Dillard Notable #2: Athletics — The Champs Are Here

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We believe in well rounded students, and a well rounded experience. 2016 was a banner year for our athletic programs. We saw them build on strong foundations, and with some key additions, we became a force in every sport where we compete.

Our women’s track team continued to impress, winning their second conference championship in 4 years. Our coach, Bobby Williams, was named the GCAC coach of the year. Our women’s track team ended up ranked 20th in the nation for NAIA, and produced 6 all-Americans. In addition, our 4x4 team finished second in the nation. And while usually dominant, the men’s track and field team finished a strong 2nd in the GCAC conference championships. They finished 2nd in 2015 and won in 2014.

In February we ushered in a new era for volleyball with the hiring of Nancy Sikobe as head coach. She inspired a very young team to a 16 win season, the most since 2011.

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Ma-Kayla Johnson

3 players earned conference honors, including the freshman of the year Ma-Kayla Johnson. This was accomplished with our biggest hitter, Shelby Stewart, out much of the season with a broken arm. As she enters her senior year, we have high expectations for our team.

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Coach Rome spent most of the 2015–16 season rebuilding with the loss of some key players, but a couple of freshmen stepped in to form our version of Golden State’s Splash siblings. Shaelynn Moore was conference freshman of the year, and senior Alena Evans was a 2nd team all conference selection

As 2016 comes to a close our Lady Bleu Devils are 8–4, ranked number 19 in NAIA in scoring, 6th in assists and steals, and 16th in scoring margin.

Buy the biggest story was men’s basketball. It started a year ago with the hiring of Mike Newell. He came in with a winning attitude and level of confidence that was infectious. We saw a team that was averaging about 4 wins a year for the past 4 years to one that was ranked for the first time since 2003.

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And surprising everyone the team won the GCAC conference championship, being perennial powerhouse Xavier on their home floor by 13 points! This win and a strong season propelled the team into the NAIA championships, which included a first round blow out victory.

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For the first time in our history, Dillard University won our conference all around cup, the Thomas Howell Cup. It capped an outstanding athletic year for the institution.

But there is unfinished business…

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After weeks a trash talking, the staffs from Dillard and Xavier competed in a grudge match softball game. After 7 innings, the game was called- tied at 15.

2017 will be our chance to continue the battle.

Written by

7th president of Dillard University

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