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LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: FMU's Bernaola selected as Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Week

LOCAL COLLEGE ROUNDUP: FMU's Bernaola selected as Conference Carolinas Defensive Player of the Week

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FLORENCE, S.C. – Francis Marion University graduate student Oier Bernaola has been named the Conference Carolinas Men’s Soccer Defensive Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 4-10.

A native of Arantzazu, Spain, Bernaola helped anchor the Patriot defensive from his center back position as FMU beat Queens University of Charlotte 3-1 on the road and captured a 1-0 home conference win over Lees-McRae College. The Patriots allowed only 14 total shots in the two contests with only three being on target (all in the Queen’s match). In addition, Bernaola tallied his second career goal in the victory at Queens, heading in an 82nd minute corner kick.

Bernaola played all 90 minutes of both matches. For the season, he has started all 11 contests and been on the field for all but 27 minutes, while helping FMU lower its season goals against average to 1.23 (14 goals conceded in 11 matches).

Francis Marion, 6-4-1 overall, remains one of only two unbeaten teams in the conference as the 5-0-0 Patriots trail only the University of Mount Olive (7-0-0). FMU will play at 19th-ranked Chowan University on Wednesday at 3 p.m. in a key Conference Carolinas match-up. The Hawks are 7-2-0 overall and 5-1-0 in league play. The all-time series is knotted at 2-2 with both squads having scored five times.

FMU will return home to host Belmont Abbey College on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. for Senior Day. Admission to FMU home matches is $8 for adults and $5 for students with FMU students being admitted free with ID.

FMU squads host Braves in Battle of l-95

FLORENCE, S.C. – The Francis Marion University women’s soccer and volleyball teams will both host UNC Pembroke on Wednesday in the latest installments of the Battle of I-95.

The soccer match will kick off at 4 p.m. on Hartzler Field in the Griffin Athletic Complex. Admission is $8 for adults and $5 for students with FMU students being admitted free with ID.

The Braves lead the Conference Carolinas standings with an 8-3 overall record and a perfect 7-0-0 conference mark, while the Patriots are 2-9-0 and 2-4-0.

The East Division-leading Patriot volleyball team (12-8, 8-0) will meet the second-place Braves (16-7, 8-1) at 7 p.m. in the Smith University Center and admission is free. All spectators are required to wear masks.

Francis Marion lead the all-time volleyball series with UNCP 55-35, and the Patriots hold a 7-4-0 edge in the women’s soccer all-time series.

Coker volleyball sweeps Fayetteville State

HARTSVILLE, S.C. - The Coker University volleyball team swept Fayetteville State on Tuesday night for a non-conference win by a score of 3-0.

The Cobras jumped out to a 6-3 lead in the opening set, before later getting out to leads of 15-6 and 20-9. The Cobras won five of the final eight points to polish off the first set.

Fayetteville State jumped out to a 5-1 lead in the second set, before the Cobras rallied to tie the match at 10. The teams went back and forth to battle to a 20-20 deadlock, before the Cobras won five consecutive points to finish off the second set.

Coker jumped out to a three-point lead in the third set, before the Broncos rallied to tie the set at 12. The teams later played to a 17-17 tie, before the Cobras rattled off four straight points for a 21-17 lead. Coker would win four of the next seven points to finish off the match in straight sets.

The Cobras posted a season-best .343 hitting percentage in the match. Lauren Loveday led the way with 12 kills, while Chelsey Blume added 10. Naomi Earl-Reyes added nine kills while Taylor Parker had seven and Carson Fuller chipped in six.

Rami Mullen also added four kills, while Alyssa Lake had one. Mullen dished out a match-high 21 assists, while Ashley Carson added 13 and Blume, Loveday and Parker each had one.

Makayla Harris posted a match-high 21 digs, while Parker finished with nine and Loveday added eight.

The Cobras return to conference play on Friday on the road at Tusculum. First serve is set for 7 p.m. from Greeneville, Tenn., with video and live stats available at


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