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Jada Stotts, Breigh Jones, Tennis standouts big winners at APSU Athletic Awards Banquet

Austin Peay Sports Information

Austin Peay State University Sports - APSU - Governors - Lady GovsClarksville, TN – Two Austin Peay State University tennis players who brought renown to the University on the courts and in the classroom have been accorded some of the athletic department’s highest male honors, while a stand-out track and field student athlete and a do-it-all volleyball player won the honors on the women’s side at Monday night’s annual APSU Athletics Awards Banquet in the Dunn Center.

Senior Dimitar Ristovski, who parlayed his fourth consecutive All-OVC honor for Austin Peay men’s tennis into a spirited run to the OVC Championship match, took home APSU’s Most Outstanding Male Athlete honor.

(L to R) Aleksas Tverijonas, Jada Stotts, Breigh Jones and Dimitar Ristovski earn top awards at Austin Peay Athletic Banquet. (APSU Sports Information)
(L to R) Aleksas Tverijonas, Jada Stotts, Breigh Jones and Dimitar Ristovski earn top awards at Austin Peay Athletic Banquet. (APSU Sports Information)

Junior Breigh Jones, a two-time NCAA Regional participant who broke school and Ohio Valley Conference records in the 400m dash, was named Most Outstanding Female Athlete.

Ristovski’s teammate, Aleksas Tverijonas, took home Austin Peay’s Male Legends Award after a four-year career that saw him earn All-OVC honors in each season, an OVC Championship ring and a prestigious OVC Scholar-Athlete Award for the 2014-15 year.

APSU's Liz LandonJada Stotts, of the volleyball team, was awarded the Female Legends Award – Stotts, the Student-Athlete Advisory Council President for 2014-15, earned All-OVC honors as a senior and became the seventh member of Austin Peay’s “double-grand club” (1000 kills and digs) during her final season in Clarksville.

Austin Peay’s academic standouts also were recognized on Monday, with Tverijonas (3.95 GPA in international business) and volleyball player Liz Landon (4.0 GPA with a major in health and minor in health science) earning Male and Female Scholar-Athlete honors – the third consecutive year Landon has earned the distinction of owning the department’s top GPA for a female student-athlete.

APSU's Jennifer NwokochaLandon also was accorded the Governors Club Academic Achievement Award for highest GPA possessed by a graduating student-athlete – junior Jennifer Nwokocha (3.95 GPA with double major in biology and health and minor in chemistry), of the women’s basketball team, earned the Governors Club Academic Achievement Scholarship, annually bestowed on the rising senior with the highest grade-point average.

Ristovski has been a standout from the moment he came to Austin Peay four seasons ago, but 2015 was truly a vintage performance. Ascending to the No. 1 singles role after playing behind Sean Bailey and Jasmin Ademovic during his underclass seasons, Ristovski posted a 17-9 mark overall in singles play, including 15-7 during the spring season, and a 9-13 doubles mark that belied a 5-1 record in conference play, ending his career on a five-match winning streak with doubles partner Iago Seffrin.

In his final OVC Tournament appearance, Ristovski put the Govs on his back during a splendid run two weekends ago, going unbeaten in singles and doubles as Austin Peay advanced to the championship match against Eastern Kentucky. Along the way, the four-time all-conference performer led Austin Peay to its first win against perennial power Tennessee Tech during his four-year stay in Clarksville, besting OVC Player of the Year Alex Arovin (6-3, 7-5) to clinch the match for Austin Peay.

If Ristovski was the Govs’ No. 1, then it’s only fair to consider Tverijonas 1-A. The Lithuanian was a four-time All-OVC choice during his Austin Peay career, and earned his first first-team nod in his senior campaign. During the course of his career, Tverijonas rolled of a remarkable 75-26 record, including one stretch of 15 consecutive singles victories in 2012. He never won fewer than 17 matches in a season, including 20 wins in 2013 and 2014.

Away from the court, Tverijonas earned one of three OVC Scholar-Athlete honors for the 2014-15 year – the fourth earned by an Austin Peay men’s tennis player during the awards history – and his 3.95 grade-point average was the top mark on a men’s tennis team that led all male sports at Austin Peay in Fall 2014. He was an OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll recipient in each of his first three seasons at Austin Peay. By taking home both the Male Legends and Male Scholar Athlete honor, Tverijonas becomes the first APSU athlete to earn both honors in the same year.

Jones has become one of the faces of Austin Peay athletics for both her unmatched efforts on the track as well as her unquestioned work ethic off of it. This season, she won five OVC Indoor Track Athlete of the Week honors, gold in the 400m dash and silver in the 4x400m relay at the OVC Indoor Championships and became the first Austin Peay runner to break the 54-second barrier in the indoor 400m dash when she posted a 53.96 run at the Alex Wilson Invitational.

As of last weekend, the two-time NCAA East Regional participant seems poised for yet another trip to the NCAA Preliminary Round, ranking 38th regionally in the 400m dash thanks to a 53.93 run at the Florida Relays.

APSU's Jada StottsAdditionally, the psychology major’s 3.87 GPA leads the track and field team and her extracurricular activities include running for SGA senator and working with Austin Peay’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council.

Stotts served as President of SAAC during her final season for Austin Peay volleyball, and was an integral part of the athletics department during her four-year tenure in Clarksville. Academically, she stood out as a six-time AD’s Honor Roll honoree and two-time member of the OVC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, posting a GPA during her time at APSU.

On the court, Stotts became a member of Austin Peay’s double-grand club with 1197 kills and 1166 digs for her career, including 408 kills and 416 digs during her senior season. During her career, Stotts earned All-Tournament honors at the USF Invitational, Bama Bash, Missouri State Invitational and the DISH Lady Vol Classic, the latter coming on the heels of Austin Peay’s upset at Tennessee earlier this season. She earned all-OVC honors as a senior, ranking third among the league’s outside hitters with 3.52 kills per set.

This is the seventh year the Legends Award has been bestowed, continuing APSU’s 68-year tradition of honoring the most valuable male and female senior athletes for their respective career accomplishments. The Legends Award, sponsored by Legends Bank, assumed the place of the Joy Award, which was originated in 1947 by the late Wilson Goodrich, then-owner of Joy’s Jewelers.

The Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year Awards were established in 1993-94, recognizing the top individual single-season performances by Governors and Lady Govs athletes, respectively.

Award Recipients

Individual Awards

Legends Award (men)Aleksas Tverijonas, men’s tennis
Outstanding Male AthleteDimitar Ristovski, men’s tennis
Legends Award (women)Jada Stotts, volleyball
Outstanding Female AthleteBreigh Jones, track and field
Female Scholar-Athlete Award— Liz Landon, volleyball
Male Scholar-Athlete AwardAleksas Tverijonas, men’s tennis
Perkins Freeman Governors Club Academic Achievement Award ScholarshipJennifer Nwokocha, women’s basketball
Perkins Freeman Governors Club Academic Achievement AwardLiz Landon, volleyball

Team Awards

Baseball: Most Valuable—Alex Robles (2014), Pitcher of the Year—Alex Robles (2014), Most Improved—Alex Belew (2014), Scholar-Athlete—Jake Corum (3.88 GPA)
Football: Offensive Player of the Year—Otis Gerron, Defensive Player of the Year—Buddy Mitchell; Special Teams Player of the Year—Roderick Owens; Scholar-Athlete—Adam Noble (3.70 GPA)
Men’s Basketball: Most Valuable—Chris Horton, Most Improved—Josh Robinson, Scholar Athlete—Zavion Williams (3.38 GPA)
Women’s Basketball: Most Valuable—Kristen Stainback, Most Improved–April Rivers; Scholar Athlete—Jennifer Nwokocha (3.95 GPA)
Men’s Cross-Country: Most Valuable—Martin Rejman, Scholar Athlete—Michael Haycraft (3.91 GPA)
Women’s Cross-Country: Most Valuable—Xiamar Hudson, Scholar Athlete— Alexis Eldridge (3.90 GPA)
Women’s Track: Track Athlete of Year–Amia Butler, Newcomer of the Year—Kaylnn Pitts, Scholar Athlete–Breigh Jones (3.87)
Men’s Golf: Most Valuable—Austin Kramer, Most Improved—-Justin Arens, Scholar Athlete—Chris Baker (3.07 GPA)
Women’s Golf: Most Valuable—Jessica Cathey, Most Improved—Morgan Gardner, Scholar Athlete— Meghan Mueller (3.86 GPA)
Women’s Soccer: Most Valuable—Gina Fabbro; Most Improved—Caroline Wistrom; Scholar Athlete—Claire Pultz (3.90 GPA)
Softball: Most Valuable—Laurel Burroughs; Most Improved—Chandler Groves, Scholar Athlete—Courtney Brower (3.53 GPA)
Men’s Tennis: co-Most Valuable—Dimitar Ristovski and Aleksas Tverijonas Scholar Athlete—Alexas Tverijonas (3.95 GPA)
Women’s Tennis: Most Valuable—Ornella Di Salvo, Most Improved—Hannah Tatlock, Scholar Athlete—Ornella Di Salvo (3.84 GPA)
Volleyball: Most Valuable—Jada Stotts, Most Improved—Hillary Plybon, Scholar Athlete— Liz Landon (4.0 GPA)
Pom Squad: Most Valuable—Lindsay Thuerbach, Most Improved—Taylor Brentari; Scholar Athlete—Sierra Hines (3.86 GPA)
Cheerleading: Most Valuable—Jonah Hensen, Most Improved—Kaylyn Marshall, Scholar Athlete—Jessica Wester (3.29 GPA)


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