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Area briefs: Powers earns more honors

From staff reports
Catawba’s Melissa Powers was named the SAC Volleyball Player of the Year and the SAC Scholar Athlete.
Melissa Griffith joined Powers on the all-conference first team. Shay Meeks earned a spot on the SAC All-Freshman team.
Powers, a middle blocker, leads Catawba and the league by averaging 4.3 kills per set. She is an elementary education major with a 3.591 GPA who has been a four-year starter and a three-time All-SAC selection.
Griffith, a senior outside hitter, posted the second most kills for Catawba at 3.0 per set while also recording the second most digs per set at 3.2. Meeks, a middle blocker, is averaging 2.1 kills and 0.7 blocks per set.
Wingate’s Shelton Collier was named SAC Coach of the Year. Wingate’s Liz Willis was named SAC Freshman of the Year.
*Third-seeded Catawba (20-10) lost to No. 6 seed Lincoln Memorial 23-25, 25-15, 21-25, 25-21, 16-14 in the first round of the SAC tournament Thursday despite 24 kills by Powers.
Catawba, ranked third in the latest region poll, hopes to receive an at-large bid to the playoffs on Sunday.
In other first-round matches, Wingate beat Brevard 3-1, Newberry topped Tusculum 3-1 and Carson-Newman defeated Lenoir-Rhyne 3-1.
– Moss honored
Virginia State’s Ernest Moss (North Rowan) was named CIAA Coach of the Year for cross country.
He guided the Trojans to their second straight CIAA title and an appearance in the NCAA Atlantic Regional Meet. Moss was an assistant at Davidson before going to Virginia State.
– Pfeiffer hoops
Pfeiffer’s men’s basketball team will open the season in a tournament at Bowie State this weekend. It plays Columbia Union at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday and either Bowie State or Lincoln on Sunday.
“We have had a couple of rough outings in the preseason, but our guys are making progress,” Pfeiffer coach Dave Davis said. “We will get tested right away.”
Pfeiffer returns eight players from a 21-win team but will miss shooter Thomas Carr and defensive specialist Craig Thomas. Seniors Robert McGriff and Logan Call lead the returners.
McGriff shot 56 percent, averaged 12 points and made the All-Conference Carolinas team last season. Call averaged 13 points on 54-percent accuracy.
Other top returners include Chris Woods (who averaged 11 points and seven rebounds as a freshman), Derrick Truesdale, Alvin Slaton, Jeff Pettiway and Duke Johnson (who was injured last year). Mike Davidson, Brandon Fontes and Jamie D’Amaral could be factors.
Tall transfers Chris Donald, James Crowder and Athalie Rivera join the mix and make Pfeiffer much taller than usual.
More newcomers are Davon Gilliard, Eric Lowery (Davie), Lamar Bradbury, Corey Rase and Danny Cummins.
– Prep basketball
West Iredell quarterback Quan Rucker, a Shrine Bowl pick and a Wake Forest commitment, told the Statesville Record & Landmark he plans to play basketball this season. There had been talk that he would not.
Rucker has 994 career points.
– College signings
North Davidson lefty pitcherZach Joyce signed with Appalachian State in baseball.
* Celeste Caudill, a guard from Alleghany, signed with Pfeiffer.
* North Davidson softball stars Elisha Elliott and Tisha Mahon signed with North Carolina.

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