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[Go, Bulldogs!]

Your “Best of the Best” vote counts

By Mike Gore

Burt Holmes

Ilona Fekete ’92 led the nation in blocks in 1990.

A contest to rank the Top 25 “Best of the Best” moments in Big South Conference history kicks off the league’s 25th anniversary celebration this fall, and the Bulldogs are in the running with three of those 25 spots. The Big South anniversary committee, made up of administrators from current member institutions, selected the “Best of the Best” moments to recognize notable achievements since the conference was established in 1983. Here’s a recap of the Bulldogs’ “Best of the Best.”

2003 men’s basketball, the first Big South team to win a NCAA Tournament basketball game. UNC Asheville claimed its first trip to the NCAA Tournament by winning the conference championship over Radford. After overtime upsets of Elon and top-seeded Winthrop, the Bulldogs got to the championship game where they cruised to a 77–63 win. In the NCAA Tournament opening-round game, UNC Asheville slipped past Texas Southern 92–84, with Andre Smith ’03 scoring 28 points (10 in overtime) for the historic win.

1990–92 volleyball, winners of three straight regular-season titles,led by Ilona Fekete ’92. The Bulldogs ruled the league, winning three straight regular-season titles and two tournament championships. In 1991 the team was the first Big South volleyball team to advance to post-season play, at the National Invitational Volleyball Championship in Dayton, Ohio, and in 1992 was the first to go unbeaten in conference play and the tournament, finishing with a school record 32–6. Big South Player of the Year in 1990, Fekete led the nation in blocks and was named to the first Big South Conference and UNC Asheville Hall of Fame classes of 2003.

1987–89 women’s tennis, winners of three straight Big South titles, led by Jenee Cross ’91. The first UNC Asheville women’s team to win a conference championship, the team captured three consecutive titles from 1987 to 1989. Cross, who did not lose a league match in three years, was part of the 1988 and 1989 championships and was unbeaten in the conference in 1988, 1989 and 1990. She was inducted into the UNC Asheville Athletics Hall of Fame in 2005.

Join the online fan poll to determine the “Top Moment” by visiting www.BigSouthSports.com. Voting continues through March 25, 2009. Fan votes will be tallied along with the committee’s votes to come up with the countdown at a special May 2009 event.

For the latest news, rosters and schedules for all 14 UNC Asheville Division I teams, visit www.uncabulldogs.com