The year of the Laker: Top 20 sports headlines from Fall 2010

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter
Travis Shooks carded a hole in one during the Fall semester

GVL Archive / Eric Coulter Travis Shooks carded a hole in one during the Fall semester

GVL Staff

1. Rapin’s spectacular season

Very few athletes could dream of putting together a season like senior volleyball player Rebeccah Rapin.

The middle blocker, called a “go-to player” by head coach Deanne Scanlon, notched her 1,000th career kill, earned All-American honors and helped her team advance to the Elite Eight in the NCAA tournament.

“It’s a great accomplishment, but I can’t take all the credit,” said Rapin about becoming the 12th player in school history to tally 1,000 kills. “My teammates are what make me successful. They actually deserve the credit.”

On Nov. 29, Rapin was named a First-Team All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, becoming the eighth Grand Valley State University volleyball player in history to earn first-team honors. Earlier in the month, she became the second player in GVSU history to be named first-team All-GLIAC three times.

The four-year starter ended her career as the program’s all-time leader in total blocks (525) and block assists (437). Rapin is seventh in team history in kills (1,364) and total attacks (3,184), while ranking eighth in hitting percentage (.317).

2. Shooks records first hole-in-one in school history

Success often comes in bunches in golf, and that saying was no exception for Travis Shooks.

The Grand Valley State University junior golfer headed into the 177-yard, par-three, sixth hole at the Hawkshead Country Club in South Haven, Mich. on Sept. 20 with a string of four-straight birdies. His next swing, however, proved to be historic as he knocked in what is believed to be the first hole-in-one in GVSU history.

“From leaving it on the edge to flying one in and out, I’d pretty much done everything but make one,” Shooks said. “It was a shock. You never really expect for the ball to actually go in, but I hit a good shot, and it took nice bounce and rolled in.”

The ace came en route to Shooks’ record-tying score of 66 in the first round of the Great Lakes Region Invitational No. 1, and the hole in one allowed him to join the less than two percent of golfers who record an ace each year.

“I’ll always remember it — I can tell everyone I’ve made one now, too,” Shooks said.

3. Four soccer players earn All-American honors

After winning the NCAA Division II National Championship, the women’s soccer season was capped by the announcement that four Lakers had been named All-Americans by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

Senior defender Jenna Wenglinski, junior midfielder Erin Mruz and sophomore forward Ashley Botts earned First-Team All-American honors, while sophomore goalkeeper Chelsea Parise was named to the second team.

Wenglinski, one of five seniors who ended their careers with an 87-3-7 record, also earned Daktronics First-Team All-American recognition and was named the Most Outstanding Defensive Player of the NCAA tournament.

Mruz earned NSCAA first-team accolades for the second year in a row. She scored 13 goals, totaled 13 assists and started all 25 games during the season.

Botts scored 14 goals during the season and was named the NCAA tournament’s Most Outstanding Offensive Player after tallying two goals and an assist in the final two games.

Parise set a GVSU record with 17 shutout victories. She recorded 76 saves and allowed only five goals all season in more than 2,193 minutes as keeper.

4. Augustus nabs game-winning touchdowns in back-to-back weeks

Junior wide receiver Jovonne Augustus had a tremendous impact on the Grand Valley State University football program just three games after transferring from College of the Canyons (Calif.).

Against No. 11 Hillsdale College on Sept. 11, Augustus brought in an eight-yard touchdown pass with 16.9 seconds to play to give GVSU a thrilling 44-41 win.

“When it came down to the wire, I just looked at (senior quarterback Kyle McMahon) and told him, ‘Just keep going to me. Keep going to me. Just trust me, Kyle,’” Augustus said. “He just believed in me, and I just went up to go get the ball.”

One week later, Augustus caught a 10-yard touchdown with 30 seconds remaining as the Lakers squeaked out a 38-31 victory over the University of Indianapolis.

“It was d?©jà vu,” Augustus said. “It happened again, it keeps on happening. (Offensive coordinator Eric Koehler) just called my number again. I just went up to make a play.”

Augustus finished the year with 28 catches for 590 yards and nine touchdowns.

5. Johnston, Trout compete at USTA/ITA National Championships

A historic season for the Grand Valley State University women’s tennis team was helped by the play of No. 1 doubles partners Chelsea Johnston and Darylann Trout.

The seniors became the first ever to represent the Lakers at the USTA/ITA National Small Colleges Championships in Mobile, Ala. in October.

“It’s really exciting, especially since we’re seniors,” said Trout before the championships. “We’re the first people to ever do it, and I’m doing it with my best friend.”

The duo overcame the No. 1 doubles team from Wayne State University to reach the championships.

“In the finals of the ITA tournament, we beat a team that had just destroyed us,” Trout said. “They also beat us last year in the finals. It was great overcoming our nerves and believing that we could beat them even though they’ve beaten us twice.”

The team of Johnston and Trout finished in seventh place at the championships. They lost to California University (Pa.) 6-3, 6-3 and then notched a 6-0, 6-1 win over Upper Iowa University.

6. Olsen hits GV’s second hole-in-one

After going almost two decades without a hole-in-one, the Grand Valley State University men’s golf team accomplished the feat twice in less than a month.

Three weeks after junior Travis Shooks hit what is believed to be the first hole-in-one in the program’s history, sophomore Chase Olsen joined his teammate in the record books with an ace of his own on Oct. 3.

The hole-in-one highlighted the opening round of the GLIAC Championships, in which GVSU finished tied for third place with the University of Findlay.

“It was pretty exciting,” Olsen said. “I wasn’t playing very well at the time, so it gave me a boost in spirit. I haven’t had a hole-in-one in four years. After Shooks got one, I was hoping I would get one, too.”

Although it was not Olsen’s first-ever hole-in-one, only his tournament ace counts in the official record books.

“He told me a couple holes after,” Shooks said. “I was making fun of him that he can’t shoot very high, that it was a fluke and that he wasn’t playing that well. It was pretty funny.”

7. Baltes, Emmorey earn accolades

The Grand Valley State University cross-country program received national recognition when head coach Jerry Baltes and men’s runner Tyler Emmorey took home regional honors.

Emmorey, a junior, was honored as the Midwest Region Men’s Athlete of the Year. He took second at the GLIAC Championships with a time of 24:15 and captured the individual title at the Midwest Regionals in Louisville, Ky. on Nov. 20. At the NCAA Championships on Dec. 4, Emmorey finished in 17th place as the Lakers took third as a team.

“Tyler’s a very motivated and self-driven individual that takes ownership of his training and works very hard on a day-to-day basis to put himself in the best situation to be successful when the gun goes off,” Baltes said.

Baltes, in his 12th year as head coach, led the women’s cross-country team to its first-ever National Championship. He was named the 2010 National Women’s Coach of the Year by the U.S. Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association and also took home men’s and women’s Midwest Region Coach of the Year awards.

8. Stanski nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year

The nomination of former soccer player Natalja Stanski for the NCAA’s Women of the Year Award brought widespread attention to the success of Grand Valley State University athletes in the classroom.

Stanski, a member of GVSU’s National Championship-winning soccer team in 2009, maintained a 4.0 GPA while studying biomedical sciences. She was one of nine finalists for the award among all three divisions of the NCAA.

“It gives us great pride when our student-athletes not only achieve great things in their particular sport, but when they are rewarded for also doing a great job in the classroom,” said director of Athletics Tim Selgo. “It speaks well for Grand Valley when our student-athletes receive prestigious academic rewards as well as athletic awards.

“Our No. 1 goal is to create the best learning environment possible,” Selgo added. “While they may be talented athletes, they come to college to learn and get an education. We want to help them get their degrees from Grand Valley and prepare them for the rest of their lives.”

9. Sweany awarded Administrator of the Year honor

The National Association of Collegiate Women Athletic Administrators honored senior associate athletic director and senior woman administrator Lisa Sweany as an Administrator of the Year on Oct. 12.

Sweany was one of nine individuals to be voted by her peers for the award, which is given to NACWAA members who have made significant contributions as administrators of intercollegiate athletics.

“I think she is very well-deserved,” said director of Athletics Tim Selgo. “Lisa has played a huge role in the success of our athletic department. I’m very proud of her and I’m glad to see that she was rewarded for her efforts.”

Sweany was hired in the spring of 2000 and earned the title of Senior Associate Athletic Director six years later.

“When you’re recognized by your peers for doing a good job, it means that people are paying attention to the things that you’re doing,” Sweany said. “It gives affirmation to what I do day in and day out. I’m typically not one who’s big on individual orders, but this one, when you’re nominated by your peers and voted in by your peers, that’s a pretty cool thing to do.”

10. McMahon shines in playoff opener

Senior quarterback Kyle McMahon stole the show in his first playoff game at Grand Valley State University.

Overshadowed by Colorado School of Mines quarterback Clay Garcia, a Harlon Hill Trophy finalist, McMahon outplayed his counterpart in a 35-13 victory during the opening round of the NCAA playoffs.

The signal caller passed for three touchdowns and ran for two more scores to help the Lakers roll over the Orediggers.

“I don’t like being one-dimensional and just sitting in the pocket directing traffic all the time,” McMahon said. “I just love playing football, maybe delivering some shots and seeing what I can do with the ball in my hands.”

McMahon proved himself as one of the top quarterbacks in the nation in his first and only season at GVSU. After winning the starting job shortly before the season started, the transfer from Eastern Michigan University passed for 2,616 yards and 24 touchdowns in 13 games.

He also proved to be fleet of foot, leading the team with 13 rushing touchdowns and finishing as GVSU’s third-leading rusher.


Anes one of six inducted in GV Athletics Hall of Fame

Championship-winning quarterback Curt Anes (1999-2002) was one of the highlights of a class that included 1,000-point scorer Ed Crisman (basketball, 1966-69), All-GLIAC outside hitter Chara Fehsenfeld (volleyball, 1999-2002), two-time All-American pitcher Jennifer Mackson (softball, 2001-04), former director of Aquatics and coach Dewey Newsome (swimming, 1984-2007) and two-time GLIAC Women’s Golfer of the Year Melissa Sneller (golf, 2001-05).

Scanlon inducted into Eastern Kentucky Hall of Fame

Grand Valley State University volleyball coach Deanne Scanlon was inducted into the Eastern Kentucky University Hall of Fame Oct. 8.

An All-American, four-year starter and 1983 graduate of Eastern Kentucky, Scanlon still holds a place in the Colonel’s record books for solo blocks, block assists and hitting percentage.

Hackett represents U.S. at World Gymnastics Championships

Grand Valley State University junior Justin Hackett competed for the U.S. gymnastics team at the World Championships in Metz, France, in November.

Hackett competed in the double mini, a competition in which competitors get a running start up an angled platform and trampoline twice into the air, performing a different skill each time.