Marshall Headlines

Herd has three winners of C-USA Scholar-Athletic Award, second most in league

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IRVING, Texas – Austin Loop, Will Shaffer and Ally Kiekover have been named recipients of the 2016-17 Conference USA Scholar Athlete of the Year Awards for their respective sports, C-USA Commissioner Judy MacLeod announced Friday. The C-USA Scholar Athlete of the Year award is presented to the top student-athletes in each conference-sponsored sport, determined by a vote of the league’s 14 Faculty Athletics Representatives. The award is based on academic achievement (GPA), athletics achievement and service.

Marshall finished second in the league with three Scholar Athlete award winners. Rice led with four selections. Loop earned the honor for men’s basketball, Shaffer for men’s cross country and Kiekover for volleyball. Kiekover is a repeat winner as she was honored in 2016 as well.

Loop finished his Marshall career as the Herd’s all-time leader in made 3-pointers with 293. In 2017 the South Webster, Ohio, native led the team in 3-pointers made (112), 3-point attempts (254) 3-point field goal percentage (44.1) and free throw percentage (86.1). Loop’s 10.9 points per game were good for fourth. He joined the 1,000-point club with a dunk against WKU on Feb. 11. Along with all of his on-court achievements, Loop graduated with a 3.69 cumulative GPA as a double major in biomechanics and exercise science. He was named to the Conference USA All-Academic team, C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll and was a CoSIDA Academic All-District selection.

Shaffer concluded his senior season at Marshall named to the 12 member C-USA Cross Country All-Academic team. The Madison, W.Va., native received Marshall’s Fall 2016 Spirit of Service Award, the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and the C-USA Academic Medal. The Herd senior finished with a 3.91 overall GPA as an engineering major. Shaffer ran in all six of the Herd’s meets. He finished 11th at the Morehead State Eagle Opener with a time of 16:05.2. Shaffer ran a time of 25:49.4 at the C-USA Championships and finished 28th. He qualified for the Mid-Atlantic Regionals and finished the 10K with a time of 32:22.

Kiekover is Marshall’s second repeat winner following women’s cross country Alexandra Phares who won in 2013-14 and again for 2015-16. Kiekover was honored in back-to-back academic years and held a 3.87 cumulative GPA with a major in biological science. The four-year star for the Herd played in 100 sets as a senior and was named First Team All-C-USA and was an AVCA South Region Honorable Mention. The Grand Rapids, Mich., native became just the eighth player in Herd history to record 1,000 career kills. On the academic side, Kiekover was honored this past season on the C-USA All-Academic team, the C-USA Commissioner’s Honor Roll, and the C-USA Academic Medal.

Scholar-athletes were selected from C-USA’s full-time and affiliate institutions in 19 sports (combining indoor and outdoor track & field). Please see below for the complete list.
2016-17 Conference USA Scholar Athlete Award Winners:
Baseball: Kirk McCarty, Southern Miss
Men’s Basketball: Austin Loop, Marshall
Women’s Basketball: Kendall Noble, WKU*
Men’s Cross Country: Will Shaffer, Marshall
Women’s Cross Country: Elsa Racasan, Rice
Football: Brent Stockstill, Middle Tennessee
Men’s Golf: Cory Churchman, North Texas*
Women’s Golf: Nikki Long, UTSA
Men’s Soccer: Charlie Reymann, Kentucky#
Women’s Soccer: Kathryn Sloan, Louisiana Tech
Softball: Haley Pace, Charlotte
Women’s Swimming & Diving: Samantha Scheck, North Texas
Men’s Tennis: Tommy Bennett, Rice
Women’s Tennis: Katherine Ip, Rice*
Men’s Track and Field: Sampson Laari, Middle Tennessee
Women’s Track and Field: Ayane Rossano, Rice
Volleyball: Ally Kiekover, Marshall*

About Woody Woodrum

Senior Editor and columnist/writer for Herd Insider since 2003, with Kindred Communications on radio for Marshall football/men's basketball pregame and postgame shows since 1996 and with First Sentry Bank Sportsline (Also Scott on Sports, Sideline Sports and Herd Insider Sportsline) since 1997. Married to Liz (12-22-1990) and one son, Tre' (11-7-1997). National Sportswriters & Sportscasters West Virginia Broadcaster of the Year winner for radio, 2000; won W.Va. Broadcasters Best Talk Show in 2013 with co-host Paul Swann and W.Va. Broadcasters Best Play-by-Play in 2015 with Jason Toy (Huntington at South Charleston, state AAA semifinals). Member of (College) Football Writers Association of America, (College) Basketball Writers Association of America and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Color commentator for Marshall football (1999-2000), for Marshall basketball (2004-2016) and Marshall baseball (2004-2016). Color for high school football at Spring Valley (1999-2008), Cabell Midland (2009-2012) and Huntington (W.Va.) High School (2013-2016).

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