Valparaiso University Sports Update, June 14, 2016

VU-17-Valpo-Student-Athletes-Receive-Arthur-Ashe-Jr-Sports-Scholar-Award17 Valpo Student-Athletes Receive Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award
17 Valparaiso University student-athletes received the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Awards as selected by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education magazine. The award recognizes minority student-athletes who have made achieving both academically and athletically a winning combination.

To be eligible for the honor, students have to be an intercollegiate athlete, maintain at least a 3.2 grade point average, and be active on their campus and in the community.

The following Valparaiso student-athletes earned the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award this year: Nate Palace (baseball); Jubril Adekoya, Vashil Fernandez and E. Victor Nickerson (men’s basketball); Sibil Gill and Angie Kim (women’s golf); Deven Mason and Suleiman Thomas (men’s soccer); April Cronin (women’s soccer); Sam Stewart (softball); Arman Salim and Atolo Tuinukuafe (men’s swimming); Dave Bacalla and Michael Savaglio (men’s tennis); Ann Chapman, Nathan Gafkjen and Montel Hall (track and field).

Valpo Women’s Soccer Announces 2016 Schedule
Valparaiso University women’s soccer head coach John Marovich announced his squad’s schedule for the upcoming 2016 season today, a schedule which includes eight home games at Brown Field.

The 2016 slate opens with a pair of exhibition contests, as the Crusaders play at Western Illinois on Aug. 9 and host Ohio on Aug. 12. The regular season gets underway for Valpo with two road games on the opening weekend of action – at IUPUI on Aug. 19 and at Bowling Green on Aug. 21 – before the team returns to Brown Field for the regular season home opener versus New Mexico State on Aug. 26.

The non-league slate is highlighted by a trip to Nebraska’s Cornhusker Classic, where Valpo will take on Saint Louis (Sept. 2) and Kansas (Sept. 4), as well as a road game at defending MAC champion Western Michigan (Sept. 11). Other non-league contests include home games against IPFW (Sept. 9) and Morehead State (Sept. 18) and a short trip to Chicago to take on Loyola (Aug. 28).

Horizon League action opens for the Crusaders on the road at Cleveland State on Sept. 16, with the first league home game coming Sept. 24 against Detroit. Valpo will also host Milwaukee (Sept. 28), Youngstown State (Oct. 15) and Oakland (Oct. 22) in Horizon League play, while traveling to face Green Bay (Oct. 1), Wright State (Oct. 8), UIC (Oct. 19) and Northern Kentucky (Oct. 28).

The Horizon League Championship opens Oct. 31 with a pair of first-round games, while the league’s regular season champion will host the semifinals and title game on Nov. 3 and 5, respectively. The tournament champion will represent the Horizon League in the 2016 NCAA Tournament.

Crusaders Add Pair of Transfers to Program
Valparaiso University men’s basketball head coach Matt Lottich announced today that the Crusaders have added a pair of transfers to their roster, as Detroit native Bakari Evelyn and Atlantic City native John Middleton join the Crusaders from Nebraska and Utah State, respectively. Both guards will have to sit out the 2016-17 campaign and will have three seasons of eligibility remaining starting with the 2017-18 season.

Evelyn appeared in 18 games as a freshman for Nebraska in 2015-16 after spending his senior season at Hillcrest Academy in Arizona, averaging 25.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game. Prior to moving to Arizona, Evelyn played three seasons for Southfield Christian School, leading the Eagles to three consecutive Michigan Class D state titles. The 6’2”, 178 lb. guard averaged 20.4 points per game as a sophomore and 17.4 points per game as a junior, and was widely considered among the top players in the Detroit metro area entering his senior year before moving to Arizona. He played AAU ball with the 1Nation AAU program, helping lead his squad to the semifinals of the 2014 UA Finals.

“Bakari has a tremendous work ethic and is one of the more talented players I’ve seen working off an on-ball screen,” said Lottich. “He is a great leader, both on and off the court, and will be a welcome presence in the community, in the classroom and in the locker room.”

Middleton – a 6’4”, 215 lb. guard – comes to Valpo from Utah State, where he appeared in eight games during his freshman year. A three-year starter at Holy Spirits H.S. in Atlantic City, Middleton averaged 17.8 points and 7.4 assists per game during his senior year, scoring in double figures in all but three games while leading his squad to a 19-7 record.

“John is a very physically imposing player, but has a well-rounded skill set,” said Lottich. “He can shoot, dribble and pass, but his competitiveness and toughness are what sets him apart on the court.”

The addition of Evelyn and Middleton gives the Crusaders four newcomers heading into next season, as they join previously announced incoming freshman Micah Bradford and Jaume Sorolla.