The Roosevelt University athletic department is coming off another successful year. Although the department didn’t hang any banners, there was still plenty to be proud of.
Two new coaches were hired. The women’s volleyball program hired Nicasio Paquiz, who began building the foundation of a new and improved team here at Roosevelt. Women’s soccer also hired Luke Blakely, who is looking to build a new team that will be competing for conference championships in the near future.
Men’s basketball returned to the conference tournament for the second straight year and fell just short of reaching the conference championship game. Jake Ludwig became the schools all time leading scorer along with becoming the leader in games started, free throws made and free throw percentage.
Softball and baseball both made tremendous strides this year as well. Softball added a lot of young talent to their roster and plan on bringing in even more next season. Unfortunately, the Lakers softball squad fell just short of the conference tournament, but were able to cap their season with a walk off win on senior day. The baseball team is in prime position to make the conference tournament for the second year in a row and the second time in program history. The Lakers have rebounded from a slow start and are continuing to set new standards for the program.
Gina Narcisi of the women’s track and cross country teams qualified for the cross country NAIA (National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics) national championships making her the second ever women in school history to do so. She set the school cross country record in the process and also owns almost every track record.
Women’s tennis had their best season in program history. They went 11-9 while setting a new school record for wins. Their top six finish at conference was also a program best. With the core of the team returning for next year, the women’s tennis program has a bright future ahead of them.
Men’s golf had their best win percentage in program history. The team finished sixth at conference after battling tough weather conditions. Jake Myers had a standout season earning a second place in his first tournament of the season and ended the year by earning first team all-conference honors.
“I am proud of the work that our student-athletes put forth toward their academic and athletic endeavors,” said Roosevelt Athletic Director John Jaramillo. “Even when the odds were stacked against them on the field or various situations in their lives, the effort was always there. That’s a testament to them and their coaches.”
Although the achievements of each team are worthy of recognition, the most outstanding achievement is in the 44 student athletes that are graduating from the university in the fall. There are four more athletes who are graduating and returning to Roosevelt for graduate school while they finish out their athletic eligibility.
Charlton Zimmerman, a senior sustainability major on the golf team, is going to attend graduate school at Oakland University or Ferris State University for public administration.
“Being a student athlete has taught me lessons that aren’t taught in books,” said Zimmerman. “Lessons such as time management, leadership skills, and working hand in hand with a boss or professor.”
Senior volleyball player Daria Voronina is looking to hopefully get a job that will support her visa. She has a job offer in downtown Chicago that she hopes to accept and she is looking at graduate school for software development.
“Being a student athlete has helped me stand out during interviews,” added Voronina. “It shows employers that I’m a hard worker and can be successful not only as a part of a tea but as an individual as well.”
The athletic department is poised to improve on this year and is in great position to compete for conference championships next year.
“Everyone is working hard to improve on where they finished in the conference,” said softball coach Aaron Moore. “We’re all looking for areas to improve and get better so we can make conference tournaments.”