Two Wabash Valley area tennis standouts were honored this week as the Summit League players of the week.
West Vigo freshman Joel Modesitt has been named the conference’s Men’s Tennis Athlete of the Week, while Terre Haute South freshman Hunter Bullock was named the conference’s Women’s Tennis Athlete of the Week.
It was the first such honor for each athlete.
Modesitt went 1-1 in singles play last week while going 1-0 in doubles action, helping IUPUI pick up two of its three points in a 4-3 loss to Wisconsin-Green Bay on Jan. 31.
IUPUI Coach Brandon Currie has been pleased with Modesitt and his improvement in his developing college career.
“Joel has been very impressive since he has arrived on the IUPUI campus,” Currie said. “He has an absolute passion for the game and is extremely competitive. He works extremely hard and hates losing.”
Currie predicts good things for Modesitt in the future, both short and long-term.
“He has had an immediate impact on our program, and he will play an important role in helping our team win a conference title,” Currie said. “I believe he is going to have a lot of success at the collegiate level, and has been a great addition to our program.”
Modesitt dropped his first singles match of the week on Jan. 30, falling in straight sets at No. 5 to Marquette’s Niko Boulieris. The following day, Modesitt controlled his match at No. 6, winning in straight sets over UWGB’s Gilles Cornelis, 7-5, 6-3.
He helped the Jaguars clinch the doubles point against Wisconsin-Green Bay as well, teaming with Taylor Tunis for an 8-6 win at No. 3 doubles.
Bullock went 3-0 in singles play last week, picking up three of IUPUI’s four points over the weekend. She was 2-0 at No. 1 singles and 1-0 at No. 2.
For her efforts, Bullock was also named the school’s female Athlete of the Month for January.
The former Brave standout opened the weekend with a 6-2, 2-6, 6-4 win over Butler’s Molly Casperson on Saturday morning at No. 2 singles. Moved to No. 1 singles for the Jaguars’ evening match versus Marquette, Bullock took down the Golden Eagles’ Paola Calderon at No. 1, 6-3, 6-7(0), 11-9.
Bullock capped her undefeated singles play on Sunday, defeating Illinois State’s Aniko Kiss in a super tie-break, 6-4, 1-6, 10-8.
Coach Cameron Benjamin is equally as pleased to have Bullock in his program.
“Hunter has been a great addition to the Jaguar family,” he said. “With one of the youngest teams in the Summit League with mostly freshman and sophomores, Hunter has become a great leader and a positive figure for the other girls to look up to.”
Bullock’s work ethic is one specific area that has pleased Coach Benjamin.
“She is one of the hardest workers on the team and is always putting in the extra time outside practice to continue to bring her game to its fullest potential,” he said. “She has gotten off to a great start and I am excited for what’s to come!”
I I I
n Liffick to ISU — Terre Haute South defender/midfielder Kayla Liffick was one of 13 student-athletes signed by Indiana State’s women’s soccer program last week.
Liffick was a four-year varsity starter who earned all-county honors after each season and was named to the all-Metropolitan Interscholastic Conference team twice.
“Kayla is a home-grown player from Terre Haute and immediately caught our attention with her pace and sheer athleticism,” Coach Erika True said. “Kayla strikes a fantastic ball with both feet and will likely play wide for the Sycamores in 2010. We are happy to see local talent develop to a level that is capable of helping our soccer program create success.”
• Mason continues tradition — Northview senior baseball standout Caleb Mason will continue a school tradition next fall when he joins the Olney Central College program under Hall of Fame Coach Dennis Conley.
A hard-throwing right-handed pitcher, Mason will join a long line of ex-Knights who went from Brazil to Olney that includes Brad Pierce, T.J. King, Brady Shoemaker, Bowie Johnson and current Northview Coach Scott McDonald.
Basketball standout Austin Akers is also a freshman at OCC this winter and is one of the top junior college players in Illinois.
Last year, Mason appeared in 11 games and pitched 26 2/3 innings with 37 strikeouts, a 3.41 ERA and 15 walks.
“Obviously he’s going to head the staff, he’s got great stuff, probably the best stuff of any pitcher we’ve had in 20-25 years at Northview,” McDonald told the Brazil Times. “He’s got a great curveball, his fastball just explodes, but more than anything, I think it’s his work ethic that is going to help lead us. He works his butt off in conditioning and the kids really respect and look up to him.”
Mason had Tommy John surgery that caused him to miss his sophomore season.
“Obviously I had a lot of time to think about what I want to do and how I want to do it,” he told the Brazil Times. “I wanted to stay closer to home so I did a lot of work to get that offer, the best offer I could get. I’m pretty sure that I’m going to come in as a starter, pitching at least once a week and then maybe some third base.”
• Hutson up for top honor – Indiana State senior Kylie Hutson of Terre Haute North, the defending NCAA champion in the indoor pole vault and the outdoor pole vault, is one of 10 collegiate women’s track & field athletes from across the United States that have been named to the 2010 Bowerman Watch list by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association.
“This is very exciting for Kylie and for the program,” John Gartland, Indiana State women’s track & field coach, said. “She has been linked with the very elite track and field collegiate athletes from across the nation.”
The Bowerman was established in 2008 to annually recognize the most outstanding collegiate men’s and women’s track and field athlete and is administered by the USTFCCCA. It is named in honor of track and field pioneer Bill Bowerman, long-time coach at Oregon.
“This is the Heisman of track & field,” John McNichols, Indiana State cross country and track & field coordinator said.
In her junior season, Hutson won NCAA crowns during both the indoor and outdoor seasons with the pole vault, claiming personal bests in both championship meets to take the titles. During the outdoor championship, Hutson needed a clearance of 14’-5.75” (4.40m) to win the competition as with a first-attempt miss at 14’-1.75” (4.30m) placed her second going into the height. Hutson was the only athlete to clear 14’-5.25”, doing so on her first attempt and, before bowing out of the competition, she went on to attempt an NCAA-meet record height of 14’-6” (4.42m).
Hutson holds the Indiana State and Missouri Valley Conference records of 14’-3.25” (4.35m) indoors and 14’-5.25” (4.40m) outdoors. She is a three-time All-American and has competed in the NCAA indoor and outdoor championships as a freshman, sophomore and junior. She also competed in the 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials and the 2009 U.S. Championships.
Joey Bennett is a former Tribune-Star sports reporter who now teaches and coaches at Northview High School in Brazil. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Two Wabash Valley area tennis standouts were honored this week as the Summit League players of the week.
- College Report
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Chris Barney knew what qualities he wanted as he was searching this winter for a new assistant baseball coach at Vincennes University. He wanted someone familiar with his program and his coaching style, someone from the Wabash Valley area who understood the state’s high school and American Legion programs, someone who had played several different positions in the field and also someone who had made a successful transition from junior college to Division I baseball. It didn’t take him long to realize that Cole Vicars was his man.
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The fifth-year senior from Rockville led Indiana Wesleyan, then ranked No. 2 in NAIA Division II, to an 88-82 win over No. 9 Bethel last month in the Crossroads League opener.
Mahurin scored 33 points on 12-for-18 shooting from the field, including 7 of 10 from 3 point range. He also recorded seven rebounds and two assists while knocking down both free throws in the contest.
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College Report: North grad enjoying sophomore season at Virginia Tech
A.J. Hughes had an admittedly up and down freshman season as the punter for Virginia Tech’s football team, but the sophomore from Terre Haute North High School has elevated his game like one of his long, hanging left-footed punts.
Hughes ranks first in the Atlantic Coast Conference in punting with a 44.8-yard average per punt, a 4.7 increase over last year and a lofty number that ranks him ninth nationally.
College Report: South graduate becomes Wabash College swim coach
Brent Noble’s climb up the collegiate swimming coaches has taken another big step, after the Terre Haute South grad was recently named the new head swimming and diving coach at Wabash College in Crawfordsville.
Noble joins the Wabash program after serving for a year as the women’s head swimming coach at Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn.
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Trivia question: What do Trent Miles, A.J. Hughes and Johnny Manziel have in common?
Maybe nothing right now, but after Saturday they will all have played against the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide already this season.
Manziel has no known local ties, but was involved in the most-hyped game of the year last month as Texas A&M fell just short in a late comeback against Alabama.
Hughes, a sophomore punter for Virginia Tech from Terre Haute North, did his part in the Hokies’ 35-10 season–opening loss to the Tide.
Turner hoping to prove himself in junior college
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Daniel Watson, former graduate assistant from Terre Haute North, has been hired by Rocky Mountain College to serve an assistant football coach and the head strength and conditioning coach.
Matt Seliger, also a former graduate assistant and North Patriot, has been hired by Athletes’ Performance in Frisco, Texas, to serve as an intern.
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Catching up as the school year winds down
Odds and ends from here and there as the school year quickly winds down. For starters, high jumper Nick Jaeger of Terre Haute South was named the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference’s male track & field newcomer of the year:
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Hillary Lively signed to play Division II basketball at Maryville (Mo.) during her senior year at North Vermillion, but those plans changed and she would up at nearby Danville Area Community College — where she recently concluded an outstanding two-year career.
Lively was impressive enough to earn a Division I scholarship to Southeast Missouri State of the Ohio Valley Conference, and both her future and past college coaches think she will continue to succeed there.
“She fits what we need,” SEMO coach Ty Margenthaler said. “She has college experience, she is strong and physical and plays well around the basket and moves well.
“Her strength, rebounding and touch around the basket will be a big help. On the defensive end, she’ll be able to guard a true center.”
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Etling, Meggs enjoying great year
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Former Terre Haute resident Jack Meggs quarterbacked the Bellevue Wolverines football team to the Washington Class 3A state championship this fall, culminating with a 35-3 win over Sammamish Eastside Catholic — Bellevue’s fifth straight crown.
Danny Etling, meanwhile, has completed graduation requirements at Terre Haute South and is preparing for an upcoming high school all-star game and his first college classes in a couple of weeks.
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Former Terre Haute North teammates Ross Sponsler and Matt O’Leary made their college basketball debuts last week and had outstanding initial performances.
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