Former ETSU female student-athletes and staff honored on SoCon's 25th Anniversary Team
The SoCon announced its 25th Anniversary Teams Monday, and ETSU placed nine former stars on the list.
The SoCon announced its 25th Anniversary Teams Monday, and ETSU placed nine former stars on the list.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (Nov. 27, 2007) - Throughout the 2007-08 athletic season, the Southern Conference will be recognizing female student-athletes and individuals that helped shape women's athletics in the conference, as the league promotes its 25th Anniversary celebration of sponsoring championships for female sports. On Monday, the SoCon released its honorees for each sport, and ETSU placed eight former Lady Buccaneer athletes and one former Director of Athletics on the list.


"It is with great pride and pleasure that we announce the names of eight former female student-athletes and one former Athletic Director for having been selected as members of the 25th Anniversary Team for the Southern Conference, said Associate Athletic Director/Senior Woman Administrator Barbie Breedlove. "ETSU has a proud tradition of outstanding achievements in the SoCon and this recognition is richly deserved." 


Member institutions from the past 25 years selected student-athletes from the nine women's sports who excelled in their respective sport while competing in the Southern Conference. Those making the list for ETSU included: Erin Ashton (Soccer), Angie Barker (Indoor Track and Field), Kim Bird (Cross Country), DeShawne Blocker (Basketball), Jennifer Garriga (Volleyball), Michelle Gregg (Outdoor Track and Field), Tiffany McVay (Softball), and Kristy Pace-Wagner (Tennis).


Janice Shelton was placed on the "25 of Distinction" list, which honors those individuals who have made significant contributions to the overall growth of women's athletics in the conference. 


"Janice Shelton was a pioneer and trend setter; leading the way and opening the door for other women in athletics administration in her role as ETSU's Athletic Director," added Breedlove. "The eight former female student-athletes from ETSU represent the best of the best in their respective sports.  We have a great deal to be proud of as a university and athletic department as we receive these accolades and the respect that comes with them."


In order to recognize the teams as a whole, the SoCon will pay tribute to the past women student-athletes and to those administrators, coaches and individuals who have been involved in the development of women's programs for the past 25 years with a celebration brunch. The brunch will be held in conjunction with the men's and women's basketball tournaments in Charleston, SC, on Sunday, March 9, 2008.


Below is a breakdown of each Lady Buccaneers that were honored.


Janice Shelton - Athletic Director

Janice Shelton became the ninth ETSU Athletics Director on January 1, 1991, and served in that capacity for four-plus years at ETSU.  She was the first woman to earn the post of Athletics Director at ETSU and during her tenure was one of just six females in the nation directing and athletics program.  She served the university for 27 years before retiring in 1995, and was rewarded with numerous honors in her time; most notably the National Association of Collegiate Woman Administrators NCAA District III Administrator-of-the-Year Award in 1991.


Erin Ashton - Soccer

Ashton, a member of the Lady Bucs soccer team from 2002-05 was impressive in the classroom and on the field. The New Bern, N.C. native received a degree in honors biology/pre-med major, boasting a 3.897 GPA. During her time at ETSU, Ashton has made the Dean's List four consecutive years and the National Dean's List in 2005. She holds memberships with Phi Kappa Phi, Alpha Lambda Delta and Gamma Beta Phi honor societies. During her career at ETSU, Ashton played the midfielder and forward positions, becoming ETSU's career leader in goals (35), assists (24), points (94) and shots (200). She was named to the SoCon all-conference team in 2003 and 2004. Many of Ashton's civic contributions include spending two summers doing overseas medical mission projects with Global Outreach Ministries, participating in soccer clinics and community service events with Girls Inc., Toys for Tots, the Salvation Army and Army Angel Tree Program. She also served as a volunteer at the ETSU Child Center and was selected as a Coca-Cola Community All-American.Ashton was also awarded the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The scholarships are awarded to student-athletes who excel academically and athletically and who are in their final year of intercollegiate athletics competition. The one-time grants of $7,500 each are awarded for fall sports, winter sports and spring sports.


Angie Barker - Indoor Track and Field

A 1989 graduate of ETSU, Barker earned All-American status by capturing the 1988 NCAA indoor shot put title.  She claimed three SoCon shot put crowns during her two years at ETSU, the 1988 and 1989 indoor championships and the 1989 outdoor title.  Barker also garnered 1988 Strength and Conditioning All-America accolades and qualified for the 1988 Olympic Trials before suffering a career-ending knee injury. 


Kim Bird - Cross Country

Kim Bird was an ETSU student-athlete from 1981-84, and as a 1984 graduate of ETSU, this former Buc track star still holds four school records since finishing her competitive career 22 years ago. An outstanding distance runner, her mark of 4:47.01 in the indoor 1,500 meters and her time of 9:18.95 in the indoor 3,000 meters still stand as the best in ETSU history, as does her outdoor times of 16:25.10 in the 5,000 meters and 34:41.12 in the 10,000 meters. As a member of the cross country squad, she earned All-American honors in 1984.


DeShawne Blocker - Basketball

DeShawne Blocker was one of the toughest rebounders in Lady Buccaneer history, and also earned a place in the NCAA record books during her career at ETSU.  Blocker led the NCAA during the 1993-94 campaign, in both rebounds in season (450), and rebounds per game (17.6).  The third-ranked scorer in ETSU history with 2,086 points, Blocker posted the highest rebounding game in the NCAA during both the 1993 and 1994 seasons, with 25 and 28 boards, respectively.  Blocker, a two-time SoCon Player of the Year, was tabbed SoCon Freshman of the Year in 1992, SoCon Tournament MVP and SoCon Athlete of the Year in 1995.  One of the most heralded players in Lady Buc history, Blocker was added as an assistant with ETSU during the summer of 2006.


Jennifer Garriga - Volleyball

A two-time Southern Conference Player of the Year, Garriga set ETSU records for games played (498), assists (4,803) and service aces (243), while also ranking second in digs (1,593) and fifth in assists per game (9.64).  A four-year starter for the Lady Bucs, Garriga was an All-Southern Conference selection every year of her career, and earned three consecutive conference tournament team honors from 1991-93; including being named conference tournament MVP in 1992.  She was a member of the 1991 squad that went unbeaten through the SoCon schedule, compiling a perfect 10-0 conference mark.


Michelle Gregg - Outdoor Track and Field

Michelle Gregg, a 1998 ETSU graduate, enjoyed a stellar career as a Buccaneer. She competed at the NCAA Championships from 1996-98 in the 800-meters, and became an All-American during her final stint at ETSU. Gregg began her career on a high note, as she received the Southern Conference Freshman of the Year honor in 1995, and followed that up with a conference title in the 1500-meters in '96.  As well as being a highlight on the track during the outdoor season, Gregg also shined on the indoor track, claiming back-to-back conference championships in the 800-meters during her freshman and sophomore seasons. The sprinter still owns the ETSU record in both the indoor and outdoor 800m, as well as running a leg in the conference record DMR.


Tiffany McVay - Softball

McVay, who played from 2001-04, was a member of the Bucs' inaugural team. An all-conference player in 2003, she still holds the school's single-season records for lowest ERA, wins, saves, complete games and shutouts. She also holds the career records for innings pitched, strikeouts, shutouts and wins. She was equally talented at the plate, hitting 16 home runs and driving in 68 runs in her career. She also had 43 stolen bases, a .388 slugging percentage, scored 99 runs and amassed 250 total bases. McVay was a two-time Southern Conference Pitcher of the Week and was a three-time MVP of the ETSU squad. She made the all-tournament team at the 2003 Western Kentucky Tournament, as well as the all-tourney team at the 2003 SoCon Tournament.


Kristy Pace-Wagner - Tennis

A four-time All-Southern Conference pick, Wagner completed her collegiate career as one of ETSU's all-time top female tennis players. She earned a career record of 94-30 in singles and 74-31 in doubles and was honored with the 1996 Southern Conference Sportsmanship Award. She was a finalist at the 1996 league championships at number one singles and was named All-Conference in doubles along with teammate Dara Bushman. She recorded her best tournament record of 12-4 during the fall of 1995 and ranked 19th in the South Region in singles. Kristy was the first Buccaneer tennis player to win a match at the Rolex Region III Championships in 1995. She also teamed with Bushman to post a 22-14 doubles record, earning the 15th ranking in the Southern Region. Pace-Wagner registered a 25-8 record for the 1994-95 season, including a 17-3 mark in the spring. She recorded an 18-9 mark in doubles in 1994-95 and combined with Lindsey Gastright to advance to the conference semifinals at number one doubles. The tennis star earned 1993 Southern Conference Freshman of the Year honors and turned in a 27-5 singles record and a 20-3 doubles mark. She also set Buccaneer record for the most singles wins by a freshman and most doubles wins; while reaching the finals of the 1993 SoCon Tournament at number one singles and paired with McAvoy to win the number one doubles title. She held the school record for most singles wins at 94 until the 2007 season.


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