Jose Diaz (SR/Pinar del Rio, Cuba) and Brett Vasquez (SO/Mont Belvieu, Texas) were named to the NAIA All-American Honorable Mention team.
This marks the first time in Saints history for a member of the baseball team to receive NAIA All-American honors. In 2019, Diaz was named an NAIA Player to Watch. At the beginning of the 2021 season, he was selected as an NAIA Preseason All-American. Diaz was named the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Player of the Year, while Vasquez received RRAC Pitcher of the Year honors.
Diaz led the Saints with a .374 batting average and 11 steals. He tallied a career-high 45 RBIs and 16 doubles. Diaz also combined for a no-hitter with Alec Martinez (JR/Corpus Christi, Texas) against LSU-Shreveport on March 26.
Diaz ends his baseball career at OLLU with several all-time records including games played at 231, at-bats with 774 total runs with 175, hits with 260, doubles with 54, home runs with 17, RBIs with 163, total bases with 379 and stolen bases with 70.
Vasquez won nine games on the mound this season, setting a program record previously held by Jordan Hackett in 2016 with eight victories. He totaled 70 strikeouts including three straight starts fanning eight batters.
Head Coach Bryan Aughney commented, “I’m very excited for both Jose and Brett for their great individual accomplishments. Jose has been a mainstay in our program and has continually progressed as a baseball player. His work ethic and love for the game has been fun to be a part of. Brett really put in some work over the last 18 months. He is very driven and I’m excited to see what he does in the future.”
The Saints shined in their most impressive season to date with 34 wins and were crowned the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) regular-season champions. OLLU made its first appearance in the NAIA National Championships and lost in the opening round.
OLLU volleyball player Kalani Ketchens (SR/San Antonio, Texas) was awarded the NAIA All-American Honorable Mention for her play during the 2020 season.
Head Coach Scott Mattera said, “This is a huge honor for Kalani and it reflects the success we had as a team on the court this year. A piece of this should probably go to Anissa Tamez (SR/San Antonio, Texas) as well as their setter-hitter connection was pretty special all year!”
Ketchens led the Saints with 159 kills and tallied 389 total attacks. Her senior leadership helped guide OLLU to the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Tournament title and a berth in the NAIA National Tournament.
During her playing time at OLLU, she averaged 2.34 kills and 6.26 total attacks per game. During the RRAC Tournament Championship Match against University of the Southwest, Ketchens recorded 15 kills and had a .270 hitting percentage.
Ketchens plans to become a physical therapist after graduating
Baye Polansky (SR/Helotes, Texas) and Deanna Tarango (FR/El Paso, Texas) of OLLU women’s soccer were selected as NAIA All-American Honorable Mentions for their performance during the 2020 season.
Senior Polansky played a vital role in the Saints’ success this season. She led the team with seven goals, three of them being game-winning goals. Polansky tallied 23 goals, 10 assists and 61 shots on goal during her career at OLLU.
Tarango was a member of the incoming freshmen class. She was named Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) Defensive Player of the Week for March 1-7. Tarango helped lock down opponent’s offense during 2020. The Saints held teams scoreless seven out of 12 games.
OLLU completed their first undefeated regular season this past year. They went 7-0 in conference play and defeated NCAA D2 St. Mary’s University to start the season.
The Saints will begin their 14th season in the fall of 2021.