Each month, The Summit League will feature outstanding student-athlete performances from a selected institution as recognized by its Faculty Athletic Representative. The May installment of The Summit League Scholar-Athlete Spotlight features three student-athletes from Western Illinois.
Sadie Webb, Western Illinois
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Sr./Emporia, Kan.
Sadie Webb was voted Second Team All-Summit League this past season, leading the Leathernecks to an opening round upset of Oral Roberts and into the semifinals of The Summit League Tournament. Webb owns a 3.91 GPA and was named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District team this year. The league's 'Newcomer of the Year' in 2010-11, Webb led the team in scoring both seasons as a Leatherneck, turning in 10 career 20-point games. She was selected as a Distinguished Scholar on the 2011 Summit League Winter/Spring Academic All-League Team. Webb was recently voted as the Western Illinois Student-Athlete of the Year, celebrating academic and athletic success. Webb turned in career-highs of 31 points and 45 minutes played at Northern Illinois last season. When she broke the 30-point mark, Webb became the first Western player to do so since 1998. She played a key role in the Leathernecks, picked to finish 10th, finishing in a tie for sixth in the standings. In her 60 career games played, Webb averaged 13.3 points per game, and she scored the most points this season (446) since former WNBA player Zane Teilane scored 492 in 2005-06.
Andy Ryan, Men's Soccer
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Sr./Rolling Meadows, Ill.
Major: Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration
Andy Ryan helped the Leathernecks win The Summit League regular season and tournament championships, advancing to the NCAA College Cup for the fifth time in the last eight years. Western finished the 2011 season 13-7-1 overall and 4-2 in the league. He joined Sadie Webb in being named Western Illinois Student-Athlete of the Year for 2011-12, celebrating academic and athletic success. A First Team All-Summit League selection, he was a four-time pick as 'Defensive Player of the Week' throughout the season. He finished as the statistical leader in The Summit League in virtually every goalkeeping category, ending with 95 saves (ranked ninth nationally), an .826 save percentage and 0.98 goals against average (56th nationally). Ryan was also named a Distinguished Scholar by The Summit League for the second consecutive year. Ryan was named SoccerSavings.com/Chicagoland Soccer News 'Men's College Player of the Week' on October 3rd for the week prior. During his junior year he earned Second Team All-Summit League honors, recording three shutouts. Over the past two seasons, he started 38 of the team's 39 games played.
Jenna Verity, Track & Field
Eligibility Year/Hometown: Jr./Schaumburg, Ill.
Major: Pre-Law Political Science
Jenna Verity made history at Western Illinois last fall when she was named the University's first-ever finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship. Verity, on track to graduate in three years, wants to pursue Master's degrees in Criminology and Criminal Justice and spoke about her passion for those fields. Last May, Verity received the Ernest J. Codilis, Jr., Pre-Law Scholarship from the Centennial Honors College. Other awards Verity has earned include: the Keith Webb Scholarship, Lulu and Marcy Bodine Scholarship Award, Charles Leonard Scholarship Award, and Presidential Scholarship Award. Along with her awards and athletic accolades, Verity currently serves as President of the Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International Pre-Law Chapter. Verity joined the Western Illinois chapter of Habitat for Humanity in Spring 2010 and was voted President earlier this year. Verity is a member of the Western Illinois University Judicial Board and served as a campaign manager in the recent mock presidential election. She also is a member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and was a Senator-At-Large with the Student Government Association. During the 2011 outdoor season, Verity set a personal-best in the hammer throw with a toss of 156-9 at the Stan Lyons Invitational. She also set a personal best in the weight throw at the 2011 Summit League Indoor Track and Field Championships, clearing 49-11.75 feet for ninth place. At the 2011 Summit League Outdoor Track and Field Championships, Verity (148-4) finished tenth in the hammer throw.