William Peace University Athletics celebrated a successful 2021 despite several challenges due to COVID-19. Sixteen programs competed in Spring 2021 seasons as competition was postponed for fall and winter sports until January 2021 by the USA South Athletic Conference. Four programs made it to their respective USA South Conference Championship games in the Spring of 2021. The Fall of 2021 saw a return to a traditional schedule.
Spring 2021 began with a doubleheader win over Methodist University on February 20. The program went on an early six game winning streak to start the season with an 8-2 record. Tyshawn Barrett impressed throughout the season, breaking the program home run record with four in a single game. Barrett was also named the USA South Baseball Player of the Year, All-South Region Second Team and ABCA/Rawlings NCAA DIII South All-Region Team. The Pacers received seven All-Conference nods as Tyshawn Barrett, Nathan Holt, Hunter Ward, Tyler Vaughn, Alec Seaton, Gavin Taylor, and Austin Skipper were distinguished by the USA South Conference, with Barrett and Holt both being named First Team All-Conference. The Pacers finished the season 20-18 overall, just falling in the USA South Conference Tournament to N.C. Wesleyan College.
The Pacers picked up a big win early in the season on February 26, 2021 with an 11-3 victory over Barton College. The program picked up key wins over conference opponents Mary Baldwin University and Meredith College to finish 5-8 in the conference and 12-24 overall. The Pacers were recognized with five All-Conference honors, including a First Team All-Conference selection for Kristina Mojica. Logan Ayers, Candice Smith, Lauren Conway, and Nadia Pittman were all also recognized for their successful seasons.
Men’s lacrosse took an early win on February 20, 2021 against Ferrum College by a score of 6-5. Other key wins included a 13-3 victory over Randolph College and two conference wins over Averett University. The team finished 4-10 overall and 2-6 in the conference, with Scout Philipp being named First Team All-Conference. Nick Falso and Patrick Calhoun also received All-Conference accolades as both were named First Team East Division.
Men’s Track and Field
Men’s track and field began the season on February 12, 2021 at the Kenneth Giles Norfolk State Invitational, the program’s first indoor meet. The Pacers set several new records throughout the season; notably Kenneth Wilkes setting a new record at high jump with a mark of 1.88 meters. Kenneth Wilkes, Andrew Bates, Solomon Womble, Walter Brown and Josean Artis all earned All-Conference nods at the USA South Conference Championships. Men’s Track and Field began the 2022 season with an indoor meet on January 15 at the Mondo College Challenge. Kenneth Wilkes set a new high jump record at this meet with a mark of 1.97m.
Women’s Track and Field
Women’s track and field also began the season on February 12, 2021 at the Kenneth Giles Norfolk State. The women’s program added several new records throughout the season, with Myla Barnes and Marketta Bennett setting new records at the discus and 100m, respectively. At the USA South Conference Championships, Marketta Bennett was named First Team All-Conference at the 400m. Women’s Track and Field began the 2022 season with an indoor meet on January 15 at the Mondo College Challenge. Shawntez Mickens set a new school record at 400m, while Jazmine Ryan notched a new 200m record.
Men’s Cross Country
The Pacers competed in two meets during Spring 2021, including the USA South Conference Championship. They set several personal records throughout the season, with Caleb Clendenning being named First Team All-Conference East Division. Tucker Soltesz, Jacob Allen, and Jeffrey Knox were named Second Team East Division. In Fall2021, the Pacers began the year on September 11 at the Monarch Cross Country Classic. The team set several personal records throughout the year, with Daniel Steele setting a new 8K school record.
Women’s Cross Country
Women’s cross country began their 2021 Spring on February 13 at North Carolina Wesleyan College. At the USA South Conference Championship, Shawntez Mickens and Bailey Lambertson both finished in the Second Team East Division. Fall 2021 saw even more success for the program, as Shawntez Mickens and Alana Morgan each set new school records.
Men’s tennis began Spring 2021 with a 4-0 win over Mary Baldwin University. The Pacers competed in several matches throughout the season, with Dylan Betancourt going 6-1 overall.
Women’s tennis began Spring 2021 on February 24 with a matchup against Methodist University. The Pacers picked up a big 5-2 win against Mary Baldwin on March 6. Camryn Straughn and Hayley McNair notched several wins for the Pacers, both in singles and doubles.
The Pacers began Spring 2021 with a big win over Greensboro College. They went 3-3 overall, with Noah Jimison leading the men in numerous events. In Fall2021, the Pacers continued to impress, starting the year with a big win over Virginia Wesleyan University. The Pacers broke several school records throughout the season — Elijah Horman set a new record in the 200m backstroke, Noah Jimison set new records in the 200m breaststroke, 100m freestyle, and 50m freestyle, while men’s 400m relay team with Noah Jimison, Trey Stroud, Noah Goetsch, and Joseph Williams broke the school record throughout several meets. As a combined program, the team broke 28 school records throughout Fall 2021.
Women’s swimming began Spring 2021 with an 84-82 win over Ferrum College. They set several records and personal records throughout the spring season, going 3-4 overall as Sophia Swenson and Jasseli Gutierrez helped lead the program. In Fall 2021, the women broke even more school records as they picked up two big wins over St. Andrew’s University and West Virginia University Institute of Technology Tech. Sophia Swenson set three new records in the 50m, 100m, and 200m freestyle, while Jasseli Gutierrez set four new records in the 100 and 200m breaststroke and the 200 and 400 IM. The Pacers also set new records in the 200 and 400m medley relay and the 200 and 400m freestyle medley with Sophia Swenson, Jasseli Gutierrez, Samantha Autry, and Alexis Inman. As a combined program, the team broke 28 school records throughout Fall 2021.
Volleyball had a successful spring season in 2021, going 14-2 overall and 7-0 in regular season conference play. They finished the regular season as the No. 1 seed in the USA South East Division, marking the first time in program history that a team had gone undefeated in conference. The Pacers advanced to the USA South East Division Championship, falling in a close contest with Averett University. Brittany Carpenter and Brienna Laskowski were named First Team East Division, while Landis Limon was named Second Team East Division. In Fall 2021, the Pacers went 19-13 overall and 14-4 to finish 3rd in the East. They advancd to the USA South East Division Quarterfinals, with Hannah Collier receiving First Team All-Conference honors and Mackenzie Russell receiving Second Team East Division honors.
Men’s soccer impressed in Fall 2021, going 12-2-1 overall and 5-1-1 in the conference. The team clinched the USA South East Division Regular Season Championship with a 3-0 win over Southern Virginia University, marking the first title win in program history as well as the first title win for any men’s program in school history. They finished with the most wins in a regular season in program history, and advanced to the USA South Conference Tournament Semifinals. Jacob Smith was named USA South Goalkeeper of the Year and First Team All-Conference. Jorge Lemus led the conference with 7 goals, 16 points, and 3 game-winning goals in conference play, and was named First Team All-Conference. Rush Campbell was also named First Team All-Conference, while TJ Hurd, Jose Aguirre, and Archie Filliter were named First Team East Division and Ivan Ponce and Danny Alvarez were named Second Team East Division. Jacob Smith, Rush Campbell, and Jorge Lemus were also selected as United Soccer Coaches All-Region, the first All-Region selections in program history.
Women’s soccer picked up their first win early in the season against Johnson and Wales University. They made program history on October 6th with a 3-0 win over Meredith College under Interim Head Coach Ozzy Peralta, marking the first win in program history over Meredith College. The team picked up another big win over North Carolina Wesleyan College and received two All-Conference honors as Raine Greene and Lillian Bates were named Second Team East Division.
Men’s basketball began the Winter 2021 on November 9 with a strong showing in an exhibition against D-1 Campbell University. The Pacers started off conference play by going 2-0 with wins over Southern Virginia University and Greensboro College. The team picked up wins over Brevard College, Johnson and Wales University, and Ferrum College, with Rashod Rouse being named USA South Rookie of the Week twice.
Women’s basketball began the year with a strong win over Notre Dame of Maryland. They defeated Methodist University in their first conference game of the season, later defeating Salem College in conference play.