Fanfare: A look at Wednesday's area sports news in brief
National champion Duke loses ACC rookie of the year
DURHAM — Freshman Yu Liu, the ACC Rookie of the Year, has decided to leave the Blue Devils and turn professional, after helping the Duke women’s golf team to its sixth national championship in 15 seasons in May.
Liu, from Beijing, finished tied for 12th in her professional debut over the weekend in the Beijing Challenge with rounds of 70, 73 and 71 for a 214.
Liu is the first golfer to leave the Duke program after only one season in Coach Dan Brooks’ 30 years at the helm.
Liu featured one of the best freshman seasons in school history as she carded a 72.36 stroke average, five top five and eight top 10 placements. She posted rounds of 69, 72 and 70 for a 54-hole ledger of two-under, 211, to claim the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate in March.
Liu was named the ACC Rookie of the Year and earned WGCA Second Team All-America. She finished the season ranked No. 11 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index.
NCCU’s Ortiz named freshman all-America
DURHAM — 2014 Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year Carlos Ortiz of N.C. Central has been named to the 2014 Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American Baseball Team, the first NCCU baseball player of the modern era of the program to earn that distinction.
Ortiz finished his first year as an Eagle batting .321 with 51 hits in 45 games that included five doubles, a triple, six home runs, and 25 RBI as he earned second team All-MEAC honors manning the outfield as well.
He also batted an astounding .392 against league opponents.
Duke, UNC women’s netters finish in top 25
SKILLMAN, N.J. — The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) released its final singles and doubles rankings of the 2013-14 season Wednesday with Duke and UNC heavily represented in singles and doubles in the top 25.
In singles for Duke, Beatrice Capra finished at No. 5 and Ester Goldfeld No. 17. In doubles, the tandem of Capra and Mar finished at No. 4.
UNC freshman Jamie Loeb is the nation’s top women’s tennis singles player. Classmate Hayley Carter ranked third. The UNC duo of Loeb and Carter is No. 3 and the team of Caroline Price and Whitney Kay is No. 9.
Duke finished the season ranked No. 2 and UNC No. 3. UNC lost in the NCAA Tournament championship match to UCLA 4-3. Duke lost in the quarterfinals.
Hall of Famers to meet in ACC/Big Ten Challenge
GREENSBORO — Hall of Fame coaches Sylvia Hatchell of North Carolina and C. Vivian Stringer of Rutgers will face off this season when their teams will play in the 2014 ACC/Big Ten Women’s Basketball Challenge on Dec. 4 at the Rutgers Athletic Center in Piscataway, N.J.
The contest not only pits a pair of coaches head-to-head that have won over 900 career games, but will also be the first ever meeting between these two storied basketball programs.
Carolina will return starters Latifah Coleman, Xylina McDaniel, Allisha Gray and Stephanie Mavunga from last year’s squad that finished 27-10 and appeared in the Stanford Regional Final (Elite Eight) game against the home-standing Cardinal.
Rutgers (28-9) won the Postseason WNIT.
In other Challenge games, Duke will travel to Nebraska on Dec. 3, a date which will also feature Indiana at Boston College, Minnesota at N.C. State, Maryland vs. Notre Dame at Fort Wayne, Ind., Florida State at Purdue, Pittsburgh at Ohio State, Virginia at Illinois and Wake Forest at Michigan.
In addition to UNC, Dec. 4 games include Iowa at Louisville, Wisconsin at Miami, Penn State at Syracuse, Northwestern at Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech at Michigan State.
Duke adds former Syracuse aide to soccer staff
DURHAM — Former Syracuse assistant Mike Miller has joined the Duke men’s soccer coaching staff, head coach John Kerr announced Wednesday. Miller will work closely with the goalkeepers and will be the chief recruiting coordinator.
Miller comes to Duke after spending four seasons as an assistant coach with the Orange.