With the Seattle University athletic teams about to begin play within their new conference, starting with the volleyball team hosting New Mexico State Thursday, Sept. 13, at the Connolly Center, GoSeattleU.com is featuring a series of 10 articles introducing Redhawk fans to the 2012-13 membership of the Western Athletic Conference. This is the fifth in the series of stories about the current WAC schools.
The University of Texas at San Antonio, abbreviated UTSA, is a public research university founded in 1969 in San Antonio, Texas. As the third-largest institution in the University of Texas system, the University of Texas at San Antonio has an enrollment of over 30,000 students spread throughout 200-plus undergraduate, masters, and doctoral programs. Some well-known alumnae include Clay Killinger, Senior Vice President of Valero Energy; George Muller, Vice President of Imperial Sugar; and Michelle Beadle, reporter for NBC Universal.
The University of Texas at San Antonio athletic department offers 15 sports, all but one of which Seattle University teams will face throughout the year. All seven men's teams and eight women's teams are nicknamed the Roadrunners, and UTSA's primary colors are orange and navy blue. The 2012-13 school year is also the school's first year as a member of the Western Athletic Conference after 21 years in the Southland Conference.
The Roadrunners' volleyball team finished 2011 with a 22-11 overall record, going 14-2 in conference play. Whitney Walls and Elise Huskey led last year's squad in kills, with 339 and 332 respectively, while Kelsey Schwirtlich provided a team-high 1277 assists. Brittney Malloy and McKenzie Adams were the team's best blockers, earning 125 and 117 blocks respectively. Walls, Malloy, and Adams are returning to this year's squad, which has opened the 2012 campaign with a 5-2 record as of Sept. 4. Adams leads the team in kills so far this year, while Malloy once again is the team's leading blocker. The Roadrunners are coached by 11th year coach Laura Groff and will face the Redhawks Sept. 27 in the Connolly Center. The Redhawks will make their first appearance in San Antonio, Texas, Sat., Oct. 27.
In 2011, the Roadrunners finished at .500 with a 9-9-2 record, 5-3-1 in the conference. Maria Jose Rojas scored nine goals last year, with Liv Nyhegn right behind her with eight netted shots. Laylla da Cruze assisted six goals, while Danielle Snyder saw the most time in between the pipes, making 42 saves in 14 games and 11 starts as goalkeeper. Rojas, Nyhegn, and da Cruze returned for the 2012 season, in which the Roadrunners have notched a 1-4 record through Sept. 4, forcing four goals and allowing 13. Four different players have scored for UTSA, while both Snyder and Katarina Pus have seen action in goal. Coached by seventh-year head coach Steve Ballard, UTSA will host Seattle U on Fri., Sept. 28 in San Antonio, Texas, for the first matchup between the two teams.
UTSA's women's cross country team is coming off an eighth place finish in the South Central Regional in 2011. The squad won three meets in 2011 and was led by then-sophomore Nina Herrera, who tallied four top-10 finishes, including two second-place finishes. The UTSA men took fifth in last year's NCAA Regional meet and also won three other meets. Then-senior Albert Cardenas led the way for the Roadrunners in 2011, finishing in the top-25 in all seven races he ran and winning the TLU Preview. The Director of Track & Field/Cross Country is Aaron Fox, who is entering his fourth year in the role, while the Roadrunners will first meet runners from Seattle U in the WAC Championships Sat., Oct. 27 in Ruston, La.
The Roadrunners finished the 2011-12 schedule with an 18-14 overall record and a 10-6 Southland conference mark. Guard Kannon Burrage led the squad with 13.5 points a game, while forward Jeromie Hill grabbed 6.4 rebounds a contest, 204 overall. Forward Stephen Franklin tallied 49 steals on the year, and forward/center Alex Vouyoukas blocked 36 shots. Burrage and Hill will lead the Roadrunners into the 2012-13 campaign as Franklin and Vouyoukas both graduated in June. The head coach of UTSA is Brooks Thompson, who is starting his seventh year at the helm of the program. The Roadrunners will visit KeyArena Thu., Jan. 24, and will play host to the Redhawks Sat., March 2 in San Antonio, Texas.
The Roadrunners went 8-21 in the 2011-12 season, garnering a 3-12 record in the Southland Conference. Guard Kamra King led the squad with 10.4 points a game, and guard/forward Judy Jones averaged 7.0 rebounds, the highest of anyone who played over 10 games. King also led the way with 56 steals while Jones was right behind with 53, and center Whitney Wright led the team in blocked shots with 48. King and Wright will help guide the squad in 2012-13, led by head coach Rae Rippetoe-Blair, who's entering her 13th season at UTSA. The Roadrunners will host the Redhawks in San Antonio, Texas, Thu., Jan. 24, and will make the return visit to the Connolly Center Sat., March 2.
The UTSA baseball team went 22-32 in the 2012 season, with an 11-21 record in the Southland Conference. Infielder Ryan Dalton led the team in nine categories, including batting average (.307), hits (62), RBIs (42), and home runs (9). Dalton was drafted and signed with the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim over the summer, however, so it'll be up to a number of players, including outfielder Daniel Rockett, who was second on the team in RBIs (40), triples (2), and home runs (5), to make up for Dalton's production. Lefthander Michael Kraft was the Roadrunner's top pitcher, leading the squad in ERA (4.91) and wins (8) and second in innings pitched (80 2/3) and strike outs (53). The Roadrunners will be coached by Jason Marshall, who's making his head coaching debut in 2013 after assisting at UTSA for 12 years previously. Seattle U will host UTSA in the spring once the conference schedule begins.
The Roadrunners went 9-13 in their 2012 dual schedule and 4-7 in Southland Conference matches. Then-senior Stefanie Peana played 20 matches at No. 1 singles, winning nine contests, while Isabelle Jonsson put together the best singles record on the team, claiming 14 wins and eight loses. Peana and Jonsson teamed up to produce the squad's best doubles pair, going 10-9 at No. 1 doubles, but that pair will be broken up as Peana graduated after the spring season. UTSA is coached by seventh-year head coach Erin Scott, and will first face the Redhawks Sat., April 13 in a neutral-site match in Moscow, Idaho.
The UTSA softball team compiled a 24-28 overall record in 2012, going 12-8 in the Southland Conference. Catcher Megan Low led the team in eight categories, including batting average (.375) and RBIs (28) and tied for the most home runs (5). Pitcher Haylee Stanton carried the load in the circle, tossing 179 innings while earning a 2.54 ERA, 15 wins, and 151 strike outs. Amanda Lehotak will return for her second year at the helm of the Roadrunners, who will host the Seattle U softball team in the spring.
The UTSA men's tennis team compiled a 13-11 record in the 2012 dual season and went just 3-2 in the Southland Conference. The Roadrunners, however, won the conference tournament and earned a berth in the NCAA tournament, where they fell in the first round to California. Then-sophomore Yannick Junger played 23 matches at No. 1 singles, winning 12 of them, while freshman David Kelleher put together a 16-4 record from contests in the last three singles positions. Junger teamed up with senior Pedro Zanotelli to form the school's most potent doubles team, winning 14 matches and losing seven at No. 1 doubles. Coached by third-year head coach Jeff Kader, the Roadrunners will visit Seattle and face the Redhawks Sunday, April 21.
The Roadrunners won four team tournaments in the 2011-12 schedule, including the Southland Conference Championship. They earned two other top-five finishes, including a tie for second place with Michigan at The Challenge at Onion Creek. Then-sophomore Fabiola Arriga led the squad with a 74.91 scoring average over all 11 tournaments. She won The Alamo Challenge and nabbed six other top-10 finishes. Coached by fifth-year head coach Carrie Parnaby, UTSA will meet golfers from Seattle U at the WAC Championship April 22-24 at Longbow Golf Club in Mesa, Ariz.
The UTSA men's golf team tallied one top-five finish in 2011-12, taking fifth in the Rice Intercollegiate Feb. 20-21. Then-sophomore Ryan Were held the team's best stroke average, taking 73.53 shots per round. His highest finish was a tie for fourth at the Rice Intercollegiate, and he earned seven other top-25 finishes, three of them finishing in the top 10. John Knauer returns for his fourth season as head coach of the men's team, and the Roadrunners will first compete against golfers from Seattle U at the WAC Championship April 29-May 1 at Rio Secco Golf Club in Henderson, Nev.
Track and Field
The school's women's track and field team is coming off a fourth-place finish in Southland's Indoor Championship and second-place finish in the Outdoor season. They earned eight conference championships by eight different players or relay teams, and the Roadrunners sent six competitors to the NCAA Championship preliminaries, including the conference champion 4x100 relay team. The UTSA men's track and field team won the Southland Conference's Indoor and Outdoor Championship in 2012, adding 9 indoor and outdoor conference titles to the Roadrunners' already-loft collection. Furthermore, three Roadrunners advanced to the NCAA meet in Des Moines, Iowa, with sophomore Keyunta Hayes taking fourth in the 400-meter hurdles and junior Richard Garrett Jr. finishing 11th in the shot put competition. Hayes also earned three conference championships last year, while Garrett added two. Aaron Fox is the Director of Track and Field at UTSA, with 2013 as his fourth year on the job. The UTSA and Seattle U track programs will meet at the WAC Championships May 8-11 in Arlington, Texas.
The University of Texas at San Antonio also has a varsity football team, a sport not offered at Seattle University. UTSA does not, however support women's swimming, a WAC-supported sport, or women's rowing and men's swimming, all three of which Seattle U sponsors. UTSA has announced it will join Conference USA for the 2013-14 season, making 2012-13 the only year UTSA will be a member of the WAC.
2012 marks Seattle University's first year in the Western Athletic Conference and first year as a full NCAA Division I member since 1980. For current information on these events and other Seattle University athletics news, visit GoSeattleU.com.