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Lions Name November Student-Athletes of the Month

Dec. 3, 2002

Los Angeles, CA (Dec. 3, 2002) -- Loyola Marymount University has named Tiana Newsome of volleyball the female student-athlete of the month and Matt Kovar of men's soccer and Kevin Witt of men's water polo as the co-athletes of the month from the male sports during competition in the month of November.

Each month during the academic calendar, the student-athlete advisory committee (S.A.A.C.) will chose a male and female student-athlete of the month whose performance best represents the traditions of Loyola Marymount University.

Newsome was named first-team All-West Coast Conference, averaging 1.51 blocks and 3.50 points per game during league action. This year, she set the school record for solo blocks (40) and total blocks (144) in a season, while just missing her own school record of 1.46, set in 2000, for season block average (1.44).

Newsome also set the single game school record with 16 total blocks and 13 block assists in a four-game match against Gonzaga, tying the overall match total set in five games in both categories. With a year remaining, she already ranks among the schools top ten in block solos (76-5th), block assists (229-7th) and total blocks (305-5th). She led the team in hitting percentage (.314) while posting double digit kills in nine matches, including four consecutive against No. 6 UC Santa Barbara, No 7 Pepperdine, No. 13 Santa Clara and San Francisco.

She was named to the LMU Volleyball Classic All-Tournament team after posting 19 kills, with a hitting percentage of .366, along with 13 total blocks.

The sophomore Kovar scored two goals and one assist to earn five points in the month of November. He was named to the West Coast Conference All-Conference team for the second time in his career. He was also voted to the Soccer America National Team of the week (Nov. 4-10).

Kovar and his brother Jeff Helped solidify the Lions defense, sending them to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. In addition, Kovar helped the team advance to the second round of the tournament, making them the first team to advance since the 1999 women's volleyball team. In the month of November he also scored the game winner against Gonzaga.

The two-time All-American Witt scored 18 goals in the month of November to lead the Lions to the title game of the Western Water Polo Association tournament. In nine games during the month, he scored two or more goals six times, including five in the 11-6 semifinal win over BYU-Hawaii. The senior finished with 42 goals on the season and earned Player of the Year honors in the WWPA.

-GO LIONS-

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