Valparaiso University’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) announced its year-end awards on Sunday evening at the ninth annual Athletic Recognition Ceremony (ARC) Awards.
Senior men’s tennis standout Jeffrey Schorsch (Perrysburg, Ohio/Perrysburg) was named Valparaiso’s Male Athlete of the Year, while senior volleyball player Morganne Longoria (Burlington, Wis./Burlington) was honored as the Female Athlete of the Year. Men’s soccer forward Kendan Anderson (Portmore, Jamaica/St. George’s College [South Florida/ASA College]) earned Male Newcomer of the Year accolades, and softball junior Kenzie Grossmann (Perry, Mo./Mark Twain [Morehead State]) received Female Newcomer of the Year honors.
Schorsch earned Male Athlete of the Year honors as his stellar Crusader career comes to a close. Schorsch was named Horizon League Player of the Year for a third straight year, only the second player in league history to earn top honors three times. He led the men’s tennis team in both singles and doubles wins while playing atop the lineup and will end his career tops in program history in career singles wins.
Longoria received the Female Athlete of the Year award following a senior season where she was tabbed an Honorable Mention All-American by Volleyball Magazine and the Horizon League Defensive Player of the Year. Longoria led the league and finished 12th in the nation in digs/set, and leaves the Crusader program third all-time in career digs. Over the final 13 matches of the 2016 season, Longoria filled an unprecedented role in D-I volleyball by playing both libero and setter simultaneously.
Anderson claimed the Male Newcomer of the Year accolade after a Second Team All-Horizon League campaign. In his first season as a Crusader, Anderson ranked second on the team and third in the league with eight goals despite missing a portion of the season due to injury.
Grossmann brought home the Female Newcomer of the Year award as she leads the Horizon League with 19 wins this year, tied for third-most in a single season in program history. She also ranks among the league leaders in ERA and strikeouts as well.
In addition Sunday, senior men’s golfer Peter Webb (Madison, Wis./James Madison Memorial) was the recipient of the Bill Steinbrecher Sportsmanship Award and senior volleyball player Emily Campbell (Grand Rapids, Mich./Forest Hills Central) 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. Director of athletics Mark LaBarbera presented the Anderson-Hoffman Memorial Service Award, awarded to the student-athlete who best demonstrates what it means to be a champion in the community, to senior softball player Jorgi Calombaris (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), with the help of softball’s Team IMPACT team member Andie Kalemba.
This year’s awards were rounded out by the Unsung Hero Awards, presented to football’s Brandon Doepke (Fitchburg, Wis./Madison West) and volleyball’s Rachel Bruinsma (New Era, Mich./Western Michigan Christian), and the Performance of the Year Awards, won by senior Liz Owen (Freedom, Wis./Freedom) for her efforts at the Horizon League Indoor Track and Field Championships and by the men’s tennis doubles team of Schorsch and Charlie Emhardt (Carmel, Ind./Carmel) for their run at the ITA National Indoor Intercollegiate Championships
The awards were voted on by SAAC, which has representatives from all 21 of Valparaiso’s athletic teams, and by Valpo Athletics coaches and staff members. Sunday night’s program also featured recognition of all the student-athletes who have earned athletic or academic honors this year and a number of videos throughout the show.