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December 2019
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‘Various Sports’ Articles

Otterbein Men’s Soccer loses to John Carroll in OAC Championship Game,

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio- In a battle for the Ohio Athletic Conference Tournament Championship and the conference’s automatic NCAA Tournament bid, it was No. 7 John Carroll who prevailed 1-0 over Otterbein.

JCU secured their second straight OAC Tournament trophy thanks to a goal from Mario Aboumitri in the 14th minute of the match. Even with Otterbein having multiple chances to even the score, ultimately the Cards fell just short on a cold Saturday night inside of Don Shula Stadium.


  • John Carroll got the only goal they needed early in the match when Larry Cersosimo sent a cross to teammate Aboumitri in the box who buried the shot at 13:07.
  • Otterbein saw first half scoring chances come up short, including a shot from Will Isaac that was blocked by the JCU defense before it made it to Blue Streak goalie Connor Robinson.
  • Otterbein saw perhaps its best scoring chance come in the closing minutes of the match on a set piece following a Blue Streak foul near the 20-yard line.
  • The Cards sent a cross into the box with 4 minutes remaining, Kennedy Mensah was able to get his head on the ball, the shot carried wide though.
  • JCU held on for its second consecutive tournament championship, escaping Otterbein by one goal for the second time this season.


  • Senior Kennedy Mensah was named to the All-Tournament Team after a two game stretch that saw him propel the Cards into the championship match following an overtime winner Thursday night against Mount Union.
  • Defender Nathan Neal is an All-Tournament Team selection after helping the Cardinal defense post a clean sheet on Thursday, and limit the nationally ranked No. 7 Blue Streaks to a lone goal.
  • For his efforts on the defensive side, Seth Smith joins Mensah and Neal on the All-Tournament Team as well.
  • This is was Otterbein’s second OAC Championship match in the last three years.




Trio of Otterbein Women’s Volleyball players named to All-OAC Team


Tate Eppard

Carlie Craycraft


AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – A trio of Otterbein University volleyball players garnered spots on the 2019 All-Ohio Athletic Conference team for the first time in their careers Monday morning, including a pair of special-award winners, as announced by the league office.

Headlining the entire list was junior middle hitter Tate Eppard, who emerged to claim OAC Player of the Year honors following a vote from the league coaches. Her selection makes Otterbein the first school in volleyball league history to claim three-straight Player of the Year honors, as Eppard now joins a list that includes former All-Americans Morgan Lowenkamp (2017) and Hadley Sterett (2018). They are the only three Cardinals to ever receive the highest honor.

Eppard (Greenwood Village, Colo. / Cherry Creek) led the OAC in total kills (383) and kills per set (3.61) this season while also ranking fourth in hitting percentage (.333), fifth in total blocking (80) and seventh in blocks per set, compiling 15 solo and 65 assisted for a 0.75 average. She erupted for a career-high 27 kills and .571 hitting percentage against Heidelberg, blasted 19 in the recent OAC Tournament Championship, and also delivered 15 in a win over nationally-ranked Carnegie Mellon.

“We are so happy for Tate,” head coach Monica Wright said. “She has been our rock offensively and I can’t think of one bad match she’s had all year. I haven’t seen a more motivated player in terms of their approach to practice and each offseason, getting from where she was to where she is now. She barely saw the floor as a freshman because she was sitting behind Morgan, but always continued to learn and improve. This is a testament to her work ethic and focus.”

A pair of Cardinals landed second team All-OAC status, as junior middle/outside Emily Shuk and freshman setter Carlie Craycraft earned selections for the first time in their careers. Craycraft was voted the league’s Freshman of the Year and is the third Otterbein player to corral the award, joining former standouts Ally Nagle (2009) and Tabatha Piper (2011).

Craycraft (Marion / Pleasant) took the reins from day one, leading the league in assists all season and currently ranking second in the nation at 11.48 per set. She has distributed a whopping 1,205 helpers thus far, the fifth most in a single season at Otterbein and second most since the number of points needed to win a set was lowered from 30 to 25 before the 2008 season.

Craycraft has eight double-doubles this year, also ranks fourth on the team in service aces (31), amassed 50 assists in six different matches, and handed out a combined 142 across the two wild outings at Ohio Northern.

“The position wasn’t given to her,” Wright said of Craycraft. “Carlie had to earn it and her composure from day one was impressive. It’s been fun to see her progress throughout the season, because I think everyone knew the setter position would be the X factor for us. She certainly stepped up the challenge.”

Shuk (Tipp City / Tippecanoe) broke through to rank top-10 in the OAC in four different categories; third with a .334 percentage, eighth in total kills (299), eighth in kills per set (2.88) and tenth in total blocking (64), posting 17 solo blocks and 47 assisted. She had 12 matches with double-digit kills, a career-high 19 vs. Kalamazoo, outings of 18 in wins over Heidelberg and Ohio Northern, and was an OAC Player of the Week selection.

“Shuk is most comfortable in the middle, and it was nice to have her in that position after two years on the outside,” Wright explained. “She has been selfless in accepting her role as hybrid player, and doing whatever we asked. It’s a challenge to handle, but we couldn’t have run the offense we wanted without her sacrifice of playing two positions. Not every team has a kid like that.”

Senior libero Ashlyn Leon, albeit not on the all-league team, made conference headlines down the stretch by cracking into the top-10 in OAC history for most digs. Leon, who stands with 2,108 for her career, was a 2x OAC Defensive Player of the Week.

Otterbein currently boasts a 25-6 overall record, including a 7-2 mark within the OAC, to finish third in the regular-season standings. The Cards then narrowly fell in the tournament final at ONU, seeing four match-point opportunities in one of the most competitive battles all season. Five of Otterbein’s losses were to nationally-ranked teams.



United States Women’s Soccer team training in Columbus for match vs. Sweden

Columbus, Ohio — Coming off an exciting 2019 FIFA Women’s World cup championship earlier this summer, The USWNT is in Columbus to take on Sweden in one of the final two friendly matches for the team this year. Some new faces will be noticeable in the line up as well as on the side line. This will be the first match under the direction of new head coach Vlatko Andonovski after the team said goodbye to former coach Jill Ellis.  17 of the players from the world cup team have returned but the match is also highlighted by the first time call ups of Aubrey Bledsoe, Alana Cook, and Imani Dorsey. Alana took some time today before training to talk about her excitement of the call up and what it’s been like playing overseas.


Alana Cook (courtesy PSG.FR)

You can catch the action between the USWNT and the Swedish national team tommorrow night at Mapfre Stadium, game time is 7:30 pm. If you can’t be there in person FS1 will have all the broadcast coverage you crave.

Blue Jackets recall Kole Sherwood from Cleveland Monsters




COLUMBUS, OHIO – The Columbus Blue Jackets have recalled right wing Kole Sherwood from the Cleveland Monsters, Columbus’ American Hockey League affiliate, as well as assigned left wing Jakob Lilja to the AHL team, club General Manager Jarmo Kekalainen announced today.


Sherwood, 22, became the first Columbus-area native to play for the Blue Jackets when he made his NHL debut last season on February 16, 2019 at Chicago and recorded 10 hits and two shots on 9:16 of ice time in two games.  He has notched 19 goals and 10 assists for 29 points with 87 penalty minutes and a +3 plus/minus rating in 68 career AHL games with the Monsters, including 3-1-4, 14 penalty minutes and a +2 plus/minus rating in 10 outings in 2019-20.

Kole Sherwood


The New Albany, Ohio native was signed by the Blue Jackets to a three-year, entry level contract on July 7, 2015.  The 6-1, 212-pound winger played three seasons with the Ohio AAA Blue Jackets organization from 2012-15.


Lilja, 26, made his NHL debut in the Blue Jackets’ 2019-20 season opener on October 4 against Toronto and has collected 0-2-2 and 11 shots, while averaging 8:45 of ice time in 10 appearances.  He registered his first NHL assist on October 16 vs. Dallas.


The Malmo, Sweden native posted 48-51-99 with 71 penalty minutes and a +14 plus/minus rating in 222 career Swedish Hockey League contests from 2012-19.  He set career highs in assists and points with 12-25-37 in 52 appearances with Djurgardens IF in 2018-19.  The winger signed a one-year entry level contract with the Blue Jackets on June 15, 2019.


The Blue Jackets return to action tonight when they host the Calgary Flames.  Game time from Nationwide Arena is 7 p.m. ET.  The game will be broadcast live on FOX Sports Ohio and the FOX Sports Go app.  Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. with the “Blue Jackets Live” pre-game show.  The game will also be broadcast on the Eldorado Gaming Scioto Downs Blue Jackets Radio Network, including flagship station Sports Radio 97.1 The Fan.


Single game tickets for all home games played at Nationwide Arena during the 2019-20 regular season are on sale now.  Full and partial season tickets for the Blue Jackets’ 2019-20 campaign are also currently available for purchase.  Information on all ticketing options can be obtained by calling (800) NHL‐COLS or by visiting




University of Dayton one of the best in graduating Student-Athletes

Dayton’s 95 GSR Score Is Tied For Second-Best In School History


INDIANAPOLIS – The University of Dayton is among the best in the nation in graduating student-athletes. Dayton posted a score of 95 which places it among the top 10 percent in the nation and one of the best in Ohio, according to the latest Graduation Success Rate (GSR) report on Division I student-athletes released today by the NCAA.

Dayton’s score of 95 is tied for its second-best mark since GSR started being tracked in 2004-05.

For the seventh consecutive year, at least six Flyer teams had a perfect GSR score of 100. Additionally, 11 of the 14 UD programs with GSR data, posted Graduation Success Rates at or well above the national average.


Since the GSR program began, Dayton has had 115 teams with a perfect score.


“We provide our student-athletes a meaningful education,” UD Vice President/Director of Athletics Neil Sullivan said. “We are proud that the University of Dayton continues to be one of the best at graduating student-athletes. Being in the top 10 percent in the nation is another indicator of our commitment to supporting the educational pursuits of our students.”

The GSR was developed as an improved measurement tool for tracking student-athletes’ academic progress leading toward graduation. The graduation success rate is based on a comparison of the number of scholarship student-athletes who enter a college or university and the number who graduate within six years. The GSR takes into account transfers and student-athletes who leave in good academic standing.

Dayton’s GSR Quick Facts:
-     Six Flyer teams reported a perfect GSR of 100 (women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s tennis, volleyball, and men’s cross country).
-    Seven UD teams have the best score in Ohio and in their respective conferences for their sport: football, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s golf, women’s tennis, volleyball, and men’s cross country.

-    Both baseball (96) and women’s cross country/track and field (97) are tied for second in Ohio
-    Both women’s basketball and women’s tennis have had a perfect GSR for 14 consecutive years.
-    Football has the highest GSR in the Pioneer Football League this year and is tied for 14th in the nation overall with a score of 96.
-    Men’s soccer has a GSR of 94, tying the program’s highest score ever.
-    Men’s and women’s golf have posted a perfect GSR for the past 12 years.
-    Volleyball has posted a perfect GSR 10 times, including the last four years.



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