May 7, 2015
Inaugural Gobblers awards show recognizes Tech's top moments and performances of 2014-15
New format and new location a hit among student-athletes and coaches

BLACKSBURG – The Virginia Tech athletics department celebrated the athletics and academic accomplishments of its student-athletes and coaches Wednesday night at the inaugural Gobblers awards show held at the Moss Arts Center on campus.

The show took the place of the All-Sports Banquet, and the athletics administration changed the format. Instead of just announcing the winners of each award, administrators decided to go with a format similar to the ESPY’s, which recognizes individual and team athletics achievement and other sports-related performances.

Andrew Allegretta served as the master of ceremonies for the event, and members of the Virginia Tech Student-Athlete Advisory Committee presented the awards. Here is the complete list of top accomplishments and of those recognized:

Best Game - This award goes to a team or individual with the best played game of the year.

WINNER: Football vs. Ohio State

Best Sports Moment - This award goes to the team or individual whose performance was both inspirational and memorable through either a single act or a broader storyline. This moment can be on or off the playing surface.

WINNER: Hannah Young - Women’s Basketball vs. NC State, game-winning buzzer beater at ACC Women’s Tournament

Male Rookie of the Year - This award goes to one male student-athlete in his first year of competition who has made a tremendous impact on his team through his performance. Only freshmen and redshirt freshmen are eligible.

WINNER: Isaiah Ford - Football

(Also nominated: Zach Epperly, wrestling; Ricardo John, men’s soccer)

Female Rookie of the Year - This award goes to one female student-athlete in her first year of competition who has made a tremendous impact on her team through her performance. Only freshmen and redshirt freshmen are eligible.

WINNER: Klaudia Nazieblo - Women’s Swimming

(Also nominated: Madi Conyers, women’s soccer; Breanna Davenport, softball)

SAAC Member of the Year - The Student-Athlete Advisory Committee is a leadership group consisting of student-athletes representing all sports at Virginia Tech. SAAC serves as a liaison between the administration and the student-athlete experience and offers input on ACC and NCAA rules, regulations and policies that affect all student-athletes’ lives on NCAA member institutions. The committee meets twice a month and this year’s leadership team consists of Carol Kahoun, Jared Allison, Morgan Latimer and Kylie McGoldrick.

WINNER: Carol Kahoun - Women’s Tennis

ACC Top Six for Service Awards - Each year, the ACC honors student-athletes on each campus for their outstanding dedication to service. Virginia Tech, with its motto of Ut Prosim, is proud to have student-athletes involved in service projects annually, including but not limited to: volunteering at local elementary schools and participating in programs like Micah’s Backpack and Herma’s Readers. This year, six student-athletes who have embraced the university motto and have dedicated countless hours to serving the community selflessly were honored. The six were: Ronny Vandyke (football), Katie Bean (women’s swimming and diving), Matt Dauby (baseball), Christian Beyer (men’s basketball), Michelle Prong (softball) and Scot Vincent (golf).

Best Breakthrough - This award goes to an athlete who has increased his or her athletics performance dramatically.

WINNER: Robert Owen - Men’s Swimming

(Also nominated: Christian Beyer, men’s basketball; Thomas Curtin, men’s track and field)

Best Upset - This award goes to a team or individual who won a game or competition over an opponent that was either ranked significantly higher or posed seemingly insurmountable odds.

WINNER: Men’s Tennis vs. No. 2 Duke

(Also nominated: baseball vs. Virginia)

Best Championship Performance - This award goes to the team or individual who rose to the occasion and had an outstanding performance in an ACC or NCAA championship competition (does not include regular-season performances).

WINNER: Men’s Track & Field winning ACC Indoor Championship

(Also nominated: wrestling at NCAA Championships; women’s basketball in ACC Tournament; men’s basketball vs. Wake Forest in ACC Tournament)

Best Male Athlete - This award goes to one male student-athlete who consistently led his team to notable athletics success throughout the season. In short, he was the MVP of all male student-athletes.

WINNER: Devin Carter - Wrestling

(Also nominated: Thomas Curtin, men’s track and field; Kendall Fuller, football)

Best Female Athlete - This award goes to one female student-athlete who consistently led her team to notable athletics success throughout the season. In short, she was the MVP of all female student-athletes.

WINNER: Kaylea Arnett - Women’s Diving

(Also nominated: Murielle Tiernan, women’s soccer; Hanna Green, track and field)

The following student-athletes received awards for their performances in the strength and conditioning program: Erik Payne (baseball); Will Johnston (men’s basketball); Samantha Hill (women’s basketball), Wyatt Teller (football); Ryan Mondy (golf); Meghan Macera (lacrosse); Diego Menendez de Miguel (men’s soccer); Morgan Conklin (women’s soccer); Lauren Gaskill (softball); Drake Becksted (men’s swimming and diving); Holly Harper (women’s swimming and diving); Aaron Gomez (men’s tennis); Laura Ramthun (women’s tennis); Jared Allison (men’s track and field); Johnna Dominick (women’s track and field); Ashley Battle (volleyball); Dan Garwood (wrestling); Abbey Stafford (HighTechs); Andrew Stone (men’s cheerleading); Katherine Stewart (women’s cheerleading).

The following awards for their performances in the nutrition program: Will Johnston (men’s basketball); Allison Woodward (women’s golf); lacrosse (team of the year).

The following student-athletes were named team MVPs: Alex Perez and Brendon Hayden (baseball); Justin Bibbs (men’s basketball); Vanessa Panousis (women’s basketball); Stuart Robertson (men’s cross country); Paige Kvartunas (women’s cross country); Willie Byrn (football); Trevor Cone (golf); Megan Will (lacrosse); Ricardo John (men’s soccer); Shannon Mayrose (women’s soccer); Kylie McGoldrick (softball); Robert Owen (men’s swimming); Weronika Paluszek (women’s swimming); Logan Stevens (men’s diving); Kaylea Arnett (women’s diving); Hunter Koontz and Andreas Bjerrehus (men’s tennis); Francesca Fusinato (women’s tennis); Thomas Curtin (men’s indoor track and field); Hanna Green (women’s indoor track and field); Manuel Ziegler (men’s outdoor track and field); Irena Sediva (women’s outdoor track and field); Lindsey Owens (volleyball); Devin Carter (wrestling); Cecile Nguyen (HighTechs); Andrew Stone (men’s cheerleading); Kelsey Smith (women’s cheerleading).

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