Eye on the Ball
June 22, 2022
By Rob Humphreys ’16MBA
It was a standout season, academically and athletically, for Rollins’ sports teams and student-athletes.
Across multiple sports and in the classroom, the Tars turned in fantastic finishes for the 2021-22 school year. From making it to the World Series to earning the NCAA President’s Award for Academic Excellence, our student-athletes’ dedication, excellence, and sportsmanship were on display at every turn.
“I have been tremendously impressed with the success and resiliency of our student-athletes, coaches, and staff this year,” says Pennie Parker, associate vice president of athletics. “We continued our tradition of academic and athletic success and set new standards for program excellence as we enter a robust strategic planning process for the upcoming academic year.”
Here’s a closer look at some of the most notable individual and team accomplishments of the past year in Rollins Athletics.
In the Classroom
For the 40th consecutive semester, all 21 Rollins athletics programs posted a GPA above 3.0, with the women’s golf team earning the highest at 3.84. Additionally, the Tars earned the NCAA President’s Award for Academic Excellence for the 11th consecutive year. This is the 11th year the award has been given, and Rollins is one of just 10 schools to have earned the award every year. The President’s Award is given to schools with an Academic Success Rate (ASR) of 90 or higher. The ASR equates to the percentage of student-athletes who graduate within six years of initial college enrollment. This year, Tars achieved a 96 percent success rate, landing in the top spot in the Sunshine State Conference and tying for sixth highest in the nation.
On the Diamond
The Tars capped a magical baseball season by placing third at the NCAA Division II World Series. The team finished 43-17, the second-most wins in program history, and made the World Series for the first time since 2004, when they came in fourth. Pitcher Jaylyn Whitehead ’22MBA earned first-team All-American honors as well as South Region and SSC pitcher of the year. He also ranked first in NCAA II in ERA (1.60) and second in the conference in wins (10). Shortstop Chase Achuff ’22MBA hit .371 and was named to the All-South first team.
Softball’s third-team All-American Ashley Worrell ’23 was named SSC pitcher of the year, leading the Tars to a berth in the NCAA South Regional. Worrell went 17-7 with a 1.27 ERA, tossing 16 complete games and 11 shutouts.
In the Water
Men’s swimmer Harold Lockhart ’24 set a new bar for success, capturing the first two individual national championships in program history with wins in the 500- and 1,000-yard freestyle. For his efforts, he earned Sunshine State Conference (SSC) swimmer of the year, also a first for a Tar. At the conference meet, Lockhart broke or helped break seven school records.
At the Top
Valedictorians Jessika Linnemeyer ’22 (volleyball) and Emily Curran ’22 (swimming) both won the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, which provides $10,000 for student-athletes to continue their education. Linnemeyer, a biology major, will pursue a doctorate in physical therapy, while Curran will earn a PhD in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania. Curran was also awarded a $46,000 annual grant through the National Science Foundation’s prestigious Graduate Research Fellowship Program.
On the Field
Attacker Caroline Gastonguay ’22 was named a first-team All-American, leading the women’s lacrosse team to a No. 15 national ranking. Gastonguay, second in the Sunshine State Conference in points per game, was also the conference’s player of the year. Midfielder Liz Fahey ’22 and defenders Bridget Cawley ’23 and Megan DeGroat ’22 were honorable mention selections on the All-American team. On the men’s team, defender Justin Isenhour ’22 earned third-team All-American, while attacker Bailey Pringle ’22 and midfielder Finn Jent ’22 were honorable mentions. Midfielder Grant Hansen ’25 was named the SSC freshman of the year.
On the Court
Men’s tennis player Denis Golubev ’22 finished the spring as the country’s No. 3 singles player, earning first-team All-American status and conference player of the year. He went 10-2 at No. 1 singles. The women’s tennis team finished the season ranked 16th nationally.
Around the Horn
Men’s basketball guard Hutton Yenor ’24 earned first-team conference and second-team South Region honors while women’s golf qualified for the NCAA South Regional and the men’s waterski team placed fifth at the NCAA Championships.
On the Move
Pennie Parker was recently promoted to associate vice president of athletics. Since 2006, she has led the Tars in an era of unprecedented success as director of athletics, having won the Under Armour Division II Athletics Director of the Year in 2013, 2017, and 2021. In 2020, she was selected as the Nike Administrator of the Year by Women Leaders in College Sport.
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