2015-16: A Year in Review
A look back at 2015-16 academic year achievements
THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. – The 2015-16 academic year was a memorable one for the Cal Lutheran athletics department. With 430 student-athletes occupying 460 roster spots, a number of milestones were met including the first NCAA Division III National title in school history, which was achieved by the women’s volleyball team, and an individual national champion crowned to round out the year.
For the first time at Cal Lutheran, the Kingsmen and Regals sponsored 21 intercollegiate sports with men’s volleyball completing its inaugural season in early 2016 after watching the Regals hoist the biggest prize.
In conjunction with the women’s volleyball national championship tournament, Kevin Judd was honored as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) National Assistant Coach of the Year days before the Regals were immortalized. Allie Eason went on to earn Most Outstanding Player of the NCAA Tournament after teammate Michelle Lawrence was selected as the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SCIAC) Player of the Year, guiding the Regals to their sixth straight conference title under the tutelage of head coach Kellee Roesel. Amanda Roberts wasted no time bursting onto the collegiate scene, being selected as the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year.
The honors did not stop there for the Violet and Gold.
Former women’s volleyball team member Allie Hadley found gold of her own on the Javelin runway. After a stint on the hardwood as a freshman, the Bothell, Wash. native and recent CLU graduate threw her way to history as the first CLU NCAA Division III four-time All-America honoree by winning the Javelin at the NCAA Division III Women’s Outdoor Track & Field Championships in late May. Hadley completed her track and field career as a four-time SCIAC champion as well.
Also earning individual SCIAC titles in 2015-16 were swimmer Jonah Hobbs (1650 Free), track and field athletes, Hamilton (Triple Jump), Michael Bassette (Shot Put) and Carlie Burow (400m Hurdles). Additionally, the women’s track and field 4x100m Relay team of Sabrina Sewell, Teigan Schentrup, Anna Schlosser and Amanda Hamilton raced to the top of the podium.
Bassette, Hadley, Hamilton and Lucas Reddell (Diving) represented CLU at the National level as individuals with Reddell advancing to the NCAA Division III Men’s Diving Regionals for the second straight year to cap off his career.
Following in the footsteps of the women’s volleyball team, the baseball squad secured an NCAA Division III Playoff spot by winning the only SCIAC Postseason tournament title for Cal Lutheran this year after claiming a fourth consecutive SCIAC championship. The Kingsmen played in the McMinnville Regional as part of the NCAA Division III Baseball Tournament.
A string of success for the women’s soccer team continued as the Regals advanced to their 10th straight SCIAC Postseason Tournament while women’s basketball qualified for its own SCIAC PST for the fifth time in a row.
Overall, the success of the Kingsmen and Regals on the field, court, course and pool produced 11 All-America honorees from various organizations including Hadley, Hamilton, Lawrence, Zack Card (men’s water polo), Davey Casciola (baseball), Nick Dallas (men’s golf), Chris Gardhouse (men’s water polo), Amanda Jones (women’s water polo), Gina Merry (women’s water polo), Kristi McGee (women’s water polo) and Sarah Pappas (women’s volleyball). There were 22 All-West Region recipients, again from a number of different outlets, and 66 All-SCIAC selections. In addition to the conference teams, Dalton Santos (football) and Raquel Weckhurst (women’s soccer) were the SCIAC Newcomer of the Year for their respective sports.
A number of records were set during the 2015-16 competitive seasons.
Career marks and times fell for a variety of programs. A dozen records were broken in the pool between the water polo and swimming and diving programs. While Jones graduated as the assists leader with 146, Merry concluded her career with an even 900 saves to set the new mark for women’s water polo goalies.
At the 2016 SCIAC Swimming and Diving Championships, Zach Loza rewrote the record books in the 100 Free and 200 Free while playing a role in three relay records. Earlier in the year he broke the 100 breaststroke record. The men’s 400 Free Relay was comprised of Loza, Thelen McKinna-Worrell, Jack Acampora and Zach Zamecki, the 800 Free Relay record was set by Loza, Hobbs, Acampora and Zamecki and the 400 Medley Relay saw Philip Anderson, Loza, Zamecki and McKinna-Worrell team up. On the women’s side, Alexia Rojas etched her names atop the 100 Butterfly and 200 Butterfly categories and also contributed to two record-setting relays. The 200 Free Relay was made up of Grace Sanchez, Gabby Romaro, Katie Kochalko and Rojas while the same four joined forces for the 400 Free Relay record as well.
Finally, on the track Carlie Burow hurdled her way to the 400m Hurdles record at the SCIAC Track & Field Championships.
Jamie Smith became the new single-season assists leader for Regals volleyball after handing out 1,312. Jones also dished out more assists than any other Regals water polo player in history, finishing her senior season with 63. On the baseball diamond, Casciola crossed the plate 60 times to set a new CLU mark for one season.
Nine times during the academic year, Cal Lutheran student-athletes earned SCIAC Athlete of the Week honors with Hamilton hauling in the award twice. Also being recognized by the league were Casciola, Hadley, Weckhurst, the women’s volleyball team, Ben Chavez II (football), Brandon Kearney (men’s soccer) and Jeremy Sulker-Hall (men’s basketball).
Bassette and Monica Lundgren were selected as National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) All-American Athlete of the Year. CLU has had student-athletes honored with the award each spring since 2012.
On the sidelines, a trio of coaches hit milestones this year. Head women’s soccer coach Frank Marino reached and surpassed the 100-win mark in his seventh season at the helm of the Regals on the pitch. Both Roesel and Debby Day moved past the 250-win plateau on the volleyball court and softball diamond, respectively. Additionally, Marty Slimak (648 wins) and Rich Rider (345) sit just a handful of wins away from incredible numbers, which they will aim to reach next academic year.
At the end of the year, Cal Lutheran inducted 150 competitors into the Scholar-Athlete Society with nine earning the award for four straight years. Bassette and Eason were chosen as the Cal Lutheran representatives for SCIAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors. The league office announced its SCIAC All-Academic Team at the start of July and CLU landed 128 selections with a number of multi-sport winners.
In total, Cal Lutheran had 30 cross-over athletes with Lauren Chrislu competing in the Violet and Gold for three teams while the other 29 were two-sport student-athletes for the university.
With a plethora of accomplishments from the Kingsmen and Regals in 2015-16, the future of Cal Lutheran athletics is bright.
By The Numbers 2015-16
1 – NCAA Division III Team National Champion (W Volleyball)
1 – NCAA Division III Individual National Champion (Hadley)
1 – SCIAC Player of the Year (Lawrence)
1 – SCIAC Postseason Tournament Champion (Baseball)
1 – SCIAC Championship Relay (W Track & Field 4x100m)
1 – National Assistant Coach of the Year (AVCA – W Volleyball)
2 – NCAA Division III Team National Championship Appearances (W Volleyball, Baseball)
2 – SCIAC Championship Teams (W Volleyball, Baseball)
2 – SCIAC Scholar-Athletes of the Year (Eason, Bassette)
3 – SCIAC Newcomer of the Year (Santos (FB), Weckhurst (WS), Roberts (WVB))
4 – SCIAC Postseason Tournament Appearances (W Volleyball, W Soccer, W Basketball, Baseball)
5 – NCAA Division III Individual National Qualifications (Bassette, Hadley, Hamilton (LJ/TJ), Reddell)
5 – SCIAC Individual Champions (Bassette, Burow, Hadley, Hamilton, Hobbs)
6 – Organizational Academic Team Awards*
9 – SCIAC Athlete of the Week selections
11 – All-America Selections
22 – All-West Region Selections
30 – Dual-Sport Athletes (29 – two-sport / 1 – three-sport)
66 – All-SCIAC Selections
126 – SCIAC All-Academic Recipients
150 – CLU Scholar-Athlete Society Inductees
430 – Student-Athletes
460 – Roster Spots