South Charlotte

Queens insider: Royals cross country teams picked to finish second in SAC

Queens University of Charlotte’s men’s and women’s cross country teams were picked to finish second in the South Atlantic Conference this season in a vote by the conference’s head coaches.

The Royals’ men finished just behind Mars Hill, while Queens’ women were second to Wingate in the voting.

Mars Hill gathered 10 first-place votes and 120 points overall, while Queens had two first-place votes and 112 points. Wingate’s women’s team was a unanimous pick with 11 first-place votes and 121 points, while the Royals got 110 points.

Last season, Queens’ first in the South Atlantic Conference, rising senior Felix Duchampt won the conference title while the Royals finished second overall to Mars Hill, which won its 17th consecutive team title.

Duchampt went on to finish 24th at the NCAA Division II national championship meet and earn All-American honors.

Anderson finished third in the men’s voting with 95 points, followed by Lincoln Memorial and Brevard (tied with 80 points each), Wingate (78), Lenoir-Rhyne (68), Carson-Newman (42), Tusculum (38), Coker (28), Catawba (27) and Newberry (24).

Wingate women’s cross country put five runners in the top 10 to win the South Atlantic Conference title last year, then won the NCAA D-II Southeast Regional and finished 26th at the D-II national championships.

Queens, which finished second at last year’s South Atlantic Conference championship meet, was trailed in the coaches’ voting by Mars Hill with 97 points and Anderson with 91.

Rounding out the poll was Lenoir-Rhyne (86 points), Brevard (69), Lincoln Memorial (59), Catawba (44), Carson-Newman (39), Tusculum (32), Coker (23) and Newberry (21).

Queens’ men’s and women’s cross country teams will open their 2014 season on Sept. 6 in the Royals Cross Country Twilight Challenge at Charlotte’s McAlpine Greenway Park. The South Atlantic Conference championships will be held Nov. 8 in Salisbury.

Royals ranked No. 22 in D-II preseason poll

Queens’ men’s soccer team, coming off one of its best seasons in program history, has been ranked 22nd in the nation among NCAA Division II schools in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America’s preseason poll.

The Royals were ranked as high as No. 11 last season during an 11-game winning streak, the third-longest in school history. They went on to finish 16-4 overall and win the South Atlantic Conference regular-season and conference tournament titles. Queens ended the season ranked No. 19 after losing in the second round of the NCAA D-II tournament.

“It is exciting to be in the national rankings to start our year,” Royals head coach Oliver Carias said in a prepared release. “However, every year is a new challenge and we are very excited to start our new journey in a couple weeks.”

Queens opens its 2014 season with back-to-back road games – Sept. 4 at Limestone and Sept. 7 at Mount Olive – before playing its first home game Sept. 10 against Francis Marion.

The Royals play their first South Atlantic Conference game Sept. 13, traveling to Tusculum.

Norwegian doubles title

Queens men’s tennis players Per-Erik Soler and Ole-Jacob Meum made it through both qualifying and the main draw to win the Norwegian doubles championship on Aug. 21.

Soler and Meum, both named to the All-South Atlantic Conference team last season as the Royals finished 13-6 (8-3 South Atlantic Conference), won two qualifying matches to advance to the 16-team main draw. Soler was a second-team pick, while Meum was named to the third team.

The duo, which had never played doubles together at Queens, then won three straight matches to advance to the finals, beating Oivind Alver and Frederick Schafer in a super tie-break after splitting the first two sets. Soler and Meum won 1-6, 6-3, 10-4.

“I am ecstatic about this result, but more proud of how hard PE and OJ have worked since joining the program to achieve this,” Queens head coach Brett Karpman said in a prepared release. “The grit they displayed to win this event is admirable and makes this feat even more memorable.”