{{ article.title }}

SMC Athletics Closes Year With 7th Annual Gael Awards Show

May 21, 2007

Moraga, CA - The seventh Annual Gael Award Show was a great night for Saint Mary's Athletics, as seniors and top performers from this past athletic year were honored. The event was held in the LeFevre Theatre on campus on Tuesday, May 15. The Athletic Department, which hosted the event, also named the Coach of the Year, Performances of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, to name a few awards. Each program also put together a video to honor its graduating senior student-athletes.

The award show began with 2006-07 team moderators and mentors being honored for all 14 intercollegiate sports at SMC, followed by the presentation of the top 10 grade point averages by Gael student-athletes, with baseball standout Eric Cattoni taking home top honors with a 3.99 GPA.

For the fourth consecutive year, the women's tennis team was awarded the top GPA in the department, earning a cumulative 3.452 GPA.Taking home the first award of the night was the women's tennis team, winning the Gael Cup Award for the first time by posting the highest winning percentage among all SMC teams. The women's tennis team completed its best season in history with a 17-4 record and a national ranking of 58.

The Performance of the Year Awards were next and they were presented to senior volleyball standout Mandy Bible for her courageous performance in an upset victory vs. #9 Santa Clara and men's golfer Mike McRae and men's soccer player Dylan Leslie for their impressive performances during the 2006-07 campaign. McRae won the USF Triumph at Pauma Valley in March, shooting 4-under on the final 4 holes for the victory. Leslie, only a freshman, recorded a hat trick in leading the Gaels to a 4-2 upset victory over #10 San Diego.

A new award presented this year was the Team Performance of the Year, recognizing the best team victory during 2006-07 season. The baseball team won this year's award for their 4-1 victory over defending national champion #9 Oregon State.

Mark Alexander, a game operations volunteer in the athletic department won the Mike Gibbons Volunteer of the Year Award, and professor Bill Lee won the Bryan Vargas Gael Spirit Award.

The Newcomer of the Year awards were won by softball player Molly Bergeson, who transferred from Bradley and helped lead the Gaels to a 19 win improvement over last year and men's basketball standout Omar Samhan, who had a solid freshman campaign for the Gaels. This is the second year in a row a men's basketball player has won this award.

Our Male and Female Players of the Year were recognized for the great talent and consistency they displayed throughout this season. The Female Player of the Year went to Aude Lambert from women's tennis, as she led the Gaels to their best finish in school history while playing #1 singles and #1 doubles for the team. Diamon Simpson from men's basketball, was the winner of our Male Player of the Year Award. He led the team in four statistical categories and was named 1st team All-WCC.

The Lasallian Service Award went to the women's soccer program, for their strong commitment to community service. They participated in multiple service projects throughout the year including, a pen pal program at a local elementary school, tutoring at the Concord Youth Center, mentoring kids at an after school program in Oakland and Moraga the Beautiful.

The most prestigious awards of the night, the Male and Female George R. McKeon Senior Awards went to Mandy Bible, volleyball and Alex Christlieb, men's soccer. Bible finished her career at SMC as one of the most decorated volleyball players in the history of the program. She led her team to three straight NCAA Tournaments, was a three-time first team All-WCC selection and is the career leader in assists and aces, all while maintaining a 3.24 GPA. Christlieb is a two-time All-WCC Honorable Mention selection and a 2006 All-Academic Honoree. He was the SAAC Vice President this year and maintained a 3.55 GPA in Business Administration. Both winners will be presented with a plaque at graduation recognizing their achievements.

Wrapping up the evening was the recognition of the Coach of the Year, which went to women's tennis coach Lisa Alipaz. Alipaz led her team to its most successful season in school history, finishing with a 17-4 record. She was also named the WCC Coach of the Year in women's tennis and had five players receive All-WCC recognition.