Kelley, Carpenter Named Coca-Cola Student-Athletes of the Year at The Sparty’s 2018 Awards Banquet

April 20, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Kaleigh Kelley (volleyball) and Charlie Carpenter (baseball) received the night’s highest honor in being named the Coca-Cola Student-Athletes of the Year.

The USC Upstate Athletics Department held its annual The Sparty’s Awards Banquet presented by Coca-Cola on Thursday evening and gave out 80 awards to celebrate the accomplishments of the department and its student-athletes in 2017-18. Kaleigh Kelley (volleyball) and Charlie Carpenter (baseball) received the night’s highest honor in being named the Coca-Cola Student-Athletes of the Year.

In addition to the Student-Athlete of the Year awards, the Spartans honored career achievements with the Dr. Joe Bowman Pinnacle Award. Kelley, Carpenter, Karla Beasley (softball), Kendsey Chappelear (softball), Kennedy Holton (women’s track and field) and Mike Cunningham (men’s basketball) were honored for career excellence as members of their respective programs.

Kelley has spent the last four seasons on the volleyball team and been a key representative for the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) for both USC Upstate and the ASUN Conference. She has served as the league’s SAAC Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary, and USC Upstate’s SAAC President. Kelley became the program’s all-time Division I career leader in digs this season and finished her career with 1,556 digs, which also ranks second in program history. She appeared in all 29 matches this past season at the libero position and finished with 418 digs to rank sixth in the ASUN and eighth in digs per set. She had double-digit digs in all but seven matches highlighted by 26 versus Tennessee State.

Carpenter is currently in his senior season for the baseball team. He was a 26th round draft pick last year of the Atlanta Braves and returned for his senior campaign in 2018, earning ASUN Preseason Player of the Year honors. He leads the team in hitting this season with a batting average near the .350 mark which is sixth-best in the ASUN. He leads the conference in runs scored and on-base percentage, and ranks in the top-10 for at-bats, hits, triples, RBI, walks and slugging percentage. Carpenter was named ASUN Player of the Week on March 5 for the first time in his career.

Athletic Department Awards
Coca-Cola Student-Athlete of the Year

Men – Charlie Carpenter, Baseball
Women – Kaleigh Kelley, Volleyball

Dr. Joe Bowman Pinnacle Award
Kaleigh Kelley, Volleyball
Charlie Carpenter, Baseball
Karla Beasley, Softball
Kendsey Chappelear, Softball
Kennedy Holton, Women’s Track and Field
Mike Cunningham, Men’s Basketball

Academic Excellence Award

Men – Kevin Hickey, Baseball (3.984 GPA)
Women – Carol Sigaki, Women’s Tennis (4.000 GPA)

Outstanding Freshman Award

Men – Kyle Gensler, Baseball
Women – Anda Kuzmina, Women’s Basketball

Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award

Tommy Ordoyne

Team Academic Excellence Award

Men – Men’s Tennis (3.552 GPA)
Women – Volleyball (3.567 GPA)

Chi Alpha Sigma Honor Fraternity
Honorees –
Emma Safranek (Women’s Soccer), Kevin Hickey (Baseball), Nicki Krejci (Women’s Soccer), A’Lexxus Davis (Women’s Basketball), Michelangelo Dovidio (Men’s Soccer), Heiko Allmendinger (Men’s Soccer), Brianna Tellschow (Volleyball), Cory Tate (Men’s Track and Field), Daniel Perry (Men’s Soccer), Jacob Schulte (Men’s Basketball), Rebecca Shearer (Volleyball), Charlie Carpenter (Baseball), Calon Minors (Men’s Soccer), Payton Culler (Women’s Golf), Sidney Dermody (Women’s Golf), Tarynn Tirpak (Softball), Carol Sigaki (Women’s Tennis), Kendsey Chappelear (Softball), Lukas Sommer (Men’s Soccer), Vale Zarama (Women’s Tennis), Kayla Dean (Women’s Soccer), Abbie Ellis (Women’s Soccer), Autumn Gore (Women’s Soccer), Emelie Valenciano (Women’s Soccer), Shamia Thompson (Women’s Track and Field), Leah Jostes (Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field), Krysta Pierstorff (Women’s Cross Country/Track and Field), Bailey Wensler (Women’s Basketball), Morgan Deaville (Volleyball), Madison Haake (Volleyball), Brittany Case (Softball), Elisa Cecchetti (Softball), Ansley Gilstrap (Softball), Kori Wancheck (Softball), Kristen Wright (Softball), Dorian Jones (Men’s Cross Country/Track and Field), Jure Span (Men’s Basketball), Grant Hoppock (Baseball), Isabella Burns (Women’s Soccer), Camilla Kilinc (Women’s Basketball), Cam Philpot (Men’s Soccer)

Student-Athlete Advisory Committee Leadership Award

Kaleigh Kelley, Volleyball

Leadership Award

Ramel Thompkins, Men’s Basketball
Devon Ortiz, Baseball
Tarynn Tirpak, Softball
Sidney Dermody, Women’s Golf
Lukas Sommer, Men’s Soccer
Breondra Steele, Women’s Track and Field
Brittany Case, Softball
Daniel Perry, Men’s Soccer

Sportsmanship Award

Men – Sam Merrell, Men’s Golf; Calon Minors, Men’s Soccer
Women – Morgan Deaville, Volleyball; Kayla Dean, Women’s Soccer

Spartanburg Regional Sports Medicine Award

Kaleigh Kelley, Volleyball

Conrad Award for Strength & Conditioning
Men – Kevin Hickey, Baseball
Women – Morgan Dodd, Women’s Tennis; Taylor Dodd, Women’s Tennis

Wilde Soccer Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Men – Michelangelo Dovidio
Women – Abbie Ellis

Dr. Joseph C. Bowman and Deanna Bowman Endowed Scholarship Recipient

Morgan Deaville, Volleyball

Josh Lee Memorial Scholarship
Ari Jahanfar, Men’s Track & Field

Spartan Heart Award – SAAC
Men – Luka Eble, Men’s Tennis
Women – Riley Popplewell, Women’s Basketball

Most Improved Team – SAAC
Women’s Soccer

Helping Hands Award – SAAC
Kaleigh Kelley, Volleyball

Best Action Photo Award – SAAC

Coach’s Heart Award – SAAC
Men – Jake Roy, Strength and Conditioning
Women – Katlyn Ledbetter, Sports Medicine

Team Awards
Will be announced after the season

Men’s Basketball
Most Valuable Player – Deion Holmes
Most Improved Player – Carson Smith
Leadership Award – Ramel Thompkins
Women’s Basketball
Coaches Award – Riley Popplewell
Best Defense – Brittney Delva
Most Improved Player – Michaela Gibbons
Men’s Cross Country
Most Valuable Runner – Dorian Jones
Coaches Award – Jacob Coccia
Women’s Cross Country
Most Valuable Runner – Marcy Bradshaw
Coaches Award – Krysta Pierstorff
Men’s Golf
Most Valuable Player – Jordan Warnock
Team Player Award – Matt Carter
Women’s Golf
Most Valuable Player – Pan Paksanont
Team Player Award – Sidney Dermody
Men’s Soccer
Spartan Award –Kyle Juell
Leadership Award – Calon Minors
Women’s Soccer
Golden Boot – Abbie Ellis
Defensive Player of the Year – Nicki Krejci
Most Valuable Player – Emelie Valenciano
Newcomer of the Year – Samantha Munyon
Most Improved Player – Jayna Tyler
Offensive Most Valuable Player – Karla Beasley
Defensive Most Valuable Player – Kendsey Chappelear
Men’s Tennis
Spartan Award – Ankush Arora
Most Improved Player – Francisco Neto
Women’s Tennis
Sarah Vande Berg Spartan Award – Vale Zarama
Most Valuable Player – Carol Sigaki
Men’s Indoor Track & Field
Most Outstanding Track Performer – Tanner Saunders
Most Outstanding Field Performer – Tony Auguste
Women’s Indoor Track & Field
Most Outstanding Track Performer – Sarah Hill
Most Outstanding Field Performer – Adanma Uzor
Men’s Outdoor Track & Field –
Will be announced after the season
Women’s Outdoor Track & Field – Will be announced after the season
Spartan Award (MVP) – Madison Haake
George Gaines Heart Award – Kaleigh Kelley
Unsung Hero:  Rebecca Shearer
Spartan Newcomer Award – Courtney Dawson-Lee
Spartan Leadership Award – Jamesia Cooper
Spartan Dedication Award – Shelby Smith