INDIANAPOLIS – Valparaiso senior Rita Craven, Detroit sophomore Ben Kendell and Cleveland State juniors Grace Kauth and Sergio Manesio have been named the Horizon League Scholar-Athletes of the Season for the fall.
Craven, a biology major at Valparaiso holds a 3.97 grade-point-average as a member of the women’s soccer team. During her senior year, Craven received First Team College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-American honors. In the last two years, she has earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First Team Scholar All-America, CoSIDA First Team Academic All-District, NSCAA First Team Scholar All-Region, and has been named to the Academic All-Horizon League team.
On the field for the Crusaders, Craven finished second on the team in goals (6) and points (15) in 2015. She closed her career ranking fourth in Crusader history in assists, eighth in points, ninth in goals and second in match-winning goals. As a senior, Craven made the NSCAA Third Team All-Great Lakes Region along with earning First Team All-Horizon League honors for the second year in-a-row.
A cross-country runner at Detroit, Kendell carries a 4.0 GPA majoring in electrical engineering. As a freshman, Kendell earned a spot on the Detroit Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and will be a member of the Horizon League Fall Academic Honor Roll this year.
Setting career marks in three events during the cross country season, Kendell claimed second at the Horizon League Championship, garnering First Team All-Horizon League honors for the second consecutive year. His time of 24:41 tied for the second fastest 8k ever run by a Titan. Following his Horizon League championship performance, Kendell set a career mark in the 10k at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional Championship with a finishing time of 31:43. His time ranked him sixth in the Detroit record books while his 35th place was the second-highest in school history. In addition, Kendall recorded two runner-up efforts and four top-five finishes during his sophomore season.
As a marketing major at Cleveland State, Kauth holds a 3.88 GPA and is a key contributor to the volleyball team. A member of the 2015-16 SAAC Board, Kauth is a four-time Cleveland State Dean’s List Honoree and two-time Cleveland State Athletic Academic Honoree. In addition, she received Academic All-League honors in 2014.
On the court Kauth led the Vikings to the Horizon League regular season and tournament titles. Her individual accolades include making the 2015 Horizon League First Team and All-Tournament team. Kauth became the 16th Viking all-time to record 1,000 career kills, finishing the 2015 season ranked in the top 10 in the Cleveland State record book in kills per set, attack attempts and points per set. She finished the year ranked fifth in the Horizon League in kills per set, averaging 3.58, and also ranked fifth in points per set with 4.00. The Vikings made their third NCAA Tournament appearance with Kauth at the lead, starting all 33 matches for Cleveland State while posting 458 kills, 338 digs and 29 service aces throughout the season.
Manesio, a captain on the Cleveland State men’s soccer team, carries a 3.76 GPA as a finance major. A Cleveland State Dean’s List Honoree, he is also a two-time Cleveland State Athletic Academic honoree and a member of the Horizon League Honor Roll. In 2014, Manesio earned Academic All-League honors.
Starting the 2015 season as a forward, Manesio moved to defense in the fourth game of the year, leading the Vikings backline to six shutouts over the final eight matches to earn a berth in the Horizon League semifinals. He was named to the 2015 Horizon League men’s soccer Defensive Player of the Year as well as voted to the All-Horizon League First Team for the third time in his three seasons. In addition, he earned Horizon League All-Tournament team accolades.
The Horizon League recognizes student-athletes at the conclusion of each of its three athletic seasons. To be eligible for Scholar-Athlete of the Season consideration, a student-athlete must have a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 or higher (based on a 4.00 scale) and are honored on a combination of athletic and academic achievement.