April 16, 2012
The University of Louisville athletic department awarded its top honors April 16 at the annual Spring Sports Banquet held in the South Wing of the Kentucky Exposition Center.
The banquet, which featured a number of video highlights from each sport, included a senior salute, CardsCare Community service honors and awarded the best male and female athlete from each class as well as the Adidas Athlete of the Year for best overall athletes.
For the men, the Adidas Athlete of the Year was swim standout Carlos Almeida, who won U of L's first national championship with a first place in the 200-breast at the NCAA National Championships. The native of Lisbon, Portugal will be heading to London this summer as an Olympian for Portugal.
On the women's side, the Adidas Athlete of the Year was soccer star Christine Exeter, who was named Third Team All-America by the NSCAA and was the BIG EAST Offensive Player of the Year and a First Team All-BIG EAST honoree. The Louisville forward was also selected for the U20 Canadian National Team and contributed as the team qualified for the FIFA U20 World Cup and finished second at the CONCACAF Championship.
The Ed Kallay Award, the highest honor the athletic department bestows is given to the male and female senior athlete for exemplifying the characteristics of leadership, exuberance for sport, devotion to U of L, commitment to community service, and dedication to excellence in their sport.
The women's award was bestowed on Tori Collins of softball, who became the first player in program history to toss back-to-back no-hitters. The lefty has earned league pitcher of the week honors twice and struck out a career-high 14 batters a game and is in the top five in every career pitching category including wins, strikeouts, shutouts and saves. She is also a two-time All-BIG EAST Conference selection.
There was a three-way tie for the men's award. Soccer Player Austin Berry was the men's Ed Kallay Award Winner. He was a Top 10 Draft pick in the MLS Super Draft to the Chicago Fire and earned NSCAA All-American honors and All-Great Lakes Region honors for the second consecutive season. He was also named a first team All-BIG EAST selection the last two seasons and was both a Hermann Trophy Candidate and a Lowe's Senior Class nominee.
Berry's co-winner was teammate Colin Rolfe, who was a first round MLS draft pick for the Houston Dynamo. Rolfe earned first team All-Great Lakes Region honors for the third consecutive season. He earned national player of the week honors from all three publications. He was a Hermann Trophy Finalist his junior year and is two-time first team NSCAA All-American.
The third co-winner for the men was men's basketball's Kyle Kuric, who led the Cards in scoring as they advanced to the Final Four, as well as being an All-BIG EAST Tournament selection and the Papa John's Dunk of the Year Award winner.
Topping off the top awards were the Leadership Awards with soccer's Austin Berry receiving the Cunningham Family Leadership award for the men; and Jennifer Jones (soccer) and Stephanie Juncker (swimming) sharing the Central Cardinal Club's Leadership award.
Below is a listing of all the awards for the 2012 Spring Sports Banquet:
2011 Spring Sport Athletes
D'Ana McCarty (Track)
Matt Hughes (Track)
Cards Care Winner and Teams Cards Care Awards
Individual Cards Care Winner: Megan Schubert (Track and Field)
Team Cards Care Winner: Football and Rowing
Men and Women's Team Cardinal Cup
Freshman of the Year
Tanja Kylliainen -Swimming
Teddy Bridgewater - Football
Chane Behanan - Men's Basketball
Sophomore of the Year
Gorgui Dieng - Basketball
Joao De Lucca - Swimming
Giselle Kohoyda - Swimming
L-Club Junior of the Year
Lola Arslanbekova - Volleyball
Peyton Siva - Men's Basketball
Ed Kallay Senior of the Year
Austin Berry/Colin Rolfe/Kyle Kuric
Central Cardinal Club & Cunningham Family Leadership Awards
Austin Berry - Men's Soccer
Stephanie Juncker - Swimming
Jennifer Jones - Women's Soccer
Anthony Conner - football
Taner Fowler - softball
Adidas Athletes of the Year
Carlos Almeida - Swimming
Christine Exeter - Women's Soccer