Springfield, Ohio — One of the most successful fall sports seasons in Wittenberg history was capped by a tremendous haul of postseason awards from the North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC).
Announcements regarding All-NCAC teams for field hockey, football, men's soccer, women's soccer and volleyball have been sent out separately from the conference office over the last two weeks. All-conference honors for cross country were determined by individual finishes in the NCAC championship meet on Nov. 1 at Oberlin College.
Four student-athletes earned special awards to headline the parade of all-conference selections. Player of the Year awards went to Jackie Williams, class of 2009 from Rocky River, Ohio, for her outstanding play on the volleyball court, Matt Borland, class of 2009 from Kettering, Ohio, garnered the offensive award in men's soccer and Suzanne Medwid, class of 2009 from Columbus, Ohio, picked up the offensive award in women's soccer. In addition, women's cross country standout Mary Pfeifer, class of 2012 from Dublin, Ohio, picked up NCAC Newcomer of the Year honors for her strong finish at the conference meet on Nov. 1.
The volleyball program was a national power again in 2008, finishing with records of 33-3 overall and 16-0 in the NCAC to capture a 13th league title in the last 14 years (and third straight with an unbeaten record). The Tigers added their 13th NCAC Tournament title in the last 14 years to earn a berth in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Wittenberg had its run of four straight Great Lakes Region titles snapped in the semifinals by Ohio Northern.
Williams, who ranked among the NCAC and NCAA Division III leaders in attack percentage, earned first-team all-conference for a third straight year to go along with her second straight Player of the Year designation. First-team recognition also went to middle hitter Jessica Kimble, class of 2009 from Dennison, Ohio, and setter Erin Slattery, class of 2010 from Chagrin Falls, Ohio.
Kimble ranked among the team leaders in blocks and kills for a second straight season, to go along with her third-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District award. Slattery was tops on the Tigers in assists.
Rounding things out for the Tiger volleyball squad, middle hitter Kate Snead, class of 2010 from Westerville, Ohio, merited an honorable mention selection. (NCAC Press Release)
The men's soccer team finished a record-breaking season with records of 16-4-1 overall and 6-3 in the NCAC, good for a second-place tie. The Tigers, who broke the school records for wins in a season and consecutive victories (13), reached their first-ever NCAC Tournament title game, falling in a penalty kick shootout to Ohio Wesleyan, and earned their first NCAA Division III Tournament berth in 12 years. For the fifth time in national tournament play, however, Wittenberg lost a one-goal decision, this time to Carroll (Wisc.) in the first round.
Borland was a first-team all-conference honoree for a third straight year and a repeat winner of the Offensive Player of the Year award. After ranking second on the team with seven goals and first in the NCAC with 13 assists, Borland finished his career with 27 goals, 30 assists and 84 total points. His assist total broke the school record by six.
Borland was joined on the first team by forward Shane Price, class of 2009 from Minford, Ohio, the team leader in goals with 13. Price, a repeat first-team honoree, finished his career with 36 goals and 78 total points, both among the best in school history.
Second-team honors went to midfielder Brian Glenn, class of 2010 from Lewis Center, Ohio, who ranked second on the team with eight goals. Midfielder Jimmy Thinnes, class of 2009 from Cincinnati, Ohio, and defender Anthony Ianiro, class of 2009 from University Heights, Ohio, both garnered honorable mention all-conference awards. (NCAC Press Release)
The women's soccer team put together another stellar season, finishing 11-4-6 overall and 5-1-2 in the NCAC and capturing a third straight tournament conference crown. The Tigers advanced to their third straight NCAA Division III Tournament before bowing out in the first round to the University of Chicago.
Medwid, who led the Tigers with seven assists and ranked second in total points with 13, was joined on the first team by defender Maggie Amorello, class of 2011 from Sutton, Mass. Amorello spearheaded a defensive unit that recorded 11 shutouts, and she added three goals to the offensive attack as well.
Forward Corey Shubitowski, class of 2009 from Columbus, Ohio, defender Jamie Mack, class of 2009 from Rochester, N.Y., and goalkeeper Jordan Bamberger, class of 2009 from Solon, Ohio, all picked up second-team All-NCAC awards. Shubitowski was second on the team with seven goals, Mack was a multi-year starter and key player on defense, and Bamberger finished with a goals against average of 0.76 in her first year as a starter. To accompany her All-NCAC honor, Mack also landed a third-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District award.
Rounding things out, forwards Taylor Goss, class of 2012 from Sandy Springs, Md., and Emily Murray, class of 2010 from Petoskey, Mich., earned honorable mention awards from the NCAC. (NCAC Press Release)
The Tiger field hockey program finished with records of 11-8 overall and 7-5 in the NCAC, good for fourth place in the regular season standings. Forwards Tori Casanta, class of 2011 from Mason, Ohio, and Boo Vernon, class of 2011 from Lake Bluff, Ill., and defensive backs Meredith Price, class of 2011 from Highland Park, Ill., and Kelley Herde, class of 2011 from Louisville, Ky., were all first-team choices.
Casanta, the 2007 NCAC Offensive Player of the Year, finished with 25 goals and eight assists for a whopping 58 total points, all of which ranked among the league leaders. Her 25 goals were one short of a school record, while the five goals she scored against Oberlin on Sept. 13 were the second-most in program history. Vernon, the 2007 NCAC Newcomer of the Year, added 19 goals and seven assists to the offensive attack, while Price and Herde contributed 11 assists combined while spearheading the defense. (NCAC Press Release)
The Tiger football program posted records of 6-4 overall and 4-3 in the NCAC in 2008, good for a three-way tie for third place in the conference.
Four Tiger players made the first team: defensive tackle Lance Phillips, class of 2009 from Wellston, Ohio, linebacker Brad McKinley, class of 2011 from Hilliard, Ohio, safety Manny Rodriguez, class of 2011 from Lawrenceville, Ga., and linebacker Kyle Lohrman, class of 2010 from Loveland, Ohio.
Second-team honorees included offensive linemen Dillon Hollin, class of 2010 from Prospect, Ky., and Alex Burwell, class of 2011 from Sunbury, Ohio, cornerback Brandyn Brown, class of 2010 from Louisville, Ky., and defensive end Eddie Vallery, class of 2011 from South Solon, Ohio. The honorable mention list included wide receiver Patrick Williams, class of 2009 from Plainfield, Ind., wide receiver Josh McKee, class of 2012 from New Carlisle, Ohio, and defensive tackle Taylor Scherer, class of 2010 from Crestwood, Ky. (NCAC Press Release)
Finally, the Wittenberg men's and women's cross country teams finished seventh and fourth, respectively, in the NCAC Championships. The finishes represented improvements of one spot for the men and three spots for the women, who had five freshmen score in the meet. The fourth-place finish for the women was the best in program history.
For the first time since 2003, Wittenberg placed runners on the All-NCAC honor roll. Pfeifer was joined by Anna Henry, class of 2012 from Chagrin Falls, Ohio, in becoming the first two first-team honorees representing Wittenberg since 2002 as they placed fifth and sixth respectively. Not far behind was Darcy Dubuc, class of 2012 from Grand Haven, Mich., who placed ninth to earn second-team honors. It was the first time Wittenberg had ever placed three runners on the All-NCAC honor rolls since joining the conference in 1989. (NCAC Press Release)
Written By: Ryan Maurer