Upstate Hands Out Nearly 70 Awards At Pepsi Awards Banquet

April 28, 2008

Spartanburg, S.C. - The USC Upstate Athletics Department held its annual Pepsi Athletics Awards Banquet Monday night at the Spartanburg Marriott at Renaissance Park, handing out 70 awards to highlight the 2007-08 athletic season.

Upstate is winding down its first year as members of NCAA Division I and the Atlantic Sun Conference. Monday night's awards ceremony honored those student-athletes and supporters which have made the first year of NCAA Division I play a memorable one for the University.

Three student-athletes walked away with the Community South Student-Athlete of the Year Award. Women's tennis player Anna Novo, a junior from Caracas, Venezuela, earned the Female Student-Athlete of the Year Award after leading the women's tennis program to the regular season Atlantic Sun Conference championship. She finished the conference season with a perfect 11-0 record and was named the A-Sun Player of the Year. Overall, she finished the year with a 29-5 singles record, breaking the single-season school record for singles wins and the single-season school record with 52 combined wins. A standout on the tennis court, she is also a standout in the classroom, carrying a 3.5 GPA.

Men's basketball player Luke Payne and men's golfer Josh Gallman were named the co-Male Student-Athlete of the Year Award winners. Payne, a senior from Spartanburg, S.C., had a tremendous final season with the Spartans. He led the team and ranked in the top 15 in the A-Sun scoring at 14.9 points per game. He was named to the All-Tournament teams at the BP Top of the World Classic and the State Farm Insurance Sun Bowl tournaments and was an A-Sun Player of the Week selection. He reached 1,000 points in his career during the season and finished his four years as the ninth-leading scorer in the history of the program with 1,381 points. In addition to being a standout on the basketball court, he excelled in the classroom. He has maintained a 3.8 GPA and was named First Team ESPN The Magazine/CoSIDA Academic All-District.

Gallman, a sophomore from Gaffney, S.C., had a dominant year on the golf course. He is currently ranked 74th in the country by GolfStat in their latest individual ranking. He finished under par in 18 of the 33 rounds he played this season and ranks 10th in the country in par-5 scoring. He helped lead the team to eight top five finishes in 12 tournaments this year, including two team championships. Coincidentally, Gallman also finished in the top five individually in the same eight tournaments. He won four individual titles on the links in 2007-08, the most of any Spartan in the history of the golf program and the most of any golfer in the A-Sun this year. He was named the A-Sun Golfer of the Month three times this season. A standout on the golf course, he has also excelled in the classroom, maintaining a 3.8 GPA.

Men's basketball player Mezie Uzochukwu, softball player Morgan Childers and cross country/track runner Emily Tangwar were named the Outstanding Freshman Student-Athletes given for outstanding accomplishment in their first year as members of the Upstate Athletics family.

In addition to the above awards, eight student-athletes received the Pinnacle Award given to those seniors who excelled at the highest of levels during their careers at Upstate. Receiving the Pinnacle Award were Kyle Bowley (baseball), Scott Eckard (baseball), Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso (men's tennis), Susana Hernandez (women's tennis), Diana Martinez (women's tennis), Luke Payne (men's basketball), Tiffany Pitcher (softball) and Shay Slater (softball).

Dan Adams received the Athletics Department's Distinguished Service Award for his loyal support of the University and the athletics program and for providing the lead gift for the Dan Adams Track & Field Complex, which is expected to start construction within the next year.

Ron and Peggy Romine received the Lifetime Service Award for their years of support of the Athletics Department. Richard Stinson received the Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award for his assistance to the Athletics Department through his work in the Information Technology Department.

Athletics Department Awards
Community South Student-Athlete of the Year
(Combining athletic and academic excellence with community service)
Male - Josh Gallman, Men's Golf and Luke Payne, Men's Basketball
Female - Anna Novo, Women's Tennis
Team of the Year
Male - Men's Golf
Female - Women's Tennis
Pinnacle Award
(Combining excellence in athletics and academics in a career - seniors)
Kyle Bowley, Baseball
Scott Eckard, Baseball
Sebastian Gonzales-Orbegoso, Men's Tennis
Susana Hernandez, Women's Tennis
Diana Martinez, Women's Tennis
Luke Payne, Men's Basektball
Tiffany Pitcher, Softball
Shay Slater, Softball
Distinguished Service Award
Dan Adams
Lifetime Service Award
Ron and Peggy Romine
Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award
Richard Stinson, Information Technology
Team GPA Award
Men's - Men's Golf
Women's - Volleyball
Individual GPA Award
Male - Sandy Franz, Men's Tennis
Female - Brittany Daughtry, Women's Soccer and Diana Martinez, Women's Tennis
Leadership Award
Andy Brooks, Men's Golf
Morgan Bucciferro, Volleyball
Julie Miller, Women's Golf
Tiffany Pitcher, Softball
Marc Wartenberger, Men's Track
Sportsmanship Award
Carter Ridgeway, Men's Soccer
Morgan Childers, Softball
Megan Healey, Volleyball
Maria Herrera; Women's Tennis
Caroline Verna, Women's Soccer
Steadman-Hawkins Sports Medicine Award
Ebony Johnson, Women's Basketball
Outstanding Freshman Scholarship
Mezie Uzochukwu, Men's Basketball
Morgan Childers, Softball
Emily Tangwar, Women's Cross Country and Track
Spartan of the Week Award
Emily Tangwar, Women's Cross Country and Track
Wilde Soccer Scholarship Recipient
Men's Soccer - Chris McCoy, Men's Soccer
Women's Soccer - Meg Korpita, Women's Soccer

Team Awards
Cheerleading
Coaches Award - Samantha Conyers and Stephanie Gosnell
Baseball
Awards will be given out and released following the completion of the baseball season on May 16.
Men's Basketball
Most Outstanding Player - Luke Payne
Outstanding Newcomer Award - Bobby Davis
Women's Basketball
Most Outstanding Player - Courtney Hawkins
Coaches Award - Jessica McGlothlen
Men's Cross Country
Most Valuable Runner - Matt Henderson
Captain Award - Kevin Brabham
Women's Cross Country
Most Valuable Runner - Emily Tangwar
Captain Award - Jamie Young
Men's Golf
Most Valuable Player - Josh Gallman
Team Player Award - Michael Lawrence
Women's Golf
Most Valuable Player - Richia Wedzik
Team Player Award - Johanna Ebenhag
Men's Soccer
Coaches Award - Carter Ridgeway
Women's Soccer
Spartan Hero Award - Melissa Kuhar
Impact Player Award - Meg Korpita
Softball
Most Valuable Player - Morgan Childers
Offensive Statistics Award - Courtney Feldon
Impact Player Award - Lauren Quevedo
Men's Tennis
Most Valuable Player - Renzo Airaldi
Coaches Award - Nicolas Ospina
Women's Tennis
Most Valuable Player - The Entire Team
Coaches Award - Maria Herrera
Men's Track & Field
Most Valuable Player - Perrish Goggins
Captain Award - Marc Wartenberger
Women's Track & Field
Most Valuable Player - Emily Tangwar
Captain Award - Kayla Speed
Volleyball
Spartan Award - Morgan Bucciferro