Xavier Athletic Hall of Fame Ready For Three New Members
Oct. 23, 2006
CINCINNATI - The P. Douglas O'Keefe Xavier University Athletic Hall of Fame will welcome three new members in ceremonies on Friday, November 10 at Cintas Center. This year's three new inductees are former basketball standout and long-time radio voice of the Musketeers Joe Sunderman ('79), former baseball star Pete Spoerl ('83) and XU's first-ever Atlantic 10 Player of the Year for Women's Basketball, Jennifer Phillips ('01), who led XU to the 2001 NCAA Tournament "Elite Eight" run.
The awards dinner will take place on Friday, November 10 in the James Duff Banquet Center in Cintas Center. The evening begins with a reception at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:30 p.m. The awards program is scheduled to start at 8:15 p.m. For more information on reservations and tickets, please call 513-745-3571. The trio of inductees will be honored again the next day at halftime of Xavier's men's basketball regular season opener against Coastal Carolina.
This year's three additions will bring the total number to 96 inductees honored in the O'Keefe Family Athletic Hall of Fame on the Cintas Center concourse. The display, which opened in 2005, is the result of a gift from 1959 graduate P. Douglas O'Keefe. The hall was constructed on the Cintas Center concourse in an area that overlooks the student dining area of the Center. The hall includes display cases with a variety of memorabilia and trophies, video monitors and much more.
Jennifer Phillips is one of the most courageous Musketeers and best leaders in program history. Phillips is sixth all-time with 1,633 career points and fourth all-time with 742 career rebounds and is still the only Musketeer to be named Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, as Phillips earned the honor following the 2000-01 season.
Phillips' senior year marked the best season in Xavier women's basketball history and it's clear to all that watched the season unfold that she was the heart and soul of a talented veteran squad. Phillips led Xavier to the 2001 Atlantic 10 Championship and ended the season fifth in the country in field goal shooting percentage. Phillips then helped the Musketeers advance to the NCAA Tournament Elite Eight, which included the program's signature victory, an 80-65 win over No. 3 Tennessee in the 2001 NCAA Mideast Regional Semifinal en route to a 31-3 record.
Pete Spoerl, who still holds the second-best career batting average mark at Xavier (.377), was one of the most talented and versatile players ever to play baseball at Xavier. It was his versatility that later won him a spot on the 1987 U.S. Pan Am Softball Team.
Spoerl made steady progress during his four-year Xavier career as a clutch hitter and a good fielder. He hit .348 as a freshman and .336 as a sophomore, playing first base and second base. He played second base as a junior, hitting a team-high .396 and displaying fine defense with only 10 errors the entire season. Spoerl moved to shortstop his senior year to make room for XU Hall of Famer Ted Shalloe at second base. He enjoyed his best offensive season as a senior, leading the team in hitting (.412), games (49), at bats (170), hits (70), runs (46), doubles (13) and game winning RBI's (four). Spoerl was named 1982 MCC Northern Division Player of the Year.
Joe Sunderman made a major impact on the court as a player, playing in 97 games and starting 74 times. He enjoyed his best season as a senior, averaging 9.6 ppg. and a team-high 8.6 rpg. and shooting 52.9 percent from the field before being forced to sit out the final seven games with an injury. Earlier in his senior season Sunderman helped XU capture what is still regarded as the most prestigious regular season men's basketball championship in school history, beating nationally-ranked Southern Cal and host Tennessee to win the Volunteer Classic. Sunderman had 19 points and 15 rebounds in the impressive win over USC.
Since graduation, Sunderman's name has been synonymous with Xavier basketball. Sunderman has been a part of Xavier's radio broadcasts for 26 years and counting and has volunteered for countless Xavier events and fund-raisers over the years, including serving as emcee at the annual basketball banquet.