Focus on Athletics
Patriot Season Highlights
The UT Tyler athletics department’s 2009 spring season was one for the record books. Five teams won American Southwest Conference championships and seven of the eight spring programs participated in NCAA Championship events as teams and/or individuals. Several student-athletes received prestigious awards for athletic and academic excellence.
It was another season of champions for the Patriots, with highlights including:
Forty-six UT Tyler student-athletes and members of the support staff received ASC Academic All-Conference honors. To be eligible, the honoree must be at least a sophomore with two semesters completed at the institution and a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
Academic All-ASC honorees for the spring were:
Baseball – Brett Holland, Josh Long, Ryan Miner, Nathan Skeen, Joe Towns and Lex Wolfe.
Men’s Golf – Brandon Ellis and Bobby Ennis.
Women’s Golf – Amber Grounds and Jordan Woodruff.
Softball – Kelsey Ainsworth, Kate Bell, Courtney Carrizales, Sara DeStefano, Kelsey Harrington, 'Roo Richardson, Rachael Roeten and Julie Smith.
Men’s Tennis – David Ashlock, Brad Fenter, Nick Kreines, Tim Pedraza, Jordan Repsher, Robert Sajovich and Chayce Stone.
Women’s Tennis – Michelle Hagler, Beth Launius, Brittany Ude and Blair Wilson.
Men’s Track & Field – Zach Costlow, R.J. Cowan, Chris Godwin, David Kelley, Paul Metzner, Marc Randle and Cameron Strother.
Women’s Track & Field – Julianne Armstrong, Leah Solomon, Ashton Wells and Robin Zihlman.
Athletic Training – Will Bennett, Griffin Hawthorne, Shannon Hinsley and Candace St. Julian.
Sports Information – Barry Barnett and Shannon Sutton.
Graduate student R.J. Cowan (Whitehouse, Texas) and junior Nick Kreines (Houston, Texas) were named ASC Distinguished Scholar-Athletes for men’s track & field and men’s tennis, respectively.
The honor recognizes student-athletes who achieve at least a 3.20 GPA while competing as an important starter or reserve on their team.
Cowan, a student in health and kinesiology with a 3.81 GPA, is a two-time All-ASC track performer and a two-time track Academic All-ASC honoree. He was the 2008 ASC Men’s Track Distinguished Scholar Athlete and the 2007 and 2008 ASC Men’s Cross Country Distinguished Scholar Athlete. He was named a second-team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-American for track and cross country in 2007-2008.
Kreines, a business major with a 3.96 GPA, is a two-time All-ASC, All-ASC East, Academic All-ASC and ITA Scholar Athlete honoree. In 2008, he was a first team CoSIDA Academic All-District selection for the at-large category. He was also named to the 2008 ASC Men’s Tennis Distinguished Scholar Athlete team.
Other Patriots honored by being named to their sports Distinguished Scholar-Athlete teams were: senior Brett Holland (Lindale, Texas) of baseball, sophomore Kelsey Ainsworth (Mildred, Texas) of softball, junior Brandon Ellis (Village Mills, Texas) of men’s golf, sophomore Amber Grounds (Whitesboro, Texas) of women’s golf, senior Beth Launius (LaGrange, Texas) of women’s tennis and junior Ashton Wells (Quitman, Texas) of women’s track & field.
OUTSTANDING COLLEGIATE CAREERS
Patriot soccer’s Adam McAlpine (Kingwood, Texas) and tennis player Beth Launius (LaGrange, Texas) were UT Tyler’s recipients of the ASC Scholar-Athlete Award. It is presented to one male and one female member of the graduating class who has compiled the most outstanding record in academics, athletics and leadership over their collegiate career.
McAlpine finished his undergraduate work with a 3.82 GPA and has a perfect 4.0 GPA through two semesters of graduate school. He is a three-time Academic All-ASC honoree and was named to the ASC Men’s Soccer Distinguished Scholar-Athlete team twice. In 2008, McAlpine was a first team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District men’s soccer selection. He is a two-time All-ASC selection, making the second team in 2007 and the first team in 2008.
McAlpine has played in integral role in three ASC regular season championship teams at UT Tyler and in his final year of eligibility, while attending graduate school, helped lead the Patriots to their first ASC Championship and NCAA appearance. He was named 2008-2009 UT Tyler Male Student-Athlete of the Year.
Majoring in mechanical engineering, Launius graduated in the spring with a 3.83 GPA.
She is a two-time Academic All-ASC honoree and was named to the ASC Women’s Tennis Distinguished Student-Athlete team in 2008 and 2009. She is a four-time All-ASC and All-ASC East First Team selection, a three-time ASC East Player of the Year and a two-time ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District at-large first-team selection
UT Tyler won an ASC East title in all four years of Launius’ tenure and won the ASC title and advanced the NCAA Tournament in each of the last two years. Launius won the top doubles flight at the ASC Individual Championship in 2006 & 2008 and won the top flight in singles in 2008, as well. She won the ITA Regionals Doubles Championships in 2008 and advanced to the Small College Nationals, along with partner Michelle Hagler. Launius was the 2008-2009 UT Tyler Female Student-Athlete of the Year.
HIGHLIGHTS PER SPORT
Baseball went 39-12 on the year and won its third ASC East title in four years as well as its first ASC Championship. The Patriots advanced to the NCAA Regionals where they finished fourth.
MLB Draft – Senior pitcher Brett Holland (Lindale, Texas) was selected in the 49th round of the 2009 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft by the San Diego Padres. Holland’s selection marks the third-straight year that a UT Tyler player has been taken in the MLB draft.
Professional Contracts – Infielder Chad Daleiden (Cave Creek, Ariz.) and pitcher Beau Ziegler (North Wales, Penn.) both signed on to play for the Evansville Otters of the Frontier League. Paige Hodges (Crowley, La.) and pitcher Tommy Rozell (Chandler, Texas) were signed to professional contracts by the Coastal Kingfish of the Continental Baseball League.
West Region Pitcher of the Year – Holland was honored as National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association West Region Pitcher of the Year. He also was named to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America second team and All-District first team. He received D3baseball.com All-America honorable mention.
ABCA All-West Region – Holland and senior Brock Lemire (Nederland, Texas) were named to the American Baseball Coaches Association’s All-West Region second team. Receiving third team honors were Daleiden, Ziegler and seniors Jared Hood (Marshall, Texas), Jeremy Harding (Marshall, Texas) and Blake Booher (Hurst, Texas).
ASC East Postseason Awards – Holland was named ASC East Pitcher of the Year, while senior Kendall Fox (Carrollton, Texas) was named Co-Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year along with Jake Eisman of Texas-Dallas.
Holland, Daleiden, Ziegler and junior Nathan Skeen (White Oak, Texas) were named to the All-ASC first team. Patriots on the second team were Lemire, Hodges, Fox, Hood, Booher and Joe Towns (Carrollton, Texas). Rozell, Harding and junior Austin Newell (Kennedale, Texas), received All-ASC East Honorable Mention.
ASC East Division Player of the Week – Senior Lex Wolfe (Lakewood, N.J.) was honored as Pitcher of the Week; Harding, Co-Hitter of the Week; Hood, Hitter of the Week; Rozell, Pitcher of the Week; Lemire, Hitter of the Week; Holland, Pitcher of the Week; and Towns, Hitter of the Week.
UT Tyler golf teams advanced to the ASC Championship with the women taking first and the men taking second. The men’s team won a school-record five tournaments on the season and the women’s team won two. The Patriot men received one of two at large bids to the NCAA Championships, where both teams competed. The men finished fourth as a team and the women 19th.
All-Americans – Senior Brian Jennings and junior Brandon Ellis of the men’s team were named PING All-Americans for the season by the Golf Coaches Association of America. Jennings was named as a first-team selection, while Ellis was a second-team selection.
Jennings finished the year with a 75.61 scoring average and was the top UT Tyler finisher at the National Championship tournament. The Bullard native finished the four-day event in a tie for sixth place at four-over-par.
Ellis, a native of Village Mills, finished his junior year with a team low scoring average of 75.25 and won the Patriots’ dual match with Augsburg in April. He finished the national tournament in 15th place with an eight-over-par performance.
All-ASC – Jennings and Ellis received All-American Southwest Conference honors at the ASC Tournament. Ellis was named to the first team, while Jennings was selected to the second team.
ASC Golfer of the Week -- Sophomore Matt Stephens (Mt. Belvieu, Texas) was named Male Golfer of the Week after finishing fourth in the Texas-Dallas Spring Classic with an 11-over-par performance. Stephens helped guide UT Tyler to a school-record fifth tournament win of the year. His three-round score of 227 included a personal season-low of 71 in the second round.
The Patriots went 39-10 on the season and won their first-ever ASC title. They achieved a perfect 4-0 to win the NCAA Regional and advanced to the College World Series, where they finished fifth. And they were honored by the Texas House of Representatives with a resolution recognizing their achievements.
Sportsmanship Award – The team was named as the ASC East Division Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Softball Sportsmanship Team of the Year. The award honors the member institution in each ASC championship sport that best displays positive qualities of sportsmanship and fair play from its student-athletes, coaches and fans throughout the season. Student-Athlete Advisory committees from the conference’s 15 member institutions vote on the recipients.
Coaching Staff of the Year – Head coach Mike Reed and assistant coaches Christy Shipley-Gipson, Keith Bell and Coby Gipson were named the Co-West Region Coaching Staff of the Year by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. They share the award with the coaching staff from Linfield.
All-Americans – Sophomore Whitney Wyly (Hardin, Texas) and senior 'Roo Richardson (Plateville, Colo.) were named to Easton All-America second and third teams, respectively. Easton All-America teams are comprised of a mix of players from all three NCAA Divisions and the NAIA.
Wyly and Richardson also received National Fastpitch Coaches Association All American first and second team honors, respectively. And Wyly was named to the All-Tournament team at the College World Series.
CoSIDA/ESPN All-Academic – Sophomore Kelsey Ainsworth (Mildred, Texas) was named to the Academic All-District second team by ESPN The Magazine and the College Sports Information Directors of America.
NFCA All-West Region – Named to All-West Region teams by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association were Richardson and Wyly, first team; junior Julie Smith (Houston, Texas), second team; and Ainsworth, senior Kate Bell (Forney, Texas) and freshman Ashley Klores (Franklin, Texas), third team.
ASC East Postseason Awards – Richardson, Wyly and Klores were named ASC East Division Player, Newcomer and Freshman of the Year, respectively.
The three also were named to the All-ASC East Division first team, along with Bell, Smith, sophomore Sara DeStefano (Hardin, Texas) and freshman Whitney Haynes (Little Elm, Texas). Sophomore Stacy Shepherd (Houston, Texas) received second team honors, while Ainsworth was named All-ASC East Honorable Mention.
ASC East Division Player of the Week – Honorees were Shepherd, Pitcher of the Week; Wyly, Hitter of the Week; DeStefano, Hitter of the Week; and Bell, Hitter of the Week.
In another successful season, the men’s team went 19-7 and the women’s team, 18-8. The Patriot men won their sixth straight ASC East title and the women won their fourth consecutive division crown, while both won their second consecutive ASC Championship. Both teams also advanced to the NCAA Championships for the second year in a row.
Men’s team members David Ashlock (Arlington, Texas) and Dustin Phillips (Houston, Texas) also received invitations to the NCAA Individual Championships for the second consecutive season.
Arthur Ashe Awards – Phillips received both regional and national Arthur Ashe awards for leadership and sportsmanship. He was one of just four national finalists for the most prestigious award in all of collegiate tennis.
ITA All-Americans –Phillips was named an All-American by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association. Beth Launius (LaGrange, Texas) and Michelle Hagler (Austin, Texas) of the women’s team were named doubles All-Americans.
CoSIDA/ESPN All Americans – Launius and men’s team members Nick Kreines (Houston, Texas) and Robert Sajovich (Austin, Texas) were selected by ESPN the Magazine and the College Sports Information Directors of America to receive Academic All-District first team honors in the at-large category.
Women’s ASC Postseason Honors – Launius and head coach Chris Bizot were named ASC East Player and Coach of the Year, respectively. Launius was also named ASC East Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year. Sydni Hermsdorf (Spring, Texas) was named Freshman of the Year.
In All-ASC honors, Hagler, sophomore Lauren Giovannini (Dallas, Texas) and junior Brittany Ude (Corpus Christi, Texas) were named to the All-Conference team at the second, fourth and sixth singles positions, respectively. Freshman Lauren Nielsen (Spring, Texas) was also named to the team in an at-large capacity.
For the doubles honors, Launius and Hagler picked up the award at the No. 1 position, while Hermsdorf and freshman Hillary Stone (Keller, Texas) were the All-ASC selection at No. 3.
The Patriots dominated the All-ASC East awards as well, by taking all nine first team spots. Launius, Hagler, Hermsdorf, Giovannini, Ude and freshman Morgan Wilkins (Wimberley, Texas) each earned their respective All-Division honors at positions one through six.
The teams of Launius and Hagler and Hermsdorf and Stone earned the All-ASC East honor for the same doubles position in which they were named All-ASC. In addition to the two repeats, Ude and Giovannini picked up the third divisional doubles honor at the No. 2 position.
Men’s ASC Postseason Honors – Phillips and Bizot were named Player and Coach of the Year, respectively. Junior Caleb Bulls (Tyler, Texas) was named Co-Newcomer of the Year along with LeTourneau’s Mike Parker. Phillips also was named Co-Sportsmanship Athlete of Year, sharing the honor with Mike Laws of Ozarks.
Sajovich, Ashlock and sophomore Dallas Darnell (Crosby, Texas) received All-ASC honors at the Nos. 2, 3 and 6 singles positions, respectively. Kreines and freshmen Shaun Maddox (Montgomery, Texas) and Kevin Wright (College Station, Texas) were also named to the team as at-large members.
In the All-ASC doubles awards, it was a clean sweep for UT Tyler. Phillips and Ashlock earned the award for the No. 1 position, senior Jordan Repsher (Friendswood, Texas) and Sajovich picked up the award for the No. 2 spot and freshman Andrew Reznik (Southlake, Texas) and Bulls received the honor at No. 3.
It was another clean sweep for the Patriots in the All-ASC East awards, as UT Tyler received all nine first team spots. Phillips, Sajovich, Ashlock, Bulls, Darnell and freshman Shaun Maddox (Montgomery, Texas) swept the Nos. 1-6 positions, respectively, in the division singles awards. In the divisional doubles honors, it was a repeat from the All-ASC list with Phillips and Ashlock, Repsher and Sajovich and Reznik and Bulls taking home their respective ASC East honors.
Player of the Week – Patriot men receiving ASC East Division Player of the Week honors were Sajovich, Phillips and Ashlock. Patriot women honored were Launius, Ude, Hermsdorf and Giovannini.
TRACK & FIELD
The UT Tyler men finished third and the women finished fifth in track & field. Senior Ben Donnan (Paris, Texas) became the first-ever Patriot track athlete to earn an invitation to the NCAA Championships. He qualified for the event in the 800 meter run.
CoSIDA/ESPN Academic All-America – Graduate student R.J. Cowan (Whitehouse, Texas) of the men’s track & field team became the first Patriot in school history to earn consecutive Academic All-America honors from the College Sports Information Directors of America and ESPN The Magazine. He was named to the third team for his performances in both cross country and track & field during the 2009 season.
Cowan also was named to his respective 2009 Men’s Cross Country and Track & Field Academic All-District teams by CoSIDA/ESPN. This was the second consecutive year for the two-sport standout to receive the honor.
Athlete of the Week – Donnan and senior Warren Brown (Lindale, Texas) each received two ASC Track & Field Athlete of the Week awards during the season.