Ave Maria University
The Gyrenes sure were busy this month! Here’s a brief recap of things you might’ve missed:
The Alan Webb Era Begins for XC Program
The Gyrenes, led by head coach Alan Webb, opened their 2022 season at the Fire Short Course Invitational on September 3 in Lakeland, FL. The men ran an uncharacteristic 5k race, while the women ran on the 3k course, both finishing 2nd overall. Out of the 7 other schools, the AMU men were the only team to place 3 runners in the top 6. Junior Adam Paga led the pack, finishing 3rd overall by running the 5k course in 16:59.80, the 3rd fastest in University history.
Gyrenes Battle for Dramatic Home Win
In their home opener, the AMU football team triumphed over Lawrence Tech 26-25 in front of nearly 2,000 fans. The game, which hosted one of the largest crowds AMU has ever seen, was a battle right to the finish, with Ave Maria edging out the Blue Devils despite losing the technical aspects of the game.
“Our prayer daily is to grow as a family… I thought that we saw that today; when we make mistakes, you want your family members to correct those mistakes for you, and there were several times today where we made it right.”
– Joe Patterson, Vice President of Athletics and Head Football Coach
Men’s Soccer Steamrolls Trinity
The AMU men’s soccer team dominated the Trinity College Tigers 11-0 on September 10, 2022, adding to their historic season. Breaking several University records during the game, this 2022 team is starting to etch their name as the greatest Ave Maria team in the program’s 13 years. The 11 goals scored was the 4th highest total AMU has scored in a game, and the win secured a 4-0 record for the Gyrenes – the best stary to a season an Ave Maria team has ever had.
Gyrene Golfers Break Records in Georgia
The Ave Maria University men’s golf team made history in Georgia, setting a new program record for a 54-hole tournament with a team total of 900 on September 13, 2022. The Coastal Georgia Fall Invitational, which included many of the nation’s best golf programs, gave the Gyrenes an opportunity to set a new University record and allowed junior Gabriel DeCasas to set the AMU records for 54-hole scores and single-round scores. DeCases shattered the previous record by 11 shots, shooting seven-under 209 on the par 72 course. Ave Maria’s team score of 900, just 36 over par, was 7 shots better than the previous school record of 907, set on 3 occasions.
Eric Klekas Wins NAIA Liston Award
Class of 2022 alumnus Eric Klekas was awarded the Emil S. Liston Scholarship Award on September 15, for his participation with the Ave Maria men’s basketball team. This award is one of the highest honors bestowed by the NAIA and is presented annually to one men’s and women’s basketball player who has shown high athletic and academic achievement. Klekas will be honored at the NAIA’s annual convention, held this year in New Orleans, LA, from March 30 to April 3, 2023.
“Eric was a phenomenal ambassador for our program throughout his time at Ave Maria University. He was on the Campus Ministry leadership team in which he organized and spoke at multiple campus events. In addition, he was our team captain his entire career. His leadership and character were also very apparent to opposing coaches as they honored him with the Sun Conference Champions of Character award this past season.”
– Jamon Copeland, AMU Head Men’s Basketball Coach
Women’s Soccer Runs Shutout Streak to Five
The Ave Maria University women’s soccer team secured their 5th straight shutout with their victory over the University of Pikeville on September 17 in Ave Maria, FL. Senior goalie Maddie Samuelson has been electric this season, stopping all 4 goals against Pikeville and 21 total in the shutout series. Samuelson has saved 49 shots this season and is currently 2nd in AMU career saves with 172 saves in just 2 years.
Haut Sets AMU Kills Record in Sweep
The AMU volleyball team continues to make history and shatter University records, as Madelyn Haut became Ave Maria’s all-time leader in kills on September 21 in Ave Maria, FL. With her 7 kills against Southeastern University, Haut advanced her career total to 842, moving past the previous record of 839. The senior from Michigan already holds the program’s record for career blocks, and has been named All-Conference 3 times, All-Region twice, and honorable mention in the 2020 All-American honors.
First Recipients of John Paul II Distinguished Alumni Award Named
The AMU Athletic Department has announced that Christine Mastandrea, Ed.D. and Brian Trymbiski Jr. will be the 1st recipients of the John Paul II Distinguished Alumni Award. Dr. Mastrandrea was the very 1st student recruited for the AMU women’s soccer team and was a 2-year captain. After obtaining a degree in psychology, Mastrandrea received her master’s and doctorate from Nova Southeastern University and currently serves as the Dean of Students at Bishop Verot Catholic High School in Fort Myers, FL. Trymbiski was also an influential member of the Gyrene family, transferring from University of Pittsburg to play baseball at AMU for his last 2 seasons. Since receiving a degree in economics from Ave Maria, Trymbiski is currently serving as the First Vice President of Wealth Management at Raymond James.
“Receiving an award is always exciting, but knowing I was chosen for the JP II Distinguished Alumni Award is very special… Reading about Dr. Nutt’s influence of its launch made it all the more heartwarming.”
– Christine Mastandrea, Ed.D., recipient of the John Paul II Distinguished Alumni Award
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