Women Win Division II National Racquetball Title; Men Fourth in Division I

April 1, 2015

Baldwin Wallace women’s and men's racquetball ended the 2015 season as one of the best intercollegiate programs in the country.

At the annual USA Racquetball Intercollegiate National Championship Tournament at Arizona State University, March 25-28, the BW women won the national title in Division II, the men advanced to the Final Four and placed fourth in Division I and four students were named as All-Americans.

The Yellow Jacket women placed first of 37 schools in Division II and had All-Americans in juniors Jennifer Pease (Rocky River) and Stephanie Poutz (Brunswick).

"I could not be more proud of our women"s team winning the Division II," said Miller, who also is the director of the Lou Higgins Center on campus. "None of our women"s players were recruited. They all are great athletes who worked hard to become excellent players. They have proven they are the best small college team in the country and can beat both Division I and II schools."

The men placed fourth of 37 teams in Division I and had All-Americans in sophomore Pedro Manolo Sandoval (Guatemala City, Gautemala) and freshman Kyle Ulliman (Westerville).

"The men"s team did a terrific job by making the Final Four schools in the nation," said Miller. "We have a very young team with our top five of six players coming back next year, and four of them have two years left.

"Individually, Thomas (Carter), Manolo (Sandoval) and Kyle (Ulliman) have proven themselves to be three of the top players in the nation," continued Miller. "I"m excited with our fourth-place finish and proud of our players. I believe we have an excellent chance to win the Division I title in the next two years."

In addition to the All-American honors, Miller received the Larry Lyles Intercollegiate "Coach of the Year" award for his excellence in recruiting, teaching and coaching, and for leading his team annually to be one of the top intercollegiate programs in the country.

"I am extremely thankful to be named the top intercollegiate racquetball coach in the nation," said Miller. "I thankful for the wonderful student-athletes. Without them and their hard work, this honor would not have been possible. For a coach from a small university such as BW to receive this award is very special to our team, the University and myself."

BW"s success was not limited to the national tournament. The men and women also won the Ohio State Collegiate Championship, the Midwest Racquetball Conference (MERC) Championship, and the Mideast Regional Championship. In the regional competition, BW beats schools such as The Ohio State University, Purdue University, the University of Cincinnati, Youngstown State University and the University of Dayton. At the national tourney, the Yellow Jackets battled with perennial Division I powers such as tournament host Arizona State, Colorado State University, Oregon State University and Brigham Young (Utah) University.

Women"s Team Breakdown & Results:

Singles:
  • In Women"s No.1 singles in the Gold Division, senior Nicole Fraley (North Ridgeville) won in the first round.
  • In Women"s No.3 singles in the Gold Division, sophomore Natalie Kendrick (Amherst) placed fifth
  • In Women"s No.4 singles in the Gold Division, Jennifer Pease placed fourth.
  • In Women"s No.5 singles in the Gold Division, Stephanie Poutz placed second at won the Silver Medal.
  • In Women"s No.2 singles in the Blue Division, junior Kristen Szutkowski (Brunswick) won a Silver Medal.
  • In Women"s No.3 singles in the Blue Division, senior Megan Kane (Rocky River) won the Gold Medal.

Doubles:

  • In Women"s No.1 doubles in the Gold Division, Fraley and Szutkowski advanced to the quarter-finals.
  • In Women"s No.2 doubles in the Consolation bracket, Pease and Poutz combined to win the Bronze Medal.  
  • In Women"s No.3 doubles in the Gold Division, Kane and Kendrick placed fourth.