Local sports events

Having faced each other a lot over the years being former Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference opponents, this one was just like the old days with the teams trading shots and making big plays. The Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team jumped out to an early lead and after New Mexico Highlands University held a sizeable lead in the fourth quarter, it ended up going down to the end before the Cowgirls escaped with the 60-56 victory Wednesday night.

The game featured just about everything in a very tightly contested battle with neither team really able to pull away. Shooting was tough for both teams, along with turnovers, so hustle stats became important as WNMU (0-5) utilized a solid 9-0 edge on second-chance points and 18-15 edge on points off turnovers. Each team held five leads and foul shots became big down the stretch as NMHU (2-3) held a 16-12 made free throw edge.

The Western New Mexico University men’s basketball team gave Division I UC Riverside a stiff challenge, posting a lead midway through the first half and kept things close throughout before the Highlanders held on for the 75-57 exhibition victory Wednesday night.

The game counted as an exhibition for WNMU, while the game counted as a regular season contest for UC Riverside, as they picked up their second win of the season to improve to 2-2.

Four Western New Mexico University volleyball seniors all took home Lone Star Conference accolades Wednesday.

 Senior Kelli McGhiey landed on the All-Academic Team, while seniors Heather Verrill, Kalie Lyle and Ashley Mataele earned All-Conference accolades.

Verrill was tabbed the Defensive Player of the Year, while also being named to the First-Team. Lyle landed on the Second-Team and Mataele garnered Honorable Mention.

It’s the second straight year that the Lady Mustangs have earned Defensive Player of the Year as Shannon Rich claimed the honor last season.

Mandeep Yadav, a former Division I tennis player and head coach at McKendree University, has accepted the position of Head Tennis Coach at Western New Mexico University.

"I am excited to announce our new head men's and women's tennis coach, Mandeep Yadav," Director of Athletics Mark Coleman said. "He will be a great addition to the department and we look forward to him carrying on the successful tradition of the tennis programs."

Yadav spent the previous three years with McKendree, with the last year serving as head coach of the men's team. He helped the team finish fourth in the conference, along with posting consecutive winning seasons and the fourth straight postseason berth into the conference tournament. His student-athletes earned the Great Lakes Valley Conference Council of Presidents' Academic Excellence Award for outstanding performance on and off the court. They also claimed the Brother James Gaffney Distinguished Scholar Award for perfect GPA.

"I am really happy and excited to be a part of the Mustangs' family," Yadav said. "I would like to thank Dr. Shepard and Mr. Coleman for giving me this great opportunity. I'm looking forward to helping the student-athletes at WNMU to achieve their goals and take the tennis programs to greater heights."

McKendree went 11-10 last season, after going 13-12 in 2015-16 when he was a graduate assistant. During the start of his coaching career, the Bearcats went 16-8 in 2014-15. In addition to helping the men's team as a graduate assistant, he helped with the women's squad that went 13-12 in 2014-15 and nearly claimed another winning record in 2015-16 at 10-11.

Before his time at McKendree, Yadav served as a tennis pro at Weston Tennis Center in Weston, Fla., for one year. While at Weston, he served as the academy director, the camps director and tournament director.

He had previous experience as an assistant coach as he got his start at Lynchburg College as an assistant coach and also was a volunteer assistant coach at Liberty University, his alma mater. During his time as a player at Liberty, he went 18-12 in singles and 21-9 in doubles from 2010-12 and was an All-Conference honoree at No. 5 singles.

A native of Chandigarh, India, Yadav had previously earned a top-20 ranking in India and was ranked 495th in the ITF junior rankings.

The Western New Mexico University football team took home a multitude of honors Friday as 10 players were named to the Lone Star Conference list for their performances this year.

Leading the honorees on the First-Team were D'Angelo Bowie (Virginia Beach, VA/Landstown) and Ian Davis (Grass Valley, CA/Nevada Union). Leo Marin (Carlsbad, CA/Carlsbad) and Dominic Barry (Moreno Valley, CA/Vista Del Lago) highlight the Second-Team, while Iverson Moana (Pago Pago, American Samoa/Fagaitua), Evan Beebe (Chula Vista, CA/Mater Dei Catholic), Javia Hall (Dallas, TX/Skyline), Sean North (Corona, CA/Santiago), Connor Mowat (Lahaina, HI/Lahainaluna) and Joe Tito (Las Vegas, NV/Cimarron-Memorial) earned Honorable Mention.

Following an eight-year run in which he leaves as the third-winningest coach in program history, Head Football Coach Adam Clark made the decision to resign his position this week. Offensive Coordinator Chris Buckner and Offensive Line Coach Andrew Faaumu will oversee the program during the transition.

“It is with mixed emotions that we announce the resignation of Coach Clark,” Director of Athletics Mark Coleman said. “Adam has worked extremely hard in the time he’s been here and to finish his last six games with four wins was a testament to his dedication to the program. We wish him the best of luck in his future endeavors.”

Behind a first quarter in which Newman University outscored the Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team 29-7, that would end up being the difference in the game as the Lady Mustangs stayed even with the Jets over the final three quarters before Newman claimed the 76-54 victory during the final game of the Conference Challenge Saturday.

 WNMU (0-2) had a big third quarter in which they outscored Newman (2-0) 19-10 and pulled back to within 15 before the Jets were able to tally the victory.

The Western New Mexico University women’s basketball team fought back to take a lead early in the fourth quarter before Rogers State University was able to regain the lead and hold off the Lady Mustangs for the 65-56 victory Friday in the season opener for both teams.

Trailing 40-37 entering the final frame, the Lady Mustangs opened the fourth quarter putting in the first four points to snag the lead. Junior Megan Looney hit a pair from the foul line and then junior Takiyah Lopez added a layup for the 41-40 lead 40 seconds into the fourth.

Live from Silver City

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