Leah Shaw and the Bowling Green State University Falcons made school history by winning their first match in the NCAA Tournament Friday over Yale.
In posting a 16-25, 25-15, 25-21, 13-25, 15-11 victory in the tournament opener, the Falcons won the program’s very first set in tournament play. In its only other NCAA appearance, BGSU fell 3-0 to Wisconsin in 1991.
Shaw, aka Big Red, came up big for the Falcons in the Big Dance. The 6-1 senior middle hitter from Princeton had a kill and a solo block to put the Falcons up for good in the fifth and final set, and was noted by the commentators as being a player of the game. She recorded a team-high eight blocks and contributed 19 kills in the Falcons’ victory.
The Falcons (22-11) saw the curtain drawn on their season with a 25-15, 25-12, 25-15 loss to No. 1 ranked Penn State on the Nittany Lions’ home court.
Shaw said the overall experience at Penn State, was one she will never forget.
“Rec Hall is such a cool facility with so much legacy,” she said. “We had fun on and off the court all weekend, and getting that first NCAA win was really special. Playing Penn State was unreal. They’re a great team and we wanted to push them and make their job difficult. We hung with them for a while in the beginning of the sets, but they have so many weapons and it’s hard to stay with a team like that.”
Shaw’s parents, Dan and Jean Shaw of Princeton, were able to make the trip to University Park for the Tournament.
Shaw is focusing on her studies and gearing up for a trip to South Africa this summer for volunteer work and independent study. She says she’s sure she’ll stay involved in volleyball somehow, probably through intramurals.
• Kelly earns All-State honors: Princeton junior setter Michelle Kelly, the BCR Player of the Year, has been received All-State Honorable Mention honors.
While on the subject of Princeton volleyball, award winners for the 2012 season were: Varsity - Emmalee Sears (Hustle), Hailey Michael (Most Improved), McCaela May (Sportsmanship) and Kelly (Leadership, MVP); sophomores - Keyenna Altizer (Hustle), Colbi Schertz (Most Improved), Nicole Holland (Sportsmanship) and Abby Jaques (MVP); and freshmen - Brianna Legner (Hustle), Kyley Korey (Most Improved), Jaimee Ciesielski (Sportsmanship) and Maddy Cain (MVP).
• Like father, like son: Tom Schertz was a three-sport standout for Tiskilwa High School, graduating in 1983, and went on to play on the offensive line for the University of Illinois. His son, Mitchell, apparently is a chip off the old block.
The younger Schertz recently concluded his junior football season for Stillwater (Minn.) Area High School, a school of 2,200 students in grades 10-12 and a member of the Suburban East Conference. While not quite as big as his father, the 6-3, 200-pound junior linebacker played big for the Ponies, recording a team-high seven sacks with a total of 120 tackles.
He has been named as a captain-elect for the 2013 season. Stillwater has won four state championships in school history.
His grandparents, Jim and Joanne Schertz, still reside on the family farm outside of Tiskilwa.
• Pictures have come in from Arua, Uganda where the Football Club has been proudly wearing their donated St. Bede sports uniforms that were delivered by the Christ Community Church’s (Princeton) missions trip over the summer. You can see the big smiles on most of the Arua players, and not minding one bit to wear a shirt saying “Lady Bruins.”
It’s a clear case of being happy with what you have, especially when many of these individuals have very little. It’s a lesson well learned for us all.
St. Bede athletic director Tom McGunnigal said it was neat to see the Bruins going global, all the way to Uganda and back.