VSR: Miller Named Student-Athlete of the Week

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  • By Daniel Whitehead
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  • October 31, 2011 05:45 PM
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – Women’s soccer forward Blake Miller has been named West Virginia University’s Student-Athlete of the Week for her performance in WVU’s BIG EAST quarterfinal win over Seton Hall.

The St. Louis native scored a goal and tallied two assist in only 63 minutes, while pushing her point total to a team-best 23 points. Miller has scored a point in six straight matches.

Miller has three two-assist games in her career and has totaled four points in a match three times. She is tied with former All-American Laura Kane for fifth all-time in career goals with 31. More impressive, West Virginia is 26-2-1 all-time when Miller scores a goal.

WVU Athletes of the Week
Fall 2011
Week 1: Erica Henderson, Women’s Soccer
Week 2: Eric Schoenle, Men’s Soccer
Week 3: Andy Bevin, Men’s Soccer
Week 4: Meghan Lewis, Women’s Soccer
Week 5: Blake Miller, Women’s Soccer
Week 6: Michelle Kopecky, Volleyball
Week 7: Kate Schwindel, Women’s Soccer
Week 8: Melis Tanik, Tennis
Week 9: Kate Harrison, Cross Country
Week 10: Petra Zublasing, Rifle
Week 11: Blake Miller, Women’s Soccer

This Week in Women’s Basketball
The West Virginia women’s basketball team will open the 2011-12 season with a 7 p.m. exhibition game against Wheeling Jesuit on Wednesday, Nov. 2, at the WVU Coliseum.

Last Week in Women’s Basketball
The Mountaineers were idle.

Notes & Quotes
The 2011-12 Mountaineers are a young team with four freshmen and seven returning players, including only one starter from last season and one senior … every player on this year’s roster earned experience on the court as the Mountaineers played three exhibition games overseas in August … junior Asya Bussie has started every game in her Mountaineer career and leads the team in minutes played with 1,838 … as the only returning starter, Bussie is WVU’s leading scorer, averaging 8.2 points per game, and leading rebounder, averaging 4.7 boards per game … newcomers Akilah Bethel and Linda Stepney will fill roles at guard, while Averee Fields and Crystal Leary will assist sophomore Jessica Harlee at forward.

This Week in Cross Country
The No. 18 Mountaineers have a week off from competition, but will train for the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional on Saturday, Nov. 12, in Princess Anne, Md.

Last Week in Cross Country
The Mountaineers tied for fourth place (92 points) with No. 9 Syracuse at the BIG EAST Championship on Saturday in Louisville, Ky. ... No. 4 Villanova claimed its fourth-consecutive league title with 54 points followed by No. 7 Providence (63) and No. 6 Georgetown (77) ... WVU topped No. 23 Notre Dame (136) and No. 28 Connecticut (165) as well as nine other BIG EAST programs ... redshirt senior Kate Harrison, junior Katie Gillespie and redshirt junior Sarah-Anne Brault were named all-BIG EAST ... Harrison finished third overall with a 6k time of 19:52, while Gillespie arrived in seventh (20:14) and Brault came in 11th place in 20:24 ... Ahna Lewis and Stephanie Aldea also scored points for the team with their respective 28th- and 43rd-place marks ... Kaylyn Christopher, Jordan Hamric, Aubrey Moskal and Hallie Portner also competed for WVU.

Notes & Quotes
The Mountaineers will return to Princess Anne, Md., for a second time this season after placing second at the Maryland Eastern Shore Lid-Lifter Invitational on Sept. 3 ... WVU will look to improve on last year’s fifth-place finish at the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional ... Harrison, Gillespie and Brault have led the team in finishes in two consecutive races ... the Mountaineers are ranked No. 3 in the NCAA Mid-Atlantic Regional rankings released two weeks ago by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches of America ... the USTFCCCA national rankings will be released Tuesday ... the team seeks its fourth Top 10 national finish in five years this season.

This Week in Rifle
The No. 1-ranked West Virginia rifle team is off this week.

Last Week in Rifle
The Mountaineers (5-0, 3-0 GARC) remain undefeated, having knocked off Memphis, 4678-4616, on Oct. 29, and No. 9 Murray State, 4688-4615, the following day, at the WVU Rifle Range … WVU swept all four team competitions, trumping the Tigers in air rifle (2350-2324) and smallbore (2328-2292), and the Racers in air rifle (2356-2322) and smallbore (2332-2293) … junior Petra Zublasing finished first overall on Saturday with a combined score of 1188 … she also won air rifle (597) and smallbore (591) … the Appiano, Italy, native continued her winning streak on Sunday, finishing first with a combined score of 1189, with winning scores in air rifle (596) and smallbore (593).

Notes & Quotes
Zublasing’s smallbore score against Murray State was a personal best and matched an NCAA and school record … seniors Justin Pentz and Michael Kulbacki, Zublasing and freshmen Taylor Ciotola, Thomas Kyanko and Meelis Kiisk all counted toward the Mountaineers’ team scores in some way over the weekend … Pentz finished second against the Tigers with a score of 1173 … freshman Amy Bock made her Mountaineer debut against the Tigers and shot a school-record 200 prone … WVU improved to 6-2 against Memphis and 20-3 over the Racers … prior to their weekend matches, the Mountaineers moved up one spot to No. 1 in the College Rifle Coaches Association Poll … it is the first time the squad has held the top ranking since March.

This Week in Rowing
The Mountaineers travel to Fairfax Station, Va., on Saturday, Nov. 5, to compete at the Head of the Occoquan Regatta on the Occoquan River ... this will mark the fourth of five fall regattas for the team.

Last Week in Rowing
West Virginia traveled to Philadelphia to compete at the Head of the Schuylkill Regatta on the Schuylkill River … the Mountaineers had three women’s open fours place within the top 20 of 38 total crews before remaining races were cancelled due to inclement weather … the Varsity 4+ ‘A’ crew of Hilary Meale, Shannon Gribbons, Courtney Schrand, Rachelle Purych and coxswain Morgan Leach finished in fifth-place with a time of 15:51.76 … the ‘C’ crew placed 18th with a time of 16:43.34 and the ‘B’ crew rounded out the top 20, crossing the line in 16:58.34.

Notes and Quotes
Last year at the Head of the Occoquan, West Virginia’s Varsity 4+ ‘A’ crew placed second (19:02.42) behind George Mason (18:55.56) to earn a silver medal while the Novice 4+ ‘A’ crew took home bronze in its first race of the year after crossing the line in 21:40.57 … both Varsity 8+ and Novice 8+ crews placed within the top ten of 25 crews in their respective women’s open eight events.

This Week in Men’s Soccer
The Mountaineers will face an opponent to be determined on Sunday, Nov. 6, at 3:30 p.m. … the BIG EAST quarterfinal match will be played at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium against either St. John’s, Georgetown or Notre Dame.

Last Week in Men’s Soccer
West Virginia went 2-0 with a pair of 2-0 victories on the road over Seton Hall and No. 14 Notre Dame on Wednesday and Saturday, respectively … Travis Pittman and Andy Bevin each scored against Seton Hall, while Nick Claudio and Bevin did the damage to the Irish … the WVU defense held both teams to a combined 18 shots, including six on-goal, while keeper Pat Eavenson recorded two shutouts and made six saves.

Notes and Quotes
With Shadow Sebele out with an injury, Pittman was forced to take the first penalty of his college career for the Mountaineers at Seton Hall … Pittman easily slid the ball past the Seton Hall keeper for his first goal of the season … Bevin now leads WVU in goals with seven and had a part to do in three of the four goals last week … Eavenson was a last minute goalie substitution and played admirably with two shutouts and great control of both matches … Eavenson now has three shutouts this season.

“That was arguably our best win of the year because we had to dig deep in the roster to put a team on the field. We used the deepest roster we have ever used at WVU and hats off to the kids who were fantastic on the day.” – coach Marlon LeBlanc after the Notre Dame victory.

This Week in Women’s Soccer
No. 13 WVU will face Georgetown, the No. 2 seed in the National Division, on Friday, Nov. 4, at 5:30 p.m. at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium in the semifinals of the BIG EAST Championship … the other side of the championship bracket features National Division No. 1 seed Louisville and No. 3 seed Notre Dame … those teams will play in the first semifinal game on Friday at 3 p.m. … all three matches will be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network … ticket prices are $5 for adults (19 & older) and $3 for youth (18 & younger) … all BIG EAST students can attend for free with a valid student ID … groups of 20 or more can purchase tickets in advance for $2 through the Mountaineer Ticket Office.

Last Week in Women’s Soccer
WVU opened BIG EAST Championship play with a convincing 5-0 rout of visiting Seton Hall in quarterfinal action Sunday afternoon at Dick Dlesk Soccer Stadium … the Mountaineers raced out to a 2-0 lead after 22 minutes, and netted three more second half goals … West Virginia lit the scoreboard first by taking advantage of a Pirate turnover at midfield in the ninth minute on a Bri Rodriguez shot … WVU doubled its lead at the 21:22 mark on Blake Miller’s team-leading eighth goal of the season … Miller would add a second assist on Emily Dillon’s goal to give her a four-point day – the third of her career … West Virginia added two goals in the 77th minute to complete the scoring off the feet of Dillon and forward Kate Lenz.

Notes & Quotes
The Mountaineers have won five BIG EAST division crowns under coach Nikki Izzo-Brown … redshirt freshman Sara Keane owns a 15-4-0 record as the starting goalkeeper … WVU’s five goals against Seton Hall marked its highest output in the program’s 26 all-time BIG EAST tournament contests, surpassing three previous four-goal efforts … the Mountaineers have won 13 of their last 14 matches, and are 8-1-2 in their last 11 conference tournament matches … Blake Miller has scored 31 career goals … the Mountaineers have advanced to the BIG EAST semifinals for seven consecutive seasons.

This Week in Swimming & Diving
The WVU men’ and women’s swimming and diving teams are idle this week and will prepare for a meet at home against Cincinnati and Villanova on Saturday, Nov. 12, at noon.

Last Week in Swimming & Diving
The women’s team fell 156-144 on Saturday afternoon to James Madison in the WVU Natatorium.

Notes and Quotes
Mandie Nugent and Rachael Burnett both had an impressive day taking first in their respective events … Nugent took first in the 1000 free (10:14.12), the 200 fly (2:04.24) and the 100 fly (56.57) … Burnett finished first in the 200 free (1:50.63), the 100 free (52.38) and the 500 free (4:56.46) … freshmen Tiera Butkus and Julie Ogden stepped up for the women, Butkus taking first in the 100 back (59.55) and second in the 200 back (2:05.20) … Ogden finished second in the 200 fly (2:06.49) and the 100 fly (57.61).

“We had a good meet today. I’m not making any excuses for us. JMU swam very well, and I congratulate them.” - coach Vic Riggs

This Week in Volleyball
The West Virginia University volleyball team will hit the road next weekend for its last trip of the regular season as it travels to Connecticut and St. John’s … the Mountaineers will take on the Huskies first on Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. at the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion … WVU will then travel to St. John’s Carnesecca Arena to take on the Red Storm on Nov. 6 at 2 p.m.

Last Week in Volleyball
The Mountaineers continued BIG EAST play as the team hosted Syracuse and Marquette at the WVU Coliseum … the Mountaineers defeated the Orange 3-0 Saturday before being swept by the Golden Eagles 3-0 on Sunday … WVU defeated Syracuse for the first time since 2002.

Notes and Quotes
Senior outside hitter Michelle Kopecky led the team this past weekend with 21 kills and 3.50 kills per set … the Schaumburg, Ill., native leads the team with 199 kills, 25 service aces, a .168 hitting percentage and 2.69 kills per set … after recording 41 digs and 6.83 digs per set, senior libero Serinna Russo improves her digs per set season average to 5.71 … Russo currently leads the team with 428 digs and is second on the team with 14 service aces … senior setter Kari Post recorded 62 assists this weekend and moves closer to taking the No. 4 spot from Kailee Goold on the WVU all-time assists list … the Yuba City, Calif., native has 3,219 assists in her career and needs 120 more to take the No. 4 position on the list.

This Week in Wrestling
WVU will open its season when it travels to College Park, Md., on Nov. 6 for the University of Maryland Duals … the Mountaineers will compete in dual matches against Johns Hopkins and Franklin & Marshall.

Last Week in Wrestling
The Mountaineers did not compete.

Notes and Quotes
WVU returns five former NCAA Championships qualifiers to their lineup in Shane Young (125), Colin Johnston (133), Nathan Pennesi (141), Matt Ryan (184) and Brandon Williamson (HWT) ... Williamson and Johnston are returning to the team’s lineup after redshirting last season due to injury ... in 2009-10, Williamson finished with a 20-10 overall record, while Johnston compiled a 21-4 mark ... Pennesi qualified for the NCAA Championships last season at 133 pounds and will be making the jump to the 141-pound weight class this season with Johnston set to return from injury ... the Mountaineers will also be getting back the services of redshirt junior Lance Bryson ... Bryson sat out the previous two campaigns, as he underwent two separate shoulder surgeries ... in 2008-2009, Bryson led all WVU freshmen with 12 wins on the season.


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