UMAC all-conference teams announced
Fresh off winning its second consecutive Upper Midwest Athletic Conference title, the University of Wisconsin-Superior men’s soccer team dominated the postseason conference awards by taking three of the top four honors and having eight players named all-conference.
Sophomore A.J. Olson (Chanhassen, Minn.) and freshman Blake Perry (Anoka, Minn.) earned UMAC Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors, respectively, while 11th-year head coach Joe Mooney was named the UMAC Coach of the Year.
Joe Graumann of Martin Luther College was voted Offensive Player of the Year after leading the UMAC in conference games in all three scoring categories with 10 goals, seven assists and 27 points.
Mooney led the Yellowjackets (18-2-1) to their first-ever UMAC regular-season championship, a second-consecutive postseason tournament and NCAA berth, a 19-game unbeaten streak and a 14-game winning streak.
Four Yellowjackets earned first-team selections with senior midfielder Adrian Leal (Alicante, Spain), juniors James Bruce (Gladstone, Mich.) and Felix Blick (Linkoping, Sweden) joining Olson.
Second-team nods went to senior Elliot Chapman (Lancaster, England) in the midfield, juniors Dalton VonKaenel and Eric Watson (Thunder Bay, Ontario), as well as Perry.
Watson was one of eight players to be honored for the third season.
Olson anchored a defense that allowed just nine goals to UMAC opponents. He led the team in minutes played and helped the squad record four conference shutouts.
Additionally, Olson helped the 'Jackets defense hold conference opponents to just one goal or fewer in a 11 of 12 regular season league games.
Perry had 10 goals and three assists for 23 points with three game-winning goals; Leal contributed a goal and five assists on 25 shots; Bruce leads the conference with 15 goals and is in the top-30 nationally; Blick has started all 21 matches and added a goal and six assists out of the midfield; Chapman has seven goals and nine assists for 23 points; and Watson has four goals, eight assists and one game-winner.
VonKaenel has been strong in net all season with a 15-1-1 record with a 0.98 goals-against average and .786 save percentage with two shutouts.
Additionally, senior midfielder, Leonardo Peredes was named the Yellowjackets' recipient of the UMAC Sportsmanship Award. Peredes has seven goals and three assists for 17 points this season
After having its best season since joining the UMAC in 2015, the Yellowjacket volleyball team had a handful of team members receive UMAC all-conference honors.
Senior setter Emily VerWay (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and sophomore right side hitter Cami Sletta (Willmar, Minn.) were named All-UMAC First-Team. They were joined by senior libero Karlie Leif (Bemidji, Minn.) and freshman outside hitter Taylor Howe (Webster), who were second-team picks.
In addition to the players, Yellowjacket coach Lynne Deadrick was also named the UMAC Coach of the Year.
Deadrick, the all-time wins leader at UWS, led the Yellowjackets to a 20-12 record and a second-place finish in the UMAC.
VerWay, who was named a first-team pick for the fourth time, appeared in every match for the Yellowjackets and posted 1,254 assists with 3,930 assists. She also had career highs in kills (59), service aces (44), blocks (95), and digs (349).
Sletta, a transfer from Ridgewater Community College, was second on the team with 309 kills, 765 attacks and .268 attack percentage. On defense she had 93 digs and 32 blocks.
Howe led the Yellowjackets in kills (339) and attacks (877). She contributed 78 digs and 30 blocks on defense.
Leif led the Yellowjackets with 483 digs, averaging 4.06 digs per set. She also had 77 assists and 18 service aces.
Senior Ashlee Bayer (Cameron) received All-UMAC honorable mention after posting 256 kills and a team best 76 blocks in 2018.
Following an appearance in the UMAC championship match for the first time in program history, UWS claimed six all-conference honors.
Senior defender Kelli Graham (Middleville, Mich.) and freshman goalkeeper Madison Gutekunst (Mound, Minn.) picked up first-team recognition with freshman forward Annah Schussman (Bemidji, Minn.) earning a spot on the second team.
Senior defender Mackenzie Dahlin (Kaukauna, Wis.), senior midfielder Chloe Schmaltz (Beaumount, Alberta) and junior forward Sarah Fjeran (Duluth Marshall) each took home honorable mentions.
Second-year coach Allison DeGroot was named the UMAC Coach of the Year. Under DeGroot, UWS improved from 4-13-1 in 2017 to 8-11-3 to in 2018, when they were picked to finish seventh in the UMAC preseason poll.