Valparaiso University Sports Update, May 2, 2017

By: Valparaiso University Last Updated: May 2, 2017

VU-Owen-Receives-Horizon-League-Runner-of-the-WeekOwen Receives Horizon League Runner of the Week
After setting a school record in the 3,000m steeplechase, senior Liz Owen (Freedom, Wis./Freedom) was named the Horizon League’s Female Runner of the Week on Tuesday.

At the Gina Relays, hosted by Hillsdale College, Owen finished in seventh of 27 runners in the event. Her time of 10:37.45 moves the veteran atop the list of the all-time results for the event, surpassing Ashley Billstrom, who ran a 10:40.38 in 2007.

She leads Valpo in two events this outdoor season, claiming the top spot in the 1,500m race (4:36.15).

This is Owen’s first league honor since she won the award on April 12, 2016 for running a 11:01.30 in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Gibson Invitational hosted by Indiana State. She has now won the award three times in her career, winning her first Runner of the Week honors back on March 25, 2014 for her performances at the Puma Invitational.

Owen and the rest of the Crusaders begin action on Friday, May 5 at Youngstown State University for the opening day of the Horizon League Outdoor Championships. The meet will conclude on Sunday, May 7.

Crusaders, Huskies Postponed to Wednesday
The Valparaiso University baseball team has announced that Tuesday’s scheduled game against Northern Illinois has been postponed due to field conditions. The game will be made up on Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Emory G. Bauer Field.

Men’s Tennis NCAA Selection Show Watch Party Set for Tuesday Afternoon
Come join the Valparaiso University men's tennis team on Tuesday afternoon for a viewing party as the Crusaders learn their destination for the 2017 NCAA Tournament. The gathering begins at 3:30 p.m. CT inside the Athletics-Recreation Center (ARC) classroom. Food will be served. The selection show begins at 4 p.m. CT and will be streamed live on for fans who cannot make it to campus.

The Crusaders earned the Horizon League's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament by virtue of their 4-3 victory over Cleveland State on Sunday in the climactic title match of the 2017 Horizon League Tournament. This will marks Valpo’s second consecutive trip to the NCAA Tournament.

Valpo Places League-Most Eight on Horizon League Track & Field All-Academic Teams
The Valparaiso University men’s and women’s track and field teams emerged as Champions in Classroom, placing a league-most eight athletes on the Horizon League all-academic team, which was announced on Monday. The men’s team boasts five honorees and the women have two on the team.

Sophomore Alexander Bruno (Bloomington, Ill./University), junior Andrew Guzek (Valparaiso, Ind./Valparaiso), junior Montel Hall (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan), sophomore Connor Hickey (Peru, Ill./LaSalle-Peru), senior Max Morello (Plano, Ill./Plano), sophomore Keith Nagel (Las Vegas, Nev./Faith Lutheran), junior Kim Heiny (Burnettesville, Ind./Twin Lakes) and senior Liz Owen (Freedom, Wis./Freedom) were recognized.

Owen has a cumulative grade point average of 3.63 as a theology and ministry major. She has been a strong force for Valpo during her time on campus, earning two Outstanding Running Performer awards at the Horizon League Indoor Championships in 2016 and 2017. She has her name carved in the women’s career record books eight times. She has her name atop the list for the 3,000m steeplechase. Heiny holds a 3.91 GPA in finance and has earned this honor for a second time. Throughout this season, she holds the top time in the 5,000m race for the women and ranks third in the 1,500m event.

Bruno has been placed on this list for the first time during his collegiate career. He has a 3.51 GPA in mathematics. He leads the men in two distance races and stands second in another. Guzek has earned this honor for the first time as a business management and sport management major, amassing a 3.64 GPA. He is a top thrower in two events for Valpo.

Hall is the only repeat winner for the men’s squad, receiving this recognition in back-to-back seasons. The jumper has a 3.80 GPA in finance. He leads the team with a jump of 44’10 3/4" in the triple jump this year. Hickey, a civil engineering major, has excelled in the classroom and earned a GPA of 3.84. This year, he has competed in five events for the Brown and Gold.

Morello, the men’s only senior honoree, has a 3.61 GPA in sport management. The veteran has run in three events this season for the Crusaders, leading in the 10,000m race. Nagel has a 3.89 GPA in geography. The thrower has a javelin toss distance of 160’01”.

Both teams are in action this weekend as they compete at the Horizon League Outdoor Championships. The meet is hosted by Youngstown State University.

Men’s Track and Field All-Academic Team

  • Charlie Felton, Detroit Mercy
  • Ilia Panev, Detroit Mercy
  • Caleb Abfall, Milwaukee
  • Peter Andrew, Milwaukee
  • Kyle Becker, Milwaukee
  • Nate Pozolinski, Milwaukee
  • Trase Milburn, Northern Kentucky
  • Tristan Tapia, Northern Kentucky
  • George O’Connor, Oakland
  • Alex Bailey, UIC
  • Favio Nunez, UIC
  • Christian Saporiti, UIC
  • Luke Taccola, UIC
  • Alexander Bruno, Valparaiso
  • Andew Guzek, Valparaiso
  • Montel Hall, Valparaiso
  • Connor Hickey, Valparaiso
  • Max Morello, Valparaiso
  • Keith Nagel, Valparaiso
  • Joe Dixon, Youngstown State
  • Ryan Sullivan, Youngstown State
  • Carl Zallow, Youngstown State

Women’s Track and Field All-Academic Team

  • Samantha Butterbaugh, Cleveland State
  • Natalie Vizard, Detroit Mercy
  • Leah Holmes, Milwaukee
  • Steph Kostowicz, Milwaukee
  • Tess Nelson, Milwaukee
  • Jennah Flairty, Northern Kentucky
  • Olivia Goessling, Northern Kentucky
  • BriAuna Keys, Northern Kentucky
  • Ashley Burr, Oakland
  • Miranda Haas, Oakland
  • Rachel Levy, Oakland
  • Dana Tessmer, Oakland
  • Ann Mikulecky, UIC
  • Kim Heiny, Valparaiso
  • Liz Owen, Valparaiso
  • Katie Abrahamowicz, Wright State
  • Alexandra Brown, Wright State
  • Hailey Brumfield, Wright State
  • Maria Heckman, Wright State
  • Gabrielle Markley, Wright State
  • Sarina Mauerman, Youngstown State
  • Ellie Pollock, Youngstown State
  • Libby Rogenski, Youngstown State
  • McKenzie Sturtz, Youngstown State

Garbella Garners Batter of the Week After Continuing Hot Streak
Valparaiso University junior Giovanni Garbella (San Diego, Calif. / Cathedral Catholic) gained attention from the Horizon League office on Monday after his recent trend of success continued this week.

Garbella ripped two doubles in a midweek game at Notre Dame on Tuesday night, then followed with a strong performance this weekend at Youngstown State. The Valpo junior hit .583 in the three-game series with three doubles, a home run and six RBIs. Garbella accumulated 13 total bases in the three games.

Over the last three weeks, Garbella has emerged as a pleasant offensive surprise for the Crusaders. Entering Valpo's game against Northern Kentucky on April 9, Garbella was hitting .213 with no home runs and eight RBIs in 26 games this season and was a .204 career hitter over three years. Since then, he's hitting .451 with five home runs and 20 RBIs in 14 games.

Garbella and the Crusaders will be back in action on Tuesday as they welcome Northern Illinois to Emory G. Bauer Field. The game is slated to begin at 3 p.m. CT with links to live audio and stats available on