Tusculum finishes 5th for SAC Echols Athletic Excellence Award

Tusculum finishes 5th for SAC Echols Athletic Excellence Award

ROCK HILL, S.C. --- The Tusculum athletic department finished fifth in the 2018-2019 South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award standings announced league officials Thursday.

The Pioneers earned 1107.16 total points for the Echols Athletic Excellence Award which is presented annually to the member athletic department that earns the highest point total based on cumulative final standings in each of the conference's 20 intercollegiate sports.

Tusculum's finish is a two-position improvement from last year's seventh place showing.

Regular season finish is used in the sports of men's and women's soccer, volleyball, football, men's and women's basketball, men's and women's tennis, men's and women's lacrosse, baseball and softball while SAC Championship results are used for men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf and men's and women's indoor and outdoor track & field.

TU posted 10 top-five finishes this year including football, men's soccer, men's basketball, women's basketball, women's indoor track & field, men's tennis, women's tennis, baseball, men's outdoor track & field and women's outdoor track & field. 

The women's tennis team has a 17-3 overall record and went perfect 10-0 in conference play to capture the program's sixth SAC Championship.  The Pioneers finished runner-up in the SAC Tournament and are ranked 16th in the nation and third in the latest NCAA Division II Southeast Region poll.

Tusculum football (5-5, 4-3 SAC) finished tied for third in the league standings, its best showing since 2014.  The men's soccer team (13-7-1, 6-3-1 SAC) also had a third place finish and put together an outstanding postseason run, winning the SAC Tournament title for a record seventh time and advanced to the second round of the NCAA II Tournament.

The TU baseball team (30-21, 17-7 SAC) won seven of its eight SAC weekend series to tie for third place in the league.  Men's basketball (16-13, 12-8 SAC) posted a 10-win improvement and finished tied for fourth place, its best SAC performance since 2010-2011.  The Tusculum women's indoor track & field team also accounted for a fourth place finish, as did the TU men's tennis team (13-6, 7-3 SAC).

Tusculum was in seventh place in the Echols standings after the fall season with 314 points. TU climbed to sixth following the conclusion of basketball and indoor track & field.  The Pioneers made a huge push in the spring totaling 546.5 points to claim fifth place honors in the overall standings.

Wingate University won the Echols Award for a 13th consecutive year as the Bulldogs earned 1531 points.  Lenoir-Rhyne University was second with 1521 points, followed by Queens University of Charlotte (1443.5), Carson-Newman University (1162), Tusculum (1107.16), Lincoln Memorial University (1049.16), Anderson University (1001), Catawba College (985.5), Newberry College (770.65), Coker (629.5) and Mars Hill University (453.5).

The Echols Athletic Excellence Award is named in honor of SAC Hall of Famer Doug Echols, who served as the league's first commissioner from 1989-2008.

 

2018-2019 SAC Echols Athletic Excellence Award Standings

Rk

School

PTS

1

Wingate

1531.00

2

Lenoir-Rhyne

1521.00

3

Queens

1443.50

4

Carson-Newman

1162.00

5

TUSCULUM

1107.20

6

Lincoln Memorial

1049.20

7

Anderson

1001.00

8

Catawba

985.50

9

Newberry

770.66

10

Coker

629.50

11

Mars Hill

453.50