Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for Nov. 11: Travis Johnston and Haley Sims

Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for Nov. 11: Travis Johnston and Haley Sims

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 junior Travis Johnston, an inside linebacker on the football team, and senior Haley Sims, a middle hitter on the volleyball team, have been named the Spartan Club Athletes of the Week for their performances this past weekend.

Johnston returned the opening kickoff of Saturday’s game 87 yards for a touchdown, helping lead the 20th/15th-ranked Spartans to a 27-24 win at Waynesburg University.  Johnston’s kick return for a touchdown was the first by a CWRU player since September 13, 2008, when former Spartan Bobby Bott returned one 84 yards for a score.  It was also the second-longest kick return for a touchdown in CWRU history, behind only Steve Rospert's 93-yard return in 1993 against Allegheny.  He returned two kicks in the game for an average of 55.0 yards per return, while also notching a 30-yard punt, landing it inside the Waynesburg 20-yard line.  On offense, Johnston carried the ball four times for four yards and a touchdown, while recording seven tackles (four solo) on defense.  For the season, Johnston is averaging 27.0 yards per kick return and 35.2 yards on four punts, three of which have been placed inside the opponents’ 20-yard line.  He is also second on the team with 61 tackles and has run for three touchdowns.  Johnston and the Spartans clinched sole possession of the PAC Title and the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs with Saturday’s win, improving to 9-0 overall and 8-0 in PAC games.

Sims led the Spartans to a fifth-place finish at the 2019 University Athletic Association Volleyball Championships in Chicago, Illinois this past weekend. Sims tallied a team-best 27 kills on 52 total attempts for a .481 hitting percentage throughout the three matches over the weekend. In addition, Sims registered 11 total blocks and eight service aces. In the Spartans’ 3-0 win over Brandeis on Friday, Sims led the squad with 10 kills on 15 total attempts for a .667 hitting percentage, while also contributing four total blocks and four service aces. Sims finishes the season with 258 kills (2.26 per set) and a team-best 97 total blocks, including 18 solo. CWRU finishes the 2019 campaign with a 13-16 overall record.

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: Joshua Smith (football) notched a team-leading 13 tackles (10 solo), including three for a loss, and recorded an interception to lead the 20th/15th-ranked Spartans to a 27-24 win at Waynesburg on Saturday afternoon.  The ten solo tackles were a season high for Smith, while the 13 total tackles marked his second-highest tally of the campaign.  Meanwhile, the interception, his second of the year, came with 6:14 remaining in the third quarter, and ended a Waynesburg drive in Spartan territory.  For the year, Smith now has 57 tackles (35 solo), including 13.5 for a loss.

Sara Rogers (volleyball) helped the Spartans post a 2-1 record at the 2019 UAA Volleyball Championships as they finished fifth at the conference tournament. Rogers set up the CWRU offense as she tallied 59 assists (6.56 per set) and also added 26 digs (2.89 per set). In the Spartans’ 3-0 win over New York University on Saturday, Rogers tied her season-high with 23 assists and contributed 11 digs to the team total. For the season, Rogers tallied 338 assists (4.45 per set) and 141 digs (1.86 per set).

Kimberly Chen (women’s soccer) scored the lone Spartans’ goal in the 89th minute CWRU’s match against Carnegie Mellon University on Saturday. Senior midfielder Jennifer Markley passed the ball to Chen at the edge of the box, and she shot it past the diving goalkeeper for the score. The goal was Chen’s seventh of the season and the assist was Markley’s first of the year. Case Western Reserve concluded the regular season with a 13-5-0 overall record and 2-5-0 mark in UAA play.

Antonio Ionadi (men’s basketball) was named the Most Valuable Player of the Sudeck Tournament last weekend, after leading the Spartans to a 2-0 start.  Ionadi averaged 15.0 points per game over the two contests to lead the team, shooting 50.0% overall (10-for-20) and from three-point range (eight-for-16), and adding a two-for-three effort from the free throw line.  He also chipped in a rebound, an assist and two steals over the two games.  On Friday night, in a 96-94 win over Central College, he finished the game with 10 points on three-of-eight shooting overall, including a two-for-five mark from long range.  He followed that with a 20-point outburst against Centre College on Saturday, leading the Spartans to a 79-75 victory.  Ionadi shot seven-of-12 overall and connected on six-of-11 three-point tries in the game.  This was the third-straight season that the Spartans have claimed the title at the Sudeck Tournament.

Abbey Lawrence (women’s basketball) led the Spartans with 21 points during the team’s season-opening 76-51 loss at Albion College on Saturday.  The 21 points were a career-high for Lawrence, who connected on nine-of-17 shots from the floor (52.9%) and one-of-five tries from long range (20.0%).  She also added six rebounds to lead all CWRU players in the game, while collecting two assists over her 31 minutes on the floor. 

Calvin Tecson (men’s swimming and diving) led the Spartan men against John Carroll University on Saturday. Tecson won the 50-yard freestyle with a mark of 21.28 and the 100-yard freestyle with a mark of 47.40. His time of 21.28 in the 50 Free currently ranks third among all University Athletic Association swimmers, while his time of 47.40 in the 100 Free ranks 11th.

Cassiel Yuzik (men’s swimming and diving) swept the diving events for the Spartan men on Saturday as he placed first in the one-meter dive with a score of 235.72 and placed first in the three-meter dive with a score of 246.30.

Caitlyn VonFeldt (women’s swimming and diving) led the Spartan women to a 198-91 win over John Carroll University on Saturday. VonFeldt won the 100-yard backstroke with a mark of 59.42 and claimed the victory in the 200-yard backstroke with a time of 2:09.78. Her time in the 100 Back currently ranks 10th among all UAA swimmers. In addition, VonFeldt was a member of the 200-yard medley relay team that finished first with a time of 1:49.47 and a member of the 200-yard freestyle relay team that finished first with a time of 1:40.99.

Hailey Seibert (women’s swimming & diving) swept the diving events for the Spartan women on Saturday as she placed first in the one-meter dive with a score of 209.25 and claimed the title in the three-meter dive with a score of 210.75.

Brian Kent (wrestling) placed sixth in the White Division 197 weight class at the 2019 Ohio Intercollegiate Open in Cleveland, Ohio. Kent posted a record of 2-2 throughout the tournament. He won by pin in 1:08 over John Carroll’s Connor Bizjack and then earned another pin in 2:38 over CWRU’s Joey Shulik. For the season, Kent has posted a 2-3 record at 197 pounds, including two falls.

2019-20 Spartan Club Athletes of the Week:

September 3rd: Spencer Weigand (men’s cross country) & Anika Washburn (women’s soccer)

September 9th: Colt Morgan (football) & Haley Sims (volleyball)

September 16th: Nathan Ekberg (men’s soccer) & Kimberly Chen (women’s soccer)

September 23rd: Zachary Senft (men’s soccer) & Trisha Sundaram (women’s tennis)

September 30th: Cameron Brown (football) & Madeline Lindemann (women’s cross country)

October 7th: James Hopper (men’s tennis) & Matthew Chen (Men’s Tennis)

October 14th: Joshua Smith (football) & Katie Kaminski (volleyball)

October 21st: Matthew Chen and James Hopper (men’s tennis) & Anika Washburn (women’s soccer)

October 28th: Joshua Smith (football) & Laura Gorjanc (women’s soccer)

November 4th: Trey Razanauskas (men’s cross country) & Anika Washburn (women’s soccer)

November 11th: Travis Johnston (football) & Haley Sims (volleyball)