SAINT MARY OF THE WOODS, Ind. -- In the 12th edition of This Week In Pomeroy Sports | TWIPS, we want to congratulate head coach Zach Whitkanack and the women's cross country team for winning the 2019 USCAA Women's Cross Country National Championship. This is Whitkanack's first National Title and the program's first Championship since the 2010 season. We also want to give a special shoutout to men's soccer head coach Abe Tizaf who was named USCAA Men's Soccer Coach of the year!
The men's cross country, men's soccer and women's soccer teams, all represented SMWC in respectable fashion at the 2019 USCAA Fall National Championships.
From the WXC National Championship race to 16 student-athletes being named to the USCAA National All-Academic Team.
We have all of last week's action below!
Catch-up on the Action
2019 USCAA Fall Championship Banquet
On the evening of Thursday, October 7, at the Virginia Beach Convention Center, the United States Collegiate Athletic Association (USCAA) hosted the 2019 Fall Championship Banquet. With more than 40 institutions in attendance, the USCAA announced its National All-Academic Team Members. The award is designed to recognize student-athletes (sophomores, juniors, and seniors) who have a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or greater.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) athletic department was well represented as it landed an incredible 16 student-athletes on the USCAA National All-Academic list. Nine separate majors were called out during the banquet including Nursing (4), Elementary Education (3), Business Administration (2), Biology (2), Criminology (1), Accounting (1), Graphic Design (1), Human Services (1), and Pre-Art Therapy (1).
SMWC also had 11 student-athletes unanimously selected as USCAA All-Americans.
See below for all recognitions:
Men's Soccer (1)
Ismael Fletes | Sophomore | Naples, Fla. | Business Administration
Women's Soccer (6)
Gabrielle Shuler | Sophomore | New Haven, Ind. | Elementary Education
Mannah Mace | Senior | Brazil, Ind. | Business Administration
Carra Matherly | Junior | Clinton, Ind. | Criminology
Abigail Rascoe | Sophomore | Rensselaer, Ind. | Pre-Art Therapy
Shelby Joy | Sophomore | West Terre Haute, Ind. | Biology
Melissa Spognardi | Sophomore | Toronto, Canada | Biology (Pre-Med)
Women's Cross Country (5)
Kayla Coryea | Sophomore | Plainfield, Ind. | Accounting
Claire Loebker | Sophomore | Seymour, Ind. | Nursing
Kendyll Schulz | Junior | Bloomington, Ind. | Elementary Education
Brooke Stateler | Sophomore | Shepardsville, Ind. | Nursing
Emily Truax | Sophomore | Brownsburg, Ind. | Graphic Design
Women's Volleyball (4)
Riley Kinney | Sophomore | Westville, Ill. | Nursing
Pamela Dorman | Junior | Terre Haute, Ind. | Elementary Education
Kelcie Basan | Junior | Terre Haute, Ind. | Nursing
Alexis Woodburn | Sophomore | Cedar Lake, Ind. | Human Services
Quote | Todd McIntyre - Assistant Athletic Director
"It is amazing to see our student-athletes representing their teams, the athletic department, and the institution on an academic level. We sincerely appreciate their dedication and sacrifice to what is most important. Student-athletes are asked to do so much; maintain their studies, win in their sport, train year-round, be active in the community, manage a social life, remain close to their faith and families, for them to excel academically is a remarkable accomplishment.
Congratulations to all sixteen recipients of the USCAA National All-Academic award!"
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College (SMWC) athletic department had 11 student-athletes unanimously selected as USCAA All-Americans.
Men's Soccer (4)
Omar Abdallah Nabilsi | USCAA First Team All-American
- 14 Games Played | 13 Games Started | 21 Goals | 7 Assists | 1.50 GPG | 49 Pts | 4 Game-Winners
Edson Alvarado | USCAA First Team All-American
- 14 Games Played | 12 Games Started | 12 Goals | 24 Points | 2 Game-Winners
Yazen Bakhrebah | USCAA First Team All-American
- 14 Game Played | 12 Games Started | 1 Goal | 5 Assists | 7 Points
Keaton Krischak | USCAA Second Team All-American
- 14 Game Played | 14 Games Started | 19 GA | 1.36 GA/G | 50 Saves | .725 SV% | 7-1 Record
Women's Soccer (4)
Mannah Mace | USCAA First Team All-American
- 14 Games Played | 14 Games Started | 3 Goals | 6 Points | 1 Game-Winner
Alexis Pflum | USCAA First Team All-American
- 7 Games Played | 7 Games Started | 7 Goals | 3 Assists | 17 Points | 2 Game-Winners
Ashley Jezik | USCAA Second Team All-American
- 14 Games Played | 14 Games Started | 2 Goals | 1 Assist | 5 Points
Shelby Joy | USCAA Honorable Mention All-American
- 14 Games Played | 13 Games Started | 3 Goals | 3 Assists | 9 Points
Women's Volleyball (3)
Katelyn Cotter | USCAA First Team All-American
- 27 Matches | 812 Assists | 8.46 Assists Per Set | 222 Digs | 55 Kills | 36 Blocks | 112.5 Points
Riley Kinney | USCAA Second Team All-American
- 27 Matches | 223 Kills | 2.32 Kills Per Set | 56 Blocks | 290.5 Points
Mandi Alspach | USCAA Second Team All-American
- 27 Matches | 215 Kills | 2.24 Kills Per Set | 26 Blocks | 246.5 Points
Quote | Brennan Randolph – Vice President of Enrollment Management
"I am constantly amazed by our student-athletes ability to balance both the academic and athletic component of their daily lives. It is a true testament to their ability to balance all that they do. In their future careers and lives, it will be a great tool to be able to manage the kinds of change and workload they will face. The fact that they can navigate everything from their studies to athletics, to on-campus involvement, to being involved in a community is such a great accomplishment."
"It was rewarding for me to be at the banquet in-person to see it all unfold."
The women's basketball team saw its first victory of the season on Saturday, November 9, on the road against Brescia University. The Pomeroys defeated the Bearcats 87-83. Statistics were not provided by the host institution thus, you will need to check back in a few days to see the Pomeroys top-performers.
SMWC is in action today at 3:30 p.m. ET at Midway University.
Women's Cross Country
Women's cross country began its race with a shotgun at 10:00 a.m. ET in Virginia Beach, VA...6K later, the SMWC women's cross country team was 2019 USCAA Women's Cross Country National Champions. With the National Title in the books, the program sees its first Championship under the direction of head coach Zach Whikanack and its first top finish at Nationals since the 2010 season.
"When I took over the program four years ago a National Championship was the goal." head coach Zach Whitkanack said, "Now, the goal is to continue growing the program and developing our runners."
Whitkanack believes this was a team effort and that it was an earned victory, "The women's team was just a great group effort! They are a very focused and hard-working group!"
The Woods was led by Kayla Coryea, Zoe Trausch, Breanna Barger, and Kendyll Schulz, all who finished the 6K as USCAA First Team All-Americans. Coryea, who finished as the USCAA Individual Champion Runner-Up and Trausch, broke the existing 6K school record with times of 22:53.82 and 22:55.18. Barger finished with a time of 23:29.15 while Schulz notched a 24.01.17 run.
Emily Truax, Kathryn White, Emma Fey, Patricia Henney, and Elyse Hunger, each finished in the Top 25.
Coryea was happy to celebrate with her teammates, "It was exactly what we wanted and we were super excited to celebrate our win. We did exactly what we hoped and trained for and I'm so proud of our girls for how we competed. I wouldn't have asked for a better race!"
Having broken the school record with her Individual Runner-Up finished, Coryea had this goal in mind, "Personally, I am glad that I was able to accomplish my season goals this season. Being Runner-Up at Nationals was such a huge opportunity and honor, I could not have done it without my teammates!"
Beginning next season coming off of a big race, Coryea is happy, "I got a huge PR in the 6K, I never thought I could break 23 minutes but I did and I'm so excited for what's to come next year. I also want to thank Zoe Trausch for all she's done for me this season, I wouldn't have done so well without her! We're all very excited to come home and celebrate this amazing opportunity!"
True freshman Zoe Trausch had an amazing race as well, she was excited and knew the team had accomplished its season's goal, "It's very exciting to win a National Championship as a true freshman on the team. It has been our team's goal ever since the beginning of the season. We had the opportunity to prove ourselves and all the training we have put in this season. We were able to successfully reach our goal and I couldn't be prouder of our team."
Kathryn White, a first-season runner for the women's cross country team and transfer from women's basketball team had a big impact as well, "Coming in this season, I didn't know what to expect. I knew we were going to be good, everyone was hungry for the National Title after coming in second last year. I'm excited I was able to be apart of that!" White added her excitement for next year, "Looking forward to next season, I think we're all ready to defend the title. We have a great group of girls that work and train hard. I can't wait to see what we do in the future!"
Men's Cross Country
SMWC men's cross country notched a fourth-place finish in the National Championship 8K behind senior Brennan Guido and junior Brady Page. Guido, the Pomeroys top-runner all season long did not disappoint in his season finale as he took home USCAA First Team All-American honors. He finished fourth place with a time of 26:41.50, the men's cross country program will greatly miss his incredible speed, consistency, and leadership.
Page finished in ninth place running a 27:21.49 which locked him in with a Second Team All-American spot. Parker Nuest also helped the Pomeroys to their top-four finish as he notched a 17th place spot and time of 27:45.94.
Guido had one motto coming into today's race, "One last ride..." The senior knew the day would be full of emotions but that did not keep him from being at his best but he is not sure the full effect of being a senior has set in, "I don't think it has hit me completely just yet as far as it being over. It was definitely a bittersweet day today knowing that it was the last time I was gonna lace up my spikes in my cross country career."
"Running with my guys one last time was definitely a great experience and I think we all knew that," mentioned Guido.
Page's big race could not have come at a better time for SMWC, it also earned him All-American honors, "It feels awesome to have earned All-American status. All of the guys have been pushing me hard all season in every workout, so I knew my physical fitness was coming around but it's always such a mental battle at Nationals. It felt good to finally have everything fall into place and to be able to place in the Top 14"
Page knows this was not what the team had in mind but he appreciates the great season, "It wasn't the team outcome we wanted, but we left it all out on the course and I'm so proud of all of the guys. We've had a phenomenal season, and everyone has put in the work everyday which makes training with these guys so much fun." He knows that next season has some big things in store, "Now that we know what we're capable of, we're definitely going to use this as fuel to come back to Nationals even stronger next year."
He also had a special message for teammate Brenna Guido, "Shoutout to my First Team All-American teammate Guido, although it's his last race with us since he's a senior, I know he'll succeed in whatever he chooses to do after college."
Head Coach Zach Whitkanack spoke about Guido and Page, "It was nice to see senior Brennan Guido have a great race. I also thought Brady Page had an excellent race." Per usual, Whitkanack is already thinking about the successes to come next season, "Now it is time for Brady and Parker to lead their team back to the podium next fall!"
As a #4 seed in the USCAA Men's Soccer National Tournament, SMWC was faced with having play Bryant & Stratton University - Syracuse and Paul Quinn College in Pool Play of the National Tournament.
Unfortunately, the Pomeroys were unable to advance as they lost both matches. They fell to Bryant & Stratton - Syracuse 3-2 and Paull Quinn College 4-0.
In their final match of the 2019 season, the men's soccer team fell to Paul Quinn College 4-0. Despite losing both their matches, the team can be proud of the immense progress made in their second full year. After wrapping up last season with a 6-7 record, the team stormed back this season behind play from Omar Abdallah Nabilsi and Edson Alvarado to post a 10-6-1 record and make their first trip to Nationals.
Head coach Abe Tizaf was very appreciative for the journey to National and all the support, "First of all, I really want to thank the athletic department for their support throughout this entire season, we [were] given all the support and resources we needed to enjoy this great first-time experience for the team. The team displayed a high level of play during the two games we had, and I am very proud of all of them. It's not easy for a young team to compete [against] strong and experienced ones, we didn't win the championship but we won the experience for the upcoming years. We will continue working on our skills and techniques, and take the opportunity we were given to improve for the next seasons."
Captin Ismael Fletes believes the Nationals trip will help prepare them for next season, "I felt our first trip to Nationals served us as useful experience for the future of the program. We now know more of what to expect from the competition and I think that's very important. Next year, I'm looking forward to building on what we've done these last two years. I'm optimistic about having another shot at a National Championship and the journey that comes with it."
The #4 seeded women's soccer program lost both contests in the 2019 USCAA National Tournament. Game one played against Bryant & Stratton University - Syracuse was lost 3-0. Against Florida National University, SMWC lost 2-0.
Despite the losses at the USCAA Nationals, it does not take away from what the team was able to accomplish this season. Holding a 1-12-1 overall record last season, the Pomeroys went above and beyond this year qualifying for the National Tournament and concluding the 2019 season with an overall record of 7-8-1 (.469).
Head coach Craig Hendry believes the experience was great, "This was a fantastic experience. Although we didn't progress, our young women, with their efforts against strong opponents, were a credit to their families and the school. I believe this trip elevates our program and the school profile. This group has raised the bar for Pomeroy soccer, and our goal is to raise it further."
Thursday, November 14th
Women's basketball will hit the road to Greenville, Ill., to take on the tough Greenville University Panthers. Tip-off is at 7:00 p.m. ET
Saturday, November 16
Western equestrian and Hunt Seat equestrian will be in action against Eastern Illinois University and Purdue University in Day 1 of their show.
Sunday, November 17th
Both equestrian teams will see Day 2 of their western and hunt seat shows.
Look for TWIPS every week, on social media, in your e-mail, and on our official athletic website: www.swmcpomeroys.com.
The 13th edition of TWIPS will be released on Sunday, November 17th.
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