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Daily Bears Report 11/10

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Baylor golfers sweep conference monthly awards. Baylor sports recruiting & signings. Men’s basketball flying under the radar. Volleyball falls in Austin.

NCAA Basketball: Big 12 Media Day
Coach Scott Drew
Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

Today’s Events

Tennis

Three days after defeating a pair of seeded players at the USTA/ITA Intercollegiate National Championship in New York, Baylor senior Blair Shankle fell in main draw singles action of the Bush’s $50,000 Waco Showdown Wednesday night. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Shankle, who won the Bush’s $50,000 Waco Showdown Wildcard to compete in the tournament, dropped a two-set match, 6-3, 6-3, to No. 7 seed Sachia Vickery. The loss ends her run in the tournament, which continues until Sunday at Hurd Tennis Center.

Shankle, the 54th-ranked collegiate player in the country, compiled a 10-2 singles record and 7-2 doubles record with sophomore teammate Elizabeth Profit this fall. The Dallas, Texas, native played her way to three titles, winning the Bush’s $50,000 Waco Showdown Wildcard (singles) and the ITA Texas Regional Championship Presented by Oracle (singles and doubles).

The Baylor women’s tennis program kicks off the regular season at the National Collegiate Tennis Classic on Jan. 13-16 in Palm Springs, California.

"Jazzi is a very focused and determined young lady,” Scrivano said. “She is extremely committed and dedicated to her craft. Jazzi is known for playing with a lot of heart and truly competes on the court. She really loves the team aspect of college tennis, and some of her best international success has come from representing Great Britain in junior team events. We are excited to have her join our team and know that she will make a positive impact immediately."

Plews hails from Beverley, United Kingdom and is ranked No. 91 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF). As a representative of Great Britain, she has played singles and doubles in every match at World Team Championship Finals. Plews secured a Great Britain European Championship and a runner-up result in World Championship play. (Baylor Bears dot com has more details about Jazzi.)

Equestrian

Green picked up the first conference honors of the season for the BU squad, marking the first career Big 12 monthly award for the Desert Hot Springs, Calif., native.

The 2015-16 All-American is off to another strong start in the 16-17 season, posting a 2-0 record in horsemanship in the month’s contests.

Scoring a 76 in the Bears’ win over SMU, Green posted the team’s second-highest score in horsemanship this season, earning the junior her first Most Outstanding Performer (MOP) honor of the 2016-17 season.

Green and the Bears finish off the fall schedule with two meets, running Nov. 11-12. Baylor hosts Delaware State on Friday and TCU on Saturday, with competition beginning at 10 a.m. both days.

Volleyball

Golf

  • Baylor golfers swept the Big 12 Conference Golfer of the Month awards for the first time in program history, the league office announced Wednesday. From Baylor Bears dot com.

Matthew Perrine was named October Men’s Golfer of the Month, and Amy Lee was honored as October Women’s Golfer of the Month, giving both their career-first honors.

Perrine, a junior from Austin, Texas, is the sixth Baylor men’s golfer to earn the Big 12 monthly award and the first since Kyle Jones in February 2015. Lee, a junior from Orange County, Calif., is the ninth BU women’s golfer to pick up the honor and the first since Lauren Taylor in April 2013.

Perrine helped Baylor to a tournament title at the 11-team Royal Oaks Intercollegiate and a third-place finish at the 12-team Jerry Pate National Intercollegiate. He finished in fourth place individually at Jerry Pate, which was his best collegiate finish until he topped that by sharing the individual title with teammate Braden Bailey at Royal Oaks.

He shot 72 or better in all six rounds, including five rounds below 70, to post a 68.33 stroke average for the month. The Bears recorded a 19-2 record for the month to improve to 38-12 on the season and climb to a season-best No. 7 national ranking.

“Matthew has impressed me with his resilience,” men’s golf head coach Mike McGraw said. “He played two terrific events and has been a leader in every respect.”

Lee, who is in her first season at Baylor after transferring from USC, helped the BU women’s team to a tournament title at the 19-team Las Vegas Collegiate Showdown and a fourth-place finish at the 14-team Betsy Rawls Longhorn Invitational. She finished tied for fifth place in a 75-player field at the Longhorn Invitational and followed that up by winning her career-first individual title over a 105-player field in Las Vegas. Lee won medalist honors by making birdie on her final two holes in the final round, turning a one-stroke deficit into a one-stroke lead.

She wrapped up the fall season with four top-10 finishes in five tournaments played, including top-five finishes in each of her last three events. Lee posted a 69.80 strokes average for the month and helped the Bears climb to a season-best No. 21 national ranking. BU went 28-3 in the month of October and now sits at 58-14-1 on the season.

“I’m very proud of Amy and how she has adapted to her new team here at Baylor,” women’s golf head coach Jay Goble said. “She’s a great golfer, and I believe this is just the first of many great things to come for her.”

Both teams have concluded their fall seasons. Women’s golf returns to action on Feb. 14 at the Lady Puerto Rico Classic in Rio Grande, P.R, and the men’s team resumes on Feb. 17 at the All-American in Humble, Texas.

Kyle Fuller on Why He Chose Baylor

Lady Bears Basketball 2017 Recruiting

  • Baylor's 2017 recruiting class is recognized as one of the best in the nation, earning the No. 1 ranking by Prospects Nation for the second-straight season and a No. 4 rating by ESPN HoopGurlz. Our Daily bears has the story here.

2018 Softball Recruiting

  • The Baylor softball squad signed four student-athletes to national letters of intent for the 2018 class, announced by head coach Glenn Moore on Wednesday. From Baylor Bears dot com.

The Lady Bears add two Texans, one Californian, and a South Dakota native, rounding out a deep class that will start at Baylor in the fall of 2017 and hit the field for the 2018 season.

“This is a very diverse class with quality athletes who are better people than softball players, and they can play some softball,” said Moore. “I think this class has a very high ceiling and will train themselves into being great Division I-level players. I’m extremely proud of the work my staff did that resulted in this great product.”

Alyssa Avalos

OF, Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., St. Lucy’s Priory High School, Orange County Batbusters

Alyssa Avalos signed with the Lady Bears out of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., and St. Lucy’s Priory High School. Avalos will provide instant depth in the outfield, showing flash with her bat as a slapper.

Avalos played her club ball with the prestigious OC Batbusters organization, earning numerous accolades for her work both on the field and in the classroom.

"You can’t prepare any better than being trained in the Orange County Batbusters organization on the West Coast. She has faced the best and has developed into a very good athlete. Playing primarily centerfield, she will give us depth early and make those around her work extremely hard. She is another threat on the bases with her speed and knowledge."

Lexi Koltz

P, Sioux Falls, S.D., Roosevelt High School, Sioux Falls Diamonds

Lexi Koltz signed with Baylor out of Sioux Falls, S.D. and Roosevelt High School. She is a right-handed pitcher who played club ball with the Sioux Falls Diamonds club organization.

Koltz has dominated throughout her high school career, leading Roosevelt to three-straight state championships and snapping the South Dakota strikeout record, cruising to an undefeated season.

"Lexi is arguably the best pitcher to ever come out of the state of South Dakota,” said Moore. “Not many athletes can claim a state championship and she has three for Roosevelt High School in Sioux Falls. Talent is only part of the reason for her success, as Lexi is extremely disciplined and works relentlessly to be the best she can be."

Hannah Smith

OF/IF, Nederland, Texas, Nederland High School, GT Shockers

Hannah Smith signed with BU out of Nederland, Texas and Nederland High School. She carries experience in both the infield and outfield, and played her club ball with the GT Shockers club organizations.

Smith has booked a highly successful career at Nederland, posting a .413 batting average and .448 on base percentage, helping lead her squad to two district co-championship titles.

"Another dynamic athlete,” said Moore. “Hannah has been well trained in a great program and although she plays exceptional defense, she will be most impressive at the plate. I love her aggressiveness offensively, in the box and on the bases."

Hannah Thompson

Catcher, Dickinson, Texas, Dickinson, Texas, Aces Express

Hannah Thompson signed with the Lady Bears out of Dickinson, Texas and Dickinson High School. She is a power-hitting catcher, playing her club ball with the Aces Express club organization.

Thompson carries a long list of accolades, both on and off the field, leading her 24-6A district in both batting average and homeruns. In club ball, she helped the Aces Express clinch a Triple Crown national title.

“Hannah will add much needed depth behind the plate,” said Moore. “She is a natural leader, a quality needed in the bullpen and on the field. I really like her bat as well, as she will be charged to keep our homerun totals up.”

Last offseason, the Bears added four players on signing day, all from the Lone Star State. Those four are set to make their debuts this spring with the Baylor squad. The Bears are coming off a 45-14 season in 2016, qualifying for a program-record sixth-straight NCAA tournament.

Football Recruiting

  • The college football season lasts around five months, but the recruiting season seemingly never ends. It’s a year-round pursuit for coaches.Except at Baylor — where the recruiting clock has essentially stopped. From BearsExtra.

With the coaching situation in flux — athletic director Mack Rhoades is expected to name a permanent head football coach at the completion of the regular season — the program’s recruiting momentum has decelerated to a standstill. Baylor has two commitments for its 2017 class; at this same point last year it had 16.

“I do think that recruiting is basically on hold right now,” Baylor’s acting coach Jim Grobe said. “There’s not much we can do until we have a direction as far as a head coach and a staff.”

More Baylor Athletics Recruiting

From Waco Tribune Herald Staff Report:

San Antonio Wagner forward Tristan Clark signed an NCAA national letter of intent with the Baylor men’s basketball team on Wednesday.The 6-8 Clark is the first member of the Bears’ 2017 class. He transferred to Wagner this year after previously playing at Findlay Prep in Nevada.

Baylor also had signees in several other sports.

Baylor baseball signed nine recruits, including Bowling Green (Ky.) Warren East outfielder Davion Downey, O’Connor outfielder Weston Smith, Cypress Creek catcher Kyle Harper, Corpus Christi Ray infielder Nick Loftin, Arlington Martin pitcher Maddux Miller, Bloomington (Ind.) University infielder Billy Mote, Keller pitcher Tyler Thomas, La Mesa (Calif.) Christian first baseman-pitcher Chase Wehsener and Lake Travis catcher Jacob Wyeth,

The Baylor softball team signed outfielder Alyssa Avalos from St. Lucy’s Priory High School in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., Dickinson catcher Hannah Thompson, Nederland infielder-outfielder Hannah Smith and Sioux Falls (S.D.) Roosevelt pitcher Lexi Koltz.

Baylor track signed China Spring pole vaulter Riley Richards to the men’s team while Connally 400-meter runner Tontyana Sanders and Jersey Village middle distance runner Morgan Stewart signed with the women’s team.

Baylor equestrian signed Clara Johnson of Indianola, Ind., Michelle Mallett of Thousand Oaks (Calif.) La Reina, Kacie Scharf of Gretna (Neb.), Phoebe Alwine of Delray Beach (Fla.) Saint Andrew’s, Elizabeth Forney of West Des Moines (Iowa) Valley, Sydney McManus from Coto De Caza, Calif., Sydney Scheckel from Richmond (Kan.) Anderson County, and Gia Gulino from Naperville (Ill.) Laurel Springs.

Men’s Basketball

  • Despite three straight NCAA tournament appearances, the Baylor men’s basketball team comes into the season unranked and well under the radar. From BearsExtra.

It’s easy to see why the Bears are getting little preseason respect: They lost NBA lottery pick Taurean Prince, all-time Baylor rebounder Rico Gathers and starting point guard Lester Medford.

But the Bears have a lot of talented players returning including preseason all-Big 12 forward Johnathan Motley, promising forward Terry Maston and shooting guard Al Freeman. After sitting out last season, Miami transfer point guard Manu Lecomte is expected to make a major impact.

The Bears will open the season against Oral Roberts at 6 p.m. Friday at the Ferrell Center. (Follow the BearsExtra link for more of this story from WacoTrib’s John Werner.)

Bears for Leadership Reform

  • Baylor will engage the newly formed group, Bears for Leadership Reform, in the coming days and weeks, according to school officials. From The Baylor Lariat.

Baylor sent a statement to the Lariat regarding the group and a meeting it has scheduled Thursday to address a lack of accountability and transparency within Baylor leadership.

“The Bears for Leadership Reform Group has announced that its mission is ‘not about football’ and ‘is about women who have been sexually assaulted on this campus’ and the need ‘to be transparent and accountable,’” said Lori Fogleman, assistant vice president for Baylor Media Communications. “The Baylor University administration and the Board of Regents share those priorities and look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue about meaningful reform.”

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