Beeline: Looking back at the 2010 Fall for UNF sports


As the Fall semester at UNF comes to a close, so does the fall sports seasons. The UNF Ospreys have seen some up and downs in fall of 2010. Let’s take a look at some of the major fall sports stories.

While baseball is a spring sport, it still had a very eventful fall. A changing of the guards took place for UNF baseball when Raymond “Smoke” Laval took over the reigns of the ball club. Laval replaced hall of fame skipper, Dusty Rhodes, who founded the UNF men’s baseball program and had spent 23 seasons as head coach for the Ospreys. UNF baseball will start the Laval era in February.

That wasn’t the only baseball fall storyline. The Ospreys sent two players to the minor leagues to play professional baseball in both Preston Hale and Michael Kelly. However, possibly the biggest headline for UNF baseball was the shark attack pitcher Clayton Schulz suffered back in July. Schulz is still recovering and is expected to be ready for the 2011 season.

That’s enough of baseball for now because after all it didn’t play a game in the fall. How about the UNF men’s soccer team? They have also undergone some changes. After a season in which the Ospreys went just 3-12, Moon announced head coach Ray Bunch would not have his contract renewed for the 2011 season.

Bunch spent 20 seasons with the Ospreys, and like Rhodes with baseball, started the UNF men’s soccer program. The season was a rebuilding season for the Ospreys, who started as many as seven freshmen throughout the year. I believe the letting go of Bunch was unwarranted because of that. I think he has earned the right after 20 seasons to recruit and build one more team.

There was a bright spot for the men’s soccer team. Senior captain Adam O’Neill putt his name in the UNF record books in the 2010 season. He finished his UNF career tied for first in game-winning goals, with seven. He also moved into fifth in goals scored for the Ospreys with 24 goals throughout his college career.

While an under par regular season kept the men’s soccer team out of the Atlantic Sun Tournament, the UNF women’s volleyball team did not let that happen. Despite having a 6-21 record and a 3-6 record in A-Sun play heading in to their season finale against Jacksonville University, the Ospreys could earn a spot in the Atlantic Sun Tournament with a win over the cross-town Jacksonville University Dolphins.

They did just that, sweeping the Dolphins inside the UNF Arena to finish the regular season at 7-21, 4-6 in the A-Sun, which was good enough for a No. 6 seed in the Atlantic Sun Tournament. They would go on to lose in the first round, but felt they had made strides by the time their season was over.

It was great that the women’s volleyball team got in to the Atlantic Sun tournament, but it was even better when the women’s cross country team won the Atlantic Sun. It was something that head coach Mark VanAlstyne and his runners had talked about from day one. They believed they had the talent to win. They show cased that talent early in the season when the swept the JU Short Course Duals. They never looked back. His team’s performance earned VanAlstyne his first Atlantic Sun Conference Coach of the Year award.

Sophomores Shelby Kittrell and Ecaterina Gheorghiu were named to the All-A-Sun first team. In addition, junior Erin Nixon and sophomore Meggie Emons were named to the All-A-Sun second team.

It’s no question that the women’s cross country team was the highlight of the fall for UNF athletics. It was a busy season. We had everything, from new coaches, to shark attacks, to tournament berths, to conference championships. Now with the winter sports starting and promise the basketball teams are showing, let’s hope for an even more exciting winter sports season. Go Ospreys.