2008-09 SAAC Tigers of the Month

In the fall of 2006, Wittenberg University's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) initiated a program called Tigers of the Week. Every two weeks, SAAC members vote to select one male and one female student-athlete who turned in a noteworthy performance.

Erik Larkin
Men's Track and Field (3/22/09): As consistent a performer as the Wittenberg University men's track and field team has had in many years, senior jumper Erik Larkin capped the indoor portion of his collegiate career with North Coast Athletic Conference Field Events Athlete of the Year honors at the NCAC championship meet March 6-7 at Denison. Larkin started out with a school record in the triple jump, good for second place and a near-miss of the NCAA provisional qualifying standard. He added Wittenberg's only individual title of the 2009 indoor championship meet in the long jump and a third-place finish in the high jump.
Rachael Hatcher
Softball (3/22/09): The Wittenberg softball team may have returned from Florida with a disappointing 3-9 overall record, but you can't blame senior pitcher Rachael Hatcher. She only eked out one victory on the season-opening trip to the Sunshine State, but she posted a sparkling 1.82 earned run average in five appearances. Opponents managed just five earned runs in nearly 25 innings in the pitcher's circle. Then came the home opener against nationally ranked John Carroll, and a 1-0 shutout of one of the hottest teams in all NCAA Division III. Hatcher, who broke the school record for career strikeouts in the first game of the 2009 season, scattered eight hits and four walks over the seven innings, but she made the big pitches and the Tiger defense came up with some big plays behind her to account for the morale-building victory.
Adeline Brym
Women's Swimming and Diving (3/10/09): After just missing out on berths in the NCAA Division III championship meet in each of her first two collegiate seasons, Adeline Brym broke through in a big way at the 2009 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championships. In helping the Tigers to a fifth-place finish - an improvement of one spot over the 2008 season - Brym placed in the top 10 in three individual events and four relays. Along the way, she earned All-NCAC honors with a second-place finish in the 200-yard backstroke and a third-place finish in the 800 freestyle relay, in addition to setting three school records. To top it off, Brym earned one individual NCAA B cut and three relay B cuts before rounding things out with an NCAA A cut, meaning that she automatically qualified for the national championship meet March 18-22 in Minneapolis, Minn.
Neil Anderson
Men's Swimming and Diving (3/10/09): The Wittenberg men's swimming and diving team reached new heights at the 2009 North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) championship meet, finishing in third place behind only perennial national powers Denison and Kenyon. Anderson took top 10 finishes in three individual events and as a member of three relays, in the process claiming five NCAA B cuts and two school records. He also picked All-NCAC honors as a member of the 800 free relay and the 400 free relay. Unfortunately, Anderson was one of the last swimmers edged out of a berth in the national championships for a third straight year.
Men's Soccer (11/20/08): Self-described the "Soccer Penguins," the 2008 Wittenberg Men's Soccer team set school records for wins in a season (16), consecutive wins (13) and best start (13-0-0). In addition, the Tigers reached the North Coast Athletic Conference Tournament championship game for the first time in the eight-year history of the event after finishing third in the conference regular season with a mark of 6-3. Finally, Wittenberg made its fifth appearance in the NCAA Division III Tournament and held a 2-1 lead inside the final 10 minutes. It was not to be, however, as the Tigers lost 3-2 to Carroll (Wisc.).
Laura Fender
Volleyball (11/20/08): After four collegiate seasons, libero Laura Fender has few individual awards to show for her efforts. All she has are three North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) regular season championship trophies, three NCAC Tournament championship trophies and three NCAA Division III Great Lakes Regional championship trophies. Wittenberg's record in the last four years is 140-17, including a 53-1 mark against conference opponents - this year's senior class participated in four NCAA Tournaments and made three Final Four appearances. To top it all off, Fender broke the school record for career digs with 2,697 during the Tigers' national tourney loss to Ohio Northern.
Jordan Bamberger
Women's Soccer (11/12/08): Three years after a knee injury threatened her collegiate career, Jordan Bamberger, class of 2009 from Solon, Ohio, replaced an All-American goalkeeper and helped the Wittenberg women's soccer reach the NCAA Division III Tournament for a third straight year. Named NCAC Player of the Week for her back-to-back shutouts over Allegheny and Wooster in the NCAC Tournament Nov. 5 and 8, respectively, Bamberger rounded out her senior season with a saves percentage of .782, a goals against average of 0.76 and 11 shutouts, all of which ranked among the best in the conference. The Tigers finished second in the NCAC regular season title chase, won their third straight NCAC Tournament title before finishing the season with an 11-4-6 overall record.
Neil Anderson
Men's Swimming and Diving (11/12/08): The Wittenberg men's swimming and diving team has enjoyed a start that is nearly unparalleled in program history, jumping out to a 5-2 dual meet mark through the first half of the 2008-09 season. Along the way, the Tigers topped NCAC rival Wooster for just the second time this decade and defeated Wabash for the first time ever after narrowly missing out on third place in the NCAC Relays to open the season. The model of consistency has been Neil Anderson, class of 2010 from Lakewood, Ohio. He has been outstanding in the middle distance freestyle events, as well as the butterfly, as he works toward an even stronger finish to his third collegiate season and hopefully a first-ever trip to the NCAA Division III Championship meet.
Mary Pfeifer
Women's Cross Country (11/5/08): Talk about timing. Mary Pfeifer, class of 2012 from Dublin, Ohio, turned in her best time of the 2008 season - dropping her time in the 5K by a whopping 40 seconds - to finish fifth in the NCAC Championship meet at Oberlin. That finish was good for Wittenberg's first all-conference award in five years, and just as importantly it earned Pfeifer NCAC Newcomer of the Year honors, recognition that goes to the top finisher among first-year collegiate student-athletes at the conference meet each year. Most significantly, Pfeifer and her four fellow freshmen runners who scored points in the meet, claimed the best NCAC finish in school history. The Tigers placed fourth behind three regionally ranked, senior-laden teams for the best result since Wittenberg joined the NCAC in 1989. Next up for the cross country teams is the Great Lakes Regional meet at Otterbein on Nov. 15.
Justin Jenkins
Men's Soccer (11/5/08): The heart and soul of the Wittenberg men's soccer team, sweeper Justin Jenkins, class of 2009 from Dublin, Ohio, was sidelined for the rest of the 2008 season by injury during a 4-0 win over Wabash on Oct. 15. Since then, the Tigers have gone 2-3 and allowed 11 goals after starting the season 13-0 and allowing 10 goals while rising as high as No. 5 in the national rankings. Jenkins was the 2005 NCAC Newcomer of the Year and has earned multiple all-conference designations while starting all but three games in his collegiate career until the recent injury. The Tigers hope to bounce back in the NCAC Tournament, starting with today's game at Hiram.
Kyle Lohrman
Football (10/28/08): The Tiger football team made the long trip to western Pennsylvania and its first appearance on national television in more than 25 years a winning one, in no small part thanks to the work of its defense, which secured a 21-14 win at Carnegie Mellon on Oct. 25 with a fine performance against one of the top rushing attacks in NCAA Division III. Leading the charge was junior linebacker Kyle Lohrman (Loveland, Ohio/Loveland), who poured in 19 tackles, including 2.5 for a loss of 11 yards. One of those tackles for loss was a sack. He ranks second on the team in tackles in the 2008 season.
Jackie Williams
Volleyball (10/28/08): The Wittenberg volleyball team secured its 11th North Coast Athletic Conference regular season title in the last 12 years with a trio of NCAC wins last week, part of a 4-0 week that included an important win over visiting Capital on Saturday as well. After enjoying the Oct. 21 win over winless Kenyon from the sidelines, senior right-side hitter Jackie Williams (Rocky River, Ohio/Magnificat), the 2007 NCAC Player of the Year, was nearly unstoppable in weekend victories over Allegheny, Hiram and Capital. She finished with 24 kills and an attack percentage of .358. For the season, Williams leads the team with 225 kills and ranks second with a .368 attack percentage. She is the school and NCAC record-holder for career attack percentage.
Alyssa Ashbaugh
Field Hockey (10/14/08): The Wittenberg field hockey team's recent hot streak, which reached four straight wins with a 2-1 overtime victory over Denison on Oct. 16, coincides with the addition of freshman goalkeeper Alyssa Ashbaugh (Gahanna, Ohio/Columbus School for Girls) to the starting lineup. In her first three starting assignments, the Tigers outscored Denison, Houghton and Oberlin by a whopping 15-3, as Ashbaugh allowed just one goal.
Michael Condon
Men's Soccer (10/14/08): Offense wins games, defense wins championships - at least that's what junior defender Michael Condon (Powell, Ohio/Watterson) and his mates in the back third of the Tiger men's soccer pitch hope is the case in 2008. The Tigers have one of the most prolific offenses in the rugged North Coast Athletic Conference, but the defensive performance in the program-best 13-game win streak cannot be understated. Wittenberg has outscored its opponents 36-10 in 2008.
Jennifer Petro
Women's Golf (10/7/08): The Wittenberg women's golf team is making history nearly every time it takes the course. Leading the way for the Tigers is senior Jennifer Petro (Louisville, Ky./Sacred Heart). In the Tigers' first-place finish at the Auld Crafter's Classic, Petro finished in first place with a two-round score of 160. Petro is the first Tiger to ever medal individually, as the team also lowered its best team score record. The team is at home for Homecoming weekend, hosting the Clash at the Clouse in honor of former coach Pat Clouse, at Windy Golf Club.
Josh McKee
Football (10/7/08): The Tiger football team beat Hiram 44-7 as freshman Josh McKee (New Carlisle, Ohio/Tecumseh) caught eight passes for 177 yards and one touchdown. His 31-yard touchdown catch in the first quarter was his team-best seventh score of the season. His performance earned him NCAC Offensive Player of the Week honors.
Shane Price
Men's Soccer (9/24/08): The 2008 men's soccer team is off to a university-best start of 8-0-0. In the Tigers' seventh win, a 4-0 decision against regional rival Ohio Northern, senior Shane Price (Minford, Ohio/Minford) completed a hat trick, scoring 63 seconds into the game, and twice more as play continued. The Polar Bears were also undefeated heading into the night, but the Tigers came out on top with an impressive 4-0 victory. They have since beaten crosstown rival Cedarville as they gear up for conference play next week.
Tori Casanta
Field Hockey (9/24/08): In the Tiger field hockey team's 8-1 victory over conference opponent Oberlin, sophomore Tori Casanta (Mason, Ohio/Cor Jesu Academy) scored five total goals, four of which came in the first half. This impressive performance put Casanta in a second-place tie for most goals in a game in school history. Casanta currently leads the NCAC in goals. The Tigers are currently 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the conference.
Andy Sharek
Men's Soccer (9/10/08): The men's soccer team is off to an impressive 5-0 start in 2008 and freshman Andy Sharek (Sewickley, Pa./Sewickley Academy) has been a key contributor. In the team's 4-3 win over Trine Sharek found the net twice, once in during each half. His second goal was the deciding goal of the night, as the two teams battled hard down to the final minute. With the win over the hosting school, the Tigers claimed the 2008 Ketner Invitational Title. Sharek is also a member of the Baseball team and will look for some time on the mound this spring.
Darcy Dubuc
Women's Cross Country (9/10/08): The Women's Cross Country team won their only home meet this year, with frehsman Darcy Dubuc (Grand Haven, Mich./Grand Haven) leading the way. Dubuc had a stellar performance this weekend, finishing first individually with a time of 21:46 on the 5k course. Just one week earlier, Dubuc led the way for College Divison runners at the Flyer Inivitational at the University of Dayton.