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2021: The UMHB Athletics Year In Review

BELTON, Texas- 2021 saw a number of incredible achievements in UMHB athletics, from conference titles, to win streaks, to individual performances. In this year in review, we attempted to capture a snapshot of some of the notable numbers that defined 2021 for the Cru, as well as some of the memorable quotes and moments following 2021’s key victories.

From the fans’ perspective: Best memories from the year in UMHB athletics

“Definitely the comeback against Hardin-Simmons…”

“The 21-point comeback against Hardin-Simmons…”

“Going to Ohio and leaving UNDEFEATED NATIONAL CHAMPS”

“CRU Volleyball beating TLU in a five set match at home!!”

“The UMHB women’s basketball team beating the undefeated #2 team in the country for their first ever back-to-back ASC championship has to be up there for sure.”

“Men’s soccer team had a defensive player (Harper Roland) receive offensive player of the week for the ASC conference.”

“In his final start in Belton, Jeb Zolman struck out 12 and threw a 1-hitter in a shutout of McMurry!

“Coming back from a 21-point deficit against Hardin-Simmons under the lights in Belton has to be one of the best second-half performances we’ve seen from the Cru in a long time.”

“Anytime the ball was thrown deep to Brandon Jordan, you knew he had the chance to make a momentum-gaining play!”

If you have a memory or moment from 2021 that you would like to contribute, please email Riley Zayas at

Quotes that captured the biggest moments of the year

“It’s a testament to the kids. We’ve had some kids have to fight through Covid, we’ve had the snowstorm, we’ve had Concordia’s gym have problems [forcing a game to be moved]. So the fact that these kids have been able to stay ready, focus on what they can control and just be where their feet are has been really impressive to me.”

-Head men’s basketball coach Clif Carroll after his team finished ASC play at 13-0

“You hear a lot now, ‘dream to be great’. We don’t have to dream because here’s the thing, I know the talent that sits on this bus, I know the talent that is in that locker room. They’re very talented and they were more than capable to do what they did tonight.”

-Head women’s basketball coach Mark Morefield following the Cru’s 75-72 ASC Tournament Championship win

“I feel like each day this program hits the fast forward button. Today was no different. The guys expect to win when they step on field, that’s the biggest difference.

“I’m very proud of this group for so many reasons. They deserved this today.”

-Head baseball coach Mike Stawski after UMHB won at the ASC Tournament for the first time since 2014

“It was kind of a culmination. We talked about our very small, attainable goals. First thing was the in the tournament, get a one or a two seed. Get a one seed, host, because we get a bye. Then the next goal was get to the final. We talked not about finishing, but finishing well.”

-Head volleyball coach Mark Pryor’s remarks after the Cru’s three-set sweep of UT-Dallas for ASC Tournament title on April 10.

“Our goal has been 20 [wins] in ‘21. So we won five early and 15 this fall. 20 in ‘21…that’s awesome.” 

-Head football coach Pete Fredenburg’s message to the fan base upon arrival in Belton following the Stagg Bowl victory

Where the Crusaders hail from (States and countries represented on the 2021 rosters)


Total victories celebrated during the calendar year for the Cru


Total games/meets/matches contested in 2021


Combined 2021 win percentage


Maria Rico was named just the third USC All-American in program history, after leading the women’s soccer team to a 14-3-2 record during the fall 2021 slate. The forward led the ASC in goals (13), shots (59) and ranked second in goals per game (0.68). She also scored five game-winners during the season. 


UMHB volleyball’s Kayla Janikula and Hannah Frasca were the only Crusaders to see action in all 90 of UMHB’s sets during the 2021 season. Janikula, a senior hitter, tallied 246 kills and a team-high hitting percentage of .386. Frasca, who also earned ASC Tournament MVP honors in the spring, led the Cru with 310 kills. 


74 was the second round score necessary for UMHB golf’s Sydney McConnell to win the 2020-21 ASC Individual Title in Brownwood, as she shot a 151 for the two-day tournament, and emerged victorious by a single stroke. McConnell was the 12th Individual ASC Champion in program history, and competed at the NCAA Championships the following week. 


The UMHB women’s basketball team took down four Top 25 teams during 2021, defeating Hardin-Simmons and ETBU in the ASC Tournament, before beating Hardin-Simons and UT Dallas in the first part of the 2021-22 season.


The UMHB football team took down five Top 25 opponents on its run to the Stagg Bowl title, defeating, in order, No. 17 Trinity, No. 19 Birmingham-Southern, No. 7 Linfield, No. 4 Wisconsin-Whitewater, and No. 1 North Central. The Crusaders also added a 34-28 win over then-No. 7 Hardin-Simmons in the regular season for a total of six Top 25 wins in 2021. 


ASC Championship titles (Regular-Season and Tournament) for UMHB in 2021


Consecutive starts by UMHB shortstop Caimyn Holiday since 2019. He started all 39 games in the 2021 season.


UMHB basketball’s Josiah Johnson tied Robert Moore’s single-game scoring record of 53 points in a 105-76 win over Concordia (TX) on Feb. 27, 2021.


UMHB golfer Ari Saldana won the ASC Individual Title by a single-stroke on April 27. He shot scores of 70 on the first two rounds, before firing a 74 in the final round.


Goals Scored during the men’s soccer team’s 10 straight ASC wins in the fall


Total points scored by football over the course of the 20 games in 2021


The combined number of points scored during the calendar year by the men’s and women’s basketball teams, who combined for a 40-13 record

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