From Arkansas Tech University
BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – Arkansas Tech University had seven student-athletes, including three selections apiece in football and volleyball, named to the 2010 Gulf South Conference Fall All-Academic Team that was released by the league on Tuesday. In, addition, 23 Tech student athletes were named to the GSC's Fall Academic Honor Roll.
The 2010 GSC Fall All-Academic team consists of 81 student-athletes, including five three-time members and 18 two-time selections, from the conference's 14-member institutions and is split into six teams consisting of the league's fall sports – men's and women's cross country, volleyball, football and men's and women's soccer. Meanwhile 519 student-athletes with a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 qualified for the All-Academic Honor Roll.
Academic All-GSC teams are selected by the GSC Sports Information Directors and Faculty Athletic Representatives in a joint vote. The nominees much have an overall grade point average of 3.20 or better for their entire academic career and may not be freshman or first-semester or quarter transfers. The student-athlete needed to be a significant contributor to the team. Other factors included leadership, community service and extra-curricular activities. The SID's and FARs were not allowed to vote for their own student-athletes.
Tech's student-athletes named to the All-Academic teams in their respective sport were senior Lauren Karnitz (cross country), senior Danny Martin (football), junior Jake Denzer (football), junior Drake Widener (football), senior Sarah Von Lienen (volleyball) and juniors Brennae Benda (volleyball) and Laura Farney (volleyball). Karnitz and Martin are three-time All-Academic Team selections, while Farney and Von Lienen are two-time All-Academic honorees and Benda was named a Second-Team All-GSC West Division selection this past fall.
"I am extremely proud of our student-athletes that were recognized for their academic success by the Gulf South Conference," Tech Athletic Director and Head Football Coach Steve Mullins said. "It just shows the dedication and commitment that our student-athletes have made to not only the best in their sport, but also the best in the classroom."
Karnitz, a native of DeSoto, Kan., carries a 3.82 cumulative grade point average in nursing. She becomes Tech's first-ever three-time GSC All-Academic honoree in cross country. In her four-year career at Tech, Karnitz was a two-time All-GSC selection and a four-time member of the GSC Academic Honor Roll. This past season, Karnitz had a season-best 14th place finish at Harding Bison Stampede and helped the Golden Suns to a fourth place finish at the GSC Championships.
Martin, a native of Tulsa, Okla., recently graduated with a 3.70 cumulative grade point average in mechanical engineering. With his selection, Martin becomes the sixth Wonder Boy to earn GSC All-Academic Football Team honors three times in his career. This past season, Martin, who is a four-time member of the GSC Academic Honor Roll and a two-time First-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI selection, played in and started all 11 games at linebacker and recorded 33 total tackles, including 21 solo stops. In addition, he had 6.0 tackles for 31 yards in losses and recorded 2.5 sacks for 15 yards in losses. He also had four quarterback hurries, forced a fumble and broke up a pass. Martin, who has been named the Tech Player of the Year this season by the Little Rock Touchdown Club, played in 43 career games and ended his career starting 38 consecutive games. In his career, Martin, who was one of eight unanimous selections to this year's team, recorded 161 tackles, including recording five or more tackles in 12 career games and having 20.5 tackles for a loss, 8.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, blocked two kicks and had a pass interception that was returned 14 yards for a touchdown against Delta State in 2008.
Denzer, a native of Elkins, Ark., carries a 3.50 cumulative grade point average in social studies education. This past season, Denzer, who was named a Second-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI selection, played in all 11 games as a fullback and punter. As a punter, Denzer, who is a three-time member of the GSC Academic Honor Roll, averaged 36.2 yards per punt and downed 14 of his punts inside the 20-yard line. He also had one touchback and two punts travel over 50 yards, including a career-best 64 yard boot against Henderson State. In addition to his punting duties, Denzer also played some fullback as he carried the ball one time for four yards.
Widener, a native of Beebe, Ark., carries a 3.50 cumulative grade point average in health and physical education. This past season, Widener, who is a three-time member of the GSC Academic Honor Roll and was named a Second-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI selection, played in seven games and made five starts at center for the Wonder Boys. He graded out with an average grade of 75 for the year and recorded 15 knockdown blocks. In his career at Tech, Widener, who has played in 25 games and made 16 starts, has graded out with an average grade of 71 and has had 37 knockdown blocks. As a sophomore in 2009, Widener made 11 starts at left tackle before moving to center this past fall.
Farney, a native of Morton, Ill., carries a 3.60 cumulative grade point average in Spanish education. With her selection, she becomes just the third-ever Golden Sun Volleyball player to earn All-GSC Academic Team honors two times. This past season, Farney, who was the only player that was a unanimous selection to the West Division Volleyball All-Academic Team, was named a repeat First-Team All-GSC West Division selection after finishing second on the team in both kills (349) and digs (345). She had a team-best 14 double-doubles and earned a team-high GSC West Division Player of the Week honors. In addition to those accolades, Farney, who is a three-time member of the GSC Academic Honor Roll, was also named a Second-Team Daktronics All-South Region honoree and a third-team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI selection.
Benda, a native of Woodstock, Ill., carries a cumulative grade point average of 3.68 in hospitality management. This past season, Benda was named a Second-Team All-GSC West Division selection for the second consecutive season after leading the Golden Suns in both digs (500) and digs per set (4.27 per set). She is currently seven digs shy of becoming the school's all-time leader in career digs and she is first on the school's career digs per set chart (3.89). As a freshman in 2008, Benda was named the GSC West Division Freshman of the Year and has been named a three-time member of the GSC Academic Honor Roll.
Von Lienen, a native of Lakeland, Tenn., carries a 3.48 cumulative grade point average in art. Von Lienen has been named a two-time GSC All-Academic Team selection as she was also selected in 2008. This past season, Von Lienen, was named the GSC West Division Player of the Year and a First-Team All-GSC West Division selection for the third consecutive year, earned AVCA Honorable Mention All-America honors after leading the Golden Suns in kills (406), kills per set (3.76) and blocks (91) and she also hit .341 in 108 sets played. On the season, Von Lienen, who was named both an AVCA and Daktronics First-Team All-South Region selection this season, was named a GSC West Division Player of the Week three times and earned 14 weekly Player of the Week honors from the league in four-year career. She finished her career standing four on the school's all-time kill chart (1,436), second on the career hitting percentage chart (.317) and second on the school's Division II era chart (477). In addition, Von Lienen, who was named to the GSC All-Tournament Team this year, is four-time member of the GSC Academic Honor Roll and was named a Second-Team ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District VI selection this past fall, is fifth on the school's career block chart and finished third in career double-figure kill matches with 73 and had eight career 20-plus kill matches, including recording 20 kills in Tech's four-set loss to North Alabama in the GSC Tournament semifinals.
Meanwhile the Academic Honor Roll selections from Tech were as follows:
Cross Country (5) – Karnitz; Amanda Bradbury, Fr., 4.00, Pre-Med/Chemistry (Bauxite, Ark.); Bailee Miller, So., 3.82, Biology (Dover, Ark.); Kaitlin Bounds, Fr., 3.80, History & Political Science (Russellville, Ark.) and Cheryl Nolan, Fr., 3.10, Psychology (Carlow, Ireland).
Football (8) – Denzer; Martin; Widener; offensive lineman Eric Coble, Jr., 3.51, Accounting (Pottsville, Ark.); offensive lineman Josh Green, So., 3.54, Wellness Fitness (Nashville, Ark.); quarterback Robert Sagerian, Sr., 3.70, Broadcast Journalism (San Diego, Calif.); receiver Ethan Gammil, Fr., 3.78, Broadcast Journalism (Mountain View, Ark.) and deep snapper Shane Jackson, Fr., 3.50, Health and Physical Education (Marshall, Ark).
Volleyball (9) – Benda; Farney; Von Lienen; outside hitter Stephanie Channell, Fr., 3.80, Sociology (Prosper, Texas); setter Kera Dukic, Jr., 3.33, Spanish Education (White Lake, Mich.); defensive specialist Lindsey Layes, RFr., 3.22, Health and Physical Education (Fort Smith, Ark.); outside hitter Marcela Mascarenhas, So., 3.12, Management and Marketing (Sao Paulo, Brazil); outside/right side hitter Kelly O'Malley, Jr., 3.24, Nursing (Billings, Mont.) and middle blocker Brittany Ryan, So., 3.29, undeclared (Mena, Ark.).