GLIAC Announces Spring 2013 Commissioner's Award Recipients

GLIAC Announces Spring 2013 Commissioner's Award Recipients

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BAY CITY, Mich. — The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) announces the recipients of the Spring 2013 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards. The awards, sponsored by Meijer, Incorporated, are presented after the Fall, Winter, and Spring athletic seasons to six female and six male student-athletes that excel both in the classroom and on the fields of play. All grade point averages are based on a 4.0 scale.

    The six female student-athletes to receive the Spring 2013 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards are:  Holly James of Ashland University; Allyson Fritts and Kristen Hixon of Grand Valley State University; Madison Pines of Northwood University, Melanie Hoffman of Michigan Technological University, and Alexandria Quast of Tiffin University.

    The six male student-athletes to receive the Spring 2013 Meijer Commissioner’s Awards are: Garret Grey of Ashland University; Chris Rudenga of  Grand Valley State University; Nathan Saliga of Michigan Technological University; Marcus Oliveria of Northwood University, and Thomas Ducret and Ethan Vasiliauskas of Wayne State University.

    “It is with great pleasure that I offer congratulations on behalf of the GLIAC to our 12 award winners,” stated GLIAC Commissioner Dell Robinson. “The accomplishments of the 12 student-athletes is a shining example of the future leaders and individuals who serve as change agents on our campuses. I would like thank Meijer for their continued support that allows the GLIAC to honor our top student-athletes.”

    The following are biographies of the Spring 2013 GLIAC Commissioner’s Awards recipients:

Ashland University senior women’s golfer Holly James (Strongsville, Ohio/Walsh Jesuit) helped lead the Eagles to their second ever appearance at the NCAA Championships. James, the owner of a 4.00 grade point average, is a management information systems major. She was honored as the NCAA Elite 89 Award winner at the D-II Women’s Golf Champion ship. That award goes to the participant with the highest grade point average. James is the first AU student-athlete to receive that award. She was also an honorable mention All-American and an All-GLIAC selection. James finished in a three-way tie for s econd place at the NCAA regional and she finished fifth at the GLIAC Championship.
Grand Valley State University senior Allyson Fritts (Howell, Mich./Powers Catholic) was tabbed the GLIAC Women’s Lacrosse “Attacker of the Year” and helped the Lakers win the first-ever GLIAC Lacrosse Tournament championship. In its second year of competition, Grand Valley State went 13-5 overall and a perfect 8-0 in conference play. Fritts, an All-GLIAC First Team midfielder, led GVSU with 56 goals and added 17 assists for a team-high 73 points. She also was tops on the team in ground balls (46), draw controls (80), and caused turnovers (27). A health professions major, Fritts recorded 14 multi-point games and scored three or more goals in 11 games.

Grand Valley State University junior Kristen Hixson (Remus, Mich./Chippewa Hills) is a two-time NCAA Divisi on II Champion. Earlier thi s year, she set a new school outdoor pole vault record  (4.25m) at the GVSU Second to Last Chance Meet and did not finis h lower than third in the pole vault during the outdoor season. Hixson is the Grand Valley State all-time record holder in both outdoor (4.25m) and indoor (4.25m) meets, as well as one of the highest women’s vaulters in Division II history. Owner of a 3.96 grade point average as a finance major, she has won a pair of GLIAC individual championships to go along with her national titles in the 2012 indoor and outdoor seasons.

Northwood University senior Madison Pines (Troy, Mich./Troy) turned in a remarkable all-around year.  This spri ng, she claimed the GLIAC Championship in the 1,500 meter run. Pines qualified for both the NCAA Indoor and Outdoor Championships this season in track and holds a total of four school records. She also was a key defender for the Northwood University women’s soccer team, earning Honorable Mention All-GLIAC honors.  At the conclusion of the soccer season, she joined the cross country team.  With just one week to prepare for the regional championship, Pines placed 26th out of 158 runners to help Northwood to a seventh place finish overall, the highest in school history.  Overall, Pines has earned Academic All-GLIAC Excellence honors six times in her career.  This year at the NCAA Indoor Championships, she claimed the Elite 89 award, given to competitor at the event with the highest overall GPA.

Michigan Technological University senior Melanie Hoffman (Green Bay, Wis) finished second in the javelin at the GLIAC Champion ships with a school-record throw of 119-2 and sixth in the heptathlon with 4,338 points. She earned All-GLIAC honors three times in her career and holds three school records. She earned Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America honors in the fall for women’s soccer and again this past spring for track & field. She graduated with a 4.0 grade point average as a double major in exercise science and biology.

Tiffin University senior Alexandria Quast (Lockport, N.Y./Lockport HS) enjoyed a sensational season in, culminating her record-set ting lacrosse career in fine fashion. She finished with 288 goals (2nd best in D-II history), 124 assists and 412 points (2nd best in D-II history). She led the country in goals twice, goals per game three times, and points per game as a senior. She also set NCAA Division II single-game records with 13 assists and 20 points. She became the first NCAA Division I or II player to score over 100 goals in a season and holds every game, season and career TU record except one. She earned All-GLIAC Tournament and All-GLIAC first team selection and is a two-time First Team Capitol One Academic All-American. She also earned Synapse  Sports and Women’s All-America second team.

This is the second time Ashland University senior Garret Grey (Grahamsville, N.Y./Tri-Valley Central) has received a GLIAC Commissioner’s Award, he also received one last spring. In 2012-13, Grey won the first NCAA championship of his career, finishing first in the hammer at the outdoor championships. Grey won the title by over 13 feet. The senior placed third in the weight throw at the  indoor national championship meet. Grey helped the AU men finish as the national  runner-up both indoors and outdoors. Grey ended his career as a six-time All-American. A sport management major with a 3.59 grade point average, he was named a Capital One First Team Academic All-American.
Grand Valley State Univeristy senior outfielder Chris Rudenga (South Holland, Ill./Illiana Christian) was a four-year starter for the Laker b aseball team and is ranked in the top 10 of the career record book in hits (183), games played (188) and games started (167) in GVSU history. In 2013, Rudenga started all 57 games for the Lakers and hit .322, setting new career-high marks in runs (43), hits (66), doubles (13) and walks (16). For his career, Rudenga hit .312 in 587 at-bats with 127 runs scored, 26 doubles, three triples, four home runs, 96 RBI and 25 stolen bases (on 29 attempts). On March 11th, 2013, he set a new school record by smacking four doubles in one game  against eventual national runner-up Minnesota State in a game in which he went 5-for-5. Rudenga won two GLIAC “Player of the Week” awards in 2013 and was an All-GLIAC First Team honoree. Following the year, he was also honored as the Amway Grand Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

A six- time USTFCCA All-American, Michigan Technological University senior Nathan Saliga (Leonard, Mich./Romeo) finished third in the decathlon at the GLIAC Championships with a school record and a NCAA provisional qualifying score of 6,424 points. He was a f ive-time All-GLIAC performer and  holds the school record in the 400-hurdles with a time of 54.27. Saliga earned Capital One CoSIDA Academic All-America honors as a junior and senior and graduated this spring with a 3.88 grade point average in mechanical engineering.
Northwood University junior Marcus Oliveria (San Paulo, Brazil) was a key part of the Northwood University men’s tennis team claiming its 19th straight GLIAC Championship.  He earned First Team All-GLIAC honors after playing No. 1 double and No. 2 singles for the Timberwolves.  He posted an individual overall record of 27-14, going 11-8 in singles and 16-6 in doubles.  His record in GLIAC play was even better, finishing 16-5 overall (7-3 in singles, 9-2 in doubles). Oliveria finished his career earning All-GLIAC honors three times.  He ended his career with a 92-42 overall record.  A two-time GLIAC Commissioner’s Award winner, Oliveria graduated from Northwood with a 3.65 GPA, earning a degree in Entrepreneurship/Management.

Wayne State University senior men’s tennis player Thomas Ducret (Paris, France) was also a Spring 2 012 GLIAC Commissioner’s Award recipient.  He collected All-GLIAC Second Team honors this past season and was named to the GLIAC All-Academic  Excellence Team. He posted a 15-7 singles record, including a 9-3 mark at No. 3 singles and 4-3 record at No. 2 singles. He had an 8-2 singles record in GLIAC play and finished 12-3 at No. 3 doubles. For his career, he ranks third in program history with 58 singles wins and tied for third with 52 doubles triumphs. He was a 2011-12 recipient of the DII ADA Academic Achievement Award. He was a fo ur-time All-GLIAC selection (First  Team in 2011 and 2012, Second Team in 2010 and 2013) and a three-time GLIAC All-Academic selection (Excellence in 2012 and 2013, Academic in 2011). In 2011-12 earned the IT A Scholar-Athlete Award. He was named GLIAC Athlete of the Week on February 18, 2012 and  March 24, 2011. In addition, he was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll (Term GPA 3.5+) for Fall 2010, Winter 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Fall 2012 and Winter 2013 and was named to the Coach’s Honor Roll (Term GPA 3.0-3.49) for Fall 2009 and Winter 2010.

Wayne State University senior baseball student-athlete Ethan Vasiliauskas (South Rockwood, Mich./Carleton Airport) was a team co-captain, named to the All-GLIAC Second Team and the GLIAC All-Academic Excellence Team. He appeared in 14 games, made 11 starts and went 7-3 with a 4.28 ERA while striking out 44 over 69.1 innings pitches. He led the team in innings and tossed two complete games. He went a career-high eight innings in each of his first two starts in 2013 and struck out a career-high seven batters on April 27 against SVSU on his way to a complete game victory, his seventh win of the year. In 2012, he was an All-GLIAC Honorable Mention selection.

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