Athletes’ feats: 2013–2014

 

19 of 21 teams see NCAA postseason action; stellar year includes #4 Directors’ Cup finish

FoleyUIndy’s Crimson and Grey earned numerous team and individual honors on the conference, regional, and national levels in 2013–14. The Greyhounds’ efforts across the board culminated in three major awards from the Great Lakes Valley Conference: the GLVC’s All-Sports Trophy, the Commissioner’s Cup, and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Challenge Trophy. It was the third consecutive All-Sports Trophy for UIndy and its first-ever Commissioner’s Cup.

While the All-Sport Trophy takes into account all of the league’s 20 sponsored sports, the Commissioner’s Cup honors the seven core conference championship sports (baseball, men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, softball, and women’s volleyball). UIndy tallied four GLVC championships during the season. The football team won its second conference crown  in a row, having won both since the league adopted football in 2012. UIndy volleyball followed by capturing its fourth GLVC title with a stellar tournament performance. The men’s and women’s golf squads each dominated the field to bring home their respective conference championship in the spring.

Service, learning, passion, balance, sportsmanship, resourcefulness

As for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Challenge Challenge Trophy, the Greyhounds accumulated 510 points through the academic year based on a scoring model in which points are awarded in each area of the six attributes of Division II: service, learning, passion, sportsmanship, balance, and resourcefulness. The University of Indianapolis won the award for the sixth time in the trophy’s seven-year history. Individually, UIndy had 61 All-GLVC student-athletes, including 40 placed on their respective first teams. The Hounds also had six GLVC Player of the Year winners, including Ngwese Ebangwese (Men’s Soccer Offensive Player of the Year), Klay Fiechter (Football Offensive and Special Teams Player of the Year), Jenny Konop (Women’s Golfer of the Year), Tyler Offutt (Men’s Diver of the Year), and Justin Rossillo (Men’s Swimmer of the Year). Derrick Bryant (football) and Andrew VanAelst (men’s golf) won their sport’s Freshman of the Year honor.

For their efforts, several Greyhound coaches earned hardware as GLVC Coach of the Year: Bob Bartolomeo (football), Melissa Frost (softball), Stan Gouard (men’s basketball), John Higgins (men’s soccer), and Brent Nicoson (men’s and women’s golf). Konop also captured the conference’s Richard F. Scharf Paragon Award, perhaps its most prestigious individual honor, becoming just the third UIndy female student-athlete to do
so. It is bestowed annually by the GLVC to one male and one female athlete who display academic excellence, athletic ability and achievement, character, and leadership.

Division II powerhouse

While UIndy cleaned up in conference awards, its success reached even further as the Hounds made an impact on the regional and national landscape. UIndy had its highest-ever finish in the Learfield Sports Directors’ Cup standings, placing fourth among 312 Division II institutions and becoming one of only five D-II institutions to notch three consecutive top-10 finishes in the vaunted Directors’ Cup standings. Nineteen of UIndy’s 21 teams saw NCAA postseason action. Women’s golf and wrestling won their regionals, and women’s track and field earned a national championship. After winning their third straight GLVC title, the women’s golfers kept pace to win their third consecutive Super Regional crown. The Hounds erased an eight-stroke deficit over the final 18 holes to storm back and seal the win. They went on to finish fifth at the NCAA National Championships, good for the team’s second-highest national finish in program history.

Three individual regional victories from Justin Kieffer, Cameryn Brady, and Jeff Weiss paced the Greyhound grapplers’ first-ever regional championship. Head Coach Jason Warthan was also named Super Region #2 Coach of the Year at the conclusion of the meet. All told, seven Greyhounds punched tickets to the NCAA Division II national championships, matching the most ever to make the national meet by a UIndy wrestling team. Alex Johns and Evan Wooding joined Brady and Weiss as All-Americans, as each placed in the top eight of their weight classes at the NCAA Division II Wrestling Championships to lead the UIndy team to their highest-ever NCAA Division II finish of eighth place at the national meet.

UIndy ended 2013–14 on a high note, as Tatiana Zhuravleva won a national championship at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in the discus throw. She became UIndy track and field’s fifth female student-athlete to capture an individual NCAA title and 16th overall. Lissette Mendivil (discus), Jermel Kindred (400m hurdles), and Josh Bass (long jump) each placed in the top three in their events
to earn All-American status.

All told, the Greyhounds had 22 All-Region individuals and 14 All-Americans. Softball’s Morgan Foley not only earned Daktronics, Inc., Regional Pitcher of the Year but also won UIndy’s first-ever NCAA Division II “Ron Lenz Pitcher of the Year” as the nation’s top hurler. The two-time All-American finished the year second in Division II in both wins (33) and strikeouts (386), the latter breaking her own single-season school record. Nicoson (women’s golf) and Malik Tabet (women’s tennis) also received recognition as Regional Coach of the Year for their respective sports.

Hounds show heart

IMG_9729While the Crimson and Grey excelled athletically, raising the already-lofty bar for future Greyhounds, it was their work off of the fields and courts that leaves an immeasurable impact for generations to come. From countless visits to the Riley Hospital for Children, to raising money through events like volleyball’s “Dig Pink,” women’s soccer’s “Free2Play,” wrestling’s “Pin Down Leukemia,” and softball’s “MDA Game,” the Greyhounds showed a commitment to helping others in the community that outweighs even the heaviest athletic trophies.

The Greyhound baseball team “signed” Owen Mahan to the squad after he was matched with the team through TeamIMPACT, an organization that seeks to match children with life-threatening diseases or injuries with college and university athletic teams to give them a social support network. The men’s soccer team also got on board with Team-IMPACT, adding eight-year-old Braden Tamosaitis to the team.

Photos: Morgan Foley was Daktronics, Inc. Regional Pitcher of the Year and UIndy’s first-ever NCAA Division II Pitcher of the Year.

Six-year-old Owen Mahan, who was burned over 98 percent of his body at age 2, was signed by UIndy’s baseball team. Owen and his signing were the subject of an Indianapolis Star story on May 6. INSET photo: UIndy’s athletics department took home a lot of hardware this year, including its third straight Great Lakes Valley Conference All-Sports Trophy