NewsSeven MVNU Athletes Receive NAIA Academic Honors
written by Dave Parsons, Sports Information Director
MOUNT VERNON, Ohio - Seven Mount Vernon Nazarene University fall athletes were honored when the NAIA announced its All-America Scholar-Athlete teams for volleyball and men's and women's soccer.
Jessica Harding, a senior outside hitter from New Philadelphia, Ohio, was named to the NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete team for the second straight year after finishing her volleyball season with 434 kills, 93 total blocks, and 89 digs. The former All-Ohioan at Garaway High School has compiled a 3.869 grade point average in the classroom as an Integrated Math Education major.
Dave Barry and Nate Sommers were each selected to the NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete team from the MVNU men's soccer team. Barry, a senior forward from Aurora, Ohio, played in 13 matches for the Cougars this season. A Business Administration major, the former Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy standout has compiled a 3.528 grade point average in earning the honor for the second straight year. Meanwhile, Sommers, a junior forward from Mount Gilead, Ohio, led MVNU with 12 goals and four assists this season. The former All-Ohioan at Mansfield Christian School has posted a 3.717 grade point average as an Exercise Studies major.
For the second straight year, four members of the MVNU women's soccer team were also named to the NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete team. Seniors Cheryl Balogh and Lisa Hinman were repeat selections, while senior Karen Stasiowski and junior Sarah Helbert earned the honors for the first time.
Balogh, a defender from Lima, Ohio, helped anchor the Lady Cougars' defense that posted a school-record 15 shutouts and allowed just 12 goals in 24 matches. The former All-Ohioan at Elida High School has a 3.940 grade point average with an Exercise Studies/Sports Management double major.
Hinman, a midfielder from Syracuse, New York, recorded six goals and six assists in her final season at MVNU. The former Faith Heritage High School star has compiled a 3.601 grade point average as a Sports Management major.
Stasiowski, a defender from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and Helbert, a defender from Avon Lake, Ohio, joined Balogh in anchoring the Lady Cougars' highly touted backline. Stasiowski, a former Canon McMillan High School product, has recorded a 3.605 grade point average as a Physical Education/Health major, while Helbert, a former Avon Lake High School standout, has a 3.955 grade point average as an Early Childhood Education major.
The MVNU women's volleyball team finished the year with a 36-10 overall record, and the Lady Cougars advanced to the NAIA Region IX Tournament for the tenth straight season. The MVNU men's soccer team went 13-5-1 overall and finished unbeaten at home for the first time ever as the Cougars posted a 10-0-1 record on their home turf. The MVNU women's soccer team captured its first National Christian College Athletic Association national title and American Mideast Conference South Division title as the Lady Cougars finished the year 20-3-1.
To be selected to an NAIA All-America Scholar-Athlete team, a student-athlete must be a junior or senior with at least a 3.500 grade point average. Each player must also meet certain playing requirements.