Niagara Athletics Announces Hall of Fame Class of 2013

September 13, 2013  |  by Michael Freedman

The Niagara University Department of Athletics is proud to announce the members of the Hall of Fame Class of 2013. The induction ceremony will be held Sunday, Oct. 13, at noon on the fourth floor of St. Vincent’s Hall as part of Niagara University’s Alumni Weekend.

The Hall of Fame Class of 2013 includes Juan Mendez, ’05 (men’s basketball), Barret Ehgoetz, ’05 (hockey), Milena Matijevic, ’04 (women’s tennis), the 1993-94 men’s swimming and diving team and the Rev. Joseph Hubbert, C.M., ’73.

The keynote speaker for the event is the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president.

Hall of Fame inductees are chosen on the basis of playing ability, integrity, character, leadership, sportsmanship and his or her contributions to the athletics teams on which he or she played as well as to Niagara University in general, among other qualifications.

Mendez rewrote the Niagara record books during his four seasons on Monteagle Ridge. The 6-foot-8 forward led the Purple Eagles to the second NCAA Tournament berth in school history while amassing over 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds. He ranks in the top five in seven career categories, including points, rebounds and blocks.

The 2005 MAAC Player of the Year averaged 23.5 points and 10.6 rebounds per game during his senior season while leading NU to the MAAC championship. Mendez scored 23 points with 13 rebounds in the championship victory over Rider to earn MAAC Tournament MVP and propel the squad into its second-straight postseason berth, and just the second NCAA Tournament in school history. That season, he also landed on the AP All-American Honorable Mention Team. During his career, Mendez was named First-Team All-MAAC a record three times.

Ehgoetz had an incredibly successful collegiate career at Niagara University, leaving a mark on both the university and the College Hockey America conference. The native of Kincardine, Ont., finished his college career as the all-time leading scorer in both Niagara and CHA conference history, before pursuing a successful professional ice hockey career upon receiving his diploma.

Throughout his four years with the Purple Eagles, the three-year captain notched a program best 166 points off 71 goals and 95 assists, and added 142 penalty minutes. The forward led Niagara in points his final two seasons, including his final year where he was tops on the team with 46 points (16 g, 30a) in 36 games and was the league’s leader in points and assists.

His final stat count had him standing first in CHA history in career points and assists, ranking second in conference history in career goals. The three-time all-conference team honoree was also named to the Academic All-CHA team three times while majoring in business.

The Purple Eagles’ former No. 1 singles and doubles player, Matijevic finished her career at Niagara as the program’s all-time singles and doubles winner. She finished her four-year career with a singles record of 104-9 and a doubles mark of 56-16. The 2003 and 2004 MAAC Most Outstanding Women’s Tennis Player posted a 23-2 overall record and 6-1 league mark in singles in her senior season, and helped Niagara to the program’s first ever International Tennis Association team ranking (71st) in 2004.

A three-time member of the MAAC All-Academic Team, Matijevic was honored as a 2004 CoSIDA Women’s At-Large Academic All-American with a 3.99 in mathematics. The Niagara Falls, Ont., native was honored as MAAC Female Student-Athlete of the Year for the 2002-03 and 2003-04 seasons.

The 1993-94 men’s swimming and diving team became the first Niagara program to capture a MAAC Championship. The Purple Eagles were victorious in seven events as they edged Loyola by 22 points to win the championship. Niagara won four of the five relays in the championship, and placed third in the other relay. The foursome of Ryan Delaney, Ken Krawczyk, John Ruffolo, and Chris VonDuring won both the 200- and 400-yard medley relay. VonDuring teamed with Delaney, Trevor Gabriel, and Jim Burns to win the 400-freestyle relay, and with Krawczyk, Burns, and John Dobbertin to win the 200-yard freestyle relay.

VonDuring also won the 100-yard fly and finished fifth in the 100-yard freestyle and Ruffolo posted wins in the 100- and 200-yard breaststroke. Delaney added two individual top-three finishes to go along with his three first-place relay finishes. He was the runner-up in the 200-yard fly and third in the 200-yard fly and third in the 200-yard freestyle. Other third-place finishes for Niagara included Jim Burns in the 200-yard individual medley and the foursome of Delaney, Burns, Chris Newell, and Chris Holland in the 800-yard freestyle.

Father Hubbert is an avid supporter and contributor to Niagara Athletics. A 1973 Niagara University graduate, Father Hubbert has been affiliated with Niagara Athletics since returning to the university as a professor in the religious studies department in 1993. Father Hubbert has served as the softball team moderator since 1995 and the men’s and women’s basketball teams’ moderator since 2006.

Tickets for the hall of fame luncheon and induction ceremony are $25. For questions or further assistance, please contact Jennifer Ebbole at 716.286.8600 or ude.aragainnull@elobbej.