Courtesy: ISU Athletics
Indiana State Honors Student-Athletes At Fall Sports Banquet
Courtesy:ISU Athletics

The Indiana State University athletics department hosted its fall sports banquet on Wednesday, Dec. 5, on ISU's campus. Members of the soccer, football, men's and women's cross country and volleyball teams were honored for their performances during the fall season.

The Sycamore football team finished the 2012 campaign with a 7-4 record, including a 5-3 mark in Missouri Valley Football Conference play to finish in a three-way tie for third place in the league. It marked the third consecutive winning season for Indiana State, the first time the program has achieved that distinction since the 1960s. ISU also rose to as high as No. 14 in the national polls and up to No. 5 in the GridIron Power Index in 2012. The No. 14 national ranking in The Sports Network Top 25 was the Sycamores' highest since joining the MVFC in 1987 as well as the highest in the Trent Miles era. Indiana State led the MVFC in the number of all-conference selections for the second consecutive season with 14 honorees, including five first-team selections. The Sycamores also had three named to the MVFC All-Newcomer and All-Academic Teams.

The Indiana State women's soccer team finished the season with an 8-10-3 overall record, putting together a late-season unbeaten streak of four matches to earn a spot in the Missouri Valley Conference championship match for the second time in program history. A young squad with 11 freshmen and eight sophomores under fourth-year head coach Erika True, the Sycamores earned a spot in the tournament with an overtime goal at Missouri State on the final day of the regular season before defeating fourth-seeded Northern Iowa on penalty kicks in the quarterfinals and top-seeded Evansville in the semifinals. Senior Kourtney Vassar and freshman Sydney Lovelace were both named Second Team All-MVC following the season, while junior Shelby Troyer and sophomore Aubrie Musselman each earned First Team All-MVC Scholar-Athlete selections.

The Indiana State men's cross country team's streak of three straight MVC championships was broken this year as they finished a close second to Southern Illinois, but redshirt freshman John Mascari became the first member of the men's team to win the individual title and was named the MVC Athlete of Year in Cross Country. Mascari also established two school records during the season, both at E.P. Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The freshman set the Indiana State 8,000 meter record with a 23:55 finish (34th place) at the Pre-National Invitational and set the school's 10,000 meter record as he ran 30:25 (60th place) at the NCAA Championships. Mascari became the seventh Sycamore to advance to the NCAA Championship after earning All-Great Lakes Region honors with a seventh place finish at the Great Lakes Region Championship in Madison, Wis.

The Indiana State women's cross country team finished sixth at the MVC championships. Junior Jessica Zangmeister led the women's team at each event including earning all-conference recognition with a 10th place finish in the conference championships. She also finished 11th at the Indiana Intercollegiate and ran the eighth fastest 5,000 meters in school history at Notre Dame where she finished sixth in 17:50. The junior also ran the sixth fastest 6,000 meters at the Great Lakes Region Championship where she finished 55th in 21:37. Sophomore Nicole Lucas, junior Kalli Dalton, and senior Hanna Mercer were also consistent for the Sycamores during the season. Lucas was 17th at the MVC Championships and 91st at the Great Lakes Regional as Indiana State's number two runner while Dalton was 29th at the MVCs and 143rd at the Regional as the number three runner, and Mercer placed 37th at the MVC and 155th at the Regional as the number four runner.

The Indiana State volleyball team started off the 2012 season with 3-1 win over Butler in the DePaul Tournament. The Sycamores also capped off the nonconference portion of their schedule with a 3-0 win over Chicago State in the Miami (Ohio) Tournament. In MVC play, the Sycamores were victorious over Bradley (3-1) and Evansville (3-2) inside the ISU Arena. Senior Shea Doran led the Sycamores with 339 kills and 74 blocks on the season while freshman libero Ashlen Buck led the team in digs with 396 and junior setter Loni Mackinson led in assists with 741 to move to 11th all-time with 1,408 career assists. Doran along with junior Molly Murphy were named Honorable Mention Academic All-MVC for the 2012 season.

Below is a list of award winners selected by the coaching staffs from the respective sports.

Football Captains
Offense: Michael Mardis
Defense: Aaron Archie
Special Teams: Lucas Hileman

Most Valuable
Soccer: Kourtney Vassar
Women's Cross Country: Jessica Zangmeister
Men's Cross Country: John Mascari
Volleyball: Ashlen Buck / Loni Mackinson

Most Improved
Soccer: Bria Caldwell
Women's Cross Country: Hanna Mercer
Men's Cross Country: Corey Hahn
Volleyball: Cassandra Willis

Coaches Award
Soccer: Taylor Reed
Women's Cross Country: Kalli Dalton / Nicole Lucas
Men's Cross Country: Al Escalera
Volleyball: Leah Painter

Sycamore Award (Soccer) / Team Leadership Award
Soccer: Shelby Troyer
Women's Cross Country: Hanna Mercer
Men's Cross Country: Dustin Betz
Volleyball: Loni Mackinson

Women's soccer bases their team leadership award on a combination of high academics, involvement in the community and leadership, renaming the selection as the Sycamore Award.

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