UNIVERSITY CENTER, Mich. - The Saginaw Valley State University Athletic Department has selected its annual "Ryder Athletes of the Year" for the past 2015-16 Season. After a banner year for SVSU Athletics, Emily Wendling and Tyler Channell have been chosen as the top female and male athletes, respectively, for the 2015-16 season.
The "Ryder Athlete of the Year" stands as the most prestigious Cardinal athletic award. During his tenure, former SVSU president, Dr. Jack M. Ryder and his wife, Lila, were both passionate fans of Cardinal Athletics. Their support and contributions to the SVSU Athletic Department are recognized on an annual basis with the presentation of the "Ryder Athlete of the Year" award, which is presented to the top male and female Cardinal student-athletes.
Emily Wendling - Women's Basketball
Wendling, the Flushing, Michigan native, was named the 2016 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Player of the Year, the DII Commissioner's Association Women's Basketball Midwest Region Player of the Year and earned a spot on the CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team and BCAM Academic-Athletic Team. She posted 13 double-doubles along the way and scored 20+ points 14 different times. She went for a career-high 31 points twice in those 14. Emily surpassed the 1,000-point mark for her career and earned five GLIAC North Division Player of the Week awards this season.
She would go on to earn three different all-american accolades, being named to the D2CCA All-American Second Team, Women's Division II Bulletin All-American Second Team and Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-American Honorable Mention team. Wendling was a driving force in the Cardinals claiming the program's first-ever GLIAC North Division championship and second-ever trip to the NCAA Division II national tournament. SVSU posted its second-ever win in the annual postseason tourney as well, notching a victory over Bellarmine University.
Emily led the GLIAC in scoring (18.5 ppg) and total points (536). She was second in offensive rebounds (105) and fourth in free throw percentage (85.5). Emily helped her team to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since the 1992-93 season and a share of the GLIAC North Division title.
SVSU women's basketball head coach Jamie Pewinski on Emily Wendling...
"This award is the culmination of all the hard work that Emily has put in over the four years that she has been at SVSU. Emily had an amazing season individually and is extremely deserving of this award and every other award that she received over the past year. However, knowing Emily, I know she's more excited about the way the entire team performed and how as a group we were able to accomplish some lofty goals and have a historic season.The future is very bright for Emily and we look forward to seeing continued growth in her final year in an SVSU uniform."
Tyler Channell - Men's Soccer
Channell, a senior forward, was named to the 2015 All-America First Team after posting 52 points on the season with 19 goals and 14 assists. The D2CCA Midwest Region First-Teamer and Midwest Region Player of the Year was also named the GLIAC Offensive Player of the Year for the second time. He earned National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) First Team All-Midwest Region plaudits as well.
Channell was an offensive catalyst in leading the Cardinals to an overall record of 15-4-1, with the team advancing to the NCAA Division II Tournament for the fourth time in the past five years. SVSU won its opening round game before bowing out in the second round.
The Troy, Michigan native capped his final regular season by racking-up 50 points; totaling 18 goals and 14 assists for SVSU. His 50 points led the nation and his 14 assists put him as fourth in that category. His 18 goals ranked him third in the nation as well. He led the GLIAC in points and assists and was second in the goals category and was selected as the Offensive Player of the Week four straight times to start the season. At the time, Channell held SVSU records for career points (104), career goals (38), game-winning goals (10), assists (28), points in a season and assists in a season.
SVSU men's soccer head coach Andy Wagstaff on Tyler Channell...
"Tyler Channell is a true success story for SVSU athletics and collegiate sports in general. He came to SVSU as a walk on player on the men's team and found himself becoming the program's all-time leading goal scorer, an All-American and a player who was in the 2016 draft for Major League Soccer, America's main professional soccer league. Unfortunately, Tyler did not get drafted but was one of very few collegiate players to be included into that elite level. As a player and captain for me at SVSU, he was outstanding! He was an extension of the coaching staff in the locker room and on the field. Tyler Channell is a true American collegiate success story; the kind of story that people dream of being the center of. He will go down as a player I will always remember as one of the best."
Wendling and Channell will be recognized at the annual SVSU Athletic Hall of Fame Banquet on Saturday, September 24 and again in pregame of the Cardinals' home football game against Ohio Dominican later that night. Kick-off for that game is slated for 7:00 p.m.