MAC Scholar-Athletes of the Week

Updated 9/20/1999

Akron’s Kim Branam (volleyball) and Bowling Green’s Jason Strasser (football) were named the MAC Scholar Athletes of the Week on September 20, 1999. Branam (Sr., 3.292, speech pathology & audiology, Elyria, Ohio) recorded her 1,000th career kill at the Baylor Invitational. She played in all 13 games at the tournament, scoring a weekend-high 13 kills in a four-game win over Rice. She averaged 4.00 kills per game in a three-game loss to Baylor and had five blocks. She now leads the team in blocks with 37, an average of 1.03 bpg.

Strasser (Sr., 3.16, finance, Toledo, Ohio) had three field goals and an extra point to account for 10 of BG’s 16 points in a loss to Marshall. He has now made all six of his field goal tries this season and 12 straight, two shy of the MAC record. Strasser is tied for seventh nationally averaging 2.00 field goals per game and tied for first in the MAC. He leads all MAC place-kickers with an average of 8.0 points per game.

The honor is presented to a MAC male and female student-athlete who has a cumulative grade point average of 3.0 or better and performs well during that week's competition. The winners are selected by one of the conference's faculty athletic representatives.

OTHER PERFORMANCES OF MERIT BY MAC SCHOLAR-ATHLETES

Akron: Gabe Rhoads (men’s soccer, Sr., 3.691, chemical engineering, Mentor, Ohio) scored the game-winning goal at 55:14 in the Zips’ 4-2 win over Ohio State. Ten minutes before his goal, he had an assist to finish the game with three points (one goal, one assist) and tied for the team lead with two shots on goal. Rhoads started both games over the weekend (vs. Ohio State and Penn State). He returned to the field this season after taking the 1998 season off to participate in Akron’s School of Engineering’s co-op program.

Ball State: Megan Hammons (volleyball, So., 3.037, undecided, West Liberty, Iowa) was named the Most Valuable Player at the Holiday Inn Express-Nike Challenge, hosted by BSU, after averaging 5.08 kills per game and hitting .332 in three matches to lead the Cardinals to the tourney title. In the championship match against Duke, she blasted seven kills in seven swings in the decisive fifth game to pace BSU to a 15-10, 7-15, 12-15, 15-12, 15-11 win, the university’s first victory over the Blue Devils. Hammons, who hit .438 and collected 14 digs in the match, ended up with 25 kills on the evening to tie the 16th-highest single-match total in school history, marking the third time this season that she has totaled at least 20 kills in a match, tying the record set by Stefanie Decker in 1989. Hammons led BSU past Western Kentucky with 22 kills and a hitting percentage of .513. She blasted 19 kills against Indiana State in Ball State’s opening match of the tournament. Hammons averaged 4.69 kills and 2.81 digs per game on the week.

Bowling Green: Janet Mentrup (women’s soccer, Jr., 3.40, special education, Cincinnati, Ohio) had a goal and an assist as the Falcons defeated two-time defending MAC Tournament Champions Northern Illinois on the road, 3-2. She assisted on the goal that gave BG a 2-1 lead late in the first half. After NIU tied the match, Mentrup scored the winning goal early in the second half. Bowling Green is now 2-0 in MAC play for the first time ever. The Falcons are 5-2 overall.

Buffalo: Mike Maskcci (football, Jr., 3.08, management, Syracuse, N.Y.) averaged an impressive 43.6 yards on five punts, including a long of 50. He has had only 11 yards of return on his kicks. Linnaea DiNallo (women’s soccer, Jr., 3.39, graphic design & communication, Clifton Park, N.Y.) anchored the team’s defense that gave up just one goal in three games. She is the captain of a defense that has allowed only two goals in seven games and has helped the Bulls to a 6-0-1 record, the best start in school history without a loss.

Central Michigan: Andrea Pullen (women’s cross country, Sr., 3.03, elementary education, Grandville, Mich.) was CMU’s top finisher at the Kent Pre-MAC Invitational with a time of 18:28 for ninth place.

Kent: Brian Hallet (football, So., 3.64, industrial technology, Norton, Ohio) is a left guard on an offensive line that gave up no sacks and helped Chante Murphy gain over 100 yards. The 181 rushing yards was the most by a Kent offense since Nov. 1, 1997. The 432 yards of total offense was the most by a Kent offense since Nov. 8, 1997 when the Golden Flashes had 515 yards against Akron. Maggie Downey (field hockey, Sr., 3.18, elementary education, St. Louis, Mo.) scored three goals and added two assists in wins over Radford and Boston College. She scored her team-leading seventh goal to lead Kent past No. 18 Boston College, 5-1.

Miami: Brian Potter (football, Jr., 3.43, finance, San Diego, Calif.) registered five solo tackles, one being a sack for a loss of seven yards. He also recovered a fumble that set up Miami’s first touchdown by Travis Prentice. Beth Young (field hockey, So., 3.844, political science, Toledo, Ohio) scored her first goal of the year in a 4-0 win over Pacific. She scored Miami’s only goal against nationally-ranked Wake Forest.

Ohio: Michelle Hinman (field hockey, Sr., 3.05, sports industry/coaching, Weedsport, N.Y.) led the Bobcats to a perfect 3-0 week including a 3-0 upset over No. 16 Kent. She posted eight saves against Kent and one save against Davidson. Hinman played all but 2:30 against Davidson and all but 11 minutes against Appalachian State, leading Ohio to three shut outs, one of which was shared. Ohio outscored opponents 11-1 over the week.

Toledo: David Marhefka (men’s cross country, Sr., 3.09, math education, Westlake, Ohio) led Toledo with a sixth-place finish out of 91 runners at the Mel Brodt Invitational. Ashley Clark (volleyball, Sr., 3.552, primary education, LaPorte, Ind.) helped Toledo end a 14-match losing streak with a 3-1 record at Wright State’s Raider Challenge. Clark hit .419 with 14 kills and one error in 31 attempts. She averaged 10.67 assists and 2.50 digs.