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LGBTQ college volleyball player celebrates conference title with a cookie

LGBTQ College Roundup: Taylor Emery helps Virginia Tech reach WNIT title game

Barton College men’s volleyball player Justice Lord (right) celebrates with teammate Michael Perez (No. 3) during a match. Lord, who is LGBTQ, is one of Barton’s leaders in blocks and kills this season.
Michael Tyler

WILSON, N.C. — A chicken pesto sandwich, BBQ chips and a chocolate chip cookie from Which Wich.

That’s how Justice Lord celebrated Saturday when the Barton College men’s volleyball team captured the regular season conference title for Conference Carolinas.

“The cookie was really good,” said Lord, who came out publicly as LGBTQ in 2017.

Barton coach Jeff Lennox rewarded the team after Saturday’s title-clinching win by allowing the players to order anything they wanted when the team stopped at Which Wich.

Barton men’s volleyball player Justice Lord prepares to make a play.
Michael Tyler

Barton and King University shared the regular season title after King beat Barton 3-1 on Friday to avenge Barton’s 3-0 win in February. On Saturday, Barton responded with a 3-0 win at Lees-McRae to end the regular season.

“We didn’t play our best,” Lord said of Friday’s loss to King. “Going into the conference tournament, our team has to just show that we are better than the rest of the teams in the conference. It will be fun to see if we can make that work. It will be very frustrating if we can’t.”

The Conference Carolinas tournament starts April 17 with Barton as the No. 2 seed and King seeded No. 1. Though both teams went 15-1 in conference, King lost just six sets during conference matches compared to eight by Barton.

The 6-foot-7, 240-pound Lord has been key to Barton’s success this season.

He ranks second on the team in block assists (48) and solo blocks (eight). He sits fourth on the team with 79 kills.

Barton men’s volleyball player Justice Lord (No. 7) stands at the net.
Barton College Athletics

“I’ve done pretty well,” Lord said of his junior season.

The 21-year-old says his best match was the first time Barton played King, and he had three digs, two kills and a block assist in the three-set win.

One of his most memorable matches came in the second match of the season. The native of Hilo, Hawaii, faced his home state. Barton and Hawaii met in Nashville as part of the Grow the Game Challenge, and several of the Rainbow Warriors were friends or guys Lord faced in high school.

“It was really fun to be able to battle with them again,” Lord said.

Barton men’s volleyball player Justice Lord walks by the net.
Michael Tyler

Last season, Lord was one of three LGBTQ players on the Barton men’s volleyball team. This season, he believes he is the only one, but he said he hasn’t felt a difference.

“My teammates, they’re really chill,” Lord said. “They treat me like a brother. It’s really fun.”

The Barton brotherhood heads into the postseason trying to win its second consecutive conference tournament and the accompanying NCAA tournament berth.

“I believe that we can make it … if we just do everything right and everything that we need to do,” Lord said.

They do all that, and the Barton players will probably have more Which Wich cookies in their future.

Justice Lord is a junior men’s volleyball player at Barton College. He can be reached on Instagram @JusticeKLord.

Names in bold are people that have announced publicly they identify as LGBTQ. Results are for competitions that took place March 26-April 8.

Division I

Got my city on my back

A post shared by NILE CLARK (@clarkdashian_) on

Nile Clark (senior, Miami men’s tennis) went undefeated in his three doubles matches the last two weeks. He and Pablo Aycart won 6-3 at No. 3 doubles Friday to help the Hurricanes beat defending national champion Virginia 4-3. His recent doubles matches against Louisville and Virginia Tech were unfinished because the doubles point was already determined.

Konrad Eiring (junior, Illinois men’s track & field) helped the Illini win the 4x400-meter relay and took fifth in the 800 meters (1 minute, 52.31 seconds) at the Ole Miss Classic on March 31. Eiring finished fourth in the 800 (1:51.27) at Arizona on Saturday.

Taylor Emery (junior, Virginia Tech women’s basketball) took the Hokies to the brink of the WNIT title, but Indiana beat Virginia Tech 65-57 in the title game on March 31 in Bloomington, Ind. Emery scored a game-high 23 points to go with four assists and four rebounds in the loss. Emery was named to the WNIT All-Tournament Team. The Hokies reached the title game with a 64-61 win at West Virginia on March 28 that included Emery hitting a three-pointer with 16 seconds remaining that gave the Hokies a two-point lead against the Mountaineers. In the semifinal win, Emery had 23 points, five steals and five rebounds. Virginia Tech finished the season 23-14 overall.

Virginia Tech guard Taylor Emery (No. 1) reacts to hitting a shot with 16 seconds remaining against West Virginia that propelled the Hokies to the WNIT title game.
Dave Knachel, Virginia Tech Athletics

Johnny Kemps (junior, Boston men’s track & field) helped the distance medley relay finish second, contributed to the 4x800 relay taking seventh, and finished ninth in the 3,000 steeplechase (9:16.12) at the Florida Relays on March 29-31.

Dawson LaRance (freshman, Minnesota men’s track & field) won the 800 meters (1:49.75) at the UCLA Distance Carnival on March 31. It marked his first win as a college athlete.

Alexis Lewandowski (junior, IUPUI women’s track & field) and Kelsey Tyler (senior, IUPUI women’s track & field) competed at the Gibson Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Lewandowski took fifth in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (11:52.32), and Tyler finished 13th in the 5,000 meters (19:00.02). On March 31, Lewandowski finished 27th in a field of 46 runners in the 5,000 (18:48.48) at Cincinnati’s Nikoloff Open.

Michael Mitchell (freshman, Lehigh men’s track & field) finished third in the 3,000-meter steeplechase (9:56.27) with a personal-record time at the Lafayette Invitational on March 31. On Sunday, he finished sixth in the 400-meter hurdles (1:05.74) in a dual meet with Lafayette.

Anthony Musciano (sophomore, Drexel men’s diving) was named the Colonial Athletic Association Men’s Diver of the Year on March 29. This is the second consecutive year that Musciano received the honor. In February, he won the CAA titles in 1- and 3-meter springboard.

Jenny Allard (head coach, Harvard softball) led the Crimson (15-12 overall) to a 5-2 record the last two weeks.

Colin Christiansen (assistant coach, UMBC softball) saw the Retrievers (7-23 overall) go 2-6 the last two weeks.

Randy Lane (assistant coach, UCLA women’s gymnastics) celebrated the Bruins winning Saturday’s NCAA Columbus (Ohio) Regional. UCLA scored 197.65 points and advanced to the NCAA Championships, which are April 20-21 in St. Louis. Also on Saturday, Lane and fellow UCLA assistant coaches Chris Waller and Jordyn Wieber were named 2018 West Region Assistant Coaches of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women.

Lowell McNicholas (assistant coach, Wisconsin men’s rowing) opened the spring season Saturday at No. 10-ranked Syracuse. No. 12-ranked Wisconsin won the first varsity eight race, and Syracuse took the two and three varsity eight races.

Nich Lee Parker (head coach, Columbia men’s lightweight rowing) opened the season by guiding the No. 6-ranked Lions to a win against No. 2-ranked Princeton on March 31 by winning the No. 1 and 2 varsity races. No. 3-ranked Columbia beat Navy on Saturday, and on Sunday, Columbia finished second to Harvard and beat Georgetown in a three-team competition. Columbia announced a documentary about its 2016 rowing national title will air May 10 on ESPNU.

Cale Robinson (assistant coach, Stanford women’s gymnastics) experienced the No. 26-ranked Cardinal’s season end with a fifth-place finish at Saturday’s NCAA Salt Lake City Regional. Stanford senior Elizabeth Price advanced as an individual to the NCAA Championships.

Simon Thibodeau (head coach, UC Santa Barbara women’s tennis) saw the Gauchos (7-12 overall, 3-1 Big West) go 1-2 the last two weeks. UCSB picked up a 4-1 win against Long Beach State on March 31.

Kirk Walker (assistant coach, UCLA softball) helped the No. 3-ranked Bruins (34-3 overall) go 7-1 the last two weeks. UCLA’s game at Arizona on April 13 is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPNU at 10:30 p.m. ET. UCLA’s game against Washington on April 21 is scheduled to be broadcast on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. ET.

Division II

Alanna Carvalho (senior, Alabama-Huntsville women’s lacrosse) scored 11 goals to lead the Chargers (9-3 overall) to a 3-0 record the last two weeks. Her big game came when she scored seven goals in a 22-10 win against Palm Beach Atlantic on March 28. Alabama-Huntsville’s most recent win clinched a spot in the conference tournament at the end of the regular season.

Kylon Drones (senior, West Texas A&M men’s track & field) finished third in the 110-meter hurdles (14.98 seconds) at Friday’s West Texas A&M Classic.

Austin Shupp (senior, Shippensburg men’s track & field) finished seventh in the 400-meter hurdles (53.96 seconds), eighth in the 110 hurdles (14.94 seconds) and 12th in the long jump (21 feet, 2 1/2 inches) at Saturday’s William & Mary Colonial Relays.

Mark Johnson (assistant coach, Tampa baseball) saw the No. 4-ranked Spartans (28-5 overall) go 6-0 the last two weeks.

Lauren Lappin (assistant coach, Missouri-St. Louis softball) helped the Tritons (24-14 overall) go 6-0 the last two weeks.

Division III

Kyle Davis (junior, Ithaca men’s track & field) opened the outdoor season with a personal record in the long jump (21 feet, 2 inches) to take fifth, and he got seventh in triple jump (39-3) at the Navy Spring Invitational on March 31.

Michael Drougas (senior, Oberlin men’s tennis) went 2-0 in doubles and 0-2 in singles the last two weeks. Oberlin won both matches.

Lindsey Farrell (junior, McDaniel women’s lacrosse) scored two goals in Saturday’s 14-11 win against Ursinus. Farrell had five goals total as McDaniel (5-6 overall) went 1-2 the last two weeks.

Jason Hadley (junior, Mount Union men’s track & field) took 37th in the 800 meters (2:11.38) at Saturday’s Homon Invitational. He finished 41st in the 1,500 meters (4:38.96) at Wooster Invitational, which took place March 30-31.

Harrison Knowlton (junior, Middlebury men’s cross country) finished ninth in the 10,000 meters (31:07.57) with a personal-record time at Friday’s Howell Invitational hosted by Princeton.

Nathan Matthews (junior, Wittenberg men’s volleyball) recorded five digs in Saturday’s three-set loss to No. 2-ranked Carthage. The match ended the season for the Tigers (14-11 overall). Matthews finished fifth on the team with 64 digs, and his 34 kills rank sixth on the team.

Tucker Meijer (junior, Amherst men’s track & field) finished fifth in the 10,000 meters (32:17.1) at the Snowflake Classic on March 31 to start the outdoor season. On Saturday at the Amherst Spring Fling, Meijer came in 19th in the 1,500 meters (4:16.82).

Cal Neikirk (junior, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field) and Lucas White Moon (sophomore, Pomona-Pitzer men’s track & field) competed in the SCIAC Multi-Dual on March 31. Neikirk won the high jump (6-0 3/4), and White Moon got second in both long jump (20-5 3/4) and triple jump (42-6). On Saturday, White Moon competed at the Pomona-Pitzer Invite, where he finished 11th in triple jump (43-3) and 34th in long jump (18-10 1/2).

Isaac Reed III (junior, Denison men’s track & field) won the 110-meter hurdles (16.14 seconds) at Carnegie Mellon on March 31.

Andres Bustani (head coach, Rutgers-Newark men’s tennis coach) saw the Scarlet Raiders (1-6 overall) go 0-2 the last two weeks. “Overall, we are staying in a lot [of] matches and giving ourselves the opportunity to take control,” Bustani said in a press release. “The key moving forward is learning from these experiences and starting to take advantage of the opportunities.”

Jen Moore (assistant coach, Swathmore softball) helped coach the Garnet (13-5 overall) to a 3-3 stretch the last two weeks.

Taylor Tvedt (assistant coach, Augsburg women’s lacrosse) saw the Auggies (7-3 overall) win both of their games during the past two weeks.

NAIA

Jaxon Cork (freshman, Clarke men’s volleyball) and Nick Clark (head coach, Clarke men’s volleyball) saw the Pride (14-17 overall) go 1-2 the last two weeks to end the season. The season ended with a five-set loss Friday to No. 2-seeded Missouri Valley in the semifinals of the America Athletic Conference tournament.

Erik Hall can be reached via email at hallerik7@gmail.com or on Twitter @HallErik or Facebook. If you are an out LGBTQ athlete or coach and want your accomplishments recognized, please email Erik.