Barnes, Buelow Named AU Athletes of the Year

Barnes, Buelow Named AU Athletes of the Year



April 27, 2009 - Ashford University seniors Franklin Barnes (track and field) and Jenny Buelow (volleyball) were bestowed with Male and Female Athlete of the Year honors on Monday evening in a special ceremony at the Best Western Frontier Inn. Seniors Brian Cummings (baseball) and Aubree Rhoades (volleyball) were presented with AU Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors for the third year in a row.

Voting was determined through a ballot by the Saints' head coaches.

"We are extremely proud of what these student-athletes have accomplished in their careers at Ashford," said Ashford Athletics Director Meg Schebler. "We will miss them and we wish them the best of luck as they move on to the next step in their lives."

Barnes is gearing up for one final appearance at the MCC Track and Field Championships later this week in Dubuque. He is the reigning conference 55-meter hurdles champion from the indoor season and was honored as the MCC Track Athlete of the Week in March.

The senior tandem of Buelow and Rhoades leaves the Saints' program with their names permanently etched in the school's record books as leaders in many statistical categories.

Buelow departs as the school's all-time leader in total kills, service aces, digs, and total points. She was selected to six all-tournament teams and the Center Point, Iowa, native was a three-time MCC Player of the Week.

Rhoades hangs up her uniform ranking second in school history in kills and points while finishing fifth in blocks and fourth in digs. She was a First-Team All-MCC honoree her senior year and collected honorable mention league honors as a junior.

Buelow and Rhoades weren't able to attend Friday's home spring scrimmage against Mt. Mercy College (W, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20, 25-15) for different reasons, but both seniors admitted it would be an emotional parting if they sat in the bleachers.

"I know I would have wanted to be out there (on the court)," said Rhoades, a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete. "The time went by so fast -- it really snuck up on me."

"The program helped me grow as a person so much from when I was a freshman to where I am now," added Buelow, who earned third-team NAIA All-American and First-Team NAIA Midwest Region recognition. "It would have been really hard for me to sit and watch."

Cummings is enjoying a banner senior year, currently riding a 23-game hitting streak with just one date left on the regular-season schedule. He is on the verge of receiving NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors for the second straight year, but the 6-6 third baseman isn't quite ready to hang up the spikes.

"It just began to hit me when I was on the bus (on the way home from Indiana) that I have just two more games left," said Cummings, the current MCC leader in batting average (.443). "I have the luxury of being able to live with my mom and dad and that really helped balance academics and athletics."

The burning question is how Cummings has maintained his torrid pace at the plate, hitting .514 (18-for-35) since suffering a fractured cheekbone April 8 against Waldorf College.

"I was a little slow and my mechanics were off, but it was just about putting the pieces back together," Cummings said. "I didn't lose any confidence."

Ashford will recognize its senior class on Monday, May 4th, at 5:30 p.m. in a separate ceremony.

April 27, 2009 - Ashford University seniors Franklin Barnes (track and field) and Jenny Buelow (volleyball) were bestowed with Male and Female Athlete of the Year honors on Monday evening in a special ceremony at the Best Western Frontier Inn. Seniors Brian Cummings (baseball) and Aubree Rhoades (volleyball) were presented with AU Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors for the third year in a row.

Voting was determined through a ballot by the Saints' head coaches.

"We are extremely proud of what these student-athletes have accomplished in their careers at Ashford," said Ashford Athletics Director Meg Schebler. "We will miss them and we wish them the best of luck as they move on to the next step in their lives."

Barnes is gearing up for one final appearance at the MCC Track and Field Championships later this week in Dubuque. He is the reigning conference 55-meter hurdles champion from the indoor season and was honored as the MCC Track Athlete of the Week in March.

The senior tandem of Buelow and Rhoades leaves the Saints' program with their names permanently etched in the school's record books as leaders in many statistical categories.

Buelow departs as the school's all-time leader in total kills, service aces, digs, and total points. She was selected to six all-tournament teams and the Center Point, Iowa, native was a three-time MCC Player of the Week.

Rhoades hangs up her uniform ranking second in school history in kills and points while finishing fifth in blocks and fourth in digs. She was a First-Team All-MCC honoree her senior year and collected honorable mention league honors as a junior.

Buelow and Rhoades weren't able to attend Friday's home spring scrimmage against Mt. Mercy College (W, 25-22, 25-19, 25-20, 25-15) for different reasons, but both seniors admitted it would be an emotional parting if they sat in the bleachers.

"I know I would have wanted to be out there (on the court)," said Rhoades, a two-time NAIA Scholar-Athlete. "The time went by so fast -- it really snuck up on me."

"The program helped me grow as a person so much from when I was a freshman to where I am now," added Buelow, who earned third-team NAIA All-American and First-Team NAIA Midwest Region recognition. "It would have been really hard for me to sit and watch."

Cummings is enjoying a banner senior year, currently riding a 23-game hitting streak with just one date left on the regular-season schedule. He is on the verge of receiving NAIA Scholar-Athlete honors for the second straight year, but the 6-6 third baseman isn't quite ready to hang up the spikes.

"It just began to hit me when I was on the bus (on the way home from Indiana) that I have just two more games left," said Cummings, the current MCC leader in batting average (.443). "I have the luxury of being able to live with my mom and dad and that really helped balance academics and athletics."

The burning question is how Cummings has maintained his torrid pace at the plate, hitting .514 (18-for-35) since suffering a fractured cheekbone April 8 against Waldorf College.

"I was a little slow and my mechanics were off, but it was just about putting the pieces back together," Cummings said. "I didn't lose any confidence."

Ashford will recognize its senior class on Monday, May 4th, at 5:30 p.m. in a separate ceremony.