Welcome to the second annual Lorian Sports Awards. The list of nominees is below. The winners will be revealed in the Senior Issue of the Lorian which comes out Thursday, May 7th. Voting will be open from today, April 28th through next Tuesday, May 5th. You can vote once per day, so be sure to check back again to cast your votes for your favorite Loras athletes!
Men’s athlete of the year
Position: Wide receiver/pinch runner
Statistics: 77 receptions, 1,288 yards, 11 receiving touchdowns
Accomplishments: Even set single-season school records in receptions and receiving yards while leading the Iowa Conference in both categories. A key component of the Duhawks’ offensive revitalization in 2014, Even earned 2nd-team All-IIAC honors, and was a 3-time IIAC Special Mention Offensive Player of the Game. In baseball, he serves mostly as a pinch-runner and has scored five runs this season.
Accomplishments: Following a dominant regular season, DeWitt steamrolled through the competition at the NCAA Central Region qualifier. His 1st-place finish at regionals earned him All-IIAC honors, and he was named Outstanding Wrestler of the Tournament. DeWitt finished 4th at the NCAA Championships, closing out his collegiate career as an All-American.
Statistics: 22 games, 14 goals, 68 shots, 4 game-winners
Accomplishments: Pizzello was arguably the best player on the 11th-ranked Duhawks this season. He led the Iowa Conference in goals and was awarded the conference Defensive MVP award. He was named first team all-conference, first team all-region and was the only player out of the Iowa Conference to be named a D3soccer.com All-American.
Statistics (through 4/27): 9 starts, 7-2 record, 60.2 ip, 24 er, 65 h, 26 so, 18 bb, .284 b/avg.
Accomplishments: In his senior year, Schwoebel has been the Duhawks’ ace, posting a team best era and 7-2 record through nine starts. It’s been a breakout year for the senior, who has improved his era from the 5.23 mark he posted a year ago.
Sport: Cross country/track & field
Event (T&F): Distance
Accomplishments: In cross country, Wittman won all-conference and all-region honors, placing third at the Iowa Conference Championships and seventh at the Central Regional meet. He was a national qualifier, finishing 102nd in the National Championship, and his coaches named him the men’s cross country MVP. In track and field, Wittman collected a 12th-place finish in the 3,000-meter at the Iowa Conference Indoor Championships.
Women’s athlete of the year
Statistics: 19 games, 15 goals, 4 assists, 78 shots, 3 game-winners
Accomplishments: Truesdale was named Iowa Conference Offensive MVP after leading the conference in both goals (15) and points (34). She was named first-team all-conference.
Match: No. 1 singles/No. 1 doubles (with Jessica Dickhut)
Record: 10-5 singles, 10-5 doubles
Accomplishments: Dickhut was named to the IIAC All-Conference singles team for the 3rd consecutive season, and also garnered her first All-Conference doubles nod in 2014-15. Dickhut helped cement Loras’ first victory over St. Ambrose in the last decade by winning in singles and doubles in the Duhawks’ regular season finale against the Bees.
Position: Point guard
Statistics: 26 games, 12.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg, 4.0 apg
Accomplishments: When the Duhawks needed to make things happen on offensive this season, Phillips was the one they turned to. In the Iowa Conference, she finished ninth in scoring, second in assists and, surprisingly for a point guard– tenth in rebounding. The junior was named first-team all-Iowa Conference.
Sport: Track & field
Event: Pole vault/hurdles
Accomplishments: Brandenburg finished 1st in the pole vault and 2nd in the 60-meter hurdles at the IIAC Indoor Championships. In the outdoor season, she earned 1st-place finishes in pole vault and 100-meter hurdles at the University of Dubuque Invite, and a 1st-place in the pole vault at the Dr. Tucker Loras Open.
Sport: Cross country/track & field
Event (T&F): Distance
Accomplishments: In cross country, Cook earned all-conference honors with the third best time in the IIAC. She was named to the all-region and all-academic teams and was named by her coaches as the cross country MVP. She finished third in the Iowa Conference Championships and paced the women’s team finishing 28th at the Central Region Championships. In track & field, Cook has competed well in several distance events, including a first-place finish in the 5,000-meter at the Central College Invitational.
Men’s rookie of the year
Position: Corner back
Statistics: 5 interceptions, 1 INT touchdown, 7 passes defensed, 43 tackles
Accomplishments: Young tied a single-game school record with 3 interceptions against Elmhurst in his very first contest as a Duhawk. He was a 2-time IIAC Defensive Player of the Week and 2-time IIAC Male Athlete of the Week, in addition to earning an All-IIAC Honorable Mention, and twice being named to the D3football.com Team of the Week.
Position: Middle Hitter
Statistics: 128 kills, .278 hitting pct., 21 service aces
Accomplishments: Combs was a consistent presence in the middle of the court for the Duhawks all season long, playing in 80 out of 81 sets. He led the team in hitting percentage, and was named to the All-Midwest Collegiate Volleyball League Second Team.
Statistics: 25 games, 11.4 ppg, 3.2 rpg, 1.7 apg
Accomplishments: In his first action as a Duhawk on the basketball court, VanWambeke played a key role as a scorer. He played all 25 games and averaged double-digit points in 29.1 minutes per game. On the tennis court, he pitched in late in the season, going 1-1 overall in doubles play alongside Ulises Hernandez.
Statistics: 1,706 passing yards, 12 passing touchdowns, 46.3 completion pct.
Accomplishments: Kelly was thrust into the starting role just 3 games into his career after a knee injury ended senior Dylan Jones’ season. Kelly started every game of the Duhawks’ Iowa Conference schedule, including victories over Simpson and Luther.
Statistics: 16 games, 14 goals allowed, 38 saves, .731 save%,
11-2-1 record, 4 shutouts
Accomplishments: In his first year manning the pipes for the Duhawks, Roloff helped lead the team to a 17-3-2 record and 11th-ranked finish among NCAA Division III teams. Roloff was named first-team all-conference.
Women’s rookie of the year
Position: Third base/Guard
Statistics (Softball): 23 games, .365 avg., 23 hits, 13 rbi, 3 hr, .587 slg%, .437 ob%
Statistics (Basketball): 26 games, 4.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 1.0 apg
Accomplishments: On the diamond, Chapman’s production in her first year as a Duhawk was a nothing short of spectacular. She led the team in batting average and slugging percentage and improved defensively throughout the season at third base. In basketball, Chapman was one of several underclassmen who provided a spark for the women’s team. She played in all 26 games and averaged 4.0 points in a little over 16 minutes per game.
Accomplishments: Concluding a successful first season with the Duhawks, Breaux anchored a record-breaking relay team in the 800 Free Relay at the Liberal Arts Championships, and helped break a record in the 200 and 400 Medley Relays at the same event.
Statistics: 19 goals, 2 assists, .345 shot pct.
Accomplishments: Hanson played a key role for the Duhawks’ offense in her first year, finishing second on the team in goals, points, and shots.
Statistics: 19 games, 5 goals, 1 assist, 21 shots
Accomplishments: In her first year with the Duhawks, Walsh started in 19 of her 17 games played, finishing second on the team in both goals and shots. This was especially impressive, considering the fact that she finished only 13th in minutes played on the team.
Position: Outside hitter
Statistics: 359 kills, .284 hitting pct., 24 service aces
Accomplishments: Kentner, a junior transfer from Moraine Valley Community College, led the Duhawks in points, kills, and hitting percentage during her first year with the squad. She finished second on the team in digs.
Men’s most-improved player of the year
Statistics: 21 games, 3 goals, 2 assists, 23 shots
Last year’s statistics: No statistics (reserve team)
Accomplishments: After spending a year on the reserve team, Miller worked his way into a starting role in his sophomore year, where he played a key roll on a Duhawks defense which allowed the fewest shots on goal in the conference. He was named second-team all-conference.
Position: Center field
Statistics (through 4/27): 34 games, .333 avg., 39 hits, 22 rbi, 2 hr, .410 slg%, .407 ob%
Last year’s statistics: 23 games, .233 avg., 14 hits, 7 rbi
Accomplishments: Heiser was one of three new starters in the outfield this season. He took advantage of his opportunity, posting the second best batting average on the team and driving in the second most runs.
Statistics: 7 sacks, 49 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, 1 defensive touchdown
Last year’s statistics: 0 sacks, 27 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Accomplishments: Davies exploded out of the gates in his sophomore year, piling up 5 sacks in the first two games of the season. He finished second on the team in sacks and tackles for loss.
Statistics: 8 sacks, 71 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss, 1 interception
Last year’s statistics: 0 sacks, 25 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Accomplishments: Awe led the Duhawks in sacks and tackles for loss, and finished second on the team in total tackles.
Accomplishments: Steger bounced back from an injury-marred sophomore season to win his first 23 matches in 2014-15. He finished 3rd at the NCAA Central Region qualifier to earn All-IIAC honors and qualify for Nationals, where he finished 5th.
Women’s most-improved player of the year
Statistics: 26 games, 9.4 ppg, 10.3 rpg, 2.46 bpg, .579 FG%
Last year’s statistics: 28 games, 3.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 0.86 bpg
Accomplishments: After showing true signs of potential in her first year with the Duhawks, Obendorf has blossomed into one of the premier players in the Iowa Conference. The 6’2” Obendorf is arguably the best center in the conference. She led all players in rebounds, blocked shots and finished second in field goal percentage behind teammate Victoria May. At season’s end, she was named Co-Defensive Player of the Year in the Iowa Conference.
Sport: Swimming & diving
Event: 200 individual medley, 200 freestyle, 200 breaststroke, several relays
Accomplishments: Mollahan improved her times from a year ago, breaking three individual records and two relay records at the Liberal Arts Championships. She now owns the school record in the the 200 freestyle and 200 individual medley. For her efforts, Mollahan was named to the Liberal Arts All-Championship team.
Statistics: 19 games, 4 goals, 3 assists, 14 shots, 1 game-winner
Last year’s statistics: 2 goals, 1 assist
Accomplishments: Murphy was third on the team in goals scored after doubling her offensive output from a year ago. Her season highlight came on Sept. 27, when her last-second game-winner against Central was featured on SportsCenter’s Top Plays.
Statistics: 18 games, 101 saves, .802 save %
Last year’s statistics: 23 games, 58 saves, .753 save %
Accomplishments: Wilson was named as an honorable mention for the third time in her career. She improved her save percentage from last year, despite facing almost twice as many shots on goal this season. She ends her career at Loras with an overall record of 42-16-1.
Position: Middle blocker
Statistics: 290 kills, .267 hitting pct., 23 block solos, 62 block assists, 14 service aces
Last year’s statistics: 232 kills, .275 hitting pct., 25 block solos, 83 block assists
Accomplishments: Kennedy set career highs in kills and aces in her sophomore season and earned 1st-team All-IIAC honors.
Team of the year
Record: 9-11, 3-4 IIAC
Accomplishments: Despite significant turnover in the roster and coaching staff, the wrestling team still managed a strong showing this season. 3 Duhawk matmen were selected to the All-IIAC team, while 2 earned All-American honors. Loras finished 15th at the NCAA Championships, and climbed as high as #8 in the NWCA rankings. Season highlights include an early-season dual-meet victory over eventual National Champion Augsburg.
Men’s cross country
Finishes: 1st at Iowa Conference Championships, 2nd at Central Region Championships, 25th at NCAA National Championships
Accomplishments: The Duhawks coasted past the competition for much of the year on their way to competing for a Division III National Championship. In their seven meets leading up to Nationals, Loras finished first four times, second twice and third once. Among those first-place finishes was a perfect score at the Loras Invitational.
Record: 17-3-2, 7-0 IIAC
Accomplishments: The Duhawks topped the Iowa Conference for the third consecutive year, scoring the most goals in the conference and allowing the second fewest. Seven Duhawks received all-conference awards, including Mike Pizzello, who won the conference defensive MVP award. After falling to Trinity in the Sweet-16, the Duhawks finished the season ranked 11th in the nation.
Record: 15-11, 9-5 IIAC
Accomplishments: The Duhawks finished fourth in the Iowa Conference. After losing Iowa Conference MVP and Co-defensive player of the year Katie Langmeier to graduation a year ago, the Duhawks put together a solid year despite their youth and inexperience. Sophomore Lori Obendorf, this year’s Iowa Conference Co-defensive player of the year, was one of many underclassmen to make an impact on the team. The team’s season came to an end at the hands of Wartburg, who knocked them out in the first round of the Iowa Conference tournament. Four players were given all-conference recognition.
Record: 11-8, 5-2 IIAC
Accomplishments: The women’s soccer team finished third in the Iowa Conference but went on to fall to sixth-seeded Luther in the Iowa Conference Tournament. The team boasted four all-conference award winners, including Katie Truesdale (1st-team), Kristina Everding (2nd-team), Claire Murphy (2nd-team) and Hannah Wilson (honorable mention). Truesdale was named the conference offensive MVP.
Men’s and women’s track & field
Finishes: Both teams finished 4th at Iowa Conference Indoor Championships
Accomplishments: After a pair of fourth place finishes in the conference indoor championships, the Duhawks have been on a roll thoughout the outdoor season. The men’s team has picked up three straight wins in the Knox Open, Central Invitational and University of Dubuque Invite. The women have hung tough as well, finishing second, third and second in those respective meets.
Coach of the year
Sport: Men’s and women’s soccer
Record: Men (17-3-2, 7-0 IIAC), Women (11-8, 5-2 IIAC)
Accomplishments: In his 16th season as the head soccer coach of both the men’s and women’s teams, Rothert’s teams were once again two of the best in the Iowa Conference. The men finished first in conference for the third consecutive year and finished No. 11 in the nation after falling to Trinity in the Sweet-16. On the women’s side, Rothert’s Duhawks finished third in conference, but fell in the first round of the conference tournament. Between the two teams, Rothert coached 11 all-conference award winners and a pair of MVP’s. His current coaching record stands at 503-167-42.
Record (through 4/27): 19-16, 13-11 IIAC
Accomplishments: In his 19th season with the Duhawks, Tebon reached an impressive milestone, notching his 400th career win at the helm of Loras on March 27. Tebon’s Duhawks have clinched a post-season berth and currently rank third in the Iowa Conference.
Record: 3-7, 2-5 IIAC
Accomplishments: In Helminiak’s first full season as head coach, his young team improved by more than 100 spots in the NCAA DIII ranking for total offense, and showed significant improvement in virtually every offensive statistical category. Following a dark age of Duhawk football, Heliminiak is leading the program back to respectability.
Sport: Men’s and women’s cross country
Men: 1st in Iowa Conference, 2nd in Central Region, 25th at Nationals
Women: 3rd in Iowa Conference, 13th in Central Region
Accomplishments: Schultz was named Iowa Conference Coach of the Year for the second consecutive season following his men’s 1st-place finish at the IIAC Championships. The women grabbed a top-3 finish for the third year in a row. Schultz’s team was selected by Next Level Iowa as the NCAA DIII Team of the Year.
Accomplishments: In his 17th year as the head swimming and diving coach, Colin’s teams took home a pair of fifth-place finishes at the Liberal Arts/Iowa Conference Championships. The men took second in conference while the women finished third.
Record: 9-11, 3-4 IIAC
Accomplishments: 2014-15 marked Steward’s 22nd season as head wrestling coach at Loras, and the tenth time during his tenure that the Duhawks finished in the top 16 nationally. Despite the mid-season departure of asst. coach Ryan Birt, and the loss of defending national champion heavyweight, James Buss, Steward kept his team focused until the end.