ThunderBolt - Alumni & Friends Newsletter

August / September 2013

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With three full seasons of competitive cheer under its belt, Thunder Cheerleading will look to continue its success. The squad plans to continue to build on its fourth-place finish at the CanAm Cheer Nationals in 2011, where Trine Cheer team upset several of the perennial favorites.

To prepare for the upcoming season, the Trine University Cheerleading squad attended camp at The University of Tennessee where it placed first in sideline, third in overall game day, fourth in fight song and fourth in cheer. The team also walked away with two honorary awards, Overall Improvement and Camp Leadership.

In addition to the competitive agenda, the squad looks forward to volunteering in the community as well as supporting another winning Thunder football season at all home games and nearby conference rivals.

When the fall season comes to a close, cheerleaders will be ever present at winter sports including men’s and women’s basketball contests. In the spring, Thunder cheerleading hopes to expand its competitive schedule. In addition to competing at the national level in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the squad will be present at local competitions.


High Voltage members are excited to begin their third season at Trine. The squad will be composed of five returners and three freshmen. As it prepares to perform for home football and basketball games, the team will also be getting ready for its second competition season, where it plans to compete nationally at the CanAm Nationals in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

To prepare for the upcoming season, High Voltage attended preseason camp at Otterbein University where it placed first in Team Dances and Overall Top Performer. Four of the eight dancers earned All-American honors as well as senior Mackenzie Bird being recognized as Best Dancer.

In addition to the competitive agenda, the team looks forward to volunteering in the community as well as supporting another winning Thunder football season at all home games. As fall comes to a close, the dancers will be ever present at winter sports including men’s and women’s basketball contests. The women are filled with new energy, a passion to dance and are looking forward to supporting Thunder athletics.

Men’s golf

Last year was a tough pill to swallow for the men’s golf team. In the final round of the Spring Qualifying Tournament, Trine would have won the round and advanced to the national tournament but a disqualification cost the Thunder its first NCAA Tournament appearance. Trine will look to regroup as all but one of their starting five returns from last season, including All-MIAA Second Team honorees in senior’s Nolan Eli and Graham Bennett.

Eli had a breakout season for the Thunder as he won two events and placed in the top 10 in seven of the 12 events in which he played. Bennett also had a solid campaign netting top-10 finishes in five events. Also returning for the Thunder is sophomore Bryce Moore who played in 10 events for the team a year ago and finished in the top five twice.

Others who return for the squad after seeing significant time include senior Nick Ihrie, junior Brandon Snell and sophomores Conner Dwyer and Cody Knapp.

Men’s soccer

In its first season under head coach Trevor Ferrell, the Thunder posted an 8-10-1 record and finished fifth in the conference just a spot out of the MIAA Tournament. This year’s squad returns its entire defensive backfield and a core of young players to have the Thunder poised for another run at the postseason.

The Thunder defense will be led by junior goalkeeper Chris Stewart and senior defenseman Samuel Seibolt. Stewart logged every minute in goal last season for the Thunder while logging seven shutouts and ranking 30th in Division III in total saves. The Thunder defense also returns sophomore Jacob Nantz, who started all 19 games and junior David Gannon, who also played in all 19 contests.

Offensively, the Thunder must replace their two leading goal scorers who graduated. Trine does return junior Karston Shephard, who led the team with five assists last season, along with senior David Duquette, who started all 19 games. Other offensive players returning who saw significant time include junior Mac Green and sophomores Kenny Rappuhn and Nick Lang.

Women’s golf

The Thunder women’s golf team looks to continue to improve its chances of qualifying for the four-team Spring MIAA Qualifier after finishing sixth in the conference a season ago. Coach Van Brandt’s squad features just one senior in Jennifer Sir Louis while returning the core of his young squad from a season again.

Sophomore Amy Worthington looks to continue to lead the Thunder after starting her career at Trine with a victory in her first collegiate event at the Trine Kick-Off Classic. Worthington would go on to win three other events during her freshman campaign as well as place in the top 10 in six out of nine events. Worthington shot the six lowest rounds of the season for the Thunder, including a 75 during the spring.

Also returning for the Thunder is fellow sophomore Amanda McPherron, who picked up two top-five finishes on the year. The Thunder will also look to another sophomore in Mikala Freeland, who played in nine events for the team while posting two top-10 finishes. Junior Leisha Beutler returns this season for the Thunder after being a key contributor during the 2011-12 campaign.

Women’s soccer

The women’s soccer team is primed for a run in the conference as Coach Terry Stefankiewicz’ roster returns a core of young players. The team fell in several close games including one-goal contests to tournament qualifiers Hope and Alma. The roster features leading scorers in sophomores Skyler Reed and Kayla Case along with junior Eleni Agelopolous, who led the Thunder in assists a season ago.

Also returning for the squad is sophomore goalie Sloan Davis, who started all 20 games in goal for the Thunder. Davis had an outstanding freshman campaignas she finished the season ranked 22nd in Division III in total saves and 31st in minutes played. She also recorded 16 saves in a game against Hope.

The Thunder also returns juniors Trisha King, Melissa Smiles and Amy Williams. King has started all 40 games during her two years at Trine while Williams and Smiles have started all but one game during their time. The team also returns sophomores Kara Franks, Lindsay Hoffman, Jamie McCarrell and Jordyn Rogers, all of whom saw significant playing time last season.


Football head coach Matt Land enters his eighth season after coming off back-to-back 7-3 seasons, and Trine finished second in the MIAA in 2012. The Thunder will need to replace several key starters from a season ago, including MIAA Offensive MVP in wide receiver JaVontae Hence. Trine also lost two-year starting quarterback Ryan Hargraves and All-MIAA First Team defensive back Myron Puryear to graduation.

The 2013 squad features four players who were named to preseason All-American lists, led by senior guard Andrew Webster and senior kicker Tyler Keck. Webster was named to three different preseason All-American teams, including being selected as a first team honoree by Keck was one of just two MIAA players to be named to the Beyond Sports Network (BSN) second team. Joining Keck and Webster on the USA College Football, Inc., 25th annual list were senior tackle Taylor Sprague and senior outside linebacker Caleb Nitz, each garnered First Team All-MIAA honors in 2012.

Trine’s season will get underway Sept. 5 when the team heads to Manchester (IN) for the opener at 7:30 p.m. The Thunder then plays its home-opener against Elmhurst (IL) at 1 p.m. Sept. 14. Other non-conference games for the Thunder include a home game Sept. 21 against Concordia (WI) for the MIAA/NACC Challenge series before traveling to Division II St. Joseph’s (IN). Trine’s conference season begins at home when it hosts Kalamazoo during homecoming weekend at 1 p.m. Oct. 5.


The Trine volleyball team is coming off its first back-to-back winning seasons since the late 1980s and looks to continue its push toward the top of the conference. Trine will be a young squad this season as it has just one senior on the roster in Carlee Felber. After graduating the school’s all-time kill leader Betsy Irwin and all-time assist leader Sarah Radekin, the Thunder will look to junior Carly Searles, who was named to the All-MIAA Second Team last season. Searles finished 2012 with 20 double-doubles and two triple-doubles while ranking second on the team in assists and digs and third in kills and blocks.

The team will also look to a group of sophomores to improve in their second season with the Thunder. A season ago, Taylor Rabel, Stephanie Radandt and twin sisters Lauren and Megan Verkamp saw action in all 30 games for the squad. Coach Jamie Wozniak will rely on them to help guide the Thunder to another winning season and a spot in the postseason.

Trine opens the season on the road at the Otterbein and Capital tournament on Aug. 30 and 31. The Thunder then opens the home season with a tri-match Sept. 3 when it faces Olivet in its conference opener and also faces Rose-Hulman. Trine will take one preseason favorite, Calvin, at home Sept. 11.

Cross country

The Trine University cross country team will experience a major change this season as coach Charlie Massi will hand over the reins of the women’s team to first-year head coach Amanda Malefyt while Massi will continue to serve as the men’s head coach.

The men’s team finished sixth in the conference a season ago after placing sixth at both the MIAA Jamboree and the MIAA Championship. The Thunder would go on to place 26th at the NCAA Great Lakes Regional meet. The squad will look to a trio of seniors in Ethan Fry, Michael Hammond and JD Morris to help lead the Thunder. The team returns most of its young core group from a season ago.

The women’s squad is coming off its best result ever at the NCAA Regionals with an 18th-place finish. The team looks to continue to climb the MIAA ranks after moving up from eighth to seventh last season. The Thunder will be a young squad with no seniors on the team and just two juniors in Kelli Hogenkamp and Kelly Scholer. The team also returns a trio of sophomores, all of whom had significant race experience in their first year in Courtney Forsythe, Ariel McCoy and Hallie Roof-Hildreth.