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Sweet 16s Highlight of 11th Annual Iggys

May 2, 2016

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LOS ANGELES - A pair of trips to the NCAA Sweet 16 was the highlight of the 2016 Lions Athletic Fund Iggy Awards on Wednesday, April 27th at the Doubletree by Hilton Los Angeles Westside. Women's volleyball and women's soccer, who had historic runs in the their respective NCAA tournaments, were part of the many honors recognized at the 11th Annual Iggy Awards.

The leaders of those Sweet 16 teams - women's soccer senior Jocelyn Blankenship and volleyball sophomore Sarah Sponcil - shared Female Athlete of the Year honors while men's soccer senior goalie Paul Blanchette was named Male Athlete of the Year.

Blankenship, who captained her team to a program record in overall wins (15) and conference wins (7), earns her third career All-Region honor and was a First Team selection for the first time. The Eastvale, Calif., native paced the Lions with seven goals and eight assists for a team-high 22 points this fall. She was one of seven players to start all 22 matches, scored two game-winning goals and had the assist on six additional game-winners.

Sponcil led the LMU volleyball team to their second Sweet 16 in program history, earning AVCA All-American Honorable Mention honors. She finished the season with a team-best 447 kills at a rate of 3.58 per set. She hit .268 on the attack while also pacing the squad in aces (36) and digs (363). The six-rotation player also managed 18 double-doubles to lead the team in the category.

As for Blanchette, he was the West Coast Conference Goalkeeper of the Year honor, the second in his career. The senior also won the award outright in 2013 when the Lions went 13-4-3 overall and 9-2-1 in WCC play. This fall, Blanchette earned a 9-6-0 record in goal, posting an LMU record eight shutouts along the way. He made 59 saves and tallied a 1.06 goals against average while also moving the LMU career record in shutouts to 19.

The Athlete of the Year honors were just three of the 35 Lions Athletic Fund Iggy Awards handed out on Wednesday. The Iggy's honors highlighted an evening full of recognition and laughs as the evening included the traditional senior farewell videos.

Check out the LMU Sports Network Senior Video on What it Means to be a Lion

The 2015-16 Iggy Award Winners and Nominees:

Female: Jocelyn Blankenship - Women's Soccer & Sarah Sponcil - Volleyball
Male: Paul Blanchette - Men's Soccer

INDIVIDUAL SPORT ATHLETE OF THE YEAR IGGY (nominees for overall Athlete of the Year)
Bridgette Alvarez, Water Polo
Jocelyn Blankenship, Soccer
Hannah Calton, Swimming
Elvira Juravliova, Tennis
Amanda Kretsch, Cheer
Ruth Morris, Rowing
Danielle Shanahan, Cross Country/Track
Sarah Sponcil, Volleyball
Sophie Taylor, Basketball
Meghan von Behren, Softball
Paul Blanchette, Soccer
Cassidy Brown, Baseball
Connor Campbell, Golf
Cameron Heath, Rowing
Adom Jacko, Basketball
Dayne Jagga, Water Polo
Cristobal Rivera, Tennis
Brandon Vientos, Cross Country/Track

Female: Callie Taylor - Women's Soccer
Male: Emanuel Di Stasio - Men's Water Polo
Student-Athlete of the Year Nominees:
Female: Hannah Calton, Swimming; Kingsley Hill, Water Polo; Amanda Kretsch, Cheer; Danielle Shanahan, Cross Country/Track; Sterling Shuster, Softball; Sarah Sponcil, Volleyball; Callie Taylor, Soccer; Sophie Taylor, Basketball
Male: J.D. Busfield, Baseball; Connor Campbell, Golf; Matt Connelly, Men's Rowing; Emanuel Di Stasio, Men's Water Polo; John McFarlin, Soccer; Cristobal Rivera, Tennis

Female: Gabbie Sanfilippo - Women's Soccer
Male: Cole Souza - Men's Soccer
Freshman of the Year Nominees:
Female: Brittany Aldredge, Cheer; Hannah Bandimere, Softball; Alex Bauer, Rowing; Sky Flores, Water Polo; Emily Hubert, Cross Country/Track; Elvira Juravliova, Tennis; Gabbie Sanfilippo, Soccer; Cheyanne Wallace, Basketball; Isabel Willis, Swimming
Male: Niko Decolati, Baseball; Riley Elmes, Golf; Dane Jagga, Water Polo; Lukas Moenter, Tennis; Koby Pederson, Cross Country/Track; Sage Rodriguez, Rowing; Cole Souza, Soccer; Munis Tutu, Basketball

Female: Jamie Lea - Women's Volleyball
Male: Brandon Brown - Men's Basketball
Newcomer of the Year Nominees:
Female: Jamie Lea, Volleyball; Kristi Mikami, Cheer; Amanda Miller, Swimming; Ruth Morris, Rowing; Charlee Pruitt, Soccer
Male: John Bovill, Soccer; Brandon Brown, Basketball; Blake Redman, Baseball

Female: Meghan von Behren - Softball
Male: Cassidy Brown - Baseball
Most Improved Athlete of the Year Nominees:
Female: Raquel Angelone, Soccer; Nicky Kevorken, Volleyball; Savanna Kim, Swimming; Masury Lynch, Rowing; Caitlin Schafer, Water Polo; Meghan von Behren, Softball; Maddi Vorgitch, Cross Country/Track
Male: Griffin Bell, Soccer; Cassidy Brown, Baseball; Shane Farley, Rowing; Petr Herman, Basketball; Grant Lapovich ,Cross Country/Track; Billy Pollock, Golf; Cristobal Rivera, Tennis; Kirk Wilenius, Water Polo

Individual - Female: Sarah Sponcil - Volleyball
Individual - Male: Joe Murray - Baseball
Team - Female: Volleyball
Team - Male: Baseball

Trent Benson, Men's Rowing
Luke Bohuslav, Men's Tennis
Avery Bush, Volleyball
• Benjamin Davis, Cross Country/Track
Louisa Del Valle, Women's Rowing
Ryan Erickson, Baseball
Samantha Garcia, Cross Country/Track
Stephanie Horwitz, Swimming
Shannon Kent, Women's Soccer
Amanda Kretsch, Cheer
Stephanie Maciel, Softball
Ashtynn Nelson, Women's Water Polo
Mary Kate Reid, Swimming
Sterling Shuster, Softball
Tessa Soriano, Cheer
Rachelle Suaava, Volleyball
Hannah Tedrow, Volleyball
Tyler Testman, Men's Water Polo
Billy Wilson, Baseball
• Madi Wright, Cheer

• Jo Blankenship, Women's Soccer
Hannah Calton, Swimming
Mark Dotseth, Men's Soccer
Michael Duncan, Cross Country/Track
Jill Farley, Women's Soccer
Samantha Garcia, Cross Country/Track
Katie Hungerford, Women's Water Polo
Liam Jennis, Men's Water Polo
• Lia Jorgensen, Swimming
Bradley Kritzer, Crew
Lauren Owens, Women's Water Polo
Paige Saunier, Cheer
Ann Shoen, Rowing

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