Last year, the first playing in the South Atlantic Conference, Queens University of Charlotte men’s and women’s lacrosse teams swept the league’s regular-season and tournament championships.
With the start of the 2015 season just a week away, the Royals have been picked to repeat as champions in a vote of the conference’s head coaches.
Queens’ men’s and women’s teams both received eight of nine possible first-place votes and 72 points total in the voting, announced by league officials Jan. 27.
In addition, the Royals dominated the SAC’s preseason all-conference teams with 16 players picked, including 13 named to the first team.
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Junior attacker Garrett Chan, last year’s SAC Player of the Year, led Queens’ contingent on the league’s preseason all-conference team. He was joined on the first team by six other Royals: senior attacker Casey Hock, senior midfielder Evan Farkas, senior midfielder Tim Cloud, senior defender Patrick Thomas, senior faceoff specialist Kenneth Stryker and junior goalkeeper Eric Dolan.
On the women’s side, senior attacker Jena Ready – who shared SAC Player of the Year honors – was one of nine Queens players named to the preseason all-conference first team.
Ready was joined on the first team by sophomore attacker Abigail Paulus, sophomore midfielder Kelly Dowd, junior midfielder Brittany Larranaga, sophomore defender Aarika Kaester, and junior defender Bridgette Larranaga.
Three others – junior attacker Maggie Masters, junior defender Sydney Dishman and senior goalkeeper Danielle Horoschak – were picked for the second team.
Lenoir-Rhyne, which finished second to Queens in both the men’s and women’s regular season and tournament, was also second in preseason voting. The Bears got the remaining first-place vote in both men’s and women’s voting; their men finished with 64 points total, their women with 65.
Mars Hill finished third in men’s voting with 55 points, followed by Wingate (48), Coker (46), Catawba (42), Tusculum (28), Brevard (25) and Lincoln Memorial (16).
In women’s voting, Newberry was third with 55 points, followed by Catawba (53), Wingate (42), Coker (36), Tusculum (25), Brevard (24) and Lincoln Memorial (23).
Queens’ men – ranked ninth in the nation in the Nike/Lacrosse Magazine NCAA Division II preseason poll, and 10th in the U.S. Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association preseason poll – opens its season on Feb. 7 against fourth-ranked Tampa in Marietta, Ga.
The Royals’ women open their season on Feb. 11 against 10th-ranked Pfeiffer at the Queens Sports Complex.
Royals sign 1st triathlete
Queens’ fledgling triathlon program, which begins active competition in the fall of 2015, signed its first triathlete, East Mecklenburg High’s Andrew Fairman, last week.
The Royals, who announced the creation of the club-level triathlon program in October, is being led by veteran coach Sonni Dyer, who has coached triathletes for 15 years and is a former regional athlete development coordinator for USA Triathlon.
Fairman ran cross country and track at East Meck as a freshman and sophomore before focusing more on triathlons – he finished in the top 10 in all six events he’s entered – and his strongest event, cycling.
Fairman finished 62nd at last year’s Junior Nationals Criterium in Madison, Wis., and finished fourth in men’s Category 3 at the 2014 Giordana Crossroads Classic, a six-day, five-town series of races held in Mocksville, Concord, Salisbury, Statesville and Asheboro.