IRVING, Texas – The Charlotte athletics department paced Conference USA with five individual sport Scholar Athletes of the Year as announced by the league office and commissioner Britton Banowsky Wednesday. The annual awards are voted upon by the faculty athletics representative at each of the member institutions and are presented to the top student-athletes in each conference-sponsored sport, based on academic achievement (GPA), athletic achievement and service.
The 49ers who garnered the nod in 2013-14 include Alex Calott (men’s tennis), Ben Cherry (men’s basketball), Tyler Gibson (men’s soccer), Zach Greth (men’s cross country) and Amanda Videmsek (volleyball). The five recipients are tied for the second most in a single academic year in school history, following the six presented to Charlotte in 2008-09 as an Atlantic 10 member.
Calott becomes the third Niners men’s tennis player to earn league Scholar Athlete of the Year accolades. Zvi Lantsberg and Dorian Host were tabbed as the Atlantic 10’s selections in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Calott is a two-time member of a conference all-academic team honor, including by Conference USA this past season and the Atlantic 10 in 2013.
He ranks 12th in school history with 57 career singles victories after tying for second on the squad in 2014 with a career-best 21. He played an integral role in Charlotte earning its first ITA national ranking in 12 years. Last fall, he reached the Division Three singles semifinals at the Southern Intercollegiate Championships.
Cherry completed only one season with the Niners after transferring into the program from Tulane. He ranked among the Conference USA leaders in 3-point field goal percentage and finished with five double-figure scoring games, including a career-high 20 in the non-conference triumph over USC Upstate. He had 14 games of at least two 3-pointers made, including a season-best six in wins over Northeastern and USC Upstate.
Cherry also knocked down five triples in the league victory over FIU. He played in all 31 games with 25 starts and helped guide the squad to the Puerto Rico Tip-Off title in November featuring wins over Kansas State and No. 13 Michigan.
Gibson was a key factor in leading Charlotte to the Conference USA Tournament crown, netting the game-winning penalty kick over Tulsa to receive all-tournament plaudits. He earned Capital One Academic All-American Third Team, All-Conference USA Academic Team and NSCAA Scholar All-South Second Team honors.
He was mentioned on the Hermann Award Watch List for the second-straight year, tallying three goals and adding four assists during the campaign.
Greth was the top runner for the 49ers in the fall, ending the season with a team-high five top finishes. He added an All-Conference USA Academic Team accolade and ran to a 44th place result at the NCAA Pre-Nationals meet. His best individual finish came at the Charlotte Invitational in which he placed fifth in the 8K event.
During the indoor track campaign, he added a second-place finish as a member of the distance medley relay at the Virginia Tech Invitational. He also posted a runner-up result in the outdoor 5000 meters at the Charlotte Invitational.
Videmsek put a cap on her career with an All-Conference USA Second Team plaudit after becoming the 18th player in program history to reach 1,000 career kills, eventually ending her career with 1,025 to place 17th in the record books. She had five matches of 20 or more kills, including a career-best 26 at East Carolina to reach the milestone.
She also topped the squad with 94 blocks and 10 double-doubles, ranking among the league leaders in points per set and kills-per-set average. She added an All-Conference USA Academic Team award, as well as two in-season tournament team mentions, including garnering MVP honors at the Spartan Classic.
2013-14 SCHOLAR ATHLETE AWARD WINNERS:
Baseball-Aramis Garcia, FIU
Men’s Basketball-Ben Cherry, Charlotte
Women’s Basketball-Kimberly Smith, Florida Atlantic
Men’s Cross Country-Zach Greth, Charlotte
Women’s Cross Country-Brooke Kott, East Carolina
Football-Nate Leonard, UTSA
Men’s Golf-Brett Patterson, Middle Tennessee
Women’s Golf-Camino Sardinero, UTEP
Women’s Rowing-Elizabeth Scherer, Kansas
Men’s Soccer-Tyler Gibson, Charlotte
Women’s Soccer-Tori Martyn, UTEP
Softball-Jill Jelnick, East Carolina
Women’s Swimming & Diving-Krista Rossum, North Texas
Men’s Tennis-Alex Calott, Charlotte
Women’s Tennis-Franziska Sprinkmeyer, North Texas
Men’s Track and Field-Tom Kalisky, North Texas
Women’s Track and Field-Alexandria Phares, Marshall
Volleyball-Amanda Videmsek, Charlotte