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Friday, December 19, 2014
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Published: Friday, 12/22/2000

College notebook: Volleyball, soccer athletes successful

BY JOHN WAGNER
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

You can't accuse northwest Ohio of lacking quality college athletes.

The evidence comes from the numerous athletes from this area winning all-league honors this past fall.

Last week we chronicled a number of area football players who were honored in the fall; today we'll look at some of the award winners in volleyball and soccer.

  • Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: In volleyball, the All-GLIAC first team featured Deanna Behnfeldt from Findlay. Behnfeldt is a senior outside hitter who played her high school ball at Tinora.

    Two of Behnfeldt's teammates made the second team - setter Holly Foster and middle hitter Bridgett Hamilton. Hillsdale also had a pair of second team performers in middle hitter Jennifer Cook and outside hitter Stephanie Dulz.

    Saginaw Valley State's Bree Hickman, an outside hitter who hails from Bedford, also was named to the second team.

  • Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference: The post-season awards for women's soccer honored both a player and a coach from Defiance.

    Forward Cheri Shields was named the league's freshman of the year after becoming the only freshman to earn a spot on the All-HCAC first team.

    And coach Tim Rickabaugh was named the league's coach of the year. He led the Yellow Jackets to an 8-10 record, the most women's soccer victories in school history, as well as a 3-3 mark in conference play.

    Other Defiance players named to the second team were midfielder Tiffany Caudill, sweeper Michelle Morgan and goalkeeper Eric Bishop.

    Bluffton's Katie Kanter, a junior midfielder, also earned a berth on the All-HCAC first team. Teammates April Leu, a sophomore forward from Archbold, and Rachel Mack, a sophomore defender from Defiance, were named to the second team.

    Both Bluffton and Defiance had a pair of players named to the all-league squad. Midfielder Mark Stutzman and forward Diego Rodriguez from Bluffton were honored, while goalkeeper Phil Schneider and defender Aaron Butler from Defiance were so honored.

    In volleyball, Bluffton's Mandy Pequinot and Betsy Hook were named first team All-HCAC, while sophomore Amy Koenn of Defiance earned a spot on the second team.

  • Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Conference: In volleyball, junior Lindsay Dale was the only player named to the all-league squad, earning a berth on the second team.

  • Ohio Athletic Conference: In men's soccer the All-OAC first team included a pair of Heidelberg sophomores in forward Adam Neill and midfielder Ryan Wise.

    Among those named to the second team were goalie Ryan Mack of Heidelberg as well as three players from Ohio Northern in defenders John Murphy and Brendan Thompson and midfielder Matt Ellis.

    Paul Habrecht, a St. John's Jesuit graduate who is a senior at John Carroll, was named first team All-OAC at goalkeeper. Among those receiving honorable mention was Central Catholic product Josh Bates, a freshman defender at Heidelberg.

    In women's soccer, Ohio Northern's Melissa Swabb and Kristin Welk both were named All-OAC first team, as was Katie Prophater of Heidelberg. The Polar Bears' Marguerite Barth and Lori Wickstrom earned berths on the second team, as did Julia Rose and Molly Thornton of The 'Berg.

    Sarah Bryan, a freshman defender at John Carroll who is a product of St. Ursula, was one of only two freshmen named first team All-OAC.

    The first team all-league volleyball team features two juniors from Ohio Northern in setter Brandi Stover and middle hitter Megan Earley. Their teammate, sophomore Tara Anderson, was named to the second team.

    Jen VonDeylen, a Springfield native who is a senior at Mount Union, also was named to the second team.

  • WOLVERINE-HOOSIER ATHLETIC CONFERENCE: The WHAC's all-conference first team in volleyball featured five players from Siena Heights. Seniors Jenny Kunkle and Tonya Toska, a Central Catholic grad, were named to the first team, while senior Cazzie Steudle and juniors Amy Smith and Melissa Radoy earned spots on the second team. Steudle and Radoy both are natives of Adrian.

    Toska was one of four Siena Heights players to earn academic all-league honors.

    Saints coach Craig Vliestra was named the league's coach of the year.

    The men's soccer team at Siena Heights had four all-league performers, including seniors B.J. Horn and Clement Irushibandi as well as juniors Andy Power and Sam Skeels. Both Horn and Skeels are Adrian natives.

    Jason Whitacre, a senior who hails from Maumee, was one of four Saints named to the academic All-WHAC team in soccer.

    The women's team also had four players earn all-conference honors: Dawn O'Neil, Traci Stewart, Nicole Tobin and Lacey Wilmot.

  • OTHER LEAGUES: Shelli Habbegger was named volleyball player of the year in the North Coast Athletic Conference this season. Habbegger, a sophomore setter who graduated from Clay High School, helped lead the Tigers to the league's regular-season and tournament titles. Wittenberg reached the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Finals and finished with a 32-9 record ... Greg Peters, a St. Francis grad, finished his senior season on the Saint Joseph's College (Ind.) men's soccer team. The midfielder tallied a pair of assists in 14 games.



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