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Saints Athletics Highlights—Summer 2015

SHU Earns Champions of Character Five-Star Status

Siena Heights University was one of 168 institutions to earn NAIA Champions of Character Five-Star designation for the 2013-14 academic year. The Saints earned silver designation in the program. Institutions are measured on a demonstrated commitment to Champions of Character and earned points in character training, conduct in competition, academic focus, character recognition and character promotion. Institutions earned points based on exceptional student-athlete grade point averages and by having minimal to no ejections during competition throughout the course of the academic year.

Jessie Arnold
Jessie Arnold

SHU Senior Chosen for Coaching Prep Program

Senior Jessie Arnold was selected to participate in the 13th annual Women’s Basketball Coaches Association “So You Want to Be a Coach” program. The three-day workshop took place April 3-5 in conjunction with the WBCA National Convention in Tampa, Fla. The objectives of the program are to increase the understanding and application of skills necessary to secure coaching positions in women’s basketball, increase the understanding and awareness of competencies necessary for success in coaching, introduce female basketball players to coaches and administrators, raise awareness of the existing talent pool of female basketball players who have a passion and interest in coaching the game of women’s basketball. Each participant is selected based on her academics, contributions to women’s basketball on and off the court, professional resume and a written recommendation from their head coach.

Kim Berrington
Kim Berrington

Berrington Hired as New SHU Volleyball Coach

Kim Berrington was hired as the new head coach of the men’s and women’s volleyball programs. Berrington was the head women’s coach at Eastern Michigan for 19 years and has 23 years of collegiate head coaching experience, with a career 408-365 record. She is the Eagles’ all-time leader in coaching wins, with Eastern winning the MAC West Division championship in 2005 and reaching the MAC Tournament final in 2013. She and her husband, Chuck, reside in Britton, Mich., with their daughter, Kelsey, who plays volleyball for Valparaiso (Ind.).

Cross Country

Women: Ashley Russo and Elaine Johnson placed 10th and 13th, respectively, at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference meet in Grand Rapids. SHU was fourth overall behind champion Aquinas, Indiana Tech and Cornerstone. Russo and Johnson each qualified for the NAIA Championships and finished 173rd and 206th, respectively. Russo ran a time of 19:53.9, with Johnson finishing in 20:10.8. Seniors Arika Knannlein and Mariah Ridal and junior Johnson were each named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Men: The Saints placed seventh at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference meet. Samuel Parlette was SHU’s top finisher, taking 21st place in 27 minutes, 5.9 seconds. Senior Matthew Robinet was named a NAIA Scholar-Athlete for the Saints.


Women: The Saints finished third at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Jamboree at the Lenawee Country Club. SHU also placed third in the final regular season standings. Andrea Richards was named all-conference for the second consecutive year. Sydney Gossett was chosen to the WHAC honorable mention team with Ashlyn Samples the Champions of Character recipient.

Men: The Saints missed the regular season conference championship by one stroke, placing second to Indiana Tech in the final standings. Robert Kowalenko was named to the all-conference first team, with Nick Zanotti chosen to the honorable mention squad and receiving the Champions of Character award.


The Saints (6-4 overall, 5-1 MSFA Mid-east) claimed a share of the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League title in only their third varsity season. Senior defensive tackle Kyle Connors was named a first team NAIA All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Connors had 42 tackles, seven quarterback sacks and 17 1/2 tackles for loss for one of the top defenses in the nation. Seven Saints earned first team All-MSFA Mideast League honors while head coach Jim Lyall and Matt Kohn were named the Mideast’s Head Coach of the Year and Assistant Coach of the Year, respectively. Seniors Donovan Campbell (tight end), Gauge Aebersold (offensive lineman), Raphael Dunson (return specialist), Trent Bragg (linebacker), Connors (defensive lineman) and C.J. Marious (defensive lineman) and redshirt freshman Darius Price (cornerback) were all selected on the first team. Junior receiver/return specialist Reggie Blackmon, senior offensive lineman Jake Helsel, junior linebacker Nic Acton and sophomore safety Cha’Quan Love were named to the second team. Earning honorable mention were seniors Jordan Martin (defensive lineman), Tyler
Karcher (linebacker) and junior quarterback Travis Zajkowski. The Saints finished second in the NAIA in total defense. Senior offensive lineman Jake Helsel was named to the Capital One Academic All-America First Team chosen by the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). He earned the honor in the College Division featuring NAIA and NJCAA institutions. The Saints also had 10 student-athletes named to the Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District Team. Seniors Bragg, Michael Butler, Helsel, Paul Jacobs, Marious and Lyle VanFleteren, junior Nic Acton and sophomores Ja’Tice Shaw, Asa Smith and Nate Yeloushan were all honored in the District 1 college division. Eleven Saints were named NAIA Scholar-Athletes. Those honored were seniors Lucas Bartz, Bragg, Jacob Bultema, Helsel, Jacobs, Drew Milligan, Kody Richardson, Collin Teff, Larry Trice III and Fleteren and junior Acton. Finally, the Saints had 11 players named to the Academic All-Mid-States Football Association Team. Those honored were seniors Bartz, Bragg, Bultema, Helsel, Jacobs, Milligan, Richardson, Teff, Trice III and Van Fleteren and junior Acton. Finally, Lyall was chosen as the NAIA’s Region 2 Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association.


Women: The Saints (18-14) took 16th-ranked Madonna to five sets, only to fall 3-2 in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament quarterfinals. Halie Baker finished with a school record 1,271 career kills. She was named to the All-Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference first team. Freshman middle hitter Leze Vukaj was tabbed to the honorable mention all-conference team, with seniors Emily Abbs, Mycala Cherry and Haley Dennis and juniors Haley Mercy and Nicole Morgan earning academic all-conference honors. Mercy received the Champions of Character Award. Cherry was also named to Collegiate Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-District Team in the District 1 college division. Cherry, Mercy and Morgan were also each named NAIA Scholar-Athletes.

Men: The Saints lost to St. Xavier (Ill.) 3-2 in the opening round of the Great Lakes Division Tournament in Cincinnati. Their 12-12 record was the best in the young program’s history. Named to the Great Lakes Division all-academic team were senior Max Field and sophomores Gilius Blinstrubas, Brody Davidson, Edward Harness and Christian Vegas.


Kelsey Young
Kelsey Young

Women: The nationally ranked Saints (15-4-2) dropped a 1-0 decision to seventh-ranked Northwestern Ohio in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Tournament championship. SHU finished 23rd in the final NAIA rankings, but did not receive an at-large berth to the NAIA national tournament. Senior defender Kelsey Young was named the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year. She is the fourth Saint to earn the honor in eight years. She was part of a defense that has had 15 shutouts. Also earning first team honors was senior forward Alexis Donnelly. Senior midfielders Paige Frey and Carlee Pallett were each tabbed to the honorable mention team, while earning academic all-conference honors were Frey, Pallett, Young, Lynn Hendricks, Jori Bitter, Elizabeth Davis, Meg Dubois, Abbey Marlette, Megan Michels, Meagan Mousty, Mikayla Ferer, Alyssa Huff, Madison Phillips and Kristina Veal. Ferer received the team’s Champions of Character Award. Young and Donnelly were each named honorable mention NAIA All-Americans. Donnelly had eight goals and seven assists. They both were also tabbed to the All-Mideast Region Team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. The Saints had eight student-athletes named NAIA Scholar-Athletes, including Bitter, Davis, Dubois, Ferer, Marlette, Michels, Pallett and Phillips. Finally, Young was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Scholar All-North/Central Region second team.

Men: Five Saints were named to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference all-academic team. Seniors Keenan Boulnemour, Bryce DeLamielleure, Michael Hummon and Clayton Tomczyk and junior Keith Swistock were honored. Hummon was also the team’s recipient of the Champions of Character award. DeLamielleure, Hummon, Tomczyk and Swistock were also named NAIA Scholar-Athletes. The Saints finished 2-14-2 overall, 1-7-2 in the conference.

Kasey Renshaw and Phoenix Duncan
Kasey Renshaw and Phoenix Duncan

Indoor Track

Women: Kasey Renshaw and Phoenix Duncan (right) each claimed national championships in their respective events to lead the Saints to a fourth-place finish at the NAIA Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio. Renshaw won the weight toss with a throw of 63 feet, 10 1/4 inches, while Duncan claimed the high jump title with a 5-8 1/2 effort. Renshaw is currently the school record holder in the event. Stephanie Marquardt broke a school record (8.6 seconds) in earning a third place finish in the 60 hurdles, which earned her All-American honors. Other All-Americans for SHU were Tasha McKinley in the pole vault (third, 12-2 3/4), the 4×800 relay of Mariah Ridal, Ashley Russo, Brianna Pekel and Arika Knannlein (fifth, 1:33.87), Pekel (sixth, 1:34.1) in the 600, Marissa Johnson (sixth, 5-6) in the high jump and Renshaw (eighth, 45-6 1/4) in the shot put. The Saints (43 points) finished only behind Oklahoma Baptist (87), Indiana Tech (79) and Wayland Baptist (73). Rebecca Cousineau and Marissa Johnson each won events to lead the Saints to a fourth-place finish at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championships. Cousineau took the weight throw and Johnson the high jump. The 4×800 relay of Arika Knannlein, Brianna Pekel, Ashley Russo and Mariah Ridal also took first.

Men: Rich DePalma finished third in the pole vault while Gerald Richardson and Elroy Daffin Jr. each earned All-American honors in the high jump for the Saints at the NAIA Indoor Championships in Geneva, Ohio. DePalma cleared 16 feet, 3/4 inches to earn All-American status. Richardson was seventh (6-9 1/2) and Daffin eighth (6-8 1/4) to earn All-American honors. The Saints finished 27th as a team. Samuel Parlette was named the Most Valuable Performer as the Saints claimed second at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference championships. Parlette won the 3,000 in a time of 8 minutes, 48.76 seconds, was second in the mile (4:21.82) and third in the 1,000 (2:33.96). DePalma won the pole vault (16-8 3/4), while earning seconds were Logan Gray in the shot put, Richardson in the high jump, Daffin Jr. in the triple jump and Frederick Boyd in the 60 hurdles. Indiana Tech won the meet with 235 points, with SHU collecting 114.


Sierra Calhoun
Sierra Calhoun

Women: The 20th-ranked Saints (26-8) made their third consecutive trip to the NAIA National Tournament as 13th-ranked College of the Ozarks claimed an 88-69 victory in the opening round in Sioux City, Iowa. Senior guard Sierra Calhoun was named a second team NAIA All-American. The two-time All-Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference selection set three SHU single-season records: points (616), field goals (214) and made free throws (149). She also had the third-best points-per-game average in school history (18.12). Calhoun (left) was also recognized as a honorable mention All-American by the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association. She is third on SHU’s all-time scoring list and was also named to the WHAC All-Defensive Team. Senior center Mackenzie Tomasik was selected honorable mention all-conference, while earning Academic All-WHAC were Calhoun, Tomasik, seniors Jessie Arnold and Morgan Warfield and juniors Sirah Camara, Willow Cohn and Ebony Harvey. Four Saints were recognized as NAIA Scholar-Athletes, including Arnold, Tomasik and Warfield and Camara. The Saints finished second in the conference as well as in
the conference tournament.

Men: Senior Christian Covile was named to the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference honorable mention squad after leading the Saints in scoring (13.9 points per game) and rebounding (7.4). Sophomore post Jerrell Martin earned a spot on the All-Defensive Team, while senior Eric Cogan was selected as the team’s Champions of Character recipient. The Saints finished 11-20 on the season.


Allison Caswell
Allison Caswell

Women: Allison Caswell was the individual women’s champion, leading a trio of Saints on the all-tournament team, as the Siena Heights women’s bowling team claimed its first-ever USBC-sanctioned tournament championship by winning the Great Lakes. The Saints split their team matches at the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference Championships, finishing with a 2-2 record which included a first-round upset of second-seed Northwestern Ohio. Senior Katarina Coulson was named to the All-Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference second team, finishing with a 178 average. She was also named to the Academic All-WHAC team along with sophomore teammate Tiffany Logan. Logan was the recipient of the Champions of Character Award.

Men: Paul Farley and Aaron Dear were honored by the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference. Farley was named to the Academic All-WHAC Team while Dear was selected as a member of the WHAC Champions of Character. The SHU men’s bowling team placed 12th at the XBowling Intercollegiate Collegiate Championships Addison Regional. The Saints had a final team score of 11,728.


Laura Fultz and Madeline Soave each earned All-American honors as the Saints claimed second at the NAIA East Regional. The host Saints finished only behind champion Calumet St. Joseph in the seven-team event. Soave earned her second All-American honor, while teammate Lauren Nowak received honorable mention All-American recognition. The Saints also placed eighth at the NAIA Invitational in Midland, Neb. SHU had 98.33 points in the finals.


The cheer team placed third at the six-team NAIA East Regional, finishing only behind Concordia and Lindenwood-Belleville (Mo.). The Saints also finished 12th at the NAIA Invitational in Midland, Neb. SHU had 76.37 points in the finals.

John Kolasinski
John Kolasinski


Head coach John Kolasinski was honored with the Robert E. Smith Achievement Award at the NAIA Baseball Coaches Association Awards Luncheon in Orlando, Fla. The award is designed to recognize a coach or administrator who has given oneself in an unselfish manner to the promotion of NAIA baseball. Kolasinski is the 15th award-winner since Smith was presented with the inaugural award in 1999. The 2015 season is Kolasinski’s 27th campaign as a collegiate head coach—and his 12th at SHU.

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