|Women's sports banquet a success|
MOSCOW, Idaho - Five University of Idaho women's athletics teams gathered in the University Inn Best Western Monday evening for the annual Idaho Women's Sports Banquet, where student-athletes were recognized for their achievements on and off the court, course and pool.
The Idaho women's basketball, women's golf, swimming and diving, women's tennis and volleyball teams joined to celebrate their accomplishments and dole out team awards. In addition to being honored by their respective teams, Idaho's female student-athletes were applauded as a whole for their combined 3.3 cumulative grade point average.
While the women's basketball team does not give out individual awards, seniors Bianca Cheever, Yinka Olorunnife, Emily Doran, Derisa Taleni and Rachele Kloke were recognized for their hard work and dedication to the program over the last four years. Doran, a biochemistry major, was the team's recipient of the Kathy Clark Scholar-Athlete award.
The women's golf team honored their Most Improved Player, as well as low scorer. Teo Poplawski, who shaved more than two strokes off of her scoring average from a year ago, earned the team's Most Improved award with a 74.59 average. Kayla Mortellaro, who won the Western Athletic Conference individual championship and her second consecutive WAC Player of the Year award last week, won the award for the team's lowest scoring average, with a 71.59 average. Mortellaro, a junior public relations major, also earned the Kathy Clark Scholar-Athlete award.
Swim and dive coach Tom Jager acknowledged his four seniors -- Elizabeth Jagusch, Alyson O'Brien, Staci Stratton and Mary Sasala -- and also handed out the Vandal Zone Award, which recognizes excellence in academics, athletics and character. Freshman Lyndsey Williams was the recipient of that award, while Stratton, a sport science major, earned the Kathy Clark Scholar-Athlete award
Head women's tennis coach Tyler Neill honored his seven fourth-year seniors -- Silvia Irimescu, Natalie Kirch, Yvette Ly, Barbara Maciocha, Dana Panter, Jana Siwa and Justine Textor -- and also handed out awards for Inspirational Leadership, Most Improved and Most Valuable Player. Ly took home the Inspirational Leadership Award, while Kirch, who played her way into the doubles lineup this season and went 7-0 in singles play in the spring, was named Most Improved Player. Victoria Lozano, a freshman who spent most of the season playing at the top spot in singles and doubles, earned Most Valuable Player honors. Molly Knox, a biology major, earned the team's Kathy Clark Scholar-Athlete award.
The volleyball team recognized its Most Inspirational and Most Valuable Players. Sophomore Julia Church and junior Cassie Hamilton shared the Most Inspirational award, and freshman Allison Walker was named the team's Most Valuable Player. Walker was a first-team all-WAC, WAC all-tournament team and WAC all-freshman team selection in 2010. Senior Kelsey Taylor, a general studies major with an emphasis in pre-physical therapy, was the recipient of the Kathy Clark Scholar-Athlete award.
While Idaho's soccer, cross country and track and field teams could not make it to the banquet, soccer coach Pete Showler and Track and Field and Cross Country coach Wayne Phipps were acknowledged for their WAC Coach of the Year awards and their excellent seasons in the fall, which included a women's cross country conference championship, and soccer's first ever WAC tournament berth.