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Abaray emerges from national search to lead Lawrence Department of Athletics

Christyn Abaray
Christyn Abaray

APPLETON, Wis. — Christyn Abaray is the new Lawrence University Director of Athletics, President Mark Burstein announced today.

Abaray takes over for Mike Szkodzinski, who announced this past spring he was stepping down to devote his full attention to coaching the Vikings’ ice hockey team. Abaray has served as director of athletics at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, since June 2012.

Read the full release

McLeod takes MWC Offensive Player of the Week honors

APPLETON, Wis. — Lawrence University volleyball standout Diane McLeod has been named the Midwest Conference Offensive Player of the Week.

McLeod (Hartland, Wis./Waukesha Catholic Memorial) led Lawrence to a pair of Midwest Conference victories in the Vikings’ only action of the week. McLeod picked up 75 assists as Lawrence won in straight sets at Ripon College and again in straight sets at home against Illinois College.

In the Vikings’ 25-22, 25-13, 25-22 win at Ripon, McLeod had 39 assists, four digs, three blocks and two kills. In a 25-16, 25-14, 25-17 win over the Lady Blues, McLeod picked up 36 assists, seven digs and two blocks.

For the week, McLeod averaged 12.5 assists per set and helped the Vikings hit .281 as a team. On the season, McLeod has 608 assists and is averaging 8.4 per set. She also has chipped in with 52 kills, 34 blocks, 19 aces and 175 digs.

The Vikings return to action on Friday when they host Lake Forest College in a conference match.



Inside LU Athletics: Barthelmess, Vikings running down football opponents

Lawrence University quarterback Luke Barthelmess is a pure passer. Right? Of course he is because the guy holds virtually every Lawrence passing record. Right?

While Barthelmess has put up prolific passing numbers in his first three seasons, he has shown during this campaign that passing isn’t his only talent. The senior signal-caller is one of the top runners in the Midwest Conference as well as being one of its best passers.

“Luke is an athlete who can throw,” said Lawrence coach Mike Barthelmess, who is Luke’s father. “Being a passer is not his greatest talent. He’s going to move the football, but I think he’s more comfortable moving the football with his legs.”

Coach Barthelmess knew entering this season that his team would have to run the football more effectively. Coach Barthelmess had lost record-setting receiver Tyler Mazur to graduation, and the Vikings have struggled defensively for the past few seasons.

“We knew we were going to have to run the football, No. 1 to keep the defense off the field and No. 2 because we don’t have a lot of speed at the receiver position,” coach Barthlemess said. “We’ve tailored our game plan, our play-calling to that.”

Using a variety of plays that call for Luke to read the defense, Lawrence ranks seventh in the conference at 166.0 rushing yards per game. With its top two running backs gone from last season, the Vikings are averaging 17.2 more rushing yards this year.

“Honestly, I think with my mentality as a football player, I’m probably more suited to play running back,” Luke said. “If I had a different body shape, I’d probably be playing running back. If I ran for a good amount of yards in the past it’s because I was scrambling off the pass.”

Luke is the top rushing quarterback in the league and ranks sixth in the conference at 108.5 yards per game. Luke has more rushing yards through four weeks of this season (434) than he had all of last season (423). He also is averaging a hefty 4.8 yards per carry.

Barthelmess also has completed 97 of 147 passes for 822 yards and ranks third in the league at 205.5 passing yards per game.

The offensive line of tackles Spencer Swick and Luke Zablocki, center Nic Bouressa and guards Nick Schubert and Patrick Pierson deserve a lot of the credit, Luke said.

“When we run the ball in games, we do a lot of read stuff so it requires our guys to be smart,” Luke said. “In general, there’s just more space to run. I don’t know how to explain it, but the offensive line is either thinking as one or selling out for each other. I don’t know, there’s something there.”

Luke also notes that he has become more comfortable over the years running the ball. He recalled a game back in high school where he took what the defense gave him and that was large chunks of yardage with him running the ball. From that point, Luke has just taken the ball and run with it, so to speak.

“From there it’s been a slow progression of running and getting better at it,” Luke said. “I’m just more comfortable having the ball in my hands and running. This summer, I did put in some work knowing I was going to have to run the ball. … I’m channeling my inner Eddie Lacy.”

While the Vikings have moved the ball effectively all season, they have had trouble finishing drives. Lawrence ranks second in the nation in time of possession at 38:22, but the Vikings are averaging only 13.5 points.

Coach Barthelmess said he needs to continue to take advantage of running the ball in the red zone to cash in on some more scoring chances. He admits he lapses into a pass-first mentality at times.

“Our strength right now is running the ball,” he said. “It’s been very much of a growing experience for me to realize as a good play caller you have be willing to take what the defense gives you and what your people are capable of.”

Paider honored

Lawrence football standout Andy Paider picked up a pair of honors this week in the wake of his performance last Saturday against Illinois College.

A senior linebacker from Denmark, Wis., Paider was named the Midwest Conference Defensive Player of the Week and was given honorable mention on the NCAA Division III team of the week selected by USA College Football.

Paider had a career-high 7.0 tackles for loss and had a season-best 14 tackles, including 10 solo stops. The 7.0 TFLs, which included 2.0 sacks, was a season high in the conference this season.

Paider now has 12.0 TFLs on the season and 30.0 for his career, and that ranks fifth on Lawrence’s career list.

More hardware

The Lawrence cross country teams picked up the huge traveling trophy for the combined team title at the Wisconsin Lutheran Invitational this past Saturday.

Both teams finished second and Lawrence posted a combined score of 185. NAIA school Trinity Christian from the Chicago suburbs was second at 207.

Lawrence is putting together a good season with three top-four finishes for both the men and women in four meets this season. The Vikings also won the team titles at the Concordia (Wis.) Invitational earlier this season.

Soccer MASH unit

Injuries continue to pile up for the men’s soccer team as the Vikings are now without three senior starters.

Defenders Dan O’Mahoney and Kelson Warner join forward Cam Pieper and midfielder Joe Cullen on the injury report. While Warner, Pieper and Cullen are out for the season, O’Mahoney may return late in the campaign.

The Vikings have been playing as many as nine first-year players at one time this season. The good news is Lawrence is holding its own with a 4-6-1 overall mark against a quality schedule of opponents. The Vikings are 2-2-0 and in the thick of the race for a berth in the four-team Midwest Conference Tournament.

Editor’s Note: Inside LU Athletics is a notes package written by Lawrence University Director of Athletic Media Relations Joe Vanden Acker. It will feature teams and individual players, recap weekly awards or highlights and take a look at what’s ahead for the Vikings.

Paider picks up national football honor

APPLETON, Wis. — Lawrence University football standout Andy Paider has been named to the defensive team of the week by USA College Football.

Paider (Denmark, Wis./Denmark), a senior linebacker, was given honorable mention on the NCAA Division III national team for the week of Oct. 5. Paider, who also was named the Midwest Conference Defensive Player of the Week, picked up a career-high 7.0 tackles for loss and a season-best 14 tackles in Lawrence’s 26-6 loss to Illinois College.

Paider, who recorded 10 solo tackles, picked up 2.0 sacks as part of his 7.0 TFLs. The 7.0 TFLs is the highest mark by a player in the Midwest Conference this season. Paider now has 12.0 TFLs this season and 30.0 for his career, and that ranks fifth on Lawrence’s career list.

Paider was part of the Lawrence defense that allowed just 20 offensive points to the Blueboys, who were averaging a league-best 45.0 points per game entering the contest.

Lawrence returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Carroll University for a 3 p.m. game.

Paider earns MWC Player of the Week honors

APPLETON, Wis. — Lawrence University football standout Andy Paider has been named the Midwest Conference Defensive Player of the Week.

Paider (Denmark, Wis./Denmark) earned the honor after recording a career-high 7.0 tackles for loss and a season-best 14 tackles in Lawrence’s 26-6 loss to Illinois College. This was the first Defensive Player of the Week honor for Paider, a senior linebacker.

Paider, who recorded 10 solo tackles, picked up 2.0 sacks as part of his 7.0 TFLs. The 7.0 TFLs is the highest mark by a player in the Midwest Conference this season. Paider now has 12.0 TFLs this season and 30.0 for his career, and that ranks fifth on Lawrence’s career list.

Paider was part of the Lawrence defense that allowed just 20 offensive points to the Blueboys, who were averaging a league-best 45.0 points per game entering the contest.

Lawrence returns to action on Saturday when it travels to Carroll University.

Preview: Lawrence vs. Illinois College

APPLETON, Wis. — The Lawrence University football team returns after its bye week and will face Illinois College in the Hall of  Fame Game at the Banta Bowl. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m., and Lawrence will honor its five Hall of Fame inductees at the half. Hans Hartwig, class of 1935, John Bill ’79, Dan Dreyfus ’87, Maggie Phillips Reeve ’96 and Mark Smrecek ’00, will be inducted in a ceremony on Friday evening.


Rowland breaks career digs record but Vikings fall to Carroll

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Lawrence University volleyball standout Kathleen Rowland broke the school’s career digs record on Wednesday night, but the Vikings dropped their Midwest Conference opener to Carroll University 3-0 at Van Male Fieldhouse.

Carroll (9-6, 1-0 MWC) defeated the Vikings (5-11, 0-1) 25-19, 25-15, 25-17.

Rowland finished the night with 19 digs and now has 1,922 for her career. She broke the record of 1,908, which was set by Jenny Burris from 2000-03.

Kayla Storm and Terese Swords paced the Vikings with seven kills apiece. Diane McLeod had 21 assists and 10 digs for Lawrence.

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Inside LU Athletics: Five to be inducted into Lawrence Hall of Fame

APPLETON, Wis. — Five former Lawrence University athletic stars are set to be inducted into the school’s Intercollegiate Athletic Hall of Fame next month.

Hans Hartwig ’35, John Bill ’79, Dan Dreyfus ’87, Maggie Phillips Reeve ’96 and Mark Smrecek ’00 will be inducted in a ceremony at the Warch Campus Center on Oct. 4 and be honored at halftime of the Hall of Fame football game vs. Illinois College the following afternoon.

Hans Hartwig ’35

In the era of ironman football, Hans Hartwig was one of the finest players of the 1930s for Lawrence University.

A native of Wauwatosa, Wis., Hartwig starred in the offensive backfield and linebacker during his career for Vikings. He played three seasons of football (freshmen couldn’t play on the varsity then) for head coach Percy O. Clapp.

Playing in the single-wing offense, Hartwig started at three positions in the backfield during his career. He starred at halfback, fullback and quarterback as a multiple threat with his ability to both run and throw the football.

Hartwig earned all-conference honors as both a junior and senior. In the days before the Midwest Conference selected a team, Hartwig was named to the All-Big Three team in 1933 and was selected for the All-Big Four team in 1934.

Led by Hartwig and fellow Lawrence Hall of Famer George Walter ’36, Lawrence won the mythical Wisconsin collegiate championship by defeating Carroll, Ripon and Beloit in 1934.

A proverbial big man on campus, Hartwig also was a campus champion in both boxing and wrestling.

Hartwig, who earned a degree in chemistry, remained in the Fox Valley after his graduation from Lawrence. He went on to found Crystal Print, Inc., which continues to operate in nearby Little Chute. Hartwig and his wife, Joan, had two children, Chris and Tina. Hartwig passed away in May 1976, and his wife died in 1995.

John Bill ’79

John Bill was the ace of the pitching staff of the best baseball teams in Lawrence University history.

Led by Bill’s powerful right arm, the Vikings won two Midwest Conference championships and made the only two NCAA Division III regional appearances in Lawrence baseball history.

A native of Kenosha, Wis., Bill put together a career record of 23-12, and he continues to be Lawrence’s career wins leader more than 30 years after his graduation. A two-time All-Midwest Conference selection, Bill was honored by the league in 1978 and 1979.

Bill threw a school-record 235.2 innings and set the school career record with 151 strikeouts. He also tossed a school-record 25 complete games, which included two shutouts. Bill also threw a school-record six three-hit games and compiled a 4.32 earned run average.

Bill went 21-8 over his final three seasons after going 4-4 as a freshman. He holds the school season record for wins with his 8-2 record in 1978 and his 7-3 mark in 1979 ranks second. He threw a school-record eight complete games in 1979 on his way to a school-record 70.1 innings pitched.

A two-year team captain, Bill also played in the outfield and served as the team’s designated hitter when he wasn’t on the mound. He enjoyed his best season at the plate in 1978 when he led the team with a .350 batting average.

Bill, who earned a degree in economics at Lawrence, was a first-team Academic All-American in 1979. Bill also played one season of football in 1975 and was the team’s starting punter on a conference championship squad.

Bill and his wife, Teri, own Manchester Investments and live in Greendale, Wis. The Bills have two adult children, Jacob and Sara.

Dan Dreyfus ’87

Dan Dreyfus made stopping the opposition an art form and became the most prolific goalkeeper in Lawrence University history.

Dreyfus holds virtually every Lawrence goalkeeping record and was a key player when the Vikings won the 1985 Midwest Conference championship.

A native of Bogota, Colombia, Dreyfus played his high school soccer in Tallahassee, Fla. Dreyfus earned all-conference honors in 1985 as Lawrence defeated Knox College 3-0 for the league championship. Dreyfus set school and conference season records in 1985 with eight shutouts, a 0.45 goals against average and a .921 save percentage. The save percentage mark still stands as the conference record.

During his three years as the starter in net (1984-86), Lawrence put together a 25-10-1 record. The Vikings finished first (1985), second (1984) and third (1986) in the conference during those seasons.

A team captain and team Most Valuable Player during his career, Dreyfus set the school and conference career records with 18 shutouts, a 1.07 goals against average and an .839 save percentage. The save percentage record still stands as the conference mark.

Dreyfus works at Accenture in Arlington, Va. Dreyfus and his wife, Laura, live in Fairfax, Va., and have a son, Bryan.

Maggie Phillips Reeve ’96

Maggie Phillips stepped to the top of the podium at the Midwest Conference Championships 12 times during her swimming career at Lawrence University. A native of Shorewood, Wis., Phillips won five individual conference championships and was part of seven winning relay teams, and she did it all in just three seasons.

Part of a 3/2 nursing program, Phillips competed for only three years and was part of the group that elevated the Lawrence women’s swim team to consistently be one of the top-three squads in the conference.

Phillips set five individual school records and was part of multiple relay teams to set school records. Phillips continues to hold the 400-yard individual medley record and is part of the team that holds the mark in the 400 freestyle relay.

Phillips started her career with a flash of brilliance at the 1993 MWC Championships. She won individual titles in the 100 freestyle, 200 freestyle and 400 IM and was part of the winning 200 freestyle and 400 medley relay teams.

Phillips came back in 1994 to win the conference championship in the 500 freestyle and swim on the winning 200 freestyle and 400 freestyle relay teams. She then won the 200 IM at the 1995 MWC Championships and was part of the winning 200 freestyle, 400 freestyle and 800 freestyle relay teams.

Phillips also was a 10-time champion at the Wisconsin Private College Championships, and the Vikings won the team title in all three seasons in which she competed (1993, 1994, 1995).

Phillips works as a nurse at UW Hospital. She and her husband, Jamie Reeve ’95, live in Shorewood and have three children, Olivia, Max and Lily.

Mark Smrecek ’00

Mark Smrecek was the rock of the offensive line during his four seasons with the Lawrence football team.

An Appleton native, Smrecek was a two-time USA Football All-American and a four-time All-Midwest Conference selection. A stalwart at guard and tackle, it is believed the Smrecek played every offensive snap from scrimmage, including a few at fullback during his four years at Lawrence. Smrecek also was pressed into action on defense in his final two seasons and would play several series on the defensive line in each game.

An Appleton native, Smrecek also was a standout thrower on Lawrence’s track and field team.

Smrecek is one of just six Lawrence football players to be a four-time all-conference selection. He was a first-team selection in 1997, 1998 and 1999 and made the second team in 2000. A football team captain, Smrecek also received honorable mention on the USA Football All-America team in 1999 and 2000.

Smrecek also competed for three years in track and field and was consistently one of the conference’s best throwers. Smrecek, who set the school record in the weight throw, placed in the weight throw and shot put at the conference’s indoor championships in 2000. He also placed in the shot put at the league’s outdoor championships in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

Smrecek works as a consulting actuary at Towers Watson. He and his wife, Lela, have two children, Rosemary and Hazel, and live in Deerfield, Ill.

Muchowski’s hat trick leads Lawrence past Prairie Fire

GALESBURG, Ill. — Keli Muchowski recorded her first career hat trick to lead the Lawrence University women’s soccer team to a 3-1 Midwest Conference victory over Knox College on Sunday.

Lawrence (2-4-0, 1-1-0 MWC) took a 1-0 lead when Muchowski scored off an assist from Anita Babbitt at the 20:18 mark.

The score stayed that way until early in the second half when Muchowski scored off a pass from Casey Merkle for a 2-0 Lawrence lead. The Prairie Fire cut the lead to 2-1 in the 60th minute, but Lawrence answered.

Muchowski completed the hat trick when she took a pass from Merkle and scored at 65:56 to put the Vikings up 3-1.

Lawrence goalkeeper Dani Glass made one save to pick up the win. Lawrence had a 20-4 edge in shots 

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