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Vittese and Kiser Claim UVA Top Honors

May 2, 2018

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. - Tara Vittese (field hockey) and Micah Kiser (football) were honored as Virginia’s top male and female athletes for the 2017-18 academic year at the Hoos Choice Awards on Wednesday (May 2) at John Paul Jones Arena. Vittese netted the IMP Award as UVA’s top female athlete, while Kiser earned the WINA Award as the top male athlete.

Vittese (Cherry Hill, N.J.) picked up her third-straight National Player of the Year honor this season. She is the first field hockey player in the history of the sport to be named the National Player of the Year three times in her career and is only the second Virginia athlete to be a three-time national player of the year in any sport, joining Ralph Sampson with that distinction. Vittese is the first Cavalier to be a two-time ACC Player of the Year (earning her second honor this season) and the first to be a four-time first team All-American. Vittese was among the nation’s leaders in nearly every offensive category this season, finishing the year second in points and goals per game, helping to lead the Cavaliers to an NCAA Tournament berth and the ACC regular-season title.

Kiser (Baltimore, Md.) won the prestigious 2017 Campbell Trophy, which has been dubbed the “Academic Heisman,” out of a pool student-athletes that covered NCAA Division I, II, II III and all of NAIA. In 2017, Kiser became the first Cavalier to earn All-ACC Academic team honors and first-team All-ACC honors in the same season on three different occasions. After leading the Atlantic Coast Conference with 145 tackles, Kiser was also named a first-team All-American by the Sporting News. Kiser’s 145 tackles in 2017 were the fourth-most in the nation and are No. 2 all-time on UVA’s single-season ledger.

Men’s basketball standout De’Andre Hunter (Philadelphia, Pa.) was named Male Rookie of the Year and field hockey player Pien Dicke (Den Haag, Netherlands) was named Female Rookie of the Year.

Hunter, who earned ACC Sixth Man of the Year honors, averaged 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 33 games. He reached double figures in 16 games and was Virginia’s leading scorer in six contests. Hunter was named ACC Co-Rookie of the Week following his 22-point performance at Miami on Feb. 18. He banked in a dramatic game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer at Louisville on March 1. Hunter was also named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.

Dicke scored a hat trick in her first collegiate game. She was a first-team All-American, ACC Freshman of the year and first-team All-ACC honoree. Dicke averaged 1.05 goals per game and 2.45 points per game, both of which ranked second in the conference and nationally. The two-time ACC Offensive Player of the Week set the single-season record for hat tricks by tallying five this season. She helped lead the Cavaliers to the ACC regular-season title and earn a spot in the NCAA tournament.

Betsy Brandon (Littleton, Colo.) of the women’s soccer team earned the Wahoowa Award, which goes to the individual who best displayed selflessness, commitment, school pride, and leadership, all while contributing to the betterment of the team.

Men’s basketball earned Comeback of the Year, rallying from a five-point deficit with 0.9 seconds left at Louisville. Ty Jerome (New Rochelle, N.Y.) made three free throws and after a violation by Louisville, De’Andre Hunter banked in a game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cavaliers an improbable 67-66 win. Hunter’s game-winning three-pointer at the buzzer earned Men’s Play of the Year honors.

The Cavalier soccer team delivered the Women’s Play of the Year. In a torrential downpour during the quarterfinals of the ACC Championships, the Cavaliers completed a come-from-behind win over Wake Forest when Meghan McCool (Glenside, Pa.) hit what proved to be the game-winning goal late in the second half. After being dispossessed of the ball near the end line, McCool chased down the ball before it rolled out of bounds and turned back in toward the goal. As she dribbled through the mud and water, she fired her shot on goal – slipping as she struck it – and sent the ball in to the top corner of the goal past the leaping Wake Forest keeper for the win.

Volleyball player Haley Fauntleroy (Winnetka, Ill.) and men’s lacrosse player Chase Campbell (Baltimore, Md.) earned the Ernest H. Ern Jr. awards for outstanding contributions to student life at Virginia.

Thomas Walsh (High Point, N.C.) of men’s golf was the recipient of the Ralph Sampson Scholarship Award. Ryan Conrad (Timonium, Md.) of men’s lacrosse received the Virginia Athletics Department's Distinguished Student-Athlete Scholarship Award.

Administrative assistant Sharon McCauley earned the Bus Male Memorial Service Award for her years of service to the athletics department. Mia Hoen-Beck (Vienna, Va.) of women’s soccer received the Craig Fielder Memorial Award for overcoming adversity. Women’s soccer player Olivia Hazelrigg (Rolling Hills, Calif.) netted the Life Skills Scholarship Award.

William Lynch (Charlottesville, Va.) was the recipient of the Bob Goodman Memorial Award for his service to Virginia athletics as a team manager for field hockey, and Korey Blodgett (McLean, Va.) of the field hockey program received the Tim Abbott Memorial Award for the second consecutive year. The Abbott Memorial Award honors the student assistant athletics trainer most dedicated to and possessing empathy for the student-athletes.

Kiser and Veronica Latsko of women’s soccer earned ACC Scholar-Athlete awards. Field hockey’s Carrera Lucas (Brooklandville, Md.) earned the Susan J. Grossman Memorial Award in recognition of outstanding service to student-athletes and contributions to the Student-Athlete Mentor Program. Pole vaulter Katie Freix (Chantilly, Va.) received the Jettie Hill Memorial Award as the fourth-year female student-athlete with the highest scholastic average through her four years at Virginia, while wrestler Garrett Peppelman (Harrisburg, Pa.) garnered the Gus Tebell Memorial Award as the fourth-year male student-athlete with the highest scholastic average through his four years at Virginia.

Virginia's ACC Top VI Award recipients included Chesdin Harrison (Montpelier, Va., baseball), Chase Weaverling (Darnestown, Md., men’s track and cross country), Holly Sullivan (Chester Springs, Pa., women’s track), Corey Johnson (Ambler, Pa., women’s diving), Logan Carrington (Leesburg, Va., men’s track) and Fauntleroy (volleyball).

In addition, 74 student-athletes were honored as recipients of a 2018-19 Virginia Athletics Foundation endowed scholarship. Recognized by the Virginia Athletics Foundation (VAF) and the UVA Athletics Department for their contributions to the University of Virginia athletics program, these student-athletes excel academically, athletically and as leaders in the community. In coordination with Virginia Athletics administration and UVA head coaches, VAF aims to recognize deserving student-athletes who meet the criteria of each of named scholarships. Six of these scholarships will be awarded for the first time during the 2018-2019 academic year.

An endowed scholarship gift is one of the most powerful gifts a donor can make and has a lasting impact on UVA Athletics. Naming opportunities for endowed scholarships start at $250,000. Endowment donors are recognized on the Endowment Wall, located on the second level of the John Paul Jones Arena.

About the Virginia Athletics Foundation (VAF): Each year, donations to VAF from our generous donors allow University of Virginia student-athletes to compete at their very best in the classroom and in their sport. At the University of Virginia, all 316.6 athletics scholarships, the Athletics Academic Affairs office, a portion of sport-specific operational fees and facilities are funded through private donations to the Virginia Athletics Foundation.

Team Awards
Baseball – Billy Word Memorial Award – TBA
Men’s Basketball - Sidney Young Memorial Award – Devon Hall and Isaiah Wilkins
Women’s Basketball - Coaches Award for Excellence – Jocelyn Willoughby
Men’s Cross Country - Coaches Award for Excellence – Brent Demarest
Women’s Cross Country - Coaches Award for Excellence – Frances Schmiede
Field Hockey - Coaches Award for Excellence – Nadine de Koning
Football - John Acree Memorial Award – Micah Kiser
Men’s Golf - F. Dixon Brooke Memorial Award – Thomas Walsh
Women’s Golf - William E. Eacho Memorial Award – TBA
Men’s Lacrosse – Henry Gaver Memorial Award – Scott Hooper
Women’s Lacrosse – Coaches Award for Excellence – Kasey Behr
Rowing - Coaches Award for Excellence – Ali Zwicker
Men’s Soccer - Stanley Lerner Memorial Award – Joe Bell
Women’s Soccer - Coaches Award for Excellence – Veronica Latsko
Softball - Coaches Award for Excellence – Allison Davis
Men’s Squash – Coaches Award for Excellence – Mason Blake
Women’s Squash – Coaches Award for Excellence – Carey Danforth
Men’s Swimming & Diving - Brooke Maury Memorial Award – Zach Fong
Women’s Swimming & Diving - Diane Montgomery Greene Memorial Award – Rachel Politi
Men’s Tennis - Norton Pritchett Memorial Award – Aswin Lizen
Women’s Tennis - Coaches Award for Excellence – Cassie Mercer
Men’s Track & Field - Henry Cummings Memorial Award – TBA
Women’s Track & Field - Z Society - The Lou Onesty Memorial Award – TBA
Men’s Indoor Track & Field – Coaches Award for Excellence – Jordan Scott
Women’s Indoor Track & Field - Coaches Award for Excellence – Holly Sullivan
Volleyball - Coaches Award for Excellence – Haley Fauntleroy
Wrestling - David Senft Memorial Award – Jack Muelle

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Jeff White

Director of News Content

jwhite@virginia.edu

A 1985 graduate of UVA, White worked at the Richmond Times-Dispatch until July 2009. He was honored six times as the state's Sportswriter of the Year.

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