The Spectrum hands out midseason awards
Published: Tuesday, October 8, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, October 8, 2013 22:10
Surprise Star: Adam Redden, senior defensive back
Who would’ve thought through five games that hybrid linebacker/safety Redden would have stats mirroring the Bulls’ best defensive player and one of the nation’s top linebackers, senior Khalil Mack? Redden and Mack each have 35 tackles and 6.5 tackles for loss. Redden has exploded onto the scene as a playmaker and has been a key to the Bulls’ stellar defensive play this season.
Offensive Player of the Year: Alex Neutz, senior wide receiver
Neutz has caught a touchdown in every game this season and is responsible for 47.9 percent of the Bulls’ total receiving yards this season. When the offense is in need of a play, it looks for Neutz.
Defensive Player of the Year & MVP: Khalil Mack, senior linebacker
Mack is the best player in the Mid-American Conference and the best player on a Bulls team has thrived thanks to its defense. Mack’s stats aren’t as dominant as those of years past, but that’s because he is receiving crazy attention from opposing offenses. His presence has been immeasurable – it has played a major role in Redden’s emergence, too. The Bulls’ leader has also moved up to No. 9 on Mel Kiper Jr.’s NFL Draft Big Board. He might go down as the best athlete UB has ever had.
Surprise Star: Christine Fritsche, senior outside hitter
After playing in only 24 sets last season, Fritsche has started 14 of 17 matches this season and is second on the team in kills (150).
Offensive POY: Tahleia Bishop, sophomore outside hitter
Bishop is seemingly rewriting the UB record books game by game, and she leads the Buffalo attack with 195 kills, including multiple 20-kill performances. On Oct. 3, she became the first player in school history to record at least 21 kills and 20 digs since 2003.
Defensive POY & MVP: Kelly Svoboda, senior libero
Svoboda opened the season sixth in program history in digs and has already climbed up to No. 2 (1,646). She has 337 digs on the season and has totaled over 33 percent of Buffalo’s total digs. Svoboda tied a school record on Sept. 28 with 32 digs in a four-set victory over Kent State.
Surprise Star: Waleed Cassis, junior goalkeeper
Cassis is a junior transfer who came from California State University, Los Angeles, this season and has been a solid presence for the Bulls in goal. Despite Buffalo’s lackluster record, Cassis has played in every game, recording 44 saves and two shutouts while averaging 1.16 goals against.
Defensive POY: Shane Satar, sophomore defender
Satar has been imposing on Buffalo’s backline so far this season. After earning the starting job last season, he has continued his strong play into this year, starting all 11 games and taking five shots.
Offensive POY & MVP: Russell Cicerone, freshman midfielder
On a team with a lot of young players, Cicerone has been the best. He leads the team in goals (three), shots (34) and shots on goal (21). He is 2 for 2 on penalty-kick attempts and is responsible for the game-winning goal in the Bulls’ only victory so far this season.
He is also the only freshman captain on the team.
Surprise Star & Offensive POY: Karen McMahon, senior forward
After playing in only nine games in 2012 and not recording a single point, McMahon has three of the team’s 10 goals this season and is the only Bull with multiple goals on the season.
Defensive POY: Ainsley Wheldon, senior goalkeeper
Wheldon has held true to her reputation as a shutdown goalkeeper this season, allowing only 10 goals in 11 games. She has recorded four shutouts and 43 saves and has been dominant in net.
MVP: The Defense: senior Courtney Gross, senior Natalie Jurisevic, junior Sophie Therien and sophomore Kristin Markiewicz