ASC Names First Football Players of the Week of the Season
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE FOOTBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Games: September 2-4, 2021
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Kyle King, QB, Sr., Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mary Hardin-Baylor senior quarterback Kyle King (Milano, Texas) led the No. 1 Cru’s offense in an 84-6 win over Simpson (Iowa). He rushed for four touchdowns and threw two more, helping UMHB break the ASC record with ten rushing scores. King threw for 201 yards on 14-of-19 passing. It is his third Player of the Week award of King’s career.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Landon McKinney, QB, So., Howard Payne
Howard Payne sophomore quarterback Landon McKinney (Liberty City, Texas) threw for 353 yards on 20-for-31 passing with three touchdowns and no interceptions. The Yellow Jackets opened conference play with a 43-17 win over Texas Lutheran. He led HPU’s offense to 639 yards on the day.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Khristion Little, DE, So., Hardin-Simmons
Hardin-Simmons sophomore defensive end Khristion Little (Tyler, Texas) had 1.5 sacks and five tackles, leading the No. 7 Cowboy defense in a 49-0 win over Wayland Baptist. His performance helped hold the Pioneers to just 10 yards rushing in the shutout.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Peyton Lowe, LB, So., Howard Payne
Howard Payne sophomore linebacker Peyton Lowe (Gunter, Texas) anchored the Yellow Jacket defense that held Texas Lutheran to just 358 yards in a conference-opening 43-17 win. He had a game-high ten tackles, five solos, one for a loss, a forced fumble, and a quarterback hurry. It is Lowe’s second career Player of the Week honors.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Anthony Avila, K, Sr., Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mary Hardin-Baylor senior Anthony Avila (Troy, Texas) broke the No. 1 Cru’s record for extra points made, going 12-for-12 in their 84-6 win over Simpson (Iowa). It is the fourth career Player of the Week award.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
Hardin-Simmons senior quarterback Kyle Jones (Giddings, Texas) completed 21-of-30 passes for 316 yards and five touchdowns and ran twice for 17 yards as the No. 7 Cowboys toppled Wayland Baptist 49-0.
East Texas Baptist sophomore running back Cornelius Merchant (Madisonville, Texas) ran 16 times for 187 yards, averaging 11.7 yards-per-carry. He posted 65-yard and a 60-yard run for touchdowns to help lead the Tiger 37-31 comeback win at UW-Platteville. Merchant also had seven catches for 56 yards.
Belhaven senior quarterback Mayowa Asagunla (Jackson, Miss.) led Belhaven to a 56-28 win over Millsaps in the Riverside Rumble. He was 12-for-17, passing for 169 yards and three touchdowns. He also ran five times for 66 yards and caught a nine-yard pass for a score.
Mary Hardin-Baylor’s sophomore defensive tackle Kobe Giles (Cuero, Texas) was the No. 1 Cru’s leader with six tackles and three for a loss of 11 yards in their 84-6 victory over Simpson (Iowa). He also had one sack for a loss of three yards and one quarterback hurry.
East Texas Baptist senior safety KJ Kelley (Abilene, Texas) posted eight tackles, including an assist for a loss, with three pass breakups in the Tigers’ 37-31 at UW-Platteville.
Belhaven senior linebacker Isaiah Blackmon (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) led the Blazers defensively with five tackles, two sacks, and a forced fumble in their 56-28 win over Millsaps.
Hardin-Simmons junior Gatlin Martin (Abilene, Texas) was all over the field in the No. 7 Cowboys’ 49-0 win over Wayland Baptist. He held on placekicks, as HSU was 7-for-7 on extra points, and he blocked a punt. He also ran 75 yards to track down an interception returner inside the 10-yard line, leading to a blocked field goal. Martin also scored a touchdown from the slotback position.
Millsaps freshman kicker Constantine Hontzas (Hoover, Ala.) was 8-for-8 on extra-point attempts and averaged 52.7 yards per kickoff with a touchback in the Blazers’ 56-28 win against Millsaps.
Southwestern senior punter Wil Herbst (Boerne, Texas) placed four punts inside the 20-yard line and had a fake punt for a 21-yard run and a first down as the Pirates lost at Cal Lutheran. He averaged 37.3 yards per punt.
De La Cruz, Burdick, Wilson Named Women’s Soccer Players of the Week
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE WOMEN’S SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Games: September 1-6, 2021
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Lexi De La Cruz, F, Fr., Howard Payne
Howard Payne freshman forward Lexi De La Cruz (Lubbock, Texas) scored two goals, including the game-winner, in a 5-4 win at St. Thomas (Texas) to open the year. She also had three assists in a 3-0 win over Jarvis Christian as the Lady Jackets started the season 3-0.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Kristen Burdick, D, Jr., Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mary Hardin-Baylor senior defender Kristen Burdick (Flower Mound, Texas) helped the Cru a 3-0 season-opening shutout over Texas Lutheran. She played 90 minutes on a backline that allowed just two goals and scored the game-winning goal. It is Burdick’s third career Player of the Week award.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Julianne Wilson, GK, Fr., Belhaven
Belhaven freshman goalkeeper Julianne Wilson (Mobile, Ala.) shut out Birmingham-Southern 2-0 with two saves in the Blazers’ season-opening home win.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
McMurry senior forward Hallie Rutherford (Austin, Texas) scored on her lone shot in a 4-0 win against St. Thomas (Texas).
UT Dallas freshman forward Sierra Foster (Fullerton, Calif.) led the Comets with five shots, two on the frame, as UTD outlasted Dallas, 3-2, Friday night in double overtime. She then helped the Comets erase a 1-0 halftime deficit against Austin with the go-ahead goal and added another tally less than six minutes later. Foster took seven shots, all on goal, against the Roos.
East Texas Baptist senior forward Brianna Mickshaw (Katy, Texas) posted a goal and an assist in the Tigers’ 3-1 win over Centenary (La.).
Belhaven junior midfielder Anna Crane (Pearl, Texas) scored the first goal for the Blazers as they defeated Birmingham-Southern 2-0 at home.
Sul Ross State senior midfielder/defender Nuvia Guillen (El Paso, Texas) netted two goals on the week, including the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Schreiner. She also scored the lone goal in a loss to Southwestern (Texas).
McMurry sophomore keeper Priscella Caruso (Tomball, Texas) played the entire second half against No. 21 Trinity (Texas), facing 12 shots and making six of her seven save opportunities. She also contributed to a 4-0 shutout over St. Thomas (Texas) with one save in 29 minutes.
UT-Dallas freshman defender Peyton Guidry (Katy, Texas) anchored a Comet backline that posted a 2-1 record in the season’s opening week. On Wednesday, after a tough 2-1 road loss at Southwestern (Texas), the Comets allowed just 13 shots (seven on goal) in two non-conference home victories. On Sunday night, UTD limited Austin to three shots (one on frame) in a 4-1 come-from-behind win.
East Texas Baptist senior keeper Claire Montondon (Nederland, Texas) posted 98 shutout minutes to open the season before allowing a goal in the 53rd minute against Centenary (La.). She played the first half of a 2-0 shutout over Hendrix and picked up the 3-1 win against the Ladies.
Howard Payne junior defender Kendra Cecil (Odessa, Texas) helped the Lady Jackets post a pair of shutouts in three wins, limiting Paul Quinn to five shots in a 2-0 win and defeating Jarvis Christian 3-0. Cecil also had a goal late against PQC.
Sul Ross State junior keeper Alitzel Ybarra (Juarez, Mexico) posted 12 saves in a 4-1 loss to Southwestern (Texas) and had three saves in a 1-0 shutout at Schreiner.
O’Donnell, Tellez Earn Men’s Soccer Honors
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE MEN’S SOCCER PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Games: September 1-6, 2021
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Riley O’Donnell, F, Fr., UT-Dallas
UT Dallas freshman forward Riley O’Donnell (Allen, Texas) scored three times as the Comets opened 2021 with a 2-1 record last week. O’Donnell scored his first collegiate goal Friday in a 3-1 loss to Rhodes, scoring the equalizer against the Lynx in the 20th minute. O’Donnell then accounted for both goals on Sunday in UTD’s 2-0 road win over Hendrix.
PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Alexis Tellez, GK, Sr., Sul Ross State
Sul Ross State senior goalkeeper Alexis Tellez (Denver, Colo.) posted a shutout in goal, stopping two shots in the Lobos’ 1-0 win at Schreiner.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
East Texas Baptist freshman forward/midfielder Bruno Palmieri (Santos, Brazil) netted the golden goal in the Tigers’ 2-1 overtime win over Austin. He also assisted the first goal of the game.
Howard Payne junior midfielder Alexander Paz (Texas City, Texas) scored two goals on the week, including the Yellow Jackets’ 3-2 overtime victory against Texas College.
Ozarks junior forward Charleus Emmanuel Ritch (Carrefour, Haiti) connected on a penalty kick in the 58th minute to break a 0-0 tie in the Eagles’ 3-0 win over Ecclesia.
Concordia Texas sophomore midfielder Samuel Narvaez (Klein, Texas) scored the game-winner for the Tornados in a 1-0 victory against Nebraska Wesleyan.
Sul Ross State senior Andres Najera (El Paso, Texas) netted the game-winner in the 44th minute of a 1-0 win against Schreiner.
UT Dallas senior defender Brandon Bohn (Coppell, Texas) scored twice in the Comets’ season-opening 4-1 win over Austin College Wednesday night. Bohn scored his first goal from 40 yards out through the Roo defense. He later added a header on a free-kick to complete the UTD scoring in the contest. Bohn also added an assist in the Comets’ 2-1 road win over Hendrix Sunday.
Mary Hardin-Baylor junior goalkeeper Dalton Lloyd (Flower Mound, Texas) allowed just two goals in 27 shots faced as the Cru went 1-2 on the week. He started with four saves in a 4-0 shutout over Texas Lutheran. Lloyd then made five saves, allowing one goal in double-overtime at No. 9 Messiah. He added three more saves against No. 18 Franklin & Marshall.
Ozark’s junior defender Kyle Seymour (New Lenox, Ill.) guided the Eagles to a season-opening 3-0 win over Ecclesia. He helped limit the Royals to just four shots on goal, and he added a goal off a corner kick in the second half.
Concordia Texas freshman keeper Arlen Oni (Houston, Texas) posted a 1-0 victory shutout with two saves against Nebraska Wesleyan. He allowed just one goal while playing a mand down with three saves in 75 minutes of a double-overtime tie with Carthage.
Janikula, Hill Named ASC Volleyball Players of the Week
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE VOLLEYBALL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Matches: September 1-4, 2021
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Kayla Janikula, MB, Sr., Mary Hardin-Baylor
Mary Hardin-Baylor senior middle blocker Kayla Janikula (Kingwood, Texas) led the No. 15 Cru to five sweeps, hitting .344 with 40 kills (2.67 per set). She also averaged 1.40 digs and 1.00 blocks per set. It is Janikula’s third career Player of the Week honor.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Lillie Hill, DS, So., East Texas Baptist
East Texas Baptist sophomore defensive specialist Lillie Hill (Schertz, Texas) made the All-Tournament Team at the Trinity University Classic, averaging 5.47 digs per set as the Tigers went 1-3 on the weekend. She collected a career-high 29 digs in a five-set win over Hendrix. It is Hill’s third Player of the Week award.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES
McMurry sophomore outside hitter Kaylie Vasil (Midlothian, Texas) averaged 3.08 kills per set, and hi5 .194 as the War Hawks went 1-3 at the Austin/Dallas Tournament. She also averaged 3.62 digs and served seven aces. Vasil had three double-doubles in four matches.
UT Dallas junior middle blocker/outside hitter Allison Owen (Murphy, Texas) was named the All-Tournament Team at the Bear Invite after averaging 3.20 kills and hitting .193 for the No. 13 Comets. She had three double-digit kill matches, including 18 in a four-set win over Webster.
LeTourneau freshman right side Kaci Monk (Euless, Texas) hit .244 with 2.55 kills per set as the YellowJackets went 2-2 at the Millsaps/Belhaven Invitational. She posted 12 kills in each of her first two matches. Monk also recorded five blocks and two aces.
Sul Ross State senior setter/middle blocker Annika Canaba (Alpine, Texas) hit .315 with 3.85 kills, 4.15 assists, 2.46 digs, and 0.46 blocks per set at the Austin/Dallas Tournament, helping the Lobos go 2-2. In a five-set win against Schreiner, she had a triple-double with 27 kills, 20 assists, and 13 digs.
Mary Hardin-Baylor sophomore outside hitter Hannah Frasca (Spring, Texas) posted 4.20 digs per set and 3.33 kills per set while hitting .228, helping the No. 15 Cru to a 5-0 record without dropping a set.
McMurry junior libero Adile Leal (Clute, Texas) averaged 4.07 digs as the War Hawks went 1-3 at the Austin/Dallas Tournament. However, she came up with 20 digs in the final match at Dallas.
UT Dallas freshman libero Rachel Baxter (Katy, Texas) led the No. 13 Comets with 4.40 digs per set as UTD posted a 1-3 record at the season-opening Bear Invite. Baxter opened the event with 22 digs in a 3-0 loss to Centre before adding 21 digs in a 3-1 loss to UW-Eau Claire on Friday.
Sul Ross State sophomore libero Faith Herrera (El Paso, Texas) averaged 3.86 digs per set as the Lobos went 2-2 at the Austin/Dallas Tournament. She had double-digit digs in all four matches, including 16 in wins over Arlington Baptist and Schreiner.
LeTourneau senior libero Courtney Edge (Carthage, Texas) averaged 3.45 digs per set as the YellowJackets were 2-2 at the Millsaps/Belhaven Invitational. She posted highs of 17 and 16 digs on the first day of the tournament.
Nightingale, Chacon Take Runner of the Week Awards
AMERICAN SOUTHWEST CONFERENCE CROSS COUNTRY RUNNERS OF THE WEEK
Meets: September 1-4, 2021
MEN’S RUNNER OF THE WEEK – Lorien Nightingale, Sr., LeTourneau
LeTourneau senior Lorien Nightingale (Njoro, Kenya) posted a personal best in the 5K, winning the Nicole Leman Invitational in 15:35.9. He won the meet by nearly 32 seconds, earning his fourth career Runner of the Week award.
WOMEN’S RUNNER OF THE WEEK – Jazmin Chacon, So., McMurry
McMurry sophomore Jazmin Chacon (El Paso, Texas) earned her first career win last Saturday, finishing in 19:52.7 in the Nicole Leman Invitational 5K run, finishing ahead of sister Janeth Chacon. Her performances helped the War Hawks take the team title as well. It is Chacon’s second career Runner of the Week honors.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES – MEN
UT Dallas freshman Devan Bailey (Waterford, Pa.) led the Comets to a team victory at the Nicole Leman Invitational, completing a 5K mark of 16:07.7. He placed second.
East Texas Baptist graduate Mack Broussard (Hankamer, Texas) finished third at the Nicole Leman Invitational, tallying a time of 16:20.2 in the 5K race.
McMurry sophomore Abram Maldonado (Weslaco, Texas) led McMurry to a second-place finish, placing sixth in 16:24.5 on the 5K course at the Nicole Leman Invitational.
Concordia Texas junior Rick Platas (Premont, Texas) ran a career-best 5K in 16:49.6, placing ninth at the Tornado Watch in Round Rock. His performances helped the Tornados to a second-place finish.
OTHER TOP PERFORMANCES – WOMEN
Mary Hardin-Baylor junior Holly Dasher (Katy, Texas) was the top Division III runner at the Tornado Watch, finishing eighth with a 5K in 20:54.0. She finished behind seven runners from the University of Texas, helping the Cru finish second place.
UT Dallas freshman Maddie Ellis (Richmond, Texas) placed third overall as the Comets opened the season at the Nicole Leman Invitational. She completed the 5K course in 20:52.9.