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WICHITA, Kan. – The Wichita State Shockers gained plenty of recognition from their season performance at the Night of Champions Banquet, which was held in conjunction with the 2014 xBowling Intercollegiate Team Championships in Reno, Nev., three weeks ago.
Coach Mark Lewis stole the spotlight when he was named Kerm Helmer Coach of the Year for the second year in a row. Even though each award is significant, this one will stick for years to come.
“I really appreciate the recognition,” Lewis said. “But this year, it was teamwork. Coaches Nathan Bohr and Rick Steelsmith took the burden off of Coach [Vadakin]’s shoulders to have a successful season.
This is not just an award for one coach; it is for our whole team.”
At the beginning of the season, Lewis took a leave of absence as he attended to his family for personal reasons.
“All of the hard work they put in when I was gone really showed up,” Lewis said. “It’s not possible to show everyone who got votes, but I’m pretty sure the ones who won awards were not the only ones considered.”
Sophomore Daria Kovalova earned the IBMA (International Bowling Media Association) Collegiate Player of the Year award, averaging 208.66 for 55 games throughout the season. It is her first time receiving this award.
“Tannya’s name was announced for runner-up, and I was left there standing alone. I was confused for a second,” she said. “I never look at the scores. It was completely unexpected, but a great honor.”
Not only was Kovalova named IBMA Player of the Year, she bowled her way onto the NCBCA (National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association) First Team All-American, an improvement on last year’s Honorable Mention award.
Kovalova was not the only Shocker bowler to receive an award. Senior Tannya Roumimper also earned a NCBCA First Team All-American spot, alongside her IBMA Collegiate Player of the Year runner-up finish. She averaged 208.92 for 59 games, the highest average for women this season.
“Bowling is what I love to do,” Roumimper said. “To be named MVP and First Team All-American proves that I do the right thing. I am so grateful to have my teammates and coaches pushing me nonstop. Without them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
This isn’t the first time Roumimper has taken the MVP award either.
“It is an honor to be named MVP two years in a row,” she said. “It feels amazing that someone recognizes all of my hard work throughout the years.”
Senior Holly Harris earned the honorable mention award for the NCBCA All-American Team with an average of 195.06 for 54 games throughout the season.
For the men, junior Francois Lavoie was recognized for the IBMA Player of the Year with an honorable mention. He also earned a NCBCA Second Team All-American spot.
The Shocker bowling program has had over 220 All-Americans. This includes NCBCA All-American award recipients, IBMA All-Americans, and Academic All-Americans.
“Our teams dedicate a tremendous amount of time to this,” head Coach Gordon Vadakin said. “We will continue that process of hard work and hopefully more of our players will be in these positions next year."
The Rhatigan Student Center has been the major financial and administrative supporter of the Wichita State University bowling program since 1959.