed a contract to play for the Peli-Karhut professional club in Kotka, Finland.

Peli-Karhut competes at the highlest level in the Finnish Championship circuit. Kotka, with a population of 54,525 in 2015, is located in the southeast corner of the country on the Gulf of Finland. It is situated one hour and thirty minutes from the capital of Helsinki. Ironically for Jones, the word Kotka is translated as "Eagle" from Finnish to English.

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He is Morehead State's Man With the Golden Voice.

Actually, a Blue and Golden Voice.

When the 2016-17 school year begins, Chuck Mraz will start his 28th season of play-by-play calls for the MSU football and men's basketball teams.

His work is widely respected in the profession.

In May, he received the East Kentucky Leadership Conference award for Media and Technology. That came on the heels of his third Associated Press play-by-play award, a "Best in State" honor for long newscast and a third-place prize for sports reporting.

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The Morehead State baseball team was held off the scoreboard Friday and bowed out of the 2016 OVC Tournament with a 3-0 setback to top-seeded Southeast Missouri in the afternoon and an 8-0 decision to sixth-seeded Belmont in the nightcap.

The Eagles end their season at 32-27, but despite the losses, the program still finished with 70 wins in the last two seasons.

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Freshman Reid Leonard's single in the bottom of the 12th inning brought home pinch runner Jake Hammon, and the Morehead State baseball team survived two rain delays and more than eight hours of action Wednesday night to defeat Tennessee Tech 3-2 in the opening round of the Ohio Valley Conference Tournament.

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While most collegiate football players will be hard at off-season conditioning in June, Morehead State kicker Pat DiSalvio will be undergoing the ultimate preparation for next season.

DiSalvio is part of Team USA, which will compete June 1-11 in the second World University Championship at Monterrey, Mexico.

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The Morehead State men's and women's track programs completed their 2016 season this weekend at the Ohio Valley Conference Championships.

Senior Desmond Bell closed out a five-year span in blue and gold by taking second place in the 800-meter run. In a close battle to the finish, he finished in 1:50.98.

Senior Jorge Gil-Juarez also finished his career by nearly setting an MSU record in the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Gil-Juarez crossed the finish line in fourth place with a time of 9:14.05, less than a second off the school mark.

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The Morehead State women's golf team finished in fourth place at the 2016 Ohio Valley Conference Women's Championship. The Eagles have now finished fifth or better in each of the past eight years, since the program was reestablished in 2008. Seven times they have finished fourth or better and they won the OVC Championship in 2011.

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Morehead State senior right-hander Matt Anderson has been named to the watch list for National Pitcher of the Year. The award is presented by the National College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Anderson hails from McDonough, Ga. The award, sponsored by Diamond, will be presented on July 2 in Lubbock, Texas, as part of the annual Night of Champions event.

Anderson ranks in the top 10 nationally in strikeouts (78) and strikeouts per nine innings (14). He ranks second in the OVC in Ks, only one behind Southeast Missouri's Joey Lucchesi, who is also on the watch list.

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Sophomore Lawrence Jones ran for three touchdowns and sophomore Brent Holman added two as Morehead State's Offense edged the Defense 37-33 in its annual Spring Game, presented by U.S. Bank, Saturday night at Jayne Stadium.

Sophomore Braylyn Cook sparkled on defense with a pair of interceptions and blocking a kick. He also broke up three passes and made two tackles.

"Pretty good," Eagles Coach Rob Tenyer said. "I thought it was a clean game. You know, we had a few offsides, stuff like that, but I felt like the kids played hard.

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Another strong pitching performance, coupled with just the right amount of offense, led the Morehead State baseball team to a 3-2 series-clinching win at Xavier Sunday.

MSU, which won 3-1 in the second contest Saturday, improved to 19-13. The Musketeers fell to 11-21. The teams were meeting for the first time since the 1995 season.

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Morehead State Head Football Coach Rob Tenyer called Saturday's second spring scrimmage "the most fight he has seen in a long time in a scrimmage" as the Eagle football team worked out at Jayne Stadium.

The defense created three turnovers, including an interception return for a touchdown, and also had a safety, while the offense generated three passing touchdowns.

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Sophomore lefthander Aaron Leasher and senior righty Tyler Keele combined for 17 strikeouts, including each fanning six straight at different points of the game Saturday, as the Morehead State baseball team evened its series with Xavier with a 3-1 victory. The Musketeers claimed the opener 7-1 in a game resumed from Friday.

Morehead State moved to 18-13 on the year, while Xavier sits at 11-20.

"We couldn't have pitched it better than we did with Aaron and Tyler," said Head Coach Mike McGuire.

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Morehead State freshmen track and field athletes Justin Moakler and Lauren Best led their respective teams and turned in top-three efforts this weekend as the teams participated in the Bellarmine Invitational.

Moakler finished second in the 800-meter run Friday, crossing the line in 1:54.80. Best clocked the third fastest time among the 29 runners in the 1,500-meter event Saturday. Her time was 4:55.61.

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Morehead State overcame a 13-point second half deficit to force overtime, but Xavier Moon's half court heave as time expired went in-and-out as the Eagles fell 85-82 at Nevada in the decisive game three of the CBI Finals on Friday night.

With the loss, Morehead State concludes the season at 23-14, marking the most wins for the Eagles since they went 25-10 in 2010-11.