Athletics in ReviewSPRING 2019 IN REVIEW
by John Jaramillo
Upon the conclusion of the 2018–19 campaign for the Roosevelt athletics department, there was plenty of highlights to look back on and celebrate for the Lakers. Five Roosevelt teams qualified for postseason play, as the men’s and women’s tennis and baseball teams clinched Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference tournament berths to join men’s basketball and men’s soccer as playoff qualifiers. The five berths tied a department best to go along with 14 All-CCAC honorees. Roosevelt athletics also had a banner year in the classroom, as 49 Academic All-CCAC selections and 24 Daktronics NAIA Scholar-Athletes highlighted the Lakers’ award haul.
Jake Ludwig, senior guard
Senior guard Jake Ludwig concluded his decorated career as one of the Lakers’ all-time greats. He ended his four-year tenure as Roosevelt’s career scoring leader with 1,991 points, and Ludwig’s senior season performance garnered the St. Charles native his second consecutive first-team All-CCAC nod and NAIA All-America honor after he averaged 16.7 points and 4.5 assists per game. Ludwig led the Lakers to the CCAC Tournament semifinals and represented RU at the NAIA All-Star Game in Kansas City after the season.
Senior Jasmine Albert
Junior Lindzy Cox
The Lakers defeated three NAIA Top 25 teams in 2018–19, battling for a CCAC postseason bid in one of the nation’s most competitive conferences until the very end. Junior Lindzy Cox was named to the All-CCAC second team, while senior Jasmine Albert garnered an All-CCAC honorable mention to go with Nadia Thorman-McKey’s CCAC Newcomer of the Year award.
Men’s and Women’s Track and Field
Led by Gina Narcisi’s All-CCAC and NAIA national championship campaigns, the Lakers featured plenty of scorching-hot performances on the track in 2019. Senior Jackie Fuller concluded her outstanding career, while newcomers Dayana Escudero-Ambriz, Sariah Bolden and Amy Nguyen flashed promise for the future throughout the spring. For the men’s team, speedsters Rainier Conley and Adrian Dawkins joined the sturdy Nicholas Martone and veteran dual-sport athlete Konrad Puchalski in pacing the Lakers from indoor to outdoor track events.
Senior shortstop Matt Kozlak
Senior center fielder Parker Coleman
After an 0-16 start to the season, it would have been easy for the Roosevelt baseball team to fold. These Lakers did the exact opposite, as they rallied for 13 league wins and qualified for their second consecutive CCAC tournament berth. Led by All-CCAC seniors shortstop Matt Kozlak and center fielder Parker Coleman, who also won a Gold Glove for his defense, Roosevelt saved its best for last with clutch hitting and great pitching performances from a variety of hurlers to show that perseverance pays off.
Hitter/pitcher Aisley Njissang
Shortstop Haley Huss
The Roosevelt softball team took another big step forward in 2019, winning the most games in a season since 2014 and featuring All-CCAC performances from shortstop Haley Huss and versatile hitter/pitcher Aisley Njissang. Huss, a senior who finished as one of the best hitters in the conference, ended one of the grandest careers for a Roosevelt softball student-athlete in storybook fashion by hitting a walk-off RBI single in her final at-bat to give the Lakers an extra-inning win in their regular-season finale.
Men’s and Women’s Tennis
Roosevelt tennis is on the rise, and both Lakers teams excelled on the courts this past spring with punctuation of such success coming in the form of CCAC tournament bids. On the women’s side, Roosevelt set a single-season school record for victories (11) and won three CCAC matches after going winless in conference play the previous two years. That resurgence garnered Greg Couch CCAC Co-Coach of the Year honors. For the men’s team, sophomore David Wolk set the tone at No. 1 singles en route to his second consecutive All-CCAC selection.
Senior Jake Myers concluded the best career to date for a Roosevelt men’s golf student-athlete. He capped his senior season just how he started his Roosevelt career, garnering All-CCAC recognition to become the only two-time All-CCAC golfer in school history. He left with five school records to his name. While Myers graduated and left big shoes to fill, a bevy of young returners and newcomers are on the roster to try and pick up where Myers left off.
Steve Woltmann, Noe Vazquez, Daniel Jankowski and Springfield College.
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