GREENVILLE, S.C. — The Chowan men’s soccer team was selected to finish second in the 2021 Conference Carolinas Men’s Soccer Preseason Poll released by the league on Thursday afternoon.

The Hawks posted a 7-2-1 overall record with a 4-1-1 mark in league action.

Chowan appeared in the Conference Carolinas Semifinals for the fourth consecutive season.

The Blue and White return two-time Conference Carolinas Defender of the Year and All-American, Toby Sims, to anchor the defense. The league leader in assists, Harri Lovett, along with all-conference selections, London Williams and Devontay Blair return for the Hawks.

Chowan was selected to finish second behind newcomer Francis Marion and slightly in front of Erskine by one point despite the Fleet collecting three first place votes. The Hawks notched one first place tally with Francis Marion grabbing eight.

The two Conference Carolinas Spring Championship Finalist, Barton and Belmont Abbey, round out the top-five. North Greenville, Mount Olive, Emmanuel, King, and Lees-McRae comprise of the top-10. Converse and Southern Wesleyan complete the preseason poll.

Chowan opens the season on the road against Coker and nationally-ranked Lander on September 2 and 5 respectively.

SWIMMING

Chowan Athletics and Vice President for Athletics, Patrick Mashuda, appoints Erik Ripley as Director of Swimming for the Hawks Men’s and Women’s Swimming Programs.

Ripley comes to Chowan after spending three seasons at Saint Leo as the Assistant Swim Coach. While with the Lions, Ripley helped produce four All-Americans including Matthew Daniel and Vittocia Bonsanti Feniello. Both Lions would be named Sunshine State Conference All-Conference selections. With Ripley’s guidance, the Lions sent six swimmers to the NCAA Championships during his two seasons.

TRAINING

Chowan Athletics and Vice President for Athletics, Patrick Mashuda, announced the addition of James Fiorella as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator.

Fiorella comes to Chowan after spending a year as the Assistant Strength and Conditioning coach at Norfolk State. Fiorella worked with the Football, Women’s Basketball, Baseball, Softball, and Volleyball programs.


In January 2020, Fiorella opened his own Athletic Club, where he was a Strength and Conditioning Coach designing and developing programs for youth and athletic development.

Fiorella spent time as a Nuclear Electrician for Huntington Ingalls with the Newport News Shipbuilding division.

Prior to owning his own club, Fiorella spent five years as a Strength and Conditioning coach and Group Exercise Instructor at C-Fit Studio in Suffolk. Fiorella would also spend one season with Churchland High School as the Assistant Varsity Baseball Coach.

Out of college, Fiorella spent a year at Atlantic Physical Therapy as a Physical Therapy Technician.

The Chesapeake, Va. native was a four-year member of the baseball program at Averett as a catcher.

— Chowan University athletics

FIELD HOCKEY

Marlon de Bruijne of the Old Dominion field hockey team was tabbed as the Preseason Co-BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year, the league announced on Thursday afternoon.

Joining de Bruijne on the Preseason All-BIG EAST Team is teammate Delphine Le Jeune, who was an unanimous selection. The Monarchs were picked to finish third in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, as Connecticut and Liberty were selected ahead of ODU.

de Bruijne (Den Bosch, Netherlands) was last season’s BIG EAST Co-Rookie of the Year, as she was the leading freshman goal scorer (15) in NCAA Division I. She also led all freshmen in points (32) a season ago, which garnered her NFHCA Second Team All-American honors. Among all NCAA Division I players last season, de Bruijne tied for fifth nationally in goals and eighth nationally in points.

Le Jeune, a junior from Ghent, Belgium, was one of three unanimous First Team All-BIG EAST selections last season. She started in all 14 games for the Monarchs last year, as she ranked third on the team in points (14) and assists (6) and was fourth in goals (4). Le Jeune also earned VaSID First Team All-State, as well as NFHCA Second Team All-South Region accolades last season.

A season ago, the Monarchs logged a 9-5 record, including an 8-3 mark in BIG EAST play and reached their second-consecutive BIG EAST final, while finishing the year ranked 16th by the NFHCA.

— Old Dominion University athletics