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Bull Run Awards: Recapping the best of the Fall Sports

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UB Athletics

As we told you last week, now that Jon Jones has finished off the UB year, today's the first of a five-day series set to recap the best of UB Athletics in 2014-2015. We've worked out "Bull of the Year" recognition for one student-athlete for each team, and will present them over the next three days, with some bigger 'awards' to close out the week.

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Football Bull of the Year - Adam Redden

John McWhinnie: After going to a bowl game for the second time in program history, and producing a top-5 NFL draft pick, the expectations for football were high going into this past season - needless to say, things didn't go as planned. But, there were a lot of positives, and the choice between Adam Redden, Joe Licata, and Anthone Taylor was a tough one, but in the end Redden won out.

The selling point for Redden was that he was the heart and soul of a defense that underperformed for much of the year. Redden led the team in sacks (6.5), tackles for loss (14.5), forced fumbles (4), and solo tackles (57). Anthone Taylor was impressive as well, racking up over 1,400 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns and that was after missing a game (I'm looking at you Kent State). But, what gives Redden the edge over Taylor is that Jeff Quinn's offense was centered around rushing and I'd contest that Jordan Johnson could've rushed for over 1,000 if given the amount of rushes Taylor had; and Lou Tepper's defensive scheme wasn't all that player-friendly, especially to the defensive backs, and Redden still stood out.

Honorable Mention: Joe Licata, Anthone Taylor

Men's Soccer Bull of the Year - Russell Cicerone

Russell Cicerone - Men's Soccer

Russell Cicerone - Men's Soccer

JM: For some of the teams that we'll be writing about, the choice of who was the best player was an easy one - this is one of those cases.

After a stellar freshman campaign, Cicerone established himself as one of the top offensive threats in the MAC with a 10 goal, 23 point sophomore campaign. He was also named First-Team All-MAC for the second season in a row, the first Bull to do so since Steve Butcher in 1998 and 1999.

Oh and he also won Goal of the Year from TopDrawerSoccer.com for this little gem:

Honorable Mention: Marcus Hanson, Austin Place, Nikolai Berry

Women's Soccer Bull of the Year - Jackie Hall

Matt Gritzmacher: There were really too many possibilities on this team: We could have gone with the goal scorer, the ace dribbler and creative force, the phenom goalie, the rock solid defender, the midfielder who seemed to win 75% of her 50-50 chances, or the rangy scared-of-nothing senior with a killer nose for the ball.

Jackie Hall - Women's Soccer

Ultimately we went with Hall, who did receive the highest individual honor of anyone on the team - Third Team All America, but stood out the most in how unspectacular she was. Hall's play is the definition of "making it look easy." And though she wasn't much of an offensive threat, she did net the third-most goals on the team, all off set pieces, and all but one went for game-winners, including of course the MAC Championship-winning goal against Western Michigan.

Beyond goals, what unquestionably made the difference for us between Hall and others like Laura Dougall and Katie Roberts was the Penn State game in the NCAA Tournament. UB was on their heels from the get-go, but the difference before and after Hall's concussion was significant, and I still think it's a much closer game with a full 90 from the junior.

Honorable Mention: Laura Dougall, Katie Roberts, Courtney Mann

Men's Cross Country Bull of the Year - Cameron Bruce

MG: Until the last few weeks of the season, Bruce had this award locked up. Nevermind that we hadn't decided to do it yet, he was the clear frontrunner. But a late-season injury and a slight fall to the rest of the UB pack in the MAC Championships shook a little bit of a luster off. Still, Bruce was UB's number-one for most of the season, and even in that tough race in the MAC Championships he maintained connection with UB's pack, as three runners all finished within a second of each other. Both Alec Peinkofer and Barrett Kemp finished the season stronger, but Bruce was UB's best for too long to be edged out.

Honorable Mention: Barrett Kemp, Brian Crimmins, Alec Peinkofer

Women's Cross Country Bull of the Year- Corinne Birchard

JM: Here we have another sophomore who turned in a solid campaign, and for Birchard the key for her season and the voting for this award was consistency. Out of all her races throughout the season she paced the Bulls in all but one; this includes a team best 27th place finish out of 104 runners at the MAC Championships with a 21:41 time in the 6k. She also paced the Bulls at the NCAA Northeast regional with a time of 22:03 in the 6k placing 98th out of 275; leading the Bulls to a 19th place finish out of 40 teams.

Honorable Mention: Melinda Wheeler, Christina Clarkin

Volleyball Bull of the Year- Tahleia Bishop

Tahleia Bishop - Volleyball

MG: As it stands, UB's eighth-place finish in the MAC tied their best-ever result, even as Bishop missed six conference matches to injury. Given that missed time, we wondered if someone else had the numbers and the consistency to merit recognition, but the junior was so far above her peers that there was no other choice. No one came close to Bishop's 4.13 kills per set, and even in many of the counting stats Bishop was tops on the team despite playing 25 fewer sets than fellow outside hitter Megan Lipski.

Much like Hall, Tahleia's importance to the team was evident in this first-round MAC Tournament loss to Western Michigan. That Bishop is no longer with the team despite one more year of eligibility makes this paragraph even more bittersweet.

Honorable Mention: Megan Lipski, Cassie Shado, Amber Hatchett, Niki Bozinoski