Tuesday, October 29, 2013
MACON, Ga. – The Atlantic Sun Conference is expanding its schedule of fall championship coverage to include the finals of the 2013 Men’s and Women’s Soccer Championships and all three rounds of the A-Sun Volleyball Championship on ESPN3, ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV.
The Women’s Soccer Championship begins Sat., Nov. 2, with the final on ESPN3 scheduled for 1:00 p.m. on Nov. 10, from Fort Myers, Fla.
The Men’s Soccer Championship begins Wed., Nov. 13, with the final on ESPN3 on Nov. 17 also at 1:00 p.m. With regular season play still ongoing, the campus sites for the men’s semifinals and final have yet to be determined.
The Volleyball Championship is hosted by Kennesaw State, Nov. 21-23, at the KSU Convocation Center. The first round matches and the semifinals will be available at 5:00 and 7:30 p.m., with the final scheduled for 3:00 p.m. All five productions will be delivered via the A-Sun and ESPN’s on-campus production relationship.
The expanded championship coverage occurs as the A-Sun continues to enhance its role as a leader in on-campus production. The conference became the first to adopt the conference-wide on-campus production model, and the commitment to the initiative has resulted in a 300 percent increase in television-caliber live productions since 2011.
“I am excited that this year the A-Sun has the opportunity to include the men’s and women’s soccer championship finals, along with all three rounds of the volleyball championship, to our schedule of events delivered through ESPN3,” said A-Sun Commissioner Ted Gumbart. “We thank ESPN, as this cooperative effort of campus-produced digital content allows us to further spotlight our talented student-athletes, their teams and the A-Sun institutions.”
Last season the A-Sun’s volleyball semifinals and championship were available on ESPN3 live from Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena. Lipscomb became the first A-Sun member to provide original on-campus programming for the network in November of 2012, producing a total of 15 events that included volleyball and men’s and women’s basketball. This season a total of 19 volleyball matches were available on ESPN3 and a total of 120 regular season and championship A-Sun basketball games, 65 men’s and 55 women’s, will be available on ESPN3 beginning Nov. 8.
A veteran broadcasting team of Neil Solondz (play-by-play) and Richard Broad (analyst) will handle duties for the women’s and men’s soccer finals.
A member of the Tampa Bay Rays radio team, Solondz just completed his second season on the Rays Baseball Network as host of the pre- and postgame shows as well as This Week in Rays Baseball, an hour-long network show. Before joining the Rays full-time, Neil was the radio voice of the Durham Bulls from 2004-11 and filled in on the Rays pre- and postgame show from 2010-11. During his tenure with Durham, he broadcast the Triple-A All-Star Game and the Triple-A National Championship game to a nationwide audience.
Broad’s soccer experience runs deep, as he currently serves as a scout for FC Dallas, provides soccer analysis for the Big 10 Network and is the president at American Soccer Programs. Broad served as the men's soccer head coach at George Mason for nine seasons from 1976-84, compiling a stellar 88-53-17 record for a .611 winning percentage during his tenure. He coached the Patriots to an ECAC South (the predecessor of the CAA) title during the 1984 season and NCAA Tournament appearances during the 1982 and 1984 seasons, including an appearance in the quarterfinals during the 1982 tournament.
Phil Bush, a veteran of volleyball for three decades, will join Solondz in his call of the volleyball championship. Bush showcased his passion for broadcasting and the sport when he oversaw the volleyball event production at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and has not looked back since. Volleyball fans in the South may recognize Bush from his role as Southeastern Conference and ESPNU sportscaster along with many others.
Bush has worked over 17 seasons for FOX SportsNet South, CSS and Sun Sports and is well versed in play-by-play as well as color analysis broadcasting. The well-polished announcer has hosted ESPNU’s SportsCenterU during the 2009 Regional Finals and covered ACC, Conference USA and NCAA Tournaments. Bush has been active in sports for over 30 years as a player and further as a broadcaster. He is currently one of the main "voices" of the International VB Federation (FIVB) and has broadcast from 20 countries worldwide.
The Atlantic Sun and ESPN have a long-standing relationship that first began with the airing of the conference’s basketball tournament title game back in 1989. For the fifth season, all of the conference’s CSS/A-Sun Friday Night Game of the Week men’s basketball contests will be available on the ESPN Full Court package and on ESPN3.
Live events from ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes and ESPN Goal Line/Buzzer Beater are available through WatchESPN on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox and Apple TV at no additional cost to fans who receive their video subscription from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Comcast Xfinity TV, Verizon FiOS TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter or AT&T U-verse (coming soon to NRTC members’ customers).
Access to live programming on ESPN3 online at WatchESPN.com and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members is also available at no additional cost to fans that receive their Internet subscription from an affiliated provider. A complete list of participating providers is available at WatchESPN.com.
ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually. It is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV. It is available to more than 85 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive a high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated provider. The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband and Wi-Fi networks.
Launched in April 2011, WatchESPN delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN Buzzer Beater/Goal Line on computers, smartphones, tablets, Xbox and Apple TV. It is currently accessible in 55 million households nationwide to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks, Verizon FiOS TV, Comcast Xfinity TV, Midcontinent Communications, Cablevision, Cox, Charter or AT&T U-verse (coming soon to NRTC members’ customers).
The Atlantic Sun Conference is an NCAA Division I league with 10 member institutions committed to Building Winners for Life. The A-Sun meets the challenge of maintaining the highest standards in academic and athletic achievement with a true balance between student and athlete. Headquartered in Macon, Ga., the A-Sun footprint reaches into seven of the top media markets in the Southeast. The A-Sun includes a blend of the most prestigious and dynamic private and public institutions in the region: East Tennessee State University, Florida Gulf Coast University, Jacksonville University, Kennesaw State University, Lipscomb University, Mercer University, University of North Florida, Northern Kentucky University, University of South Carolina Upstate and Stetson University.