ST. LOUIS -- Ryan Jones of Wichita State University and Taynara Moraes of the University of Northern Iowa have been selected the Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athletes of the Week, Commissioner Doug Elgin announced today. Jones and Moraes were honored for their performances during the period of March 24-30. Now in its ninth year of existence, The Valley’s Scholar-Athlete program is sponsored by Prairie Farms, Roberts and Hiland Dairies. On a weekly basis, the Conference honors its student-athletes for their athletic performance for a one-week period and academic success in the classroom.
“Our continued corporate partnership with Prairie Farms provides an important vehicle by which to recognize our top student-athletes,” said Commissioner Elgin, who is in his 20th year with The Valley. “Our student-athletes are our most visible representatives, and we’re happy to honor Ryan (Jones) and Taynara (Moraes) for their athletic and academic achievements.”
An outfielder for the Wichita State baseball team, Jones, a sophomore from Wichita, Kan., led the Shockers to a 6-0 week (Binghamton on March 25 and 26 and North Dakota State on March 28-30) by connecting for a .500 average (12-for-24), 11 RBI, nine runs scored, a double and three triples.
The MVC Player of the Week, Jones, who has a 3.37 cumulative grade-point average in education, collected at least one hit in all six games and had multiple hits in four of the six contests. The owner of a career-best seven-game hitting streak, Jones had a career-high four hits and four RBI against North Dakota State on March 28.
A member of the Panthers women’s tennis team, Moraes, a junior from Santos, Brazil, won both her singles and doubles matches to help UNI defeat Drake, 4-3, in the Panthers’ MVC opener.
Moraes, who has a 3.01 cumulative grade-point average in economics, defeated Drake’s Sarah Plowman 3-6, 6-1 and 7-5 at No. 4 singles. At No. 1 doubles, she combined with Meghana Paritala to earn a 9-7 victory over Veronika Leszayova and Plowman.
To qualify for Prairie Farms/Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Week laurels, student-athletes must carry a cumulative grade-point average of 3.00, completed at least one academic year at a Valley institution and must be at least a sophomore in academic standing. In addition to the academic qualifications, student-athletes will be evaluated on their athletic performance for a one-week period.