Patriot Athletics: Season Highlights
UT Tyler Patriots earned championship titles, national
recognition and many other prestigious honors to cap
off an athletic season full of milestone victories.
Highlights for UT Tyler’s 2008 fall season and Patriot
basketball’s winter season included:
Graduate student R.J. Cowan (Whitehouse, Texas) and
senior Julianne Armstrong (Tashkent, Uzbekistan) of the
UT Tyler men’s and women’s cross country teams were
selected as the 2008 American Southwest Conference
Distinguished Scholar-Athletes for their respective sports.
The honor recognizes student-athletes who achieve a
higher level of academic achievement, a 3.20 GPA or
better, while competing as a starter or important reserve
on their team.
Three other Patriots were nominated for the award and
were named to the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete team for
their respective sports.
Graduate student Adam McAlpine (Kingwood, Texas) of
men’s soccer, senior Kelly Buchanan (Houston, Texas)
of women’s soccer and sophomore Whitney Clements
(Flint, Texas) of volleyball served as UT Tyler’s nominees
for the honor in their sport.
ACADEMIC ASC HONORS
Thirty-two student-athletes representing the five UT Tyler
fall sports earned Academic All-Conference honors from
the ASC for the fall 2008 season. To be eligible for the
award, a student-athlete must have completed at least
one full academic year at their institution and carry at
least a 3.0 cumulative GPA.
UT Tyler Academic All-ASC honorees were:
Men’s Cross Country – R.J. Cowan, Kirk Hesse,
Corey Kellam, David Kelley and Ross Renfroe.
Men’s Soccer – Travis Fletcher, Adam McAlpine, Mark
Oliphant, Billy Plasket, Jared Taylor and Brandon Warren.
Women’s Cross Country – Julianne Armstrong,
Rachel Carroll, Lindsey Moore, Nancy Palencia and
Women’s Soccer – Katelyn Albert, Kelly Buchanan,
Ashley Crawford, Morgan Dux, Taylor Estes, Chelsea
Fiscus, Lauren Hufham, Kasey Kemp, Kendall Kramer,
Jessica Pierce, Brenda Salinas, Leah Solomon, Lauren
Thomas and Summer Werner.
Volleyball – Whitney Clements and Ashley Montalvo.
HIGHLIGHTS PER SPORT
The Patriot men’s team ended its 2008-2009 season at
12-14 overall and 12-8 in the ASC East. The women finished
the season at 15-10 overall and 12-9 in league
play. Both teams qualified for the ASC Tournament for the
second consecutive season.
All-ASC East – Senior Anthony Reese (Longview,
Texas) and junior Hakeem Kareem (Houston, Texas)
received All-ASC East Division honors in the league’s annual
post-season awards. Reese was named to the All-ASC
East first team and All-ASC East defensive team, while
Kareem was named the to the All-ASC East Honorable
Reese ended his senior season by averaging 17.7 points,
7.0 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 2.5 steals per game. He
finished the year third in the ASC in scoring and fourth in
rebounding. The three-year letter-winner ends his career
at UT Tyler as the school’s all-time steals leader with 166.
He is also second on the program’s career scoring and
Kareem had a break-out season in 2008-2009 by averaging
14.2 points, 6.9 rebounds and 1.0 steal per game.
He also led the team in field goal percentage by shooting
52.4 percent from the floor on the year.
Players of the Week – Both Reese and Kareem
were named ASC East Division Players of the Week.
Reese won the award three times during the season.
All-ASC East – Junior Becky Taylor (Bullard, Texas)
and senior Marzetta Shepard (Atlanta, Texas) received
three of the top ASC East Division women’s basketball
honors in the league’s annual post-season awards.
Taylor was one of just five players from both divisions to
be named to the prestigious All-ASC team. She was also
named to the ASC East first team and received the first ever
ASC East Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year award.
Taylor started every game for UT Tyler this season and
averaged team-highs of 17.5 points and 13.3 rebounds
per game. She finished the season second in the ASC in
rebounding and third in scoring. Taylor also broke the ASC
single-season rebound record during the year; she finished
the season with 346 total rebounds.
Shepard was named as the East Division Defensive Player
of the Year, received ASC East honorable mention honors
and was selected to the ASC East Defensive team.
Shepard averaged 13.8 points, 3.8 rebounds, 3.5 steals
and 2.5 assists per game on the year.
Sophomore Melissa Thomas (Austin, Texas) was named
to the ASC East second team. Sophomores Lindsay Eaton
(Austin, Texas) and Marci Trogus (Houston, Texas) were
also picked as ASC East Honorable Mention selections,
while Lindsay Hausmann (Austin, Texas) was named to
the ASC East All-Freshman team.
Players of the Week – Taylor was honored twice as
ASC East Division Player of the Week, in addition to being
named to the D3hoops.com National Team of the Week.
Shepard and Thomas also received East Division Player of
the Week honors.
The UT Tyler men’s cross country team won its fourth
straight ASC title. The women’s team turned in its bestever
finish at the ASC meet, finishing second, just seven
points behind winners Mississippi College. Senior Warren
Brown (Lindale, Texas) won the individual title in a time
Coach Bob Hepler took home his fourth straight Men’s
Coach of the Year honor, while senior R. J. Cowan
(Whitehouse, Texas) was named as the inaugural ASC
Men’s Cross Country Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year.
National Qualifiers – Although the men's team fell
short of its goal of reaching nationals, Brown and senior
Ben Donnan (Paris, Texas) qualified for the NCAA
championship race as individuals. At the national
championships, Brown turned in a personal best time of
25 minutes and 37 seconds. He finished 102nd out of
278 runners. Donnan was forced to withdraw a little over
two miles into the race due to injury.
Brown finishes his career as the UT Tyler record-holder for
most individual wins in a season with three in 2008,
while Donnan ends his tenure with the Patriots as the
school’s all-time leader in career individual wins with six.
Runners of the Week – Donnan earned his second
ASC men’s cross country Runner of the Week honor for
the season after his record-breaking finish at the NCAA
Division III Pre-National Meet. Donnan set a new school
record in the 8K with a 25:34 at the meet.
Brown earned his second ASC Male Runner of the Week
on Sept. 22, after winning his second straight race at the
Louisiana-Monroe Warhawk Invitational. Brown set a new
personal best at the meet with a time of 25:53.81.
Freshman Kamie Lynn Cook (Whitehouse, Texas) of the
women’s team was named ASC Runner of the Week on
Sept. 30. She was the top ASC finisher in the 2008
Division III Texas State Championships meet with a time
of 25:18 and helped lead her team to a second-place
Sophomore Sara Hankla (Tyler, Texas) won her second
ASC Cross Country Runner of the Week award Sept. 8,
after helping lead her team to a first-place finish at the
2008 UT Tyler Invitational. Hankla came in second in her
6K race in a time of 24:52.90.
The Patriot men ranked seventh in one national poll and
eighth in another after winning three of four tournaments
in the fall. The UT Tyler women took home two top-three
finishes during the season.
National Rankings – The men’s team climbed to
No. 8 in the final GolfWorld/NIKE Golf Division III
Coaches’ Poll of the season. This marked the highest
ranking ever for the Patriots in the poll. The men ranked
seventh in NCAA Division III Head-to-Head Rankings
published by Golfstat on Oct. 1. The women’s team came
in 48th in their rankings to lead all ASC teams.
Winning Tournaments – The men’s team picked
up its first win of the season in Alexandria, La. They won
the Louisiana College Tournament with a score of 572 (-
4), 16 strokes ahead of second-place finishers and
defending ASC Champions Mary Hardin Baylor.
Sophomore Matt Stephens (Mt. Belvieu, Texas) and
senior Patrick Palmer (Longview, Texas) led the way for
the Patriots, each shooting a 142 (-2) over the two day
tournament. The duo finished tied for third.
The team won its second straight tournament at The
Cascades in Tyler. The Patriots shot a 580 in the 36-hole
tournament and won a score card play-off with Lon Morris
College. UT Tyler took home second and third place individually.
Junior Brandon Ellis (Village Mills, Texas) shot a
one under par in round one and a three over par in round
two to finish with a 142. Junior Coy Beck (Canyon Lake,
Texas) finished just two strokes behind Ellis with a 144,
which was good enough for third place. Beck shot a 71
in round one and 73 in round two to finish at four over.
The men won their third consecutive tournament in the
Schreiner Fall Classic at the Scott Schreiner Golf Course in
Kerrville. They finished the two-day tournament with a
566, beating second-place and NAIA-member Texas-
Brownsville by two strokes. The Patriots also picked up
wins over four ASC schools and one Division II program.
Palmer finished under par for the second time of the year
and became the first Patriot to shoot under 140 in the
season. Palmer finished the Par 70 course by shooting a
72, making his two-day total a 139. He finished second
overall in the 44-golfer field. Senior Spenser Ellis (Tyler,
Texas) and Brandon Ellis finished tied for third place, as
each shot a 141.
Top-Three Finishes – The UT Tyler women finished
third in the Shreiner Fall Classic, beating all ASC schools
in the field. Freshman Jennifer King (Victoria, Texas) was
the top finisher for UT Tyler, as she shot a 157 to finish
in fourth place. Sophomore Kasey Boykin (Bryan, Texas)
was next in line for the Patriots in seventh place with a
161. Junior Amber Grounds (Whitesboro, Texas) shot a
169 to finish in 15th, while freshman Ali Murdock
(Austin, Texas) tied for 20th place with a 173.
Sophomore Jordan Woodruff (Gladewater, Texas) shot a
180 to finish in 22nd, while sophomore Lisha Nigh
(Mesquite, Texas), who competed as a medalist, finished
with a 171 for 16th place.
The women finished the first day of the Shreiner Fall
Classic in second. The team shot a season-low, a 322, to
finish 12 strokes behind Division II Angelo State. The
Patriots held a seven stroke lead over third-place Texas-
Brownsville. Boykins (Bryan, Texas) finished the day in
fourth place with a 78, while King finished in seventh by
shooting an 80. Murdock was next in line for UT Tyler,
as she tied for eighth place with an 81. Grounds
and Woodruff wrapped things up for the Patriots by
shooting an 83 and an 87, respectively. Competing as
an individual, Nigh shot an 89.
The UT Tyler men’s soccer team won its first-ever NCAA
Championship tournament game in the fall, after
capturing the 2008 ASC tournament championship
and their third ASC regular season title in four years.
It was the first NCAA Men’s Soccer Championship victory
by any team from the ASC. The Patriots finished 12-4-4,
9-1-3 in the ASC.
The Patriot women’s team also had a superb season,
racking up an eight-game winning streak in league play
and earning their second consecutive ASC tournament
berth. The team finished the season with an overall
14-4-1 (10-3 ASC), setting a record for the most wins in
CoSIDA Honors – Seniors Adam McAlpine
(Kingwood, Texas) and Kelly Buchanan (Houston, Texas)
of the UT Tyler soccer teams were each named to their
respective ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District teams
by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
The award recognizes those student-athletes who excel
both athletically and academically. McAlpine was named
to the first team, while Buchanan received second-team
McAlpine is a graduate student in business administration
with a 4.0 GPA. A four-year letter-winner, he had three
goals and one assist on the year, including the game-winner
over Ozarks that sealed the regular season
championship for UT Tyler.
Buchanan is a kinesiology major and with a 3.44 GPA.
The four-year letter-winner helped lead a defensive
unit that allowed just 12 goals and posted 12 shutouts on
the season, while scoring four goals and netting five
assists as well.
All-South Central Region – Junior forward Tony
Guillen (Longview, Texas) and senior forward Michael
Kendall (Houston, Texas) each received All-South Central
Region honors from the National Soccer Coaches
Association of America. Guillen received first team honors,
while Kendall was named to the second team.
ASC Postseason Awards – Freshman T.J.
Romaguera (Arlington, Texas) and head coach Kenny
Jones led eight Patriot honorees in ASC postseason
awards. Romaguera was named ASC Defensive Freshman
of the Year, while Jones was named ASC Coach of
In the All-Conference awards, Romaguera, Guillen,
Kendall and McAlpine all received first team honors.
Sophomores Mark Oliphant (Bedford, Texas) and
Brandon Warren (Duncanville, Texas) each earned third
team All-ASC honors. Sophomore Daniel Kanu (Dallas,
Texas) was named All-ASC honorable mention.
Players of the Week – ASC honorees were Tony
Bowles (Mesquite, Texas), Co-Defensive Player of Week;
Guillen, Offensive Player of the Week; McAlpine,
Offensive Player of the Week; and Oliphant, Co-Defensive
Player of the Week.
All-ASC – On the 2008 All-American Southwest
Conference lists, Buchanan (Houston, Texas), junior Sam
Fraser (Lindale, Texas) and sophomores Kasey Kemp
(Colleyville, Texas) and Lauren Thomas (College Station,
Texas) all received first team honors.
Seniors Jessica Pierce (Mesquite, Texas) and Sonya
Gomez (Tyler, Texas) were the Patriot representatives
on the second team. Rounding out the UT Tyler honorees
was sophomore Lauren Daily, who was named All-ASC
Players of the Week – Buchanan and Fraser
received ASC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The Patriot tennis teams won 19 of 25 flights at the
2008 ASC Singles and Doubles Tournament in
September. The men’s team won 12 of 13 flights on their
side of the bracket, capturing all four of the doubles
flights and eight of nine singles flights. On the other side
of the bracket, the women captured seven of a possible
12 titles, including three of the four doubles flights and
four of the eight singles flight.
Both teams sent players to their respective Intercollegiate
Tennis Association regional tournaments
Senior Beth Launius (LaGrange, Texas) and sophomore
Michelle Hagler (Austin, Texas) advanced to nationals
after winning the ITA Southwest Doubles Regional.
The pair finished sixth out of eight pairs in the Division III
doubles bracket of the ITA Small College Nationals
in Mobile, Ala. The Patriot duo went 1-2 over two days
Sophomore Robert Sajovich (Austin, Texas) advanced to
the 2008 Wilson/ITA Southwest Region Championships
at Trinity University in San Antonio. He was the second
Patriot in program history to make it to the regional finals.
In the first set of national and regional ITA rankings of the
2008-09 season, the Patriot men’s team ranked sixth in
the region and 21st in the nation. The women’s team
ranked fifth in the region and 29th in the nation.
The UT Tyler volleyball team earned its first trip to the
ASC Championship tournament in program history. The
Patriots ended the season with a record of 13-17 and
finished third in the ASC East.
Newcomer of the Year – Sophomore Aerial Longino
(Alvarado, Texas) was one of five Patriots to receive an
ASC postseason award. Longino, who led the Patriots
with 25 solo blocks on the season, was named ASC East
Newcomer of the Year.
All-ASC East – On the All-ASC East lists, senior Megan
McCarty (Kaufman, Texas) joined freshmen Liz Bartelson
(Burlington, Wis.) and Amanda Hanson (Spring, Texas)
on the East division second team.
McCarty, UT Tyler’s all-time dig leader, once again led the
Patriots in that category, this time with 492. Bartelson
started her UT Tyler career with a bang by recording a
team-high 211 kills on the season. Meanwhile, Hanson
led UT Tyler in total blocks on the year with 77.
Freshman Danika Waldrep (Arlington, Texas) rounded out
the honors for the Patriots by being named All-ASC East
Waldrep turned in what was perhaps the Patriots’ most
well-rounded performance of the season. Waldrep led her
team in service aces with 43, and finished second in both
kills and digs with 189 and 297, respectively.
Player of the Week – McCarty was named
ASC East Division Player of the Week twice during
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