Four Honored by LVAIAW

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Four Muhlenberg athletes were honored at today’s Lehigh Valley Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women (LVAIAW) luncheon for their performance during the 2013-14 year.

Founded in 1978, the LVAIAW promotes women’s sports in the spirit of collegiality among the schools in the area (Cedar Crest, DeSales, Lafayette, Lehigh, Kutztown, Moravian and Muhlenberg). The LVAIAW annually awards the top area athlete in each of 11 women’s sports and the top female athlete from each school.

Seniors Nicki Cronin (cross country), CJ Graetzer (soccer) and Kelly Kline (softball) were selected as the top athletes in their respective sports, while junior lacrosse player Stephanie Umbach was named Muhlenberg’s outstanding athlete.

Nicki Cronin  CJ Graetzer  Kelly Kline  Stephanie Umbach
Cronin earned all-region honors for the third straight year and qualified for the NCAA Championships, where she placed 135th, the third-highest finish ever by a member of the Mule women’s team. During the season she also won the Cedar Crest/Muhlenberg Invitational and placed fifth at the Lehigh Invitational, a meet with mostly Division I runners.

Graetzer was named to the All-Mid-Atlantic Region second team, All-Centennial Conference first team and ECAC South All-Star Team. The midfielder was the Mules’ leading scorer with six goals and 13 points, and her successful penalty kick proved to be the winning strike in a shootout at McDaniel in the first round of the CC playoffs. Graetzer finished her career 12th in team history with 18 goals.

Kline is certain to land postseason accolades in the coming weeks after hitting .415 with nine home runs and 34 RBI. The career .394 hitter finished as Muhlenberg’s all-time leader in hits (183), doubles (38), home runs (30), extra-base hits (71), total bases (317), slugging percentage (.683) and RBI (152), setting many of those records by wide margins. Kline was the 2012 CC player of the year and earned all-region honors in both 2012 and 2013.

Muhlenberg had not had the LVAIAW most outstanding athlete in cross country since 1991, in soccer since 1999 and in softball since 1999. The Mules’ three sport honorees tied for their most, previously achieved in 1999.

Umbach had a tremendous junior season in which she set school records for points (99), goals (88), hat tricks (17) and draw controls (93) in a season in leading Muhlenberg to a CC playoff berth. The first-team All-CC selection also was second on the team in caused turnovers (25) and ground balls (35) and set the school and CC record for draw controls in a game (17 vs. Bryn Mawr). Umbach, who ranks second in Division III in goals per game, will enter her senior season as the program’s all-time leader in draw controls (234), second all-time in goals (173) and fifth all-time in points (209).

LVAIAW honorees