CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. – Two athletes who thrived in the national spotlight during the 2012-13 college sports calendar year have been named Austin Peay State University’s Most Outstanding Athletes.
Two other APSU athletes, who steered their programs to unparalleled successes during their respective careers have been named Legend Award recipients as the Most Valuable Senior Athletes.
Junior Tatiana Ariza, who led Ohio Valley Conference soccer in scoring after playing for her native Colombia in the 2012 London Olympics, was named APSU’s Most Outstanding Female Athlete.
Meanwhile, pitcher Tyler Rogers, who leads the nation in saves after breaking the OVC single-season mark in that category last week, has been named the Most Outstanding Male Athlete.
Another baseball player, shortstop Reed Harper, who has started every game since coming to APSU four seasons ago and played a key role in two successive Governors baseball NCAA tournament appearances, has been named the Male Legends Award recipient.
On the women’s side, Nikki Doyle, who was a three-time All-OVC selection and led APSU volleyball to its first NCAA tournament appearance in 2010, has been chosen as the Female Legends Award recipient.
The presentation of Austin Peay’s most cherished athletic awards along with the individual team honors were made Monday night at APSU’s annual Athletics banquet, held in Dave Aaron Arena.
In addition to the Outstanding Athlete and Legends Awards, football player Ben Stansfield, who has a 4.0 GPA in psychology (minor in business) and track and field’s Molly Basch, who also has a 4.0 GPA in psychology, were named the 2013-14 Perkins Freeman Governors Club Academic Scholarship recipients for owning the highest GPAs of rising seniors. Women’s golfer Tabitha Beard was named as the Perkins Freeman Governors Club Academic Achievement Award recipient for possessing the highest GPA of a graduating senior student-athlete. Beard owns a 3.97 GPA as an Interdisciplinary Studies (K-6) major with a professional education minor. In addition, Stansfield was named the department’s Male Scholar-Athlete for 2012-13 while Basch shared the Women’s Scholar-Athlete Award with volleyball’s Liz Landon, who has a 4.0 in health and human performance.
Tatiana Ariza began her Summer 2012 by being selected as a member of the Colombia Olympic Soccer team, participating in the London games, officially the Games of the XXX Olympiad. In doing so with her twin sister Natalia, they became the first APSU athletes in history to participate in the Olympics.
Tatiana ended her Fall 2012 being named OVC Offensive Player of the Year—the first APSU player to earn such an honor. In between, she was named first-team All-OVC—her third straight first-team selection. Along the way, the Bogota, Colombia native scored an OVC-leading 12 goals while also leading the conference in points (32). Her eight assists were an APSU school record.
In addition, Ariza was named to National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) second-team All-South—her second such honor.
Ariza had a trio of two-goal games during 2012. She also was named OVC Player of the Week after tallying the game-winning goals against both Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State in back-to-back games.
On the national scale, Tatiana ranked 23rd in points per match (1.68), 33rd in goals per game (0.63), 36th in points and 42nd in total goals despite missing Austin Peay’s first two games due to her Olympic commitment.
Ariza will enter her senior season the program’s all-time leader in goals, assists and points.
With nearly a month left in the 2013 baseball season, Tyler Rogers already owns the OVC single-season mark for saves, breaking the previous mark of 15 set just last year. In fact, his current 17 saves (19 opportunities) leave him just six saves short of the NCAA record (23, Jack Krawczyk, Southern California, 1998). He currently leads the NCAA in saves—he had a three-save NCAA lead entering last weekend.
How important has Rogers been? The Littleton, Colo., native has appeared in the Govs’ last eight games, with a win and five saves during that stretch.
Not only does he own 17 saves, but a 6-2 record as well with a 2.04 ERA in 30 games. In other words, he has had a hand in 23 of APSU’s 32 victories this season.
Along the way this season, the right-handed submariner already has broken his previous single-season saves record (12) and keeps setting the career saves mark (29)—breaking that mark early this season—every time he closes out a Govs victory.
He has been named to National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award Watch List along with the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s Pitcher of the Year Watch List.
A local product, Harper came to Austin Peay as a walk-on, following both his father, Ralph, an All-American infielder, and brother Ryne, to APSU and Governors baseball. All he has done is embolden that legacy by starting every game (218) of his college career—all but three of those at shortstop. Harper arguably is APSU’s best shortstop since Chuck Abbott, a second-round major league draft choice in 1996.
Unquestionably he is the most successful shortstop in Governors history. He has been a part of two straight Ohio Valley Conference regular-season and tournament championships and a program that has 134 victories and counting during his career.
He was a first-team All-OVC selection in 2011 after batting .329 with 43 RBI. He also earned 2011 NCAA Atlanta All-Region for his outstanding offensive and defensive performance when the Govs captured their second NCAA tourney victory.
A year later, Harper again played a key role not only in the Govs’ back-to-back OVC regular-season crown but the tourney championship as well as APSU emerged from the loser’s bracket to earn a second-straight NCAA tournament berth. As the Governors received outstanding pitching to win the title, it was augmented by sterling defense, including a multitude of eye-popping plays by Harper at shortstop. He was named to the OVC all-tourney team as a result.
He continued his strong play in the NCAA Regional that saw the Govs not only win two games but advance to the regional finals for the first time.
Harper became only the 15th player in APSU history to reach the 200-hit plateau and his 250 hits rank third most all time. He is ranked in the Top 25 in 23 other categories.
But Harper’s accomplishments are not reserved for just the baseball diamond. He is a three-time member of the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll and he was a two-time Capital one Academic All-District selection, culminating in being chosen to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-America Third Team. He was APSU baseball’s first Academic All-American since 1994.
Doyle transferred to Austin Peay from UC Santa Barbara and, after sitting out a season to meet NCAA transfer requirements, immediately moved into the Lady Govs starting lineup in 2010. It proved to be a good match for both Doyle and the Lady Govs. She became the first Lady Govs volleyball player in school history to become a three-time All-OVC selection. Along the way, the Santa Maria, Calif., native, also became the first Lady Govs player to tally three 400-kill seasons.
In her first APSU season in 2010, Doyle exploded onto the scene. She helped catapult the Lady Govs to a 26-8 record—second most wins in APSU history—and a second-place 14-4 OVC mark.
But she elevated her game even more so in the OVC Tournament, when she recorded a 20-kill effort in the OVC tourney semifinal contest against Tennessee Tech and then tallied a scorching 45 percentage (17 kills) in the tourney title game against Morehead State to lift APSU to only its second OVC tourney title—and first NCAA tournament appearance. As a result of her performance, Doyle was named OVC Tournament MVP.
In addition to earning those OVC honors, Doyle was chosen honorable mention All-Midwest Region as selected by the American Volleyball Coaches Association, becoming the second APSU player to receive all-region honors.
Although the Lady Govs suffered through a disappointing 2011 season, Doyle continued to produce at an all-league level. After having 435 kills as a sophomore, she finished her junior campaign with 408.
With new coach Taylor Mott at the helm in 2012, Doyle once again elevated her play. She made it three straight 400-kill seasons with 429 in aiding the Lady Govs to a 17-16 overall mark, including a 10-6 OVC mark.
Her season was highlighted by a 34-kill performance against Middle Tennessee. That performance broke the APSU single-match record for kills set 10 years earlier.
Despite playing only three seasons with the Lady Govs, Doyle left fifth all time in kills (1,265) along with 971 digs, 19th most in APSU history.
This is the fifth year the Legends Award has been bestowed, continuing APSU’s long-standing tradition of honoring the most valuable male and female senior athletes, respectively. The Legends Award, sponsored by Legends Bank, assumed the place of the Joy Award, which was originated in 1947 by the late Wilson Goodrich, then owner of Joy’s Jewelers.
From 1947-96, one APSU senior athlete was honored each year. However, beginning in 1997 a male and female senior athlete, respectively, was honored by Joy’s and that continued through 2008. However, Joy’s Jewelers closed its business in Spring 2008, with Legends Bank assuming the tradition of honoring athletics excellence.
Legends Award (men)—Reed Harper, baseball
Outstanding Male Athlete—Tyler Rogers, baseball
Legends Award (women)—Nikki Doyle, volleyball
Outstanding Female Athlete—Tatiana Ariza, soccer
Female Scholar-Athlete Award— Molly Basch, Track and Field, and Liz Landon, volleyball
Male Scholar-Athlete Award—Ben Stansfield, football
Governors Club Academic Achievement Award Scholarship—Molly Basch, track and field, and Ben Stansfield, football
Governors Club Academic Achievement Award—Tabitha Beard, women’s golf
Baseball: Most Valuable—Greg Bachman (2012), Pitcher of the Year—Tyler Rogers (2012), Most Improved—P.J. Torres (2012), Scholar-Athlete—Brett Carlson (3.82 GPA)
Men’s Basketball: Most Valuable—Travis Betran, Most Improved—Chris Horton, Scholar Athlete—Joe Harms (3.57 GPA)
Women’s Basketball: Newcomer of the Year—Alexis Hardaway, Most Improved–Tiasha Gray; Scholar Athlete—Kristen Stainback (3.95 GPA)
Men’s Cross Country: Most Valuable—Konnor Kessler, Scholar Athlete—Konnor Kessler (3.82 GPA)
Women’s Cross Country: Most Valuable—Xiamar Richards, Scholar Athlete— Alyssa Molnar (3.50 GPA)
Women’s Indoor/Outdoor Track: Track Athlete of Year–Chantelle Grey, Field Athlete of Year–Jasmine Foster, Newcomer of the Year—Breigh Jones, Scholar Athlete–Molly Basch (4.0 GPA) Football: Most Valuable Offense—Devin Stark, Most Valuable Defense—Earnest Smith, Most Valuable Special Teams—Ben Campbell; Scholar Athlete—Ben Stansfield (4.0 GPA)
Men’s Golf: Most Valuable—Dustin Korte and Anthony Bradley, Scholar Athlete—Trey Tarpley (3.44 GPA)
Women’s Golf: Most Valuable—Jessica Cathey, Most Improved—Tala Mumford, Scholar Athlete— Tabitha Beard (3.98 GPA)
Women’s Soccer: Most Valuable—Tatiana Ariza and Emily Perkins; Scholar Athlete—Claire Pultz (3.91 GPA)
Softball: Most Valuable—Kayla Davidson; Most Improved—Laurel Burroughs, Scholar Athlete—Morgan Brewer (3.70 GPA)
Men’s Tennis: Most Valuable—Sean Bailey, Most Improved—John Storie, Scholar Athlete—Sean Bailey (3.95 GPA)
Women’s Tennis: Most Valuable—Alison Carre, Most Improved—Vanessa Tavares, Scholar Athlete—Andra Cornea (3.59 GPA)
Volleyball: Most Valuable—Nikki Doyle, Most Improved—Liz Landon, Scholar Athlete— Liz Landon (4.0 GPA)
Pom Squad: Most Valuable—Kara Wyatt and Lacy Groves, Scholar Athlete—Katelyn Hamaker (3.66 GPA)
Cheerleading: Most Valuable—Alex Stallworth, Most Improved—Emilee Taylor, Scholar Athlete—Miranda White (3.8 GPA)