LIVINGSTON, Ala.–This year has already started off on a wonderful and exciting journey for the University of West Alabama. For the third year in a row, UWA leads the Gulf South Conference All Sports Race following the conclusion of the fall athletic competitions. All of the West Alabama fall sporting teams contributed to the race for the trophy with Men’s Soccer leading the Tigers by winning the GSC Championship last November. All other UWA teams finished in the top six in their respective categories.
Also, our student-athletes have performed well in the classroom moving recent graduation rates to an all-time high. The two most recent reports have UWA student-athletes graduating at 79 percent and 78 percent, respectively. (In comparison, the most recent graduation rate for all of NCAA Division II student-athletes is 56 percent.) West Alabama is looking to increase the graduation rate even higher this spring.
Two teams are currently in mid-season action, with women’s and men’s basketball working diligently to secure a spot in the GSC tournament. The women’s team has had a rough start to their season, only winning one GSC matchup so far this season against Alabama Huntsville back in December.
Men’s basketball started stronger then the women’s, with a 8-7 start to the season. Although, other teams in the GSC are very competitive this season, leaving the Tigers in 11th place mid-season. West Alabama now has 13 games left in the season to pick up their standings and be hopeful to stag a GSC Tournament spot. Both the men’s and women’s team will play Saturday afternoon at home against Union University.
As the winter season is winding down, the spring sports are heating up. The men’s and women’s track team opened up their season this past weekend at the 2017 Vulcan Invite. Nelson kimutai and Cecelia Daivid were two key runners for the Tigers as they placed second and fifth overall in the 5000-meter run. The next matchup will be the South Alabama Invitational on February 5th in Birmingham.
The UWA baseball team has been picked preseason 4th. Also, they have clinched three starters on the Preseason All-Tournament Team with Nick Delgado, Evan Miller, and Dylan Little earning a spot in their respective positions. The Tigers will open up their first home series against Delta State February 18th.
Softball is off to what seems to be a exciting year with new coaches and new faces for the team. Carie Dever Boaz comes to us from Northwest Mississippi Community College, where she has served as an assistant coach for the last three seasons. Dever Boaz has 22 years of college softball coaching experience, including eight as head coach at the University of Arkansas. She is unbelievably grateful to be coaching this team and is excited for the journey towards that GSC Ring. AC Storey and Chelsea Lobitos were names as tow of the GSC’s top newcomers for the 2017 season. Catch the Tigers during their home opener against Delta State at 3 p.m.
UWA Tennis is returning this season ready to hunt for a GSC title. The Tigers enjoyed a very productive fall season ending in October with the Fall Roundup where West Alabama men’s team went 25-6 in matches against North Alabama, Meridian Community College and Marion Military Institute. The women’s team went 17-3 in matches against North Alabama and Meridian Community College. There was a few new doubles pairings shown in the Roundup and coach Beaman is eager to see how they play this Spring. First exhibition match will be February 4th at 10 a.m.
Lastly, the West Alabama triathlon team is set to have their annual UWA Tiger Triathlon on Sunday, April 30 starting at 7 a.m. Those who would like to compete in the event can go to UWA Athletics website, click triathlon, then the link “2017 UWA Tiger Triathlon” and it will take you to the registration form online.
That is all the news we have for you this month Tiger fans. Stay tune for our next letter to update you on how our UWA family is doing this season.
Thank you and go Tigers!