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Saints Athletics Highlights—Fall 2012

Lloyd Carr Travels to Siena Heights Campus

The Siena Heights football team had a special guest this fall when former University of Michigan football coach Lloyd Carr visited practice (left). Carr, who guided the Wolverines to a national championship in 1997, was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last year. Carr was able to provide some feedback to the SHU coaching staff as well as visit with longtime friend, SHU head coach Jim Lyall. Carr finished his visit by talking to the team before the Saints’ first game against Robert Morris.

Saints Second in WHAC Directors Cup standings

The Saints finished 32nd in the final NAIA Learfield Sports Directors Cup standings. The cup was developed as a joint effort between the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics and USA Today. Points are awarded based on each school’s finish in up to 12 sports—six women’s and six men’s. Siena Heights earned the second highest score in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference, with Indiana Tech finishing 22nd overall.

Track and Field

Women: Lenzey Stidham (right) won the women’s pole vault at the NAIA national championships with a vault of 12 feet, 7 1/2 inches. Brianna Nordby was seventh in the javelin with a distance of 140-7 to also earn All-American honors. Phoenix Duncan, just a freshman, was second in the women’s high jump to earn All-American honors. She was also second in the indoor national meet and is the school record holder. Stidham (pole vault) and Duncan (high jump), each won events and Taylor Byron set a school record in the shot put as the women placed second at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference outdoor championships. Byron was also named the meet’s Most Valuable Performer after scoring 24 points. She recorded a throw of 43 feet, 7.75 inches in the shot put and was third in the discus. Stidham took the pole vault (11-11.75) and Duncan the high jump (5-7.75). Cassie Keeping, a junior, and seniors Lyndsay Payne and Morgan Choszczyk were each named Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Men: Rich DePalma and the men’s 4×400 relay each finished second at the NAIA national outdoor championships to cap off an impressive effort. DePalma lost in a “vault off” to finish second in the men’s pole vault, while the 4×400 relay of Ryan McElyea, Anton Darby, Logan Moore and Doug Dawson clocked in at 3 minutes, 10.86 seconds—a new school record—to place second in the nation and also earn All-American recognition. Others earning All-American honors included Brett Smith in the marathon (seventh, 2:34.43.3), Logan Moore in the 110 hurdles (fourth, 14.36), Calvin Sullins in the decathlon (eighth, 6,480 points) and Will Hinton in the discus (eighth, 49.59 meters). Sullins’ effort was a school record. The host Saints also dominated the competition at Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference outdoor championships, winning several events and breaking three school records in the process. Sullins led the way, scoring 22 points to be named the Most Valuable Performer. The 4×400 relay of Anton Darby, Logan Moore, Ryan McElyea and Doug Dawson earned the Most Outstanding Performance, winning their event in a then-school record time of 3 minutes, 12.29 seconds. Ryan Hopson set a school record in winning the triple jump (47-7.25) and tied another by taking the long jump (24-3.75). Other event winners were Dawson in the 400 (47.44), Chris Schurr in the pole vault (16-0.75), Moore in the 110 hurdles (14.44), Jesiah Rodriguez in the 1500 (3:53.63) and Justin Bateson in the 5000 (15:26.12). Seniors Dawson and Kyle Armstrong and junior Chris Schurr earned Daktronics NAIA Scholar- Athlete recognition.


The SHU Saints won 4-3 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth on a single up the middle by Kyle Benschoter to beat Indiana Tech, the top seed and ranked 21st in the nation, in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference baseball tournament championship. Lefty Matt King tossed nine innings of four-hit ball and allowed just one earned run. Siena Heights won its first conference tournament title since 1994 and advanced to the NAIA national tournament. The Saints (33-25) then completed one of the most successful seasons in the program’s history by placing third at the NAIA bracket in Daytona Beach, Fla. SHU defeated Southern Poly (Ga.) 8-4 for the second time in as many days before falling to second seed and 15th ranked Auburn-Montgomery 9-8 in the loser’s bracket final. Fifth seed Siena Heights defeated Southern Poly (Ga.) 3-1 in the opener before losing to eighth-ranked and top seed and host Embry-Riddle 2-0. Senior shortstop Cory Lehman was named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Player of the Year as three Saints landed on the conference first team. Lehman batted .377 with 19 doubles, five triples, two home runs and 11 stolen bases. He has a whopping .475 on-base percentage and was also named an honorable mention NAIA All-American. Senior third baseman Brett Howard and senior pitcher Corey Alexander were the other first team honorees. Howard led the team with 40 RBI and 23 doubles to go with a .308 average and four home runs. Alexander led the WHAC in innings pitched and was 8-4 with a 1.96 earned run average. Lehman and Alexander were also each named to the WHAC’s and NAIA’s Gold Glove Teams, with senior Brett Kuebler, junior Dan Abbott, junior Jake Sperry and junior Kyle Benschoter receiving honorable mention all-conference. Josh White and Lehman also earned academic all-conference honors, with Sperry chosen as the Champions of Character recipient. It was also the first season for the Saints on their new field. A special “Baseball Bash” was held in April to celebrate the new stadium, which features an artificial turf infield. Coach John Kolasinski also recorded his 400th career victory during the memorable 2012 campaign.


Sophomore Katie O’Hotzke was named to the NAIA All-America first team in softball. O’Hotzke earned her spot as a designated player. She batted .346 with 14 doubles, three home runs and 36 RBI and was 11-15 with a 2.61 ERA, 22 complete games and 111 strikeouts on the mound. O’Hotzke is just the fourth Saint to earn All-America honors—and the second to earn first team honors. Tanya Dickerson was named first team in 1995. Also, senior Brittney Rhodes and juniors Tonya Berta and Jessica Lampkowski were each named Daktronics NAIA Scholar- Athletes. Siena Heights had three players earn first team All-Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference honors, including junior Anna Alcorta, senior Tearra Donovan and O’Hotzke. Alcorta, an infielder, led the Saints in average (.396) home runs (10) and RBI (44) , while Donovan, a first baseman, batted .372 with four homers and 33 RBI. Earning honorable mention was Rhodes, while Rhodes, Tonya Berta, Jessica Lampkowski and Lizz Wilson each earned academic all-conference honors. Jenn Sylvester was named the team’s Champions of Character representative. The Saints finished 27-28-1 on the season, including 5-8-1 in the Wolverine- Hoosier Athletic Conference.

 Men’s Volleyball

Junior Juan Sierra was named to the All-Mid America Men’s Volleyball Intercollegiate Conference East Division first team and Academic All-MAMVIC team as one of seven SHU Saints honored. Sierra led SHU in aces, and was second in kills and assists. Adrian Rutt was named All-MAMVIC East second team while Brandon Bowers received honorable mention. Joining Sierra, Rutt and Bowers on the Academic All- MAMVIC team were DeQorrie Whitman, Tim O’Brien, Luke Sagaert and Matt Mitterholzer.


Women: Sara Porter tied for fourth to lead the Siena Heights women’s golf team to a fifth-place finish at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference at Whispering Willows Golf Course. Porter carded a two-day total of 171 (88-83) on the par-72, 5,800-yard course, leading the Saints to a team score of 727 (365-362). Sydney Gossett added a 12th- place finish with a 180 (89-81).

Men: The Saints finished in fifth place at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference championships at the Stonewater Country Club. Nick Campbell was the leader for the Saints, finishing seventh place overall with a 237. Dylan Orr finished 11th place overall (241) while Joe Lemanski placed 19th (247).


Women: The women finished 0-13 in their first season of play. The Saints were led by Mackenzy Hickner, who had 17 goals, while Stephannie Gonzalez and Nicole Palm added 15 and 12, respectively. Coach Cindy Hill used this season as a learning experience and is bringing in a highly regarded recruiting class for 2013.

Men: The men recorded a breakout season last spring, finishing with a 12-4 overall record, including 3-2 in conference play. Sean Kobunski led the Saints with 33 goals and 22 assists, with Ryan Gumbleton right behind at 33 goals and 21 assists. Ryan Mailloux finished with a 12-4 record in goal with .647 save average.

 Cheer and Dance

The Saints fielded their first cheer and dance teams this fall under the direction of Coach Angie Sword. Competitive cheer and dance are considered “emerging sports” by the NAIA, and the Saints will have their first competitions later this year. The teams debuted at the first home football game Aug. 25.


Michael Morgan

As a former Saints Cheerleader and former coach of the Siena Height Angels Pom Pom Squad, I am truly excited to see cheer and dance brought back to Siena and to have it’s first season of competitive squads as well.

However, I keep seeing all over the place that this is Siena first Cheer and Dance teams. They are the first competitive ones, but there have been both squads as part of the Campus make up before this school year.

I have met Angie and both squads and was truly honored to have lead them on to the field for their very first game back in August 2012 and I was also given the honor of cheering along side them during Homecoming and recognized during half-time.

But as someone who, granted over 30 years ago, worked very hard to have both squads recognized by the school and the athletic department, feel a little bit of disappointment at the lack of recognition the former squads and those who participated in are pratically ignored. Wtih a college with a deep pride for it’s history, and I am also a member of it’s Alumni board, felt that something needed to be said after repeatedly seeing ‘Siena’s first Cheer & Dance Teams’. I can bring you Varsity letters I earned for verification..

Again, I am really excited to see these progams ‘back’ on campus and wish much success, but I also felt that Siena Heights Cheerleading history began prior to 2012 and shouldn’t be ignored. Thank you.

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