Wallace State volleyball coach Randy Daniel reached the 500-win mark over the weekend, and the 17th-ranked Lions clinched their 13th straight Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) regular-season title.
The Lions racked up five match wins in their annual Wallace State Bash and added a pair of conference wins at Southern Union on Sunday, improving to a perfect 27-0 overall and 12-0 in ACCC play.
Wallace State volleyball has thrived this spring after the season was pushed back to this semester because of COVID-19 precautions.
“Great leadership from your sophomores is always a key in junior college athletics. You have to depend on their experience. This team worked extremely hard in the fall to prepare for the spring season, just hoping we would get to play,” Daniel said. “I’m happy with their leadership and their ability to stay focused and disciplined on and off the court.”
Daniel became the program’s all-time winningest coach in 2013, and he continues to add to the win total. In his 14th season, Daniel maintains a 502-101 record with the Lions, leading Wallace State to 14 regular-season titles, 10 conference titles and 10 appearances at the NJCAA Division I National Championships.
Daniel, the 2019 ACCC Coach of the Year, has coached nine ACCC Player of the Years, 10 ACCC Tournament MVPs, one NJCAA first-team All-American, three NJCAA second-team All-Americans and seven NJCAA Honorable Mention All-Americans.
“We have to recruit players who want to work hard and love putting the Wallace State uniform on. Each volleyball team here gets compared to the ones in the past, and I think that’s the mark of a good program. My goal has always been to have this program competing for championships every year,” Daniel said.
Wallace State secured Daniel’s 500th career victory with 25-15, 25-9, 25-20 win over Itawamba Community College in the Bash finale.
Mattrice Harris had 10 kills and three blocks in the milestone win, Harlee Kate Reid finished with eight kills and five digs, and Tori Walker had nine digs and six kills. Savannah Rutledge collected 32 assists and eight digs, libero Temperance Chatman amassed 25 digs, Haven Hall and Anna Renshaw finished with six kills apiece, and Laci Reese had five kills.
On Sunday, the Lions swept Southern Union with wins of 25-18, 25-10, 25-8 and 25-6, 25-7 and 25-16.
Reid finished with 18 kills and 10 digs combined, Harris had 18 kills and four blocks, Walker had 23 digs and eight kills, and Renshaw accounted for 18 digs and 12 kills.
MacKenzie Davis finished with 40 assists combined, Courtney Patterson had 18 digs, Tobi Trotter had 17 digs, and Reese added 13 kills.
Harris leads the conference with 288 kills, and Reid is right behind her with 251 of her own. Rutledge is tops in the conference with 737 assists, and Chatman leads the ACCC with 455 digs.
Wallace State travels to Columbus, Miss., on Wednesday to play the Mississippi University for Women. The Lions will be the top seed during the ACCC Tournament, scheduled for April 1-3 at Wallace State.
Wallace State's women’s basketball team clinched a postseason berth with a 63-47 home victory over Gadsden State on Saturday, and the men capped the sweep with an 83-77 win, wrapping up division play for both squads.
Sophomore Jiselle Woodson tallied her first double-double of the season for the Lady Lions (8-6, 4-6 ACCC), finishing with 18 points and 10 rebounds. She was 6-for-10 from the field and hit three 3-pointers.
Freshman Kallie Allen finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for Wallace State, and Payton Golden had 11 points and seven rebounds. Olivia Howard contributed eight points and seven rebounds, and Gloria Pounders added seven points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Wallace State led 32-26 at halftime and pulled away in the second half, limiting Gadsden State to only one field goal and six points in the fourth quarter.
Wallace State’s men avenged a loss earlier in the week to Gadsden State behind Kuran Garner and Cole Maddox both surpassing the 20-point mark.
Garner finished with 26 points, five assists and four rebounds. The Huntsville native shot 50 percent from the field, including going 6-for-9 from 3-point territory. He was also perfect at the free throw line (6-for-6). Garner is sixth in the league and first on the team in scoring with 16.7 points per game.
Maddox, a Good Hope graduate, tied a career-high with 24 points, as the Lions (9-9, 7-7 ACCC) won their sixth game in seven tries.
Tyler Hutchieson scored 15 points for Wallace State, and Miguel Miranda had eight points and five rebounds off the bench.
Wallace State led 37-27 at the break.
Both Wallace State teams host Wallace Community College-Selma on Tuesday, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
Wallace State’s seventh-ranked softball team won a four-game set against Southern Union over the weekend, winning three games.
The Lions, who have won 20 of 21 games, opened the series with victories of 10-1 and 11-6 at home on Friday. They earned a 15-0 win at Wadley on Sunday before falling in the finale, 7-6.
Sophomore Brantly Bonds went 8-for-15 during the series with two homers, two doubles, five runs scored and eight RBIs, while freshman Jaiden Farnetti finished with seven hits, including a homer, four RBIs, five runs scored and four stolen bases.
Gracie Benton slugged two home runs among her six hits, finishing with eight RBIs and five runs scored, and Morgan White homered twice in the opener and had six RBIs throughout.
Maddie Cartron added five hits, including a double, and Kalli Cartee finished with five hits, including a homer and double, five RBIs and two stolen bases.
Sophomore Haylee Folds (9-1) picked up two wins during the series, allowing only one run over 9 1/3 innings. Raven Clark (5-1) notched a win in relief.
Wallace State’s baseball team split a four-game series against Southern Union, winning the first and third games of the series.
In the opening 6-4 win, Wallace State (12-14, 4-8 ACCC) rallied for five runs in the top of the seventh inning.
Colson Lawrence went 2-for-4 with a homer, two RBIs and two runs scored, Cooper Beck finished with a pair of hits, two go-ahead RBIs and a stolen base, and Ben Arnett had a pair of hits, a run scored and a stolen base.
Preston Moore doubled and had two RBIs, Mason Walker singled and scored, and David Rutledge added a single.
Trey Wright (1-3) was the winning pitcher in relief, yielding only two hits in 3 1/3 innings.
The Lions dropped the second game, 2-0.
Wallace State won Sunday’s opener, 7-1, behind a complete-game effort from lefty Jacob Smith (4-3). The sophomore from Calera scattered one run on three hits, striking out five.
Lawrence finished 2-for-4 with a double and run scored, and Rutledge was 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored.
Moore singled and had two RBIs, Parker Poteet added a double and an RBI, and Arnett had a single, an RBI and a run scored. Beck and Walker each scored a run, and Breydon Edmondson contributed an RBI.
In the series finale, an 8-4 loss, Lawrence homered for the second time in the series and finished with three RBIs.
Poteet had a double among his two hits, and Walker added a pair of singles, an RBI and a run scored.
Wallace State continues conference play at home on Thursday, welcoming Marion Military for a doubleheader, beginning at 2 p.m.