ODU Announces 2013 Athletic Hall of Fame Class
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Five former Panther student-athletes comprise the 2013 Ohio Dominican Athletic Hall of Fame class, and that group will be recognized during the Homecoming ceremonies the weekend on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 27-28.
Two former baseball players (Chris Ofat and Keena Ridley), two volleyball players (Claudia Anderson and Kathleen Thomas) and a former softball player (Jena Whitcomb-Williams) make up the 2013 class, which is the seventh in school history. The inaugural class was inducted in 1996-97, and there are now 32 members of the ODU Athletic Hall of Fame.
The group will be honored at the Athletic Hall of Fame Recognition Dinner on Friday evening, Sept. 27 in the Bishop James A. Griffin Student Center and will also be recognized during a ceremony at halftime of the football game, which kicks off at noon Saturday, Sept. 28 against Grand Valley State.
Induction into the Ohio Dominican Athletic Hall of Fame is one of the highest honors that a Panther student-athlete can receive. The Hall of Fame formally recognizes former students and coaches who excelled in Ohio Dominican athletics as well as friends of the university who helped to advance the overall athletics program to new levels. The Hall of Fame encourages student athletes to strive to attain the highest standards of performance and conduct.
"We are honored to welcome these five individuals into the Hall of Fame,” Athletic Director Jeff Blair said. “They represent the best of Ohio Dominican athletics and are a strong part of our proud tradition and history. We look forward to welcoming them back to campus and celebrating their accomplishments.”
No volleyball player in school history has played more matches than Claudia Anderson (’92), and she ranks third in the record books with 1,654 kills and fourth with a career .287 hitting percentage. Also the school record holder for most career aces (166), Anderson earned First Team All-MOC accolades and was also an all-district selection in 1991 after racking up 511 kills. Anderson also ranks fifth in digs (1,543) and total blocks (394) in school history.
Chris Ofat (’04) picked up First Team All-AMC honors in both 2002 and 2004 and was an honorable mention selection in 2003. He earned NAIA All-American scholar-athlete recognition in 2004 as well. In his final three seasons as a Panther, Ofat compiled a 25-12 record with a 2.83 ERA and seven saves in over 260 innings pitched, limiting opponents to a .237 batting average against.
In ODU’s deep baseball record books, no one has quite had a single-season like Keena Ridley (’87), who batted a school-record .548 in 1985 while picking up Second Team All-American honors. Ridley had 74 hits that year and also garnered all-district and First Team All-MOC honors. Ridley followed that by batting .479 in 1986 with 43 RBI and 29 stolen bases to again earn First Team All-MOC and all-district accolades.
Kathleen Thomas (’01) is the lone volleyball player in ODU history to surpass 2,000 kills in her career, setting the school mark by putting 2,005 in her career. She’s also the school record holder for kills in a season (645), kills per game in her career (3.82), career hitting percentage (.327) and single-season hitting percentage (.358). Not just an offensive threat, Thomas blocked a school-record 578 shots as well. A two-time AMC Player of the Week, Thomas earned three First Team All-AMC honors and was also a two-time NAIA All-American Scholar-Athlete.
One of the top hitters in school history, Jena Whitcomb-Williams (’03) was named the AMC Player of the Year in 2003 after swatting nine home runs with 58 RBI and compiling a 19-game hit streak. A three-time All-Great Lakes Region selection, Whitcomb-Williams also picked up two Second Team All-AMC awards and a First Team All-AMC award. As a freshman, she was named the NAIA Player of the Week and was also a two-time All-AMC Scholar-Athlete.