Valparaiso University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) announced its year-end awards on Sunday evening at the sixth annual Athletic Recognition Ceremony (ARC) Awards.
Senior men’s golfer Kyle Henning (Brookfield, Wis./East) was named Valparaiso’s Male Student-Athlete of the Year, while senior women’s soccer player Kristen Manski (St. Charles, Ill./North) was honored as the Female Student-Athlete of the Year. Freshman men’s tennis player Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) earned Male Newcomer of the Year accolades, and freshman cross country/track and field athlete Elizabeth Bloy (Freedom, Wis./Freedom) received Female Newcomer of the Year honors.
Henning was named the Male Student-Athlete of the Year after setting a new program record in his final season as a member of the men’s golf team, posting a scoring average of 74.52 for the year, which ranked sixth in the Horizon League. An All-Horizon League honoree, Henning also closed out his career as Valpo’s career scoring average leader as well. The senior earned a fifth-place finish at the Quail Valley Intercollegiate and also posted a top-ten finish in an extremely strong field at Kentucky’s Bluegrass Invitational.
Manski earned Female Student-Athlete of the Year honors after leading all Horizon League women’s soccer goalkeepers this season in both shutouts (8) and goals against average (0.79). The senior closed her career as Valpo’s all-time leader in both categories as well, finishing out her tenure as a Crusader with 30 clean sheets and a 0.85 GAA, marks which both rank among the top-five goalkeepers in Horizon League history.
Schorsch picked up the Male Newcomer of the Year award after a record-setting freshman campaign for the Crusader men’s tennis team. Schorsch set a new program record for singles wins in a season, demolishing the previous record and ending the year 27-10 in singles action while playing at no. 1 singles. He also posted the second-most doubles victories in a season, winning 25 doubles matches, including 20 straight to end the season.
Bloy received Female Newcomer of the Year accolades after a strong debut season for the Crusader cross country and track and field squads. She finished among Valpo’s top-three runners three times during cross country season, including an eighth-place finish at the Crusader Open. Indoors, she was an All-Horizon League honoree after finishing in second place at the league championship meet in the mile run, while outdoors, Bloy placed fifth in the 1,500m run. The freshman moved into Valpo’s all-time top-five in three different events during her first season.
In addition Sunday, senior men’s tennis player Eric Honert (Arvada, Colo./Ralston Valley) was the recipient of the Bill Steinbrecher Sportsmanship Award and volleyball’s Janelle Hobbs (Hartland, Wis./Arrowhead) received the Rebecca D. Carter Memorial Award, given to the male and female student-athletes who have best exemplified integrity and sportsmanship while representing Valparaiso University.
Two awards were presented for the first time this year as well during Sunday’s show. The volleyball coaching staff – head coach Carin Avery and assistants Craig Cromwell, Adam Rykse and Nick Polite - received the inaugural Coaching Staff of the Year award as they led their squad to 25 wins, the program’s 12th straight 20-win campaign, and a berth in the league championship match. The Performance of the Year award, as voted on by the Crusader fan base, went to men’s basketball freshman Alec Peters (Washington, Ill./Washington) for his 30-point game at Evansville, just two days removed from visiting his hometown following the devastating tornadoes of last November.
The awards were voted on by SAAC, which has representatives from all 21 of Valparaiso’s athletic teams. In addition, each Crusader team had a team award presented at Sunday night’s awards ceremony. The night’s program also featured recognition of all the student-athletes who have earned athletic or academic honors this year and a number of highlight and parody videos throughout the show, including a closing video featuring all of the athletic department’s graduating seniors.