UT Tyler

UT Tyler Magazine, Spring 2012

Patriot Athletic: Season Highlights

Holding fast to the UT Tyler tradition of excellence, Patriot student-athletes won championships, made top national rankings, set new school records and earned prestigious honors for outstanding athletic and academic performance during the 2011 fall and 2011-12 winter seasons.

Highlights of UT Tyler sports included:


The American Southwest Conference recognized 41 UT Tyler student-athletes on the All-Academic honor roll for the fall season.

To be eligible for ASC All-Academic honors, student-athletes must be a sophomore, junior, senior or graduate student with a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0. They also must have completed at least one academic year at their institution.

UT Tyler honorees were:

Men's Cross Country – Jacob Bremer, sophomore; Jeff Chandler, senior; Kyle Clawson and Ryan Davis, sophomores; Ross Renfroe, graduate student; Cesar Rodriquez, sophomore; Jake Waddingham and Cody White, seniors; and Alex Wilson, sophomore.

Women's Cross Country – Missy Hebert, sophomore; Ginny Murphy, junior; Shelby Smith, sophomore; and Baylee Talaska, junior.

Men's Soccer – Victor Almendariz, senior; Jael Barrera, sophomore; Jeremias Jonatan Benitez, senior; Erick DeSantiago, sophomore; Richard Gutierrez, junior; Jesus Morteo, senior; Taylor Nelson-Cook, sophomore; Justin NeSmith, senior; Chris Powell, junior; and Alfonso Rocha, Elijah Shipman, Enoch Shipman and James Winkler, sophomores.

Women's Soccer – Emily Bechdol, senior; Lindsey Edwards, junior; Kathryn Haag and Shelby McDonough, sophomores; Charity Shipman, junior; Kristen Steele, sophomore; Amanda Weaver, junior; and Julie Williams, senior.

Volleyball – Sarah Smith, junior; Ashten Waldrep, sophomore; and Daneka Waldrep, senior.

Media Relations – Jeff Clark, junior; Meagan Hardy, senior; Jori Patterson, sophomore; and Jeff Williford, senior.



The Patriot men ended the 2011-12 winter season 8-17 overall and 7-13 in ASC action. The women's team finished the season 12-13 overall and 8-12 in ASC play. Both teams had players honored by the ASC for their stellar play.

Men's Honors – Darren Houliston was named to the All-ASC East second team in his first season with the Patriots. The junior averaged 12.9 points and 8.5 rebounds per game, leading the team in both categories. Houliston also totaled eight double-doubles on the season.

Lance Murphy was named to the All-ASC East honorable mention team, finishing the season averaging 8.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Women's Honors – Melissa Thomas was named to the All-ASC East first team after averaging 14.1 points and 5.4 rebounds, en route to becoming the only member of the 1,500 point club in UT Tyler history.

Lindsey Hausmann was named to the All-ASC East second team as well as the All-Defensive team, averaging 13.3 points, 3.9 rebounds and leading the team with 46 steals on the season.

Shamiya Domino and She'Cara Humphrey received All-ASC East honorable mention. Domino led the Patriots in rebounding with seven per game, while Humphrey had a stellar sophomore year, averaging 9.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per game.

Olivia Burns was named as the Co-Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year, joining Ashley Teague from Ozarks.


The UT Tyler men won the ASC Championship Meet for the sixth – and second consecutive – time in school history. Led by Ross Renfroe's medalist time of 25:42.30 in the 8,000-meter race, the Patriots took five of the top 10 spots to finish with a team score of 22. Jeff Chandler finished third (26:04); Nicklas Huff, fourth (26:06); Will Krogman, sixth (26:45); and Ford Noack, eighth (26:58).

The Patriot men ranked third in the South/Southeast region and had the best scoring average coming into the NCAA South/Southeast Regional Championships, where they finished seventh in team competition.

The Patriot women placed fifth at the ASC Championship Meet. Ginny Murphy led the team with a seventh place finish in the 6K, in a personal best time of 24:42. She individually qualified for the NCAA regionals, where she placed 58th (25:07.6).

Other Patriot women finishing in the top 20 at the ASC Championship Meet were Missy Hebert, 17th (25:29) and Kelly McQuaid, 18th (25:40).

All-Region – On the men's team, Chandler, Renfroe and Huff earned All-Region honors, after finishing 15th, 16th and 34th, respectively, at the NCAA regional meet.

All-Conference – Head coach Bob Hepler was named the ASC Men's Cross Country Coach of the Year. Renfroe, Chandler, Huff and Krogman were named to the first team All-Conference, while Noack and Kyle Clawson received second team honors.

Weekly Honors – Patriot men named A

SC Runners of the Week were Chandler (twice) and Renfroe.

Female Athlete of the Year – Murphy received the Co-Female Sportsmanship Athlete of the Year Award along with McMurry's Alyssa Fields.


The UT Tyler men and women closed out the fall portions of their schedules with a championship for the men and a new school record for the women at the Alamo City Classic in San Antonio.

The Patriot men's first place finish, with a team score of 579, marked the third team win in their five fall tournaments. Jacob Walsh was the top individual with a 3-under 144 (69-72) for the tournament. Three other Patriots finished in the top 10, as Austin Quinten's even par 144 (70-74) was good enough for third place. John Dukes and Joey Ripple tied for seventh place, both firing a combined 3-over 147.

The Patriot women finished in second place with a team total 652. Katie Crawford's second round 74 set a new UT Tyler women's mark for lowest single round. She placed second individually with a 10-over 154 for the tournament after shooting an 8-over 80 in round one. Other top finishers for the women were Danica Weddle with a ninth place 164 (82-82) and Taylor Sloane in 10th with a 165 (84-81).

National Rankings – Golfstat national head-to-head rankings for men's golf put the Patriots as the No. 1 team in the country, after winning the Al Jones Memorial Invitational. The Patriot women moved up to number 15 in the Golfstat poll, following their win at the Al Jones Memorial Invitational.

Weekly Honors – Patriot men named ASC Golfers of the Week were Dukes (three times) and Walsh.


The UT Tyler men won their fifth – and second consecutive – ASC regular season championship and went on to win the ASC Championship Tournament. The Patriots earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Men's Soccer Championships, where they made it to the quarterfinals. UT Tyler finished the season with an 18-3-2 record.

The Patriot women clinched a spot in the ASC Championship Tournament for the fifth consecutive season, finishing the year with a 10-6-3 overall record.

National Recognition – On the men's side, Jake Urbaniak was named the 2011 D3Soccer.com National Defender of the Year and, along with Victor Almendariz, was a first team All-America selection.

The National Soccer Coaches Association of America recognized Urbaniak with first team All-Far West Region and third team All-American honors. Almendariz was named to the All-Region second team along with Elijah Shipman. The men's team ranked seventh in the NSCAA final poll for the 2011 season.

Men's All ASC – Head coach Kenny Jones was tabbed as the Co-Coach of the Year for the fourth time in his UT Tyler career, alongside Concordia's Tatenda Chieza. Urbaniak was named ASC Men's Soccer Defensive Player of the Year for a second consecutive season.

Joining Urbaniak on the first team were Justin NeSmith, Elijah Shipman and Victor Almendariz. Chris Powell and Jesus Morteo were named to the All-ASC second team. Emerson Ornstein was named Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

Almendariz also was honored as the ASC tournament MVP.

Women's All-ASC – Charity Shipman, Emily Bechdol, Kristen Steele, Emily Edwards and Paige Harris were all named to the 2011 All-ASC Women's Soccer Team.

While Shipman was named to the first team All-ASC, Bechdol and Steele made the ASC second team following their stellar season. Edwards was UT Tyler's representative on the third team, and Harris was named to the ASC honorable mention team.

Weekly Honors – On the men's side, Urbaniak and Sergio Gardea were honored as ASC Defensive Players of the Week. Urbaniak also was named ASC Offensive Player of the Week.


The Patriot men and women made a strong showing at the ASC Singles/Doubles Fall Tournament in Abilene, returning home with five singles titles and three doubles titles.

Men's Team – Edward Timponi made his way through flight three after receiving a first round bye, winning two matches en route to his championship match victory against Mississippi College's Matt Whiteside, 5-7, 7-5, 3-0.

The Patriots also won flight seven as Joey Hendrie and Matt Vechione were in the final. However, the final match was postponed due to weather. Kevin Wright (flight 1) and Kevin Singer (flight 2) also reached the finals.

In doubles matches, the Patriot men took home three titles. In flight two, the duo of Wright and Rob Hodous beat teams from Centenary and Mississippi College before downing UT Dallas' Amish Menon and Ian Lucio, 9-7, in the championship. UT Tyler's Drew Reid and Timponi won the flight three doubles title over Hardin-Simmons' Steven Stanley and Gavin Ybarra.

Reaching the finals for flight four doubles, Patriots Vince Nguyen and Morgan Graham were to play against teammates Ryan Brunson and Vechione. The match was postponed due to weather.

Women's Team – Jessica Blundell, Brittany Trich and Morgan Wilkins all took home singles titles for UT Tyler. Blundell won flight three over Hardin Simmons's Angie Nahn, 6-4, 7-6. Trich had several close matches on her way to the flight five final, before handling Cindy Tiu of UT Dallas 6-3, 6-1.

Wilkins won flight six in impressive fashion, defeating McMurry's Hilary Stone, 6-0, 6-0. Also reaching the singles finals for the Patriots were Amy Friesenhahn, Sydni Hermsdorf and Ashley Albro.


The Patriots enjoyed their finest season to date, registering their first-ever wins at the ASC tournament and setting a new school record for most wins in a season.

Under first-year head coach Suzanne Truitt, the team held a final regular season record of 19-10 with 11-6 in league play, including a 5-2 mark against West Division opponents in the two ASC Dig Pink Crossover Challenges during the season. UT Tyler entered the ASC Championship Tournament as the No. 3 seed from the conference's East Division.

All-Tournament – The Patriots' lone senior, Danika Waldrep, was named to the all-tournament team. One of the most prolific hitters in the program's history, Waldrep led the Patriots with 444 kills during the 2011 season.

ASC Sportsmanship Award – UT Tyler won the ASC Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Team Sportsmanship Award in East Division volleyball for the second consecutive year. The award honors the member institution in each ASC championship sport that best displays positive qualities of sportsmanship and fair play from its student-athletes, coaches and fans throughout the season.

Weekly Honors – Earning ASC Player of the Week honors during the season were Emily Wood (twice) and Waldrep.

President's Letter

Around Campus

Cover Story: UT Tyler Joins Districts in Life-Changing After-School Effort

Focus on Faculty: Dr. Wei Fan Works With TxDOT to Improve Road Safety

Focus on Alumni: Fitness Expert, Author Jimmy Pena Helps Improve Health

Focus on Students: Students Embrace Global Awareness Through Education

Focus on Benefactors: Clements Family Puts Values Into Action

Patriot Athletics: Season Highlights

Class Notes