Wittenberg Student-Athletes Earn Top Academic Honors

Zack Leahy '14 and Rachel Ross '14 have earned Wittenberg's NCAC Scholar-Athlete Awards for 2014.

Photos by Erin Pence

Springfield, Ohio – Wittenberg University’s Department of Athletics can boast of a variety of outstanding team and individual athletic accomplishments during the 2013-14 school year, in addition to another stellar performance by Tiger student-athletes in the classroom.

For starters, senior softball pitcher Rachel Ross (Westerville, Ohio/South) and senior men’s basketball guard Zack Leahy (Rossford, Ohio/Rossford) have earned North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) Student-Athlete Awards, presented annually to Wittenberg student-athletes who perform with distinction both in the classroom and on the playing field. One male and one female student-athlete from each of the NCAC’s 10 member institutions are selected for the award annually. 

Ross is one of the finest pitchers in Wittenberg softball history. While her name appears frequently in the program’s record book, including the top spot for career pitching victories, Ross has also excelled in the classroom as a mathematics major, posting a grade point average just below a perfect 4.0, and displayed tremendous leadership skills in a host of extracurricular activities. 

Ross leads the Tigers into the 2014 NCAC Tournament with two all-league awards already to her credit, in addition to first-team CoSIDA Academic All-District honors in 2012 and 2014. She has led her team in earned run average and pitching wins in each of her four seasons, served as a team captain two years, and threw the first perfect game in program history. 

She also has served as a peer mentor and as scholarship vice president for the Panhellenic Council. In addition, Ross is a leader in Alpha Delta Pi sorority, and she has held several jobs on campus, including orientation assistant for New Student Days and in the Office of Human Resources. All of her athletic, academic and extracurricular achievements led Athletes for a Better World to name Ross a semifinalist for the 10th annual Coach Wooden Citizenship Cup in January 2014. 

Leahy was a two-year team captain and two-year All-NCAC honoree for the Tiger men’s basketball team. He was a starter on teams that reached the NCAA Division III Tournament twice in the last three years, and he surpassed 1,000 career points, including the numbers he posted at the University of Toledo as a freshman in the 2010-11 season. 

Leahy has done the job in the classroom as well, posting a grade point average above 3.5 while majoring in business. He has also performed volunteer work at the YMCA and has been inducted into several academic honoraries. 

In addition, 27 Wittenberg student-athletes have been selected for induction into Chi Alpha Sigma, a National College Athlete Honor Society that recognizes student-athletes for their ability to excel in both academics and athletics. Nominees must have at least a 3.4 GPA on a 4.0 scale, have earned at least one varsity letter and have achieved junior or senior academic status. 

Wittenberg’s 2014 Chi Alpha Sigma inductees are:

John Albertson, class of 2015 from Morrow, Ohio (Basketball)
AJ Burt, class of 2015 from Wyoming, Ohio (Swimming and Diving)
Allie Fisher, class of 2015 from Tinley, Ill. (Swimming and Diving)
Savannah Fox, class of 2015 from Massillon, Ohio (Golf)
Reed Glosser, class of 2015 from Toledo, Ohio (Soccer)
Logan Griffith, class of 2015 from Pickerington, Ohio (Swimming and Diving)
Lillian Hill, class of 2015 from Dayton, Ohio (Track and Field)
Adam Kapuscinski, class of 2015 from (Cross Country/Track and Field)
Jeanette Klamfoth, class of 2015 from Bexley, Ohio (Track and Field)
Shelby Knapp, class of 2015 from Springfield, Ohio (Softball)
Claire Kozlowski, class of 2014 from Dublin, Ohio (Swimming and Diving)
Kim Loofbourrow, class of 2015 from Prospect, Ky. (Field Hockey)
Megan Loofbourrow, class of 2015 from Prospect, Ky. (Lacrosse/Field Hockey)
Cameron Mackintosh, class of 2015 from Lusaka, Zambia (Swimming and Diving)
Clay Mangen, class of 2015 from Union, Ohio (Football)
Adam Pitchel, class of 2015 from Centerville, Ohio (Soccer)
Eric Roberts, class of 2015 from Willits, Calif. (Swimming and Diving)
Rachel Steiner, class of 2015 from Hamilton, Ohio (Golf)
Alexey Topolyanskiy, class of 2015 from Moscow, Russia (Tennis)
Cara Vendeville, class of 2014 from Perry, Ohio (Track and Field)
Meghan Vodopich, class of 2015 from Canton, Ohio (Volleyball)
Nicole Waers, class of 2015 from Canton, Ohio (Golf)
Beth Warning, class of 2015 from Cincinnati, Ohio (Field Hockey)
Logan Warye, class of 2015 from Maineville, Ohio (Lacrosse)
Mary Ann White, class of 2015 from Indianapolis, Ind. (Lacrosse)
Carolyn Wong, class of 2015 from Naperville, Ill. (Golf)
Andrew Ziminski, class of 2015 from New Albany, Ohio (Track and Field)

Written By: Ryan Maurer