Transylvania's Fulkerson named conference MVP
Transylvania's Kelsey Fulkerson was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference's women's tennis Most Valuable Player for the second year in a row on Tuesday. Fulkerson, a Paul Dunbar graduate, finished her senior season with a dual match record of 14-2, including a 13-1 conference mark. She finished 8-0 overall and 7-0 HCAC at No. 1 singles. At No. 1 doubles, Fulkerson was 6-2 overall and 6-1 in league play.
Fulkerson led Transylvania to the HCAC Tournament title this past weekend by winning both her singles and doubles matches.
Fourteen others joined Fulkerson on the All-HCAC first team, including Transy teammates Stephanie Townsend, a senior from North Oldham, and Kaitlyn Hizny, a junior from Daviess County.
Transylvania Coach Chuck Brown, who led the Pioneers to a share of the regular-season conference championship and the league tournament title, was honored as HCAC Coach of the Year for the third straight season.
Other Kentuckians named to the first team were Franklin's Heather Pasek (Notre Dame) and Hanover's Allie Gullett (Lexington Christian). Gullett also made the All-Sportsmanship team.
Georgetown, Pikeville top pre-season poll
Georgetown and Pikeville were named co-favorites to win the Mid-South Conference this season in a pre-season poll of the league's men's basketball coaches announced Tuesday.
Pikeville, the defending NAIA Division I national champions, received 58 points and five of the nine first-place votes. Georgetown, the defending Mid-South regular season and tournament champions, earned 58 points and two first-place votes.
Pikeville finished in a tie for third in the conference regular season with a 13-5 record and reached the MSC Tournament semifinals last season. The Bears made the most of their at-large bid into the national tournament with five straight wins over seeded teams en route to the national title.
The remaining two first-place votes went to St. Catharine, which received 53 points for third place in the poll.
Following St. Catharine in the voting were Campbellsville (40), Cumberlands (38), Lindsey Wilson (32), Virginia-Wise (18), Shawnee State (16) and Rio Grande (11).
West Virginia Tech was not included in the poll because it is not eligible for the regular-season title in 2011-12.
■ Shawnee State was named the Mid-South favorite by the conference's women's coaches, receiving 62 points and seven first-place votes. Following Shawnee State in the voting were Lindsey Wilson (56), Campbellsville (51), Cumberlands (45), Georgetown (30), Pikeville (25), St. Catharine (25), Rio Grande (16) and Virginia-Wise (14).
■ California men's coach Mike Montgomery was scheduled for a surgical procedure Wednesday that will include a short recovery period away from the team. The school made the announcement Tuesday night, providing no further details about Montgomery's condition while asking for privacy on the matter. The school said assistant coaches Travis DeCuire and Jay John will run the team during Montgomery's absence.
McIlroy leads at PGA Grand Slam
Rory McIlroy made four birdies on the back nine Tuesday to grab a share of the lead with Keegan Bradley at the PGA Grand Slam in Bermuda, featuring the winners of this year's majors.
The pair finished the first round tied at 4-under 67, well ahead of Charl Schwartzel, the Masters winner who shot a 74, and British Open champion Darren Clarke, who finished with a 77.
McIlroy, who won the U.S. Open, missed a host of putts on the front nine. "It was getting frustrating," he said. "I was reading them and every time .... I felt as if I was hitting the putt on the line I wanted to, but it was going nowhere near the hole.
"But to birdie three of the last five holes was great, and at one stage I was behind Keegan; so to draw level with him after the first day was nice."
Bradley, who won the PGA Championship, meanwhile got off fast at Port Royal Golf Course, racing to 6 under and briefly putting Lucas Glover's course-record 65 in jeopardy. He missed putts at 14 and 16 to drop back.
■ Annika Sorenstam and Morgan Pressel will team up to compete against the men for the first time in the ADT Skills Challenge on Nov. 7 in Palm Beach, Fla. The three men's teams will be defending champions Nick Price and Mark O'Meara, Nick Faldo and Rocco Mediate, and Jerry Kelly and Zach Johnson.
Former Buffalo Bills center Hull dies
Kent Hull, who served as Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly's center during the Buffalo Bills' AFC title years in the early 1990s, has died. He was 50. Mississippi State, where Mr. Hull played in college, announced he passed away on Tuesday afternoon. The cause of death was not immediately known.
Mr. Hull was a three-time Pro Bowl selection during 11 seasons with the Bills. He was credited for playing a key role in helping run the team's no-huddle "K-Gun" offense. The Bills honored Mr. Hull in 2002 by placing his name on the Ralph Wilson Stadium's Wall of Fame. Mr. Hull was tough and durable as a player, and at one point appeared in 121 consecutive games with the Bills.
10th-ranked Hoosiers next up for UK
Coming off a 3-1 victory against league rival Tulsa, the Kentucky men's soccer team will wrap up its non-conference schedule at No. 10 Indiana at 7 p.m. Wednesday. Kentucky (8-7-1, 1-4-0 Conference USA) is led by Tyler Riggs (10 goals and five assists) and Matt Lodge (seven goals and 10 assists). Indiana leads the all-time series 15-1-3 with UK's last win coming in 1995 in Bloomington. The Wildcats are sixth in the nation in total goals scored with 31 through 16 games. Riggs is 12th in total points (25), while Lodge is 15th (24). Lodge's 10 assists are second-best in the nation.
IndyCar cancels testing at Las Vegas
IndyCar officials canceled this week's two-day test of the new 2012 car at Las Vegas. Tuesday's decision comes two days after Dan Wheldon, who did most of the testing for the 2012 car, was killed in a fiery 15-car crash at the same track. Four-time series champ Dario Franchitti was scheduled to run at the 1.5-mile oval Wednesday and Thursday. He and Wheldon were close friends. Franchitti's wife, actress Ashley Judd, wrote on Twitter: "I appreciate @IndyCar canceling my husband's test at Las Vegas track. The new car needs development — but not now, and never again there."
The last word
After blowing fourth-quarter leads in each of their last three games, it'd be easy for the Carolina Panthers to mope. Coach Ron Rivera is trying to keep that negative attitude from setting in, reiterating to players better times are ahead — and soon. Rivera said it's inevitable the wins will come:
"There is a mountaintop and we're climbing to it. I want to believe we see it. We see what's up there. We see the possibility and we see the potential. Like they say though, the problem with potential is potentially you're good enough and potentially you get fired."