The volleyball team announces the 2022 fall schedule for its 16th season in the NAIA. The Saints compete in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) along with Huston-Tillotson University (HTU), the University of the Southwest (USW), Paul Quinn College (PQC), Xavier University of Louisiana (XULA), Jarvis Christian College (JCC), Louisiana Christian University (LCU) and Texas College (TX). Texas A&M University – Texarkana (TAMUT) is the conference’s newest member for volleyball.
Head Coach Scott Mattera commented, “I’m so happy the conference adopted our ‘doubleheader’ format as it not only cuts down on travel and costs, it balances the schedule so all teams are playing an equal number of matches and each team twice.”
“It’s really hard to get teams to come this far south to play once the season gets rolling, so we have to load up on home matches early in the year during the preconference part of the schedule,” Mattera explained. “Starting off with nine straight home matches is pretty crazy but it will give our fans lots of opportunities to see what OLLU volleyball is all about!”
Two OLLU Tournaments (Numbers in parenthesis are all-time records.)
The season begins with the OLLU inaugural Alamo City Volleyesta Tournament from Aug. 19-20. Teams participating include Wayland Baptist University (4-8), Evangel University (1-1), Texas Wesleyan University (9-9) and HTU (27-3). The Saints play Evangel at 7 p.m. on Aug. 19 and on Aug. 20, Wayland at 12 p.m. and Texas Wesleyan at 5 p.m.
The following week, the Saints will host the third annual San Antonio ShinDig featuring Friends University (1-1), Loyola University (1-1), Southwestern Assemblies of God University (SAGU) (10-8) and Westcliff University. OLLU plays Friends at 2 p.m. and SAGU at 7 p.m. on Aug. 26. The Saints play Loyola at 1:30 p.m. and Westcliff at 6 p.m. on Aug. 27.
Mattera said, “We are really excited to have some teams coming to San Antonio that we haven’t had here in a long time, if ever, including really solid programs from Evangel, Loyola, Westcliff, Friends, and Texas Wesleyan. Add them to always good SAGU and Wayland Baptist, and our young team will have to grow up fast.”
All RRAC matches will be at 7 p.m. on Fridays and 2 p.m. on Saturdays. The schedule begins Sept. 9-10 as the Saints host PQC (5-0). After a nonconference match on Sept. 14 at Texas Lutheran University (4-2) in San Marcos, Texas, the Saints will travel to TAMUT for conference matches on Sept. 16-17. USW (22-4) will come to OLLU for matches on Sept. 23-24.
OLLU will travel to Austin for matches against HTU Sept. 30-Oct. 1 and the Saints will return to host LCU (1-0) on Oct. 14-15. Texas Lutheran will come to OLLU on Oct. 19 for a nonconference match. The Saints will head out to New Orleans on Oct. 21-22 for matches against XULA (3-2).
The final two series will take place Oct. 28-29 against Texas College (24-0) at home and Nov. 4-5 against JCC (19-0) in Hawkins, Texas.
The conference tournament will be hosted by XULA in New Orleans Nov. 11-12, and the NAIA’s opening-round matches will take place at campus sites on Nov. 19. Qualifiers will advance to the 43rd Annual NAIA Volleyball National Championship at Tysons Events Center in Sioux City, Iowa, Nov. 30-Dec. 6.
OLLU announces award winners from the 17 competitive athletic teams throughout the 2021-2022 season. The presentation was part of the 11th Annual Big Blue All-Sports Banquet video produced in place of an in-person event.
Athletic Director Shane Hurley commented, “We are all proud of the accomplishments of our department and teams. Everyone contributed to our winning the All-Sports Award this year, and I look forward to continuing to strive for success in competition and in the classroom as we head into our 16th season of competition.”
Highlights include the university securing its eighth Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) All-Sports Award and Athletic Director Shane Hurley winning the Athletic Director of the Year Award. Teams from cross-country, softball, and women’s basketball earned berths to the NAIA National Championships, while one indoor track and field male athlete and the 4x100m relay women’s track and field team competed at nationals, as well.
Team and individual awards are listed in alphabetical order:
BASEBALL: Under Head Coach Bryan Aughney, the baseball team completed its eighth year with an overall 31-24 and 22-11 conference record. The team finished third in the regular season and as tournament semifinalists. Their academic honors include the NAIA Scholar Team and ABCA Team Academic Excellence Awards.
MEN’S BASKETBALL: Under Head Coach Chris Dial, the men’s basketball team completed its 13th season with an overall 9-16 and 4-10 conference record. The Saints finished in sixth place and as tournament quarterfinalists. Joseph Anderson and Ruben Monzon were selected to the All-Conference team.
WOMEN’S BASKETBALL: The women’s basketball team started the season slowly but ended with an overall 20-11 and 14-0 conference records. They competed in the first round of the NAIA National Championships after winning the conference’s regular season, the West Division and tournament titles. The team also earned NAIA Scholar Team recognition. Keviona Barber was named an NAIA All-American and was the conference’s Player of the Year. She, along with Emiko Hemphill, Cormia Lewis, Alexandra Strawhorn, Natalia Trevino and Makayla White, were All-Conference winners. Head Coach Jillian Flores Bennett, who left OLLU to become head coach at Iowa Western College, won Coach of the Year.
COMPETITIVE CHEER: Under Head Coach Crystal Brock, the cheer team was a significant presence throughout campus during its second year.
COMPETITIVE DANCE: Brock led the dance team in its second year. The Saints placed second at the NDA College Nationals and seventh in the College Classic National Invitational. The team also earned NAIA Scholar-Team honors.
MEN’S GOLF: Now in its 14th year, men’s golf was the conference runners-up. Head Coach Arnie Martinez led the team to an NAIA Scholar Team award. Diego Garcia Hernandez was named to the All-Conference team.
WOMEN’S GOLF: The team coach by Arnie Martinez came back to compete last year after 10 years, and the women finished in third place in the Continental Athletic Conference. They also earned NAIA Scholar Team recognition, and they tied for the OLLU Top Team GPA Award with women’s soccer. Miliani Georges was selected to the All-Conference Team as the Champions of Character representative.
SOFTBALL: The softball team finished its 13th year – its best ever. The Saints had a 46-18 overall and 23-5 conference record. They won two games at the NAIA National Tournament Opening Round after winning the conference’s regular season and the West Division. The Saints were the tournament runners-up. They also earned NAIA Scholar Team honors. Winning All-Conference were Kayla Dreese, Katelyn Esparza, Joanna Gonzalez, Ariel Montgomery, Madison Nunn, Caitlin Terrazas and Cassandra Valdez. Valdez was named Player and Pitcher of the Year, and she earned NAIA All-American honors. Rebecca Duran won Newcomer of the Year, Nunn was the Defensive Player of the Year and Head Coach Bruce Lenington was Coach of the Year. Dreese also was named CoSIDA Academic All-American.
MEN’S TENNIS: Men’s tennis, led by Head Coach Sal Castillo, finished their 14th year as tournament semifinalists, earning NAIA Scholar Team honors.
WOMEN’S TENNIS: Women’s tennis played its ninth season under Head Coach Sal Castillo. The team competed in the conference tournament. The Saints earned NAIA Scholar-Team recognition. Brisa Gonzales was part of the All-Conference team as the Champions of Character representative.
Top Team GPA Award (recognition is given to teams from the previous academic year)
The teams with GPAs of 3.0 and above from 2020-2021 included men’s track and field at 3.053, women’s track and field at 3.098, baseball at 3.102, softball at 3.149, women’s basketball at 3.149, nen’s cross-country at 3.228, dance at 3.231, volleyball at 3.235, men’s soccer at 3.270, women’s cross-country at 3.418, men’s golf at 3.443 and men’s tennis at 3.572.
Women’s soccer earned the OLLU Top GPA Team Award with a 3.574 GPA.
Mitchell won the Big Blue Top Saint Male Athlete of the Year Award. His accomplishments include 2018, 2019 and 2021 Conference Gold Glove; 2021, 2022 All-Conference First Team; 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 Conference Scholar-Athlete. Mitchell earned his undergraduate degree in December 2021 and marked a 4.0 as a graduate student in the spring.
Dreese won the Big Blue Top Saint Female Athlete of the Year. Her accomplishments include 2019 All-Conference; 2022 All-Conference First Team, CoSIDA Academic All-American, CoSIDA Academic All-District, All-Tournament, Player of the Week; 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 Conference Scholar-Athlete. In May, she earned her undergraduate degree.
OLLU has announced the hiring of Dave Watts as the interim head coach for the men’s and women’s tennis teams. He was the assistant coach for the Saints during the 2021-2022 season.
Athletic Director Shane Hurley commented, “We are excited to welcome Dave to our coaching staff. He brings a wealth of experience working with tennis programs throughout high school districts within the San Antonio area. I am confident he will continue the success our tennis teams have enjoyed throughout the years.”
Watts was the director of the junior program for the University of Texas at San Antonio. While there, he organized practices, provided court coaching, raised funds, promoted events and organized and created efficient platforms for the players and coaches to communicate.
He has also owned Win Well Tennis and True Tennis. He worked closely with students and adults in the sport of tennis through these companies.
Watts said, “I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to work with the men’s and women’s tennis teams this upcoming year. We have a lot of potential on both sides. The players seem eager to put in the work needed this upcoming year to have a successful season.”
The men’s and women’s tennis teams began competing in 2008. In 2014, the university canceled the women’s program but brought it back in 2020. Both programs will compete in a handful of matches in the fall and will get set for their official season in the spring of 2023.
The softball team announced the addition of Alana Benitez and Allie Gonzales to the 2022-2023 squad.
Benitez is a native of Kingsville, Texas, where she attended Santa Gertrudis Academy. The outfielder/middle infielder sophomore is majoring in criminal justice. She is a transfer from Coastal Bend College in Beeville, Texas.
Head Coach Bruce Lenington commented, “We are extremely happy to welcome Alana and her family to the Lake. She is a skilled player who fits our culture perfectly.”
Gonzales is a junior from Wallis, Texas, where she attended Brazos High School. The left-handed pitcher is a transfer from Jarvis Christian College, a member of the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC), as is OLLU. While there, she received All-Tournament First-Team and All-Conference Second-Team honors. She is majoring in interdisciplinary studies.
“Allie is a great addition to our pitching staff,” said Lenington. “As a freshman in the RRAC, she beat several top teams and proved to be a great competitor in the circle.”
The Saints will begin their official season in January 2023 but will play a handful of scrimmages during the fall.
Twelve newcomers will join the volleyball team for this upcoming fall season.
Head Coach Scott Mattera commented, “I couldn’t be happier with our incoming class. Obviously, we return a lot of talent from a very competitive 2021 team, but our new additions will both fill some holes left by retiring players and add some size and athleticism to our offense. Most importantly, though, is that every single one of them has the character and academic pedigree that we look for in Saints!”
Additions to the 2022 squad from San Antonio are setter Lauren Reynard from Churchill High School and the club team Alamo; outside hitter Mia Francis from Stevens High School and the club team Magic; outside hitter Mia Dorsey from Madison High School and the club team Top Gun; setter Viviana Solis from Warren High School and the club team Empire; middle/outside hitter Briana Contreras and right-side Kiara Osio from Highlands High School and the club team Destination; defensive specialist Evelyn Ortega from Brennan High School and the club team Impact; and setter Kylie Dominguez from McCollum High School and the club team Destination.
Hailing from Corpus Christi, Texas, and Veterans Memorial High School graduates are outside hitters and defensive specialists Julia Anguiano and Ariana Caldera. El Paso, Texas, native and Ysleta High School graduate Karla Candia will also join the team. Anguiano is from the club team CC Storm, and Caldera is from the club team CC Force. Candia is a middle and outside hitter and played on the club team Rapid Fire.
The Saints finished their 2021 season as runners-up in the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Championship match after falling to Xavier University of Louisiana 2-3. OLLU was the West Division Champions marking a 12-1 record in the RRAC and 19-6 overall.
The 2022 season will see the return of RRAC Freshman of the Year and Defender of the Year Tina Trevino (FR/Laredo, Texas), Attacker of the Year Camila Ramirez (FR/El Paso, Texas) and three-time All-Conference First Team middle Sadie Ballesteros (JR/Atascosa, Texas). RRAC All-Tournament selectee and All-Conference Second Team middle Tijana Kruta (SR/Bar, Montenegro) will return for her fifth year. Also returning are Dailyn Mann (FR/Cibolo, Texas), Madalyn Gonzalez (SO/San Antonio, Texas) and Ashleigh Ramirez (SO/Helotes, Texas) – all saw significant varsity action in 2021. The team will compete in its 16th season in late August 2022.
OLLU Athletics announced last week the teams with GPAs of 3.0 and higher. The team with the highest GPA of all 17 intercollegiate teams will receive the TOP GPA award for 2020-2021. Athletics awards the teams from the previous year because typically GPAs are not available until after the athletic banquet is held. This year, the athletic banquet was canceled.
For a list of all teams with GPAs of 3.0 and higher and the TOP GPA team, watch the video here:
Our Lady of the Lake University Athletics announced the nominees for the Top Saints for each of the seven men’s teams. Of those nominated, baseball’s Jacob Mitchell was selected as the 2021-2022 Male Athlete of the Year.
Isaac Martinez and Lindsey Broussard have been named to the Academic All-District Track and Field / Cross-Country Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). The program recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes for their combined performances athletically and in the classroom.
To be nominated, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) at his/her current institution. Nominated athletes must have participated in at least 50 percent of the team’s games at their positions. No student-athletes are eligible until they have completed one full calendar year at their current institution and have reached sophomore athletic eligibility.
Martinez and Broussard will advance to the national ballot after receiving First Team honors. Recipients of those awards will be announced at a later date.
Martinez is a senior from Weslaco, Texas, and a graduate of Weslaco High School. At the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Track and Field Championships last month, Martinez won the 5000m and 10,000m runs. Martinez placed fifth in the 8000m Cross-Country Championships in November of 2021. He and the Saints won the conference meet and participated in the NAIA National Championships in Vancouver, Wash. Martinez earned a 4.0 GPA this past academic year, and he has a 3.917 cumulative GPA.
Broussard is a junior from Kingwood, Texas, where she graduated from Kingwood Park High School. At the RRAC Track and Field Championships in April, she was the runner-up in the 3000m, and she won the 5000m. She placed sixth in the 5000m Cross-Country Championships in November, and she and the Saints won the conference meet. They competed in the NAIA National Championships in Vancouver, Wash. Broussard earned a 3.8 GPA this past academic year, and she has a 3.783 cumulative GPA.
OLLU competes in this awards program as part of District 4, College Division, which includes schools from the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Nevada, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wyoming and Canada.
OLLU has signed its first student-athlete to the newly created Drumline team. Ginobili Cobarrubias will be a sophomore at OLLU next year and is a double major in Criminology and Criminal Justice/Political Science and Pre-Law.
Cobarrubias is a graduate of Jefferson High School in San Antonio. At Jefferson, he was part of the marching band and was a member of the golf team.
The Drumline team will perform at athletic events throughout the year beginning in the fall. Members also will participate in university and community events throughout the year.
Plans are for the team to become competitive, but for now, it will be part of the Spirit Group, along with the cheer and dance teams.
Those interested in becoming a member of the inaugural Drumline team should contact Head Coach Crystal Brock at email@example.com. Athletic scholarships are available.
He is pictured with OLLU Head Coach Crystal Brock, his parents, Vanessa Rodriguez and Domingo Rodriguez, and high school Golf Coach Jennifer Gomez.