Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for Sept. 24: Ian Henderson and Jessica Liu & Madeleine Paolucci

Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for Sept. 24: Ian Henderson and Jessica Liu & Madeleine Paolucci

The Spartan Club, comprised of Case Institute of Technology (CIT), Western Reserve University (WRU) and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) alumni, parents of current students, faculty and staff, and friends of the University, is aimed at helping foster and honor the proud tradition of athletics at the University, while also supporting the current student-athletes.  For more information on the Spartan Club, and to help support its purpose by becoming a member, CLICK HERE.

Case Western Reserve University senior Ian Henderson, a defensive tackle on the football team, and senior Jessica Liu and sophomore Madeleine Paolucci, the no. 1 doubles pairing on the women’s tennis team, have been named the Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for their performances this past week.

Henderson helped the 18th-ranked Spartans stifle Thiel College in a 63-20 win on Saturday night at DiSanto Field.  Henderson finished the game with four tackles (two solo), including a career-high 2.5 sacks.  His play helped lead a Spartan defensive effort that held the Tomcats to -10 rushing yards in the game, and allowed CWRU to outgain Thiel by a 532 to 162 margin.  Henderson has nine tackles this season, including the 2.5 sacks.  CWRU stands at 3-0 overall on the season, including a 2-0 mark in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference.

Liu and Paolucci became the first doubles pairing in women’s tennis program history to win the main doubles draw at the 2018 Intercollegiate Tennis Association Division III Central Regional Championships on Sunday in Kalamazoo, Michigan. By winning the tournament, the duo earned All-American honors for the 2018-19 season. Liu and Paolucci, seeded third in the draw, won 7-6 (1), 3-6, 10-6 to ninth-seed Eugenia Lee and Lauren Park of Chicago in the finals of the main doubles draw. They advanced to the finals on Sunday after defeating Chicago's Annika Pandey and Nicole Semenoy in the quarterfinals round (8-2) and then earned a win over Denison's Emma Alsup and Lauren Hawley (8-5) in the semifinals of the draw. Liu and Paolucci will now prepare for the 2018 ITA Cup which will be held in Rome, Georgia from October 11th-14th. The event will take place in the Rome Tennis Center on the campus of Berry College. Each division represented will feature eight singles players and eight doubles teams, competing in their respective draws. 

The Spartan Club Athletes of the Week are selected by the CWRU Department of Athletics each Monday, based on their performance during the previous week of competition.

Honorable Mention: Luke DiFrancesco (football) helped lead the 18th-ranked Spartans to a 63-20 win over Thiel College on Saturday night at DiSanto Field.  DiFrancesco finished the game with four receptions for 69 yards, including a career-high three touchdown passes.  He gave the Spartans the lead with a 15-yard touchdown reception with 11:55 remaining in the opening quarter, and added a 34 yard touchdown catch later in the first quarter.  DiFrancesco secured his third touchdown grab on a 15 yard pass with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter, giving CWRU a 49-13 lead at the time.  Through three games this season, he has caught 13 passes for 146 yards and three touchdowns.

Alex Besl (men’s soccer) recorded his first career hat trick to help the Spartans erupt for an 8-1 win over Adrian College on Saturday. Besl opened the scoring for the Spartans in the 17th minute, and then notched goals in the 47th and 56th minutes of play. In addition, Besl assisted on a goal during the Spartans’ 4-0 win over Heidelberg University on Wednesday. Besl led the team this week with seven points on three goals and one assist. The Spartans improved to 7-1-0 on the season, which is the best start in program history since the 2011 season when the team also began the season at 7-1-0.

Charlie Fink (men’s soccer) played over 124 minutes in goal for the Spartans this past week, allowing only goal and making three saves. In Wednesday’s 4-0 win over Heidelberg, Fink played over 58 shutout minutes and turned away two shots on goal. Fink currently ranks third among all University Athletic Association players with 21 saves for the season.

Karley King (volleyball) helped the Spartans to two during this past week of competition. In the Spartans’ five games this week, King led the team with 45 kills (2.65 per set) and also tallied 16 digs and eight total blocks. During the team’s 3-1 win over Hanover College on Saturday, King recorded a season-high 16 kills on a .433 hitting percentage and also added seven digs and two total blocks. For the season, she leads the squad with 153 kills

Anna Jaskoviak (volleyball) gathered a team-high 77 digs (4.53 per set) during this past week to help the Spartans’ pick up two wins. During the team’s 3-1 win over Mount St. Joseph College on Friday, Jaskvoiak led the team with 19 digs and also registered two service aces.

Emily Dickens (women’s soccer) led the Spartan women to two victories this past week, as she connected on a ‘golden goal’ in the first overtime period on Tuesday to defeat the College of Wooster 1-0 and then scored the game-winning goal in the Spartans’ 3-0 win over Washington & Jefferson College on Sunday. For the season, Dickens’ ranks third on the team in points (5) and tied for second in goals (2). The Spartans improved to 5-2-0 on the season with the victories which is the best start through seven games for the program since the 2011 season when the team began the season with a 5-1-1 record.

Lauren Metz (women’s soccer) played over 141 shutout minutes in net to help the Spartans to two wins this past week. In the Spartans’ 1-0 overtime win over the College of Wooster on Tuesday, Metz played over 96 shutout minutes in net and made five saves. Metz currently ranks tied for first among all University Athletic Association players in saves (24), tied for first in save percentage (.889), second in goal-against average (0.50) and fourth in goals against (3).

2018-19 Spartan Club Athletes of the Week:

September 4th: Andrew Green (men's cross country) & Karley King (volleyball)

September 10th: Garrett Winter (men's soccer) & Brianna Lemon (volleyball)

September 17th: Drew Saxton (football) & Christina Hickson (women's soccer)

September 24th: Ian Henderson (football) & Jessica Liu and Madeleine Paolucci (women’s tennis)