ASC Winter-Spring Distinguished-Scholar Athlete Teams Announced.
RICHARDSON, Texas – Eleven student-athletes from six different member universities headline the 2019 American Southwest Conference Winter-Spring Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams, the league office announced on Monday.
The Distinguished Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipients includes Casey Combs of East Texas Baptist in baseball, Jordan Gray of ETBU in men’s basketball, Victoria Pena from UT Dallas in women’s basketball, Ben Balen from Concordia Texas in men’s golf, Olivia Robinson of Mary Hardin-Baylor in women’s golf. Also on the list are Melissa Livermore of UT Dallas in softball, Giovanni Zamboni from UTD in men’s tennis, Kathy Joseph from UTD in women’s tennis, Mack Broussard from ETBU and Michael Harris of Ozarks in men’s track & field and Alexis Segura of LeTourneau in women’s track & field.
East Texas Baptist graduate student Casey Combs was a D3baseball.com and ABCA/Rawlings First Team All-America selection, West Region Player of the Year, ASC Player of the Year, All-ASC First Team, ASC Hitter of the Week, and was on the D3baseball.com Team of the Week. He was also a Third Team Google Cloud Academic All-America selection by CoSIDA. Graduating in December with a 3.58 in business cum laude, Casey had a 4.0 in graduate school in the Masters of Business Administration program. In the ASC this year he was first in home runs (13), second in batting average (.417), hits (68), and total bases (119), fourth in RBI (48), and fifth in stolen bases (19 and threw out 14 base runners as a catcher. Combs was selected by the Miami Marlins in the 27th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball Draft.
Graduate student Jordan Gray from ETBU was a Google Cloud Academic All-District by CoSIDA selection. He graduated with 3.89 GPA in December and had a 4.0 in the Masters of Business Administration program. He earned All-ASC East Division Honorable Mention this year and is a two-time ASC Academic All-Conference selection. Battling an injury early in the year, Gray finished playing in 17 games averaging 11.8 points per game making 40 three-pointers and assessing 50 assists and 29 steals.
UT Dallas junior guard Victoria Pena was named the ASC East Division Player of the Year for the second consecutive season after leading the Comets to their second ASC title in three years. She led the Comets with 15.7 points per outing while adding 5.2 rebounds and a team-best 3.8 assists per contest. She was a 34.8 percent shooter from three-point range and shot 79.6 percent from the foul line. Also named to the All-ASC squad for the second straight season, Pena was listed as fifth team All-America by Women’s DIII News and tabbed honorable mention All-America by the WBCA. She was also named to the ASC East’s All-Defensive Team and listed Google Cloud Academic All-District by CoSIDA this season with a 3.88 GPA in Accounting. A three-time ASC East Player of the Week this year, Pena led the Comets to their third straight divisional title. The Comets posted a 25-5 overall record, going 14-2 and winning the ASC East while closing the season ranked No. 22 in NCAA D-III.
Junior men’s golfer Ben Balen, from Concordia, Texas, shot three straight rounds of even-par or better at the ASC Championships and claimed individual medalist honors. Balen and the Tornados also secured their fourth consecutive trip to the NCAA Division III Championships by winning the ASC Championship, where they finished fourth as a team for the second year in a row. For the season, Balen finished with two top-five finishes on the season and had a 4.0 GPA in the classroom.
Olivia Robinson is a junior women’s golfer from Mary Hardin-Baylor. She earned the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete for the second straight year and was a Google Cloud Academic All-District First Team selection by CoSIDA, as well as earning WGCA All-West Region honors. Olivia was the ASC Women’s Golfer of the Year and also won individual medalist honors at the ASC Championship. She earned Academic All-ASC honors for the second straight year and was a First Team All-ASC selection. Robinson led the ASC with a 77.39 stroke average and won three individual titles while leading UMHB to the ASC title and a 17th-place finish at the NCAA Division III Women’s Golf National Championship. She will be named a WGCA All-American Scholar later this summer and graduated in three years with a 3.86 GPA in Mass Communication.
The most decorated student-athlete in UT Dallas history, senior outfielder Melissa Livermore will leave the Comets as the school’s only four-time All-American, earning first team honors from the NFCA this season, and the first UTD player ever to be named the ASC Softball Player of the Year. Livermore etched her name in the NCAA Division III record book this season with 195 career stolen bases, not only is she sitting atop the D-III list but ranks No. 10 all-time among all NCAA divisions. Melissa also set the ASC career record for hits (276) and broke UTD career marks for games played (170), games started (170), runs scored (179) and batting average (.467). A four-time first team All-ASC selection, she was a two-time ASC Player of the Week this season and listed as Google Cloud Academic All-America Second Team by CoSIDA. Livermore was UTD’s recipient of the ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor and is a three-time Academic All-ASC selection for the Comets with a 3.85 GPA in Healthcare Studies.
UTD junior Giovanni Zamboni was named All-ASC and First Team All-ASC West in singles for the second consecutive season while leading the Comets to their first ASC Championship since 2013. Zamboni closed the spring with a 14-0 singles mark at No. 2 for the Comets, going 5-0 in ASC West play. He was 9-6 at doubles this season, playing at the top spot for the Comets with partner Mario Jelev. Zamboni was named the ASC West Player of the Week once this season and listed Academic All-Conference for the second straight spring. He helped the squad to a 16-2 overall record and a 5-1 mark in ASC West play. He has a 3.87 GPA in Finance.
Junior Kathy Joseph from UT Dallas repeats as the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete of the Year after being named the ASC West Most Valuable Player for the second consecutive season while guiding the Comets to their first ASC Championship since 2013. Joseph was 12-0 at No. 1 singles this spring and added a 13-1 mark at No. 1 doubles with partner Sindhu Ravula, with the duo’s lone loss coming in the second round of the NCAA Division III National Championship. Joseph and Ravula became the first-ever UTD doubles team to be chosen to compete for the NCAA D-III Individual Championships this spring. She was an All-ASC and first-team All-ASC West performer for the second straight season while leading the UTD women to a 12-2 overall record and a perfect 6-0 ASC West mark. The Comets won the ASC West for the second straight season and hosted the ASC Championship Tournament for the first time in program history. A two-time ASC West Player of the Week this season, she was named Academic All-ASC for the second straight year and listed as Google Cloud Academic All-District by CoSIDA this spring with a 3.95 GPA in Biomedical Engineering.
Sophomore Mack Broussard produced the best year ever as an East Texas Baptist track & field athlete, winning three ASC individual titles and being named the ASC Outstanding Track Athlete, ASC High Point Athlete of the Championship, and All-Conference. The two-time All-ASC member won the 2019 ASC Championship in the 10,000-meter run, 5,000-meter run, and 1,500-meter run, helping the Tigers to a third-place finish and the program’s most points gained at the ASC Championships (136.5 points). He was the ASC Track Athlete of the Week once this year and also named USTFCCA All-Region. Broussard was an Academic All-ASC selection and last year was the ASC Outstanding Freshman while also being named All-ASC winning the 10,000-meter run. He has a 3.45 GPA in Business.
Ozarks sophomore Michael Harris was also the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete of the Year in men’s cross country in the fall. He has also been named USTFCCCA All-Region, ASC Cross Country Newcomer of the Year, ASC Runner of the Week, Track ASC Co-High Point Athlete of the Meet, USTFCCCA All-Academic Team, and All-Conference during his career. He is a five-time individual ASC Track Champion. An ASC Academic All-Conference selection, Harris has been on the school’s President’s List and Dean’s List with a 3.68 GPA in Health Science. His volunteer work includes serving as the assistant track coach at Clarksville High School.
Junior Alexis Segura of LeTourneau also was the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete of the Year in women’s cross country in the fall. She became the second individual ASC track & field champion in program history this spring by winning the 1,500 meters while finishing second in the 3,000-meter steeplechase and sixth in the 800 meters. A three-sport standout for LETU, Segura also ran cross country for the YellowJackets and was the ASC individual champion and finished 12th at the NCAA Division III South/Southeast Regional Cross Country meet while even playing soccer during the fall season. She was a Google Cloud Academic All-District by CoSIDA with a 4.00 GPA in Kinesiology-Sports Management.
Overall, 104 student-athletes were named to the American Southwest Conference 2019 Winter-Spring Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams.
The Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams recognize student-athletes who achieve a high level of academic achievement (a 3.20 grade-point average or better) while competing as a starter or famous reserve on their team. From that list – limited to one nominee per school in each ASC championship sport – the sports information directors from the 13 ASC member institutions and one affiliate member select a Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in each game.
ASC 2019 Winter-Spring Distinguished Scholar-Athlete Teams
+ Designates the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete in each sport
Men’s Track and Field
Women’s Track and Field