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The AAC announced on Monday that two Montreat Cavaliers were named as AAC Players of the Week. Anyla Kryeziu (SR/Prishtina, Kosovo) won as the Attacker of the Week, while Abby Graham (SR/Chattanooga, TN) garnered the honor for Setter of Week. For Graham, it was the second such recognition this season. 

The two players were an integral part of a week that saw the team go 3-0, all on the road, and all against AAC opponents. Below are the considerable accomplishments by both athletes, as excerpted from the AAC announcement.   

Anyla Kryeziu - Montreat - Sr. - Prishtina, Kosovo

Had 50 kills and a 0.385 hitting percentage for the week.

Posted 22 kills ina 3-1 win over Brenau.

Added 19 kills in a 3-2 win over Milligan.

Also had 8 digs and 7 total blocks on the week.

This is her first weekly honor this season.

AAC Setter Player of the Week

Abby Graham - Montreat - Sr. - Chattanooga, Tenn.

Averaged 11.23 assists per set with 135 in 12 sets.

Posted a high of 60 assists in a 3-2 win over Milligan.

Helped Montreat go 3-0 in AAC play last week.

Also notched 3 kills, 1 block, and 23 digs on the week.

This is her second weekly award this season.


BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. – Freshman Afonso Vieira (FR/Portugal) proved why he's one of the top scoring threats in the AAC as he tallied three goals in the Montreat Cavaliers' 3-1 victory over the visiting Columbia International University (CIU) Rams on Saturday night.

Vieira's first goal came from seven yards out off a feed from Jeovanni Ordaz (JR/Veracruz, Mexico). Vieira buried his shot to the right of the Rams' keeper in the 10th minute of play in the game. That score proved the only one of the first half.

At the half, the men's squad recognized their graduating seniors, who included Ryan Buick (SR/Oxford, England), George Stanley (SR/West Yorkshire, England), Adrian Ionescu (SR/Queensland, Australia), and goalkeeper Miguel Tudon (SR/Vila-Real, Spain). All four are major contributors for the Cavs (7-3) this season and were enthusiastically celebrated by the large crowd on hand for a combined Homecoming/Senior Day.   

Early in the second, the Rams' Victor Maron scored on a quick strike at 53:16. A 30-minute scoring drought then ensued from both teams.

"I think the main thing was having Afonso on the field. His composure in front of the net is one of his strongest attributes," said head coach Michael Bruce after the contest. "I think having him in his position really helped us. When we got ahead we took him out and some of our composure in front of goal disappeared." 

It was Montreat who struck next after a perfectly placed pass up the left sideline found Henrique Cardoso (JR/Lisbon, Portugal) (JR/Lisbon, Portugal). Cardoso deftly settled the ball then threaded a pass to Vieira whose defender momentarily left to pressure the ball. The freshman tucked his shot under the crossbar to put the Cavs ahead, 2-1, with just over five minutes remaining in the contest. 

"We went through a little bit where we couldn't get out, but once we found our feet again, we did well," said Bruce.

From there, Montreat scored an insurance goal with under two minutes to play. Vieira chased down a loose ball that rolled past the Rams' defenders, compelling their goalkeeper Dominik Schleinitz to come well out from goal to make a play on the ball. The Montreat freshman then beat the keeper to the loose ball, and with a diving lunge sent the ball into the vacated Rams' goal. 

"Collectively, I think we did a really good job tonight in moving the ball and finding opportunities. We were able to possess the ball and be patient with it. Because of it we found some beautiful chances to score. Afonso did a really good job tonight putting three balls away," said assistant coach Joao Ehlers in summing up the night's exceptional work by the Cavaliers.

Next up: The Cavaliers play at 7 p.m. this evening against the Southeastern University (Fla.) Fire in Lakeland, Florida

Pictured: Afonso Vieira (L) pressured the CIU goal throughout the evening. 

Photo credit: Montreat Athletics 

BLACK MOUNTAIN, N.C. – To open a soccer doubleheader on Saturday night, the Montreat Cavaliers' women's team faced the Columbia International University (CIU) Rams at Pulliam Stadium/Howard Fisher Memorial Field. The Rams were 4-3-1 before arriving, and had two AAC wins (Columbia, Bluefield) to their credit while competing in the National Christian College Athletic Association (NCCAA).

Although falling short of victory, the Cavaliers (2-7-1, 1-4-1) denied the Rams a third AAC win when they held on for a 2-2 tie before a large Homecoming weekend crowd.

Freshman Hannah Leonard (FR/Troutville, VA) was the author of both goals for Montreat, including one in the 24th minute of the game off an assist from Alanna Castaneda (JR/Dallas, TX).

"She came in right off the bench and scored," said head coach Courtney Nash. The Cavaliers took a 1-0 lead into the halftime break. 

The Rams' Rebecca Giancana then scored early in the second half to even the game at 1-1.

Leonard bookended CIU's goal in the 61st minute with her second tally, this one coming off a penalty kick. The Troutville, Virginia native put the ball past the Rams' keeper in the lower right corner of the goal. The crowd roared its approval as the scoreboard showed 2-1, Cavaliers.

The Rams next tied the game in the 81st minute on a goal from Kirsten Long. The teams then played through two scoreless overtimes to end in a draw.

Coach Nash lauded the steady work of her defense on the night, including that of sophomore Cheyenne Pate (SO/Fayetteville, NC). "Cheyenne has played really solid the last two games," added Nash. "I thought all of our back line did. We played well, but Cheyenne covered us a couple of times." 

The Cavaliers celebrated their seniors following the game. "They've left the program better than they found it. They came in when we were changing our culture and are key members in creating the culture that we have now," said Nash of the graduating corps.

The Cavaliers will lose the valuable services of Jordan DeVaan (SR/Asheville, NC), Becca Sharpe (SR/Burlington, NC), Megan Powell (SR/Asheville, NC), and Morgan Meredith (SR/Coalfield, TN) following the fall campaign. Fortunately for Montreat, they still have plenty of season left before the seniors depart.

Next up: Montreat hosts Columbia College (5-5-2, 5-1) at home on Wednesday. Start time is set for 5:00 p.m.

Pictured: Sophomore Kristina Garren (SO/Lake Mary, FL) locks in on the CIU goal on Saturday

Photo credit: Montreat Athletics

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