Southern Conference Announces 25th Year Anniversary Teams
Seven student-athletes and two coaches/administrators were named to their respective anniversary teams. The student-athletes include: Martina Veiglova (volleyball), Tara Chaisson (women’s soccer), Sharon Mitchell (women’s basketball), Anita Buggins (women’s tennis), Abby Bloom (cross country), Nicole Brown (indoor and outdoor track) and Shanita Black (softball). Former administrator Brenda Carter (SWA) and coach Kerry Messersmith (volleyball) were members of the ’25 of Distinction’, individuals who made significant contributions to the overall growth of women’s athletics in the Southern Conference.
Veiglova (2001-03), the 2004 Southern Conference Female Athlete of the Year’, finished her career as one of the most decorated volleyball players in SoCon history. In her three seasons at GSU, Veiglova was a three-time First Team All-SoCon selection and was named the league’s Player of the Year’ in 2002 and 2003. The native of Bratislava, Slovakia also earned all-tournament accolades all three seasons while being honored as the Tournament MVP in 2003 and was selected as the Southern Conference Player of the Week’ a record nine times.
In the classroom, she posted a 3.58 GPA. She was selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District III Team and earned TIAA-CREF Student Athlete of the Week and Month honors. In addition to her SoCon awards, Veiglova was named to the AVCA All-Region team and was designated Honorable Mention All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA), making her one of two SoCon volleyball players at that time to ever receive this honor. She finished her senior season ranked sixth nationally in kills per game. Veiglova remains as the league’s all-time record holder for kills in a season (764) and kills per game average for a season (5.83).
Chaisson (1996-99) still stands as the Southern Conference’s all-time leading scorer, accumulating 161 points throughout her stellar four-year career. The SoCon’s Player of the Year’ her senior year, Chaisson recorded 59 goals and 43 assists in her career.
She started her soccer career by receiving Freshman All-America honors and capped it off by earning All-Region accolades by the NSCAA and Soccer Buzz. During her career in which she earned All-SoCon honors every year, Chaisson led the Eagles to 45 wins. She was named to the SoCon All-Tournament team in 1996 and 1998.
Mitchell (1997-99, 2001) earned All-Southern Conference honors three times in her career. In 1998 and again in 2001 she was named to the SoCon All-Tournament Team. Mitchell still ranks seventh all-time in GSU history scoring 1,408 points (12.4 career ppg).
But career scoring leaders isn’t the only category Mitchell is ranked in. Having recorded 762 career rebounds she is one of five players in program history to record 1,400 points/750 rebounds. Mitchell also ranks seventh all-time in free throws made (338), fourth in blocks (64) and sixth in steals (176).
Buggins (1995-98) was arguably the most dominant tennis player in Southern Conference history. The SoCon Player of the Year’ her final two seasons, she was never defeated in league play her entire career. She earned all-conference honors four times in singles play and three years in doubles (1995, 1997, 1998). During her first three years Buggins captured the SoCon singles and doubles conference championships.
After earning Freshman of the Year’ honors in 1995, Buggins was named Tournament Most Valuable Player in 1997. Buggins not only dominated on the court but also excelled in the classroom. She received the league’s M. Wood Foundation Graduate Scholarship in 1998 and also earned Second Team Academic All-District honors. Buggins twice received the league’s highest honor, being voted Female Athlete of the Year’ in 1997 and 1998.
Bloom (2005-present) joined the program her sophomore year. In three years, she goes down as one of the Eagles’ top distance runners ever. During her first year, she set the
During her junior year she ran a career-best 18:48 in the 5,000 meters, which stands as the third-fastest time in
Brown (2004-07) completed the SoCon sweep at the Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field championships last year, playing a major role in the Eagles’ third-place indoor finish and outdoor championship. The GSU track program’s newest assistant coach was tabbed Field Performer of the Year’ (Indoor) and Track Athlete of the Year’ (Outdoor) last year.
During her senior year Brown became the first
At the 2007 SoCon Indoor meet Brown won four titles (60 meters, 200 meters, long jump and triple jump) en route to receiving her Field Athlete of the Year award. In addition to those four events, she also earned all-conference honors helping the 4x400 meter relay to a second place finish.
In all, Brown holds four Indoor records and six more in Outdoor events. Not only was she a standout track athlete, Brown equaled those feats in the classroom. She was twice a member of the TIAA-CREF Academic All-SoCon team. Last spring she earned a spot on the ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District Second Team.
Black (2003-06) helped
A three-time All-Southern Conference pick, including First Team honors her final two seasons, she was named All-Southeast Region and SoCon Player of the Year’ in 2006. Black owns seven career GSU records, including: at-bats (816), batting average (.352), runs (163), hits (287), triples (13), stolen bases (89) and hitting streak (30). She also set five single-season records and one for the SoCon (hits).
Messersmith led the Eagles to unprecedented success during her five-year tenure (2001-05) as volleyball coach. Under Messersmith Georgia Southern turned in a 20-win season every year. What makes that even more impressive is the program had only two 20-win seasons the previous 16 years. The Eagles twice qualified for the NCAA Tournament (2001, 2003) and captured two regular season titles (2002 and 2003).
The winningest coach in Eagle history, Messersmith tabulated a 116-52 overall record. She was the 2002 SoCon Coach of the Year’ and 2004 Georgia Women’s Collegiate Coach of the Year’. Messersmith coached All-America Martina Veiglova and 12 All-SoCon performers in all.
Carter (1990-99) served as an Athletic Department administrator during her tenure and was
In 2004 Carter joined the Georgia Southern Athletics Department Hall of Fame. She has gone on to a successful professional tennis career, winning numerous championships and recognitions. Most recently she earned the world’s top-ranking by the International Tennis Federation for women over 60. The July ranking had Carter with 720 total points, 60 more than the next closest.
- Category: Athletics
- Published on Sunday, 09 March 2008 00:05