Jacksonville Sports Day

Dolphins Sweep A-Sun Student-Athlete of the Year Honors

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A banner and well decorated season full of accomplishments continued on Wednesday night for the Jacksonville University Athletics Department. The Dolphins swept the Atlantic Sun Male and Female Student-Athlete of the Year awards with Garrett Ruckel (baseball) and Sammie Strausbaugh (volleyball) receiving the league’s top honors. The awards were handed out in conjunction with the A-Sun Annual Spring Meetings Banquet.

Ruckel, who is also one of 18 finalist for the 2015 TD Ameritrade Fan’s Choice Award, is a recent a recent Magna cum Laude graduate and was Jacksonville University’s 2015 President’s Award winner for Outstanding Leadership. A member of the Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society as well he posted his best statistical year batting .324 with five doubles while posting a team-best on-base percentage of .442. Ruckel also notched a career-best nine RBI, scored 17 runs and struck out just four times in 71 at bats.

Off the field, the Jacksonville native and Stanton Prep product stays active in the community. He was the student-athlete representative on the JU Board of Trustee’s Athletic Committee, President of the Green Key Leadership Society awarded to the top one-percent of students and served on JU’s Presidential Leadership Advisory Council. Devout in his faith, Ruckel has served as President of Campus Outreach in Christian Ministry and is a Volunteer Leader of Northeast Florida Young Life for the last three years.

Strausbaugh graduated in three years with a perfect 4.0 GPA in exercise science. The 2014 A-Sun Player of the Year, she led the Dolphins to back-to-back A-Sun Championship titles and NCAA appearances in 2013 and 2014. In her three seasons with the Dolphins she was a 1000 kill and 1000 dig club member becoming the all-time kills leader in program history with 1366.

This year she was voted to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team while recording 20 or more kills in 10 matches and a double-double in 25 of 34 matches. Strausbaugh ranked 10th nationally with 567 kills, 17th nationally with 4.50 kills per set and 19th with 4.99 points per set while leading the A-Sun in all three categories. She also had a league best 0.37 aces per set.

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