SAN ANTONIO (May 1, 2017) – Our Lady of the Lake University (OLLU) closed out its 2016-2017 with the Sixth Annual Big Blue Athletic Banquet last Thursday evening in the University's Mabee Gymnasium. Close to 275 athletes from OLLU's 13 teams were honored for their accomplishments from the 2016-2017 season. Spring teams, including baseball, softball, track and field and golf, received their wards from last year since their seasons did not end until after the 2016 banquet took place.
The evening began with a welcome from Jay Tope, the Voice of the Saints. Sister Patricia Lohre, university minister and ministry program director, gave the invocation and blessing. Athletic Director Jack Hank came up to talk about the closing of the 10th anniversary celebration and he introduced the athletic slide show/video created by OLLU photographer Dan Constantin.
After the dinner that was provided by A Gala Event, Tope announced the award recipients beginning with the fall sports, then winter sports and finally spring sports.
Team and individual awards
The men's soccer team received its regular season conference plaque, and special recognition was given to Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes: Angel De la Garza, Igor Nunes do Nascimento, Jared Poling, Nickolas Tyrpak; All-Tournament recipients: Juan Carlos Vasquez, Jared Poling; All-Conference First-Team recipients: Jorge Cavazos, Angel De la Garza, Marco Perales, Hugo Plascencia; All-Conference Second-Team recipients: Jared Poling, Juan Carlos Vasquez; All-Champions of Character recipient: Igor Nunes do Nascimento; and Coach of the Year Shane Hurley. Also recognized and presented framed jerseys were seniors: Angel De la Garza, Jonathan Garay, Jose Gomez, Sergio Gonzalez, Igor Nunes do Nascimento, Marco Perales, Jared Poling, Nickolas Tyrpak and Carlos Vasquez.
The volleyball team captured its second straight conference regular season and tournament title and barely missed advancing to the second round of nationals. The team also earned NAIA Scholar Team recognition. Special recognition was also given to Saints 1,000 Club inductee Kendall Groff, who was received NAIA All-American honorable mention, AVCA All-South, Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete, All-Tournament MVP, All-Conference First Team and Conference Player of the Year awards; AVCA All-South Region Team recipients: Raven Swain, Leilani Smith; All-Tournament recipients: Jessica Walaski, Raven Swain; All-Conference First-Team recipients: Leilani Smith, Anissa Rivera – Freshman of the Year, Raven Swain; All-Conference Second-Team recipients: Janelle Solis, Jessica Walaski, Brittany Martinez; Honorable Mention recipients: Alexia Bustamante, Audrey Contreras; All-Champions of Character: Alexia Bustamante; and Coach of the Year: Jeremiah Tiffin. Also recognized and presented with framed jerseys were seniors: Alexia Bustamante, Audrey Contreras, Kendall Groff, Brittany Martinez, Leilani Smith, Janelle Solis and Jessica Walaski.
The women's soccer team captured its fourth consecutive regular season and tournament titles, plus they embarked on their fourth consecutive trip to nationals. The team received NAIA Scholar Team, NSCAA College Team Academic and NSCAA Ranking Awards. Special recognition was also given to: Gabriela Lopez, NSCAA Scholar All-American, NSCAA Academic All-South Region, NAIA All-American Honorable Mention, NSCAA All-South, Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete, All-Conference First-Team and Defensive Player of the Year, All-Tournament; Also NSCAA Academic All-South Region First-Team recipients: Daniela Colina, Maggie Miller, Katherine Murtagh-Huerta; NSCAA Academic All-South Region Second-Team recipients: Madison Raines, Yesenia Martinez, Pauline Fields; NAIA All-American Honorable Mention recipient: Hayley Tiernay; NSCAA All-Southwest Region recipients: Amaris Tavares, Hayley Tiernay; Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete recipients: Daniela Colina, Gabriela Colina, Jackie Lambarida, Maggie Miller, Katherine Murtagh-Huerta, Madison Raines; CoSIDA-NAIA Academic All-America and All-District First-Team recipient: Brooke Cousins; All-Conference: First-Team recipients: Hayley Tiernay – Offensive Player of the Year, Amaris Tavares; Second-Team recipients: Jackie Lambarida, Maggie Miller, Erica Robertson; All-Champions of Character: Madison Raines; All-Tournament recipients: Maggie Miller, Katherine Murtagh-Huerta, Amaris Tavares; and Coach of the Year: Arthur Salazar. Also recognized and presented with framed jerseys were seniors: Daniela Colina, Gabriela Colina, Pauline Fields, Jackie Lambarida, Gabriela Lopez, Yesenia Martinez, Katherine Murtagh-Huerta, Madison Raines, Amaris Tavares and Hayley Tiernay.
The men's cross-country team captured its second conference title, while the women's cross-country team won its third. Special recognition was also given to All-Conference recipients: Derek Barnett, Patrick Torres, Luis Ramirez, Nathaniel Aguilar, Patrick Bousselot, Jazmine Garcia, Sarah Taylor, Gabriela Guerrero, Margaret Bruch, Bianca Renteria; Runner of the Year: Jazmine Garcia; and Men's and Women's Coach of the Year: Stephen Sherman. Bianca Renteria also received a senior photo collage and framed jersey.
The men's basketball team made it to the conference quarterfinals this past season. Special recognition was given to NAIA All-American First-Team recipient: Joe Jackson – only the second male to receive this award at OLLU in 10 years. Also, Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete recipient: Brandell Collins; Small College Basketball's Watch List - Top 100, Top 50 recipient: Joe Jackson; All-Conference First-Team recipients: Joe Jackson – Player of the Year; Second-Team recipients– Darion Brown, PJ Escobar; All-Champions of Character – Kellen Sweetwyne; All-Tournament recipients: Joe Jackson; and Top Small College Assistant Colleges – No. 4: William Bell. Coach Ryan Wall also recognized four of his players with the following awards: Jack Hank Newcomer of the Year Award: PJ Escobar; Marsha Eldridge Defensive Player of the Year Award: Dav'vin Hill; Roy Terracina Offensive Player of the Year Award: Joe Jackson; Richard Castro Hardest Worker Award: Kellen Sweetwyne. Special recognition was also given to seniors, who received framed jerseys: Michael Hagan-Daniel, Dav'vin Hill, Joe Jackson, Kellen Sweetwyne and Allen Wilcher.
The women's basketball team captured its fifth regular season title, and they made their sixth consecutive trip to the national tournament. Special recognition was given to NAIA All-American Honorable Mention recipient: Alyssa Ward; Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete recipients: Chelsea Foster and Francesca Patrick; All-Conference First-Team recipients: Alyssa Ward – Defensive Player of the Year, Julia Rendon; Second-Team recipients: Jessika Montalvo, Quintianna LeShore; All-Tournament recipients: Quintianna LeShore, Jessika Montalvo; and All-Champions of Character: Annie Lenoir. Special recognition was also given to seniors, who received framed jerseys: Alyssa Ward, Gabriela Mendonca, Jessika Montalvo and Chelsea Foster.
The men's and women's track and field teams placed second in this year's conference meet that took place last week. Special recognition was given to All-Conference men recipients: Nathaniel Aguilar, Derek Barnett, Anthony Gonzalez, Patrick Torres, Luis Ramirez, Tristen Robles, Justin Ybarra, Ricky Ramos, Adrian Carmona, Clayton Townsend, Jose Lima and Alex Sattley; All-Conference women recipients: Aundrea Culliver, Gabriela Guerrero, Elena Oslund, Sarah Taylor, Jazmine Garcia, Bianca Renteria, Aimee Aranda, Jennifer Ramirez, Miki Romain, Lena Wilson, Shenaya Thomas, Samantha Millan, Krystal Ochilo, Emily Lee and Kristin Rodriguez. Congratulations were given to Elena Oslund, who earned the Top Track Athlete of 2017 for the Red River Athletic Conference. Also special recognition was given to seniors, who received their framed jerseys and photo collages: Elena Oslund, Bianca Renteria, Alex Sattley and Jocelyn Trask.
The baseball team gave special recognition to Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete recipient: Darius Patton; All-Conference First-Team recipients: Jordan Hackett, JB Martinez. Seniors, who will receive their framed jerseys at a later time, were also recognized: Matt Beasley, Brandon Cogbill, Orlando Collado, Caden Jacinto, Kevin Jamerson, Connor Kalisky, Darius Patton, Chase Smith and Alex Torres.
The golf team captured its third conference championship – its first against solely Red River teams. The men also won the NAIA Scholar Team Award. Special recognition was also given to NAIA Scholar Athlete recipient: Christopher Schriedel; All-Conference recipients: Christopher Schriedel, Gerardo Daniel, Kane Ybarra and Stevan Hinojosa; Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Freshman of the Year Kane Ybarra; Conference Individual Champion: Christopher Schriedel; and Coach of the Year: Alan E. Baxter and Arnie Martinez. Seniors also received their photo collages: Jeremy Gordon, Merrick Ramos, Omar Ramirez and Christopher Schriedel.
The tennis team captured its first-ever NAIA Regional Tournament title last year, and this past weekend, they won their second conference title. Named to the All-Tournament First-Team were: Warren Fulgenzi and Bernardo Pegas; Second-Team: Mathias Rocha and Jacob Galaviz. The team also recognized their seniors with collages: Jacob Galaviz and Bernardo Pegas.
Thee softball team earned a berth in this year's conference tournament as the fourth seed. The Saints will be playing in the tournament in Farmers Branch later this week. The Saints won the NAIA Scholar Team and NFCA NAIA All-Academic Awards. Special recognition was also given to the following for awards from last year: NAIA All-American Second Team recipient: Taylor Doege; CoSIDA-Academic All District recipient: Lauren Garza; NFCA-NAIA All-Region Team Southwest Region recipient: Taylor Doege; All-Conference recipients: Taylor Doege – Player of the Year; Brittany Martinez – Defensive Player of the Year; All-Champions of Character: Lauren Guerra. Seniors were also recognized: Jana Arena, Lauren Garza, Larissa Gutierrez, Brittany Martinez and Brooke Vasquez.
Top GPA Award
After the team awards were presented, Tope announced that the 2015-2016 Women's Soccer Team had earned the Top GPA Award after tallying an overall 3.3 GPA.
Big Blue Top Saints
The final awards presented were for the Top Female Saint and Top Male Saint for 2016-2017. The head coaches of each team nominated one player who excelled in academics, athletics and community service as a member of his or her team in 2016-2017. Judges included: Gabe Ramirez, representing students; Justin Monk, representing alumni; Ken Rodriguez, representing faculty; Amelia Guzman and Casey Hebenstreit representing the Athletic Department and Moses Porras, representing staff.
Nominees included: Volleyball: Kendall Groff; Men's Soccer: Angel De la Garza; Women's Soccer: Gabriela Lopez; Women's Cross-Country: Jazmine Garcia; Men's Cross-Country: Derek Barnett; Men's Basketball: Kellen Sweetwyne; Women's Basketball: Alyssa Ward; Men's Track and Field: Adrian Carmona; Women's Track and Field: Jennifer Ramirez; Baseball: Darius Patton; Golf: Christopher Schriedel; Men's Tennis: Bernardo Pegas; and Softball: Brittany Martinez.
Winning the Big Blue Female Top Saint was Gabriela Lopez. Her accomplishments included: Community Service: volunteered regularly at TopSoccer event, that provides athletes with disabilities, both physical and mental, with the chance to play; volunteered with the YWCA youth soccer organization to help provide the inner city athletes with the opportunity to advance their soccer ability through hard work and fun; Volunteered for youth league at the Wurstfest; Volunteered at Oyster Bake; Worked at the San Antonio Food Bank many times; Tutored children from Myers Elementary School, reading and doing activities with the children; Volunteered with the New Braunfels Aggies; Athletics: Named an NSCAA Scholar All-American; Named to NSCAA Scholar All-Region Team; Named NAIA All-American; Named NSCAA All-Region; Named Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athlete; Named to conference All-Tournament Team; Part of the team that won four-straight conference regular season and tournament titles; Part of the team that made four-straight trips to the NAIA National Tournament; Named conference Defensive Player of the Year; Two-time All-Conference; Six-time conference defensive player of the week awards; Four-time conference All-Tournament; Three-time conference scholar athlete; Academics: She has maintained a 3.7-4.0 GPA throughout her time at OLLU and has earned Dean's List recognition every semester.
Winning the Big Blue Male Top Saint was Derek Barnett. His accomplishments included: Community Service: Raised funds for the Amazing Grace Foundation formed in honor of Grace Endris Haynes who fought a courageous battle against Osteosarcoma for nearly two years; Volunteered for the 5k Confetti Run at OLLU; Volunteered at SAM Ministries, which is a homeless shelter, helping tutor the children who live there; Volunteered at the Arc, a community center for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, helped with running activities and looking after people in the class; Athletics: Qualified for the NAIA National Tournament Cross-Country Meet in Elsah, Ill.; Placed first among all other OLLU runners and fourth overall in the conference championships, leading the Saints to a team championship; Earned all-conference honors in cross-country, and all-conference in track and field in the 3000m and the 4x400 and 4x800 relays. He received three conference runners of the week awards; Academics: Maintained a 3.7 GPA at OLLU. In his first semester, he earned Dean's List honors.
Special presentation to Jay Tope
Before the conclusion of the event, Patty Constantin, along with Jack Hank, Adrienne Rodriguez and Shane Hurley, presented Jay Tope with a portrait. Tope announced recently that he would not be returning to announce for the teams next season so that he can concentrate on promoting high school athletics.
The evening ended with a benediction by Gloria Urrabazo, Vice President for Mission and Ministry.