UB Top 10 athletes: Honorable mentions

By SPORTS STAFF
On April 15, 2014

  • Senior libero Kelly Svoboda finished her UB career with the most digs in volleyball history (1,943). In her senior season, she set single-season records for digs (634) and digs pers game (5.66). Yusong Shi, The Spectrum

The Spectrum is ranking the staff's choice for the top 10 UB athletes in the Division I era throughout the next 10 issues. We begin our countdown with 10 honorable mentions - incredible, historic athletes that just missed the list. This series is admittedly subjective and debatable, and our selections are intended to create a conversation.

Rob Golabek

Rob Golabek (2009-12) was one of the most dominant track & field athletes in UB history. Golabek was a four-time All-American and three-time Mid-American Conference champ. He is now the throws coach and assistant track & field coach at Rider University.

The Hamburg native transferred to UB after completing his freshman year at Southern Connecticut and proceeded to dominate the MAC for three years, creating a reputation for shot-putters at UB that senior Jonathan Jones has perpetuated.

Golabek competed at the 2012 U.S. Olympic Trials in Oregon. In March 2013, he finished sixth in shot put at the USA Indoor Track and Field Championships in Albuquerque, N.M.

Golabek graduated in 2012 as UB's record holder in both indoor (63-3.50, 19.29m) and outdoor (64-9.50, 19.75m) throws.

Drew Willy

Drew Willy (2005-08) holds almost every major passing record in school history, including passing yards, touchdown passes, completions, attempts and completion percentage. He also has the most games with at least 200 yards passing in school history (23).

Willy's senior season in 2008 stands out as the greatest ever for a Bulls quarterback. Willy passed for 3,304 yards, 25 touchdowns and 304 completions, and he had a passer-efficiency rating of 139.2 - all single-season records at UB. He also led the Bulls to their first-ever MAC Championship and first-ever bowl game appearance in 2008. Willy passed for three touchdowns to help the Bulls defeat previously unbeaten Ball State, 42-28, in the MAC Championship game.

Willy currently plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers in the Canadian Football League (CFL). Last season, the Saskatchewan Roughriders won the Grey Cup with Willy as the backup quarterback.

Namaan Roosevelt

Namaan Roosevelt (2006-09) is one of the best wide receivers - if not the best - in program history. He holds the all-time record for career receptions (268) and yards (3,551). The Buffalo native's 28 career receiving touchdowns rank second in UB history, as Alex Neutz (31 touchdowns) recently passed him.

Roosevelt was a key player as the Bulls' No. 1 receiver on the 2008 MAC Championship team. As a junior, Roosevelt set single-season program records in catches (104), yards (1,402) and touchdowns (13).

Roosevelt went on to play for the Buffalo Bills, catching 25 passes for 396 yards and a touchdown in two seasons (2010 and 2011).

Vusa Hove

Vusa Hove (2010-13) was a dominant force on the tennis court for the men's team during his four-year stint with the Bulls - his résumé backs up that statement.

He finished his career at Buffalo with the second-most singles victories in program history (82) and the best winning percentage (.707) with a minimum of 40 matches played.

With a combined singles and doubles record of 53-39, Hove ranks second in program history in combined winning percentage (.649) and first overall with 135 victories.

In the fall of his senior campaign, Hove knocked off the 94th-ranked collegiate player in the country, Wake Forest's Danny Kreyman. 

"When you're on the court, you have to hate your opponent," Hove said. "I know it's a bad thing to say, but you have to go out like they stole something from you. That's how I treat a match. You have to go out and be intense, fierce and want to win so bad sometimes. But it's important because it makes you hungry to succeed."

Davonte Shannon

Davonte Shannon was a four-time All-MAC first-team selection at strong safety from 2007-10. Shannon is the program's all-time leading tackler with 461. He is tied for 10th all-time with 10 interceptions and tied for seventh in career forced fumbles with five.

Shannon was a member of the Bulls' lone MAC Championship team in 2008, also helping to lead the team to its first-ever bowl game appearance that same year.

Mike Dugan

When the men's swimming and diving team won the MAC Championship in 2011, Mike Dugan (2010-14) was only a freshman, but he was already making a name for himself.

He was part of the program record-setting 400-yard freestyle relay and was a finalist in the 100-yard butterfly that season. Over the next three seasons, he won 10 MAC titles - including four individual titles.

He was named first-team All-MAC his sophomore, junior and senior seasons and won the Outstanding Senior Award in 2014.

Dugan's name is featured on the Bulls' program record board seven times - the most of any male swimmer - and he holds the second-most individual records.

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy (2009-12) is the highest acclaimed player to ever come out of the baseball program. As Murphy hit his prime in 2011 and 2012, the program experienced an offensive renaissance.

Despite spending only three years with the program - as he was drafted by the Rockies after his junior season in 2012 - Murphy is in the top five for nearly every career statistical category. He also holds the single-season program record for home runs in a season (13).

Murphy was an integral part of the 2012 team that made the program's first appearance in the MAC Tournament, losing only to eventual College World Series participant Kent State.

In 2011, Murphy was the first Bull to win MAC Player of the Year. He is currently playing for the Rockies' class AA affiliate in Tulsa, Okla.

Jason Kanzler

In 2013, the baseball team lost Tom Murphy to the draft and Matt Pollock to injury. With the two leading offensive contributors from 2012 gone, the Bulls needed a miracle to replace their production.

Enter Jason Kanzler (2009-13).

Kanzler had been a stalwart in center field for the Bulls the previous two seasons, but he put it all together in 2013.

He continued his strong defensive play, winning his second-straight ABCA Rawlings Gold Glove Award while recording one of the best performances at the plate in school history. Kanzler set a school record with 53 RBIs while hitting 12 home runs, recording 75 hits and six triples and stealing 21 bases.

Kanzler also finished in the top 10 of many career records, including runs scored (fifth), hits (eighth), doubles (ninth), triples (third), home runs (fifth), RBIs (seventh), total bases (sixth) and stolen bases (third).

Kanzler topped off 2013 with the Bulls' second-ever MAC Player of the Year award. Kanzler was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2013 and currently plays for their class A affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Kelly Svoboda

Senior Kelly Svoboda (2011-14) came to UB with two individual goals: To become the program's all-time leader in digs and win its first MAC Defensive Player of the Year award.

She accomplished both.

Svoboda had arguably the greatest season in Buffalo volleyball history this past fall. In her senior year, Svoboda recorded 634 digs and 5.66 digs per game - both single-season school records. She also set the program's all-time record for digs with 1,943.

The one game Svoboda said she would always remember was a 3-0 home victory over Syracuse in her junior season.

"The game versus Syracuse in my junior year [is one I will always remember]," Svoboda said. "We crushed them in all three sets and broke the all-time attendance record for a volleyball game. The fans were out of control and so amazing, and our team played like a team in every aspect."
Paula Listrani

Paula Listrani was the most successful player in the most successful period of D-1 women's soccer at Buffalo.

She is the program's all-time leader in goals (46), assists (24) and points (116). Listrani posted the second-most goals in a season during the D-1 era with 14 in her senior season in addition to 13 in both her sophomore and junior seasons.

The Bulls went 5-12-1 in 1997, her freshman season, but combined for a 37-17-4 record over the next three seasons. Buffalo won 14 games in 2000, which is the most in the D-1 era and tied for the most wins in a season ever.

Listrani was a three-time first-team All-MAC selection. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in '01 and earned her Master's of Education from UB in 2003.

email: sports@ubspectrum.com

 

 Shannon was a four-time All-MAC first-team selection at strong safety from 2007-10. Shannon is the program's all-time leading tackler with 461. He is tied for 10th all-time with 10 interceptions and tied for seventh in career forced fumbles with five.

            Shannon was a member of the Bulls' lone MAC Championship team in 2008, also helping to lead the team to its first-ever bowl game appearance that same year.

Mike Dugan

When the men's swimming and diving team won the MAC Championship in 2011, Mike Dugan (2010-14) was only a freshman, but he was already making a name for himself.

He was part of the program record-setting 400-yard freestyle relay and was a finalist in the 100-yard butterfly that season. Over the next three seasons, he won 10 MAC titles - including four individual titles.

He was named first-team All-MAC his sophomore, junior and senior seasons and won the Outstanding Senior Award in 2014.

Dugan's name is featured on the Bulls' program record board seven times - the most of any male swimmer - and he holds the second-most individual records.

Tom Murphy

Tom Murphy (2009-12) is the highest acclaimed player to ever come out of the baseball program. As Murphy hit his prime in 2011 and 2012, the program experienced an offensive renaissance.

Despite spending only three years with the program - as he was drafted by the Rockies after his junior season in 2012 - Murphy is in the top five for nearly every career statistical category. He also holds the single-season program record for home runs in a season (13).

Murphy was an integral part of the 2012 team that made the program's first appearance in the MAC Tournament, losing only to eventual College World Series participant Kent State.

In 2011, Murphy was the first Bull to win MAC Player of the Year. He is currently playing for the Rockies' class AA affiliate in Tulsa, Okla.

Jason Kanzler

In 2013, the baseball team lost Tom Murphy to the draft and Matt Pollock to injury. With the two leading offensive contributors from 2012 gone, the Bulls needed a miracle to replace their production.

Enter Jason Kanzler (2009-13).

Kanzler had been a stalwart in center field for the Bulls the previous two seasons, but he put it all together in 2013.

He continued his strong defensive play, winning his second-straight ABCA Rawlings Gold Glove Award while recording one of the best performances at the plate in school history. Kanzler set a school record with 53 RBIs while hitting 12 home runs, recording 75 hits and six triples and stealing 21 bases.

Kanzler also finished in the top 10 of many career records, including runs scored (fifth), hits (eighth), doubles (ninth), triples (third), home runs (fifth), RBIs (seventh), total bases (sixth) and stolen bases (third).

Kanzler topped off 2013 with the Bulls' second-ever MAC Player of the Year award. Kanzler was drafted by the Minnesota Twins in 2013 and currently plays for their class A affiliate in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

Kelly Svoboda

Senior Kelly Svoboda (2011-14) came to UB with two individual goals: To become the program's all-time leader in digs and win its first MAC Defensive Player of the Year award.

She accomplished both.

Svoboda had arguably the greatest season in Buffalo volleyball history this past fall. In her senior year, Svoboda recorded 634 digs and 5.66 digs per game - both single-season school records. She also set the program's all-time record for digs with 1,943.

The one game Svoboda said she would always remember was a 3-0 home victory over Syracuse in her junior season.

"The game versus Syracuse in my junior year [is one I will always remember]," Svoboda said. "We crushed them in all three sets and broke the all-time attendance record for a volleyball game. The fans were out of control and so amazing, and our team played like a team in every aspect."

Paula Listrani

Paula Listrani was the most successful player in the most successful period of D-1 women's soccer at Buffalo.

She is the program's all-time leader in goals (46), assists (24) and points (116). Listrani posted the second-most goals in a season during the D-1 era with 14 in her senior season in addition to 13 in both her sophomore and junior seasons.

The Bulls went 5-12-1 in 1997, her freshman season, but combined for a 37-17-4 record over the next three seasons. Buffalo won 14 games in 2000, which is the most in the D-1 era and tied for the most wins in a season ever.

Listrani was a three-time first-team All-MAC selection. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in '01 and earned her Master's of Education from UB in 2003.

email: sports@ubspectrum.com


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