SHREVEPORT, La. – In a vote conducted by the Centenary athletic staff, Ladies softball senior Anna Dunn and Gents Basketball senior Travion Kirkendoll were named the Centenary Female and Male Athletes of the Year.
Dunn received many postseason accolades this year, including becoming both the first National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American and First Team All-Region honoree in Centenary history. She also became the first Ladies softball player in more than a decadeto be named First Team All-Louisiana by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association (LSWA).
In a spectacular career that also included three All-Conference nods and the 2015 Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference Newcomer of the Year award, Dunn saved the best for her senior season. She led the SCAC with a .424 batting average, a .915 slugging percentage, 52 RBIs, 15 home runs, and 108 total bases, breaking the Ladies single season record (non-scholarship era) in all five categories. She also broke both the conference and Centenary season home run record in the 2018 Conference Tournament.
Dunn also swiped 11 bags on the season, becoming the first player in SCAC softball history to tally double-digit home runs and stolen bases for a season.
For her play from April 9-15, Dunn received Player of the Week honors from both the SCAC and NFCA for the first time in her career. In seven games, she went 16-26 with 20 RBIs and five home runs. On senior weekend, April 14-15, she went 11-for-14 with seven runs scored, three doubles, and three home runs in the Ladies' four-game sweep of Dallas. Her two home runs in the second game on Saturday was the first time a Ladies hitter has hit two round trippers in one game in five seasons.
Dunn completed her career with a .371 batting average, the best in school history during the NCAA Division III era (minimum 200 at-bats). She also easily broke the career records in slugging percentage (.654), runs (112), hits (169), home runs (27), RBIs (126), total bases (179), and doubles (44) during the non-scholarship era.
Kirkendoll, who led the SCAC in points per game for the second in time in three seasons, received Second Team All-Region honors from both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and D3Hoops.com. He was named First Team All-Conference for the third time in four seasons while also being tabbed Third Team All-Louisiana by the LSWA.
Kirkendoll finished 27th in the nation, scoring 22.2 points per game – the highest scoring output of his career and the fifth-most in the history of the SCAC. His 576 points in 2017-18 also ranks second on the Gents single-season list during the NCAA Division III era and fifth in the conference single-season record book.
In the SCAC Championship game against Schreiner, he broke the 13-year old career conference scoring record. His 1,919 career points ranks fourth overall and tops among during the NCAA Division III era in Gents basketball history.
Kirkendoll reached double digit scoring in 25-of-26 games, matching a career high with 37 on 14-for-20 shooting in the Gents 111-109 double overtime victory against Johnson and Wales December 3, 2017. In the final regular season game of his collegiate career against Austin College, Kirkendoll shot a career-best 9-for-11 (81.8 percent) from the field – including 8-for-9 (88.9 percent) in the second half alone – in helping the Gents rally from a 12-point deficit for the win on February 17, 2018.
Kirkendoll also finished his senior season second in the SCAC in steals per game (2.3, 31st in the nation) and seventh in assists per game (3.4). Leading the Conference in steals each of his first three seasons, his 199 thefts ranks tied for fourth overall and tops in the Gents career annals in the NCAA Division III era and sixth in SCAC history.
Besides Dunn and Kirkendoll, four other Centenary athletes were on the ballot for Athlete of the Year recognition. Other Ladies nominees were senior Desiree Frey (volleyball), junior Tavia Smith (gymnastics), and junior Jessica Varner (golf). The other nominee to represent the Gents was baseball senior Kaleb Kirk.
Frey received Second Team honors from both the LSWA and the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference, becoming the first volleyball player to be named All-Conference by the SCAC. She finished second in the SCAC and 60th in the nation with 401 kills. She also became the first player in school history to breach the 1,000 digs and 1,000 kills plateau for a career.
Smith earned First Team All-American accolades from USA Gymnastics (USAG) in the All-Around after receiving career highs on the bars, beam, and floor, and in the All-Around at the USAG Championships in April. She also finished second in the country among NCAA Division III gymnasts with a 37.830 Regional Qualifying Score (RQS), improving more than five-tenths from the previous season. Academically, Smith received All-Academic recognition from both the USAG and Midwest Independent Conference.
Last year's Centenary Female Athlete of the Year, Varner won four golf tournaments in 2017-18 to be named SCAC Golfer of the Week four times. Varner grabbed SCAC Women Golfer of the Year recognition for the second straight year as she finished All-Conference at the SCAC Women's Golf Championships for the third consecutive season. She also received All-Region honors from the Women's Golf Coaches Association.
The 2016 Centenary Male Athlete of the Year, Kirk was named ABCA/Rawlings Third Team All Region as a starting pitcher after helping lead Gents baseball to its third SCAC Regular Season Championship in four seasons. He finished third in the SCAC in wins (eight, 33rd in the nation) and fifth in ERA (2.60, 141st in the nation). He did not allow a run in his first 14 innings pitched of 2018, going 3-0 in the month of February, earning Team of the Week honors from D3Baseball.com (February 13) and Player of the Week accolades from the SCAC (February 5).
Kirk finished his career with 31 wins and a 2.75 ERA, breaking the career record (non-scholarship era, minimum 100 innings pitched) in both categories. The 31 victories also rank second in the SCAC career annals.