Aug. 20, 2008
SPARTANBURG, S.C. - On Tuesday night, the USC Upstate athletics department honored Women's Indoor Track & Field Atlantic Sun Conference Champion Emily Tangwar and both the Atlantic Sun Regular Season Champion softball and women's tennis teams in a ring ceremony at the County University Soccer Stadium. The ceremony was part of the Spartan Stadium Party and also included the introduction of all USC Upstate athletic teams for the 2008-09 academic year.
For two days in late winter, freshman Emily Tangwar helped heat up the Atlantic Sun Conference. An electric distance runner, Tangwar claimed three A-Sun Championships at the indoor championships at ETSU. Tangwar won the women's 3,000-meter-run in day one of the competition and followed that with wins in both the women's mile run and the women's 5,000 meters in day two. She was named the A-Sun's Indoor Track & Field Women's Most Outstanding Track athlete and the women's Most Outstanding Freshman.
The softball team claimed a three-way share of the 2008 regular season A-Sun championship after winning 11 of its final 12 league games to finish with a 16-6 conference mark. The Spartans tied Florida Gulf Coast and Lipscomb for a share of the conference championship. Upstate finished the season with an overall record of 34-15 and a No. 76 RPI ranking out of 282 institutions by the NCAA, playing its first season as a member of NCAA Division I and the A-Sun. Freshman pitcher Morgan Childers was named the A-Sun's Pitcher of the Year and Freshman of the Year, marking the first time in league history that a player earned both awards in the same year. She was a first team all-conference selection and was joined on the team by second team members Heidi Gibbs and Lauren Quevedo. Childers and Quevedo were joined on the all-freshman team by Kim Brasil and Courtney Feldon.
The women's tennis team finished the 2008 season 17-3 overall and a perfect 11-0 in the Atlantic Sun Conference to win the school's first outright Atlantic Sun Conference regular season title. The team was led by junior Anna Novo, who posted a school-record 29 wins and a perfect 11-0 A-Sun slate at the No. 1 position to earn the A-Sun Player of the Year title. Senior Susana Hernandez was a Second Team All-Atlantic Sun Conference selection. The team also earned an ITA All-Academic Team citation for carrying a 3.512 GPA during the school year and senior Diana Martinez was the first player in school history to earn back-to-back CoSIDA Academic All-American nods.
The Spartans, in their first year of Division I competition, were not eligible for postseason competition as a provisional member of DI. Their first year of eligibility for postseason play is 2011-12 for all sports except men's soccer and softball, who will be eligible for the postseason in 2009-10.