WARRIOR SOFTBALL SUCCESS
The Warrior Softball Team had a record year in 2019. They set a new program record for wins (with an overall record of 53-9), they won the NSIC regular-season championship in back-to-back years for the first time in program history (recording the first-ever 30-0 conference record in NSIC history), and they set a new program record with a 31-game winning streak during the season. And at the season’s end, head coach Greg Jones had accumulated 800 career wins.
In May, the Warriors hosted the NCAA Central Regional tournament for the second straight season in Winona, and fourth time overall – while making their 14th NCAA Regional appearance. While they made it to the championship game of the tournament, they ultimately fell 3-2 to Augustana University, who went on to win the 2019 NCAA Division II National Championship.
Before the season even began, two of the team’s players – Jordyn Kleman and Lani Van Zyl – were named by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association/Schutt Sports’ 2019 Division II National Player of the Year Watch List, setting up some promising expectations for the year. When the season concluded and the postseason awards began rolling in, the list of honors bestowed upon the Warriors was impressive:
NFCA All-Central Regional Teams
First Team: Jordyn Kleman, Lani Van Zyl, Alison Nowak
Second Team: Liz Pautz and Alexis Kelsey (The Warriors had the most NFCA All-Region honorees named from one team in all of Division II Softball)
D2CCA All-Central Region Awards
Central Region Pitcher of the Year: Jordyn Kleman
Central Region Player of the Year: Lani Van Zyl
First Team: Kleman, Van Zyl, Alison Nowak
Second Team: Liz Pautz, Alexis Kelsey
D2CCA All-America Teams
First Team: Lani Van Zyl and Alison Nowak
Second Team: Jordyn Kleman
CoSIDA/Google Cloud Academic All-District Teams
First Team: Jordyn Kleman and Alison Nowak
NFCA 2019 All-America Teams
First Team: Lani Van Zyl
Second Team: Alison Nowak
Third Team: Jordyn Kleman and Liz Pautz (The Warriors had the most honorees of any Division II program in the U.S.)
2019 CoSIDA/Google Cloud Division II Softball Academic All-America Teams
First Team: Alison Nowak
Second Team: Jordyn Kleman
Fastpitch News (FPN) All-America Teams
First Team: Jordyn Kleman
Second Team: Liz Pautz and Lani Van Zyl
NSIC Player of the Year
Lani Van Zyl (Winning the award in back-to-back seasons, Van Zyl is the first Warrior in program history to win twice)
NSIC Pitcher of the Year
Jordyn Kleman (Won the award in back-to-back seasons; second Warrior in program history to win twice)
NSIC Newcomer of the Year
NSIC Coach of the Year
Greg Jones (Won the award in back-to-back seasons; fourth time overall)
WOMEN’S GOLF HEAD COACH: TIFFANIE YABUT
Tiffanie Yabut was hired this summer to lead the Warrior women’s golf team. A native of Omaha, Nebraska, Yabut attended Missouri Western State University where she graduated with Cum Laude honors while playing on the women’s golf team and serving as a board member on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
In 2016 at Missouri Western, Yabut’s birdie putt secured a playoff round in the Super Regional where the team went on to win and advance to their first-ever NCAA National Championship tournament. She was the team captain as a senior in 2017-18 and named the Women’s Golf Student-Athlete of the Year. Yabut was a 2015 MIAA Honorable Mention selection and in her career earned seven top-25 finishes, one top-10 finish and a runner-up finish. She was a member of three Griffon teams to advance to the NCAA Super Regional.
NEW VIDEOBOARD AT ALTRA FEDERAL CREDIT UNION STADIUM
This fall, Warrior football and soccer game attendees will have a new and improved fan experience. Over the summer, WSU partnered with Daktronics to install a new LED videoboard and Sportsound® 1500HD audio system in the stadium, making it one of the first collegiate installations to include 10-millimeter SMD outdoor technology and the largest display Daktronics has installed in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference.
The new display measures approximately 23 feet high by 41 feet wide, bringing 930 square feet of live video, instant replays, statistics, graphics, sponsorship messages and more to WSU fans before, during and after events. The 10-millimeter line spacing brings excellent image clarity and contrast with wide angle visibility to appeal to fans in every seat.
These upgrades are phase one of a planned stadium renovation, which the WSU Foundation is currently raising funds for as part of the Power of Experience campaign. “We are thankful to the many donors who have made this possible,” said WSU Athletic Director Eric Schoh. “To have a state-of-the-art board and sound system from the industry leader is what our fans and student-athletes deserve.”
For more information on the WSU Stadium Renovation campaign, visit wsu.mn/Stadium.
NCAA II TRACK & FIELD CHAMPIONSHIPS
The Warrior women’s 4×400m relay team was on fire this year, qualifying for the NCAA II Championships in both indoor and outdoor seasons.
The indoor team, comprised of Kalley Harris, Brooklyn Schyvinck, Brittany Schyvinck and Shereen Vallabouy placed seventh at the championships in early March, breaking the WSU indoor program record with a time of 3:43.78, and received First Team All-America status by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA).
In May, the outdoor team of Harris, Schyvinck, Schyvinck and Kari Schneiss placed ninth at the championships, running the second-fastest event time in program history (3:45.21). They were later named Second Team All-America by the USTFCCCA.
In addition to the success of the 4x400m relay, the Warriors competed in five other events at the Indoor Championships (Vallabouy in the 400m, Anna Rogahn in the mile run, Brittany Schyvinck in the 200m dash, Hope Willenbrink, Brittany Schyvinck, Ali Johnson and Nikki Staffen in the distance medley relay, and Kristi Springer in the triple jump), with seven student-athletes earning All-American honors (Harris, Schyvinck, Schyvinck, Vallabouy, Willenbrink, Johnson and Staffen).
WARRIOR ALUMS IN THE NEWS
Jennifer (Jepson) Flowers ’03 was named Vice President and Commissioner of the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Women’s League in June of this year. While at WSU, Flowers was a four-year starter on the Warrior’s volleyball team and returned to the university in 2012 as associate athletic director and senior woman administrator until 2015, when she accepted the position of NSIC Assistant Commissioner. At the WCHA, Flowers will direct the Women’s League as well as work with the WCHA President and Men’s League Commissioner to drive the Association’s shared goals and vision.
John Smith ’10 is an inductee of the 2019 Class of the Small College Basketball National Hall of Fame. Smith was an integral player for the Winona State men’s basketball team that won two national championships in 2006 and 2008, and was a national champion runner-up in 2007. He was named the Most Outstanding Player in the 2006 NCAA Tournament, and the NCAA Division II Player of the Year in 2007 and 2008. He garnered numerous accolades during his illustrious Warrior career and made his mark on not only the Winona State record books, but the Division II basketball record books as well.
Diedre (Farber) Schumacher ’06, former WSU track and field standout, was announced as part of the NSIC Hall of Fame Class of 2019. Schumacher was WSU’s first-ever Division II female track and field All-American, taking fourth at the 2005 NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 400m hurdles. She earned numerous other awards during her career, including All-Academic Track and Field in 2005 and 2006. She was a 17-time NSIC Champion in 13 different events during 2005 and 2006, including winning six events during the 2005 indoor championships. She was an ESPN Second Team All-Academic member in 2005 and 2006 and NSIC Indoor Track & Field Athlete of the Year in 2005 and Outdoor Athlete of the Year in 2006 as she helped lead the Warriors to the NSIC Indoor Championship in 2005 and 2006. Schumacher was also the NSIC Championship Indoor High Point Performer in 2005 and 2006, and outdoor in 2006. She set school records in the indoor 300m, 400m, 800m, pentathlon and relays, and outdoor records in the 400m, 400m hurdles, 800m, heptathlon, and relays. At the time, she set the NSIC record in the pentathlon and heptathlon.