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WAC Announces 2008-09 Joe Kearney Award Winners
Courtesy: WAC
DENVER – Fresno State baseball player Tom Mendonca and women’s tennis player Melanie Gloria are the 2008-09 Western Athletic Conference Joe Kearney Award winners it was announced today. Mendonca is the second-consecutive Bulldog baseball player to win the award, while Gloria is the first-ever women’s tennis player to win the award.

Named in honor of former WAC commissioner Joe Kearney, the awards are given annually to the top male and female student-athletes in the WAC.

Mendonca, a junior third baseman from Turlock, Calif., was the 2009 WAC Player of the Year after he led the league and ranked third nationally in home runs (27). A semifinalist for the Dick Howser and Golden Spikes National Player of the Year Awards, he was named to five All-America teams in 2009.

Mendonca led his team to three consecutive WAC Tournament titles and the 2008 NCAA Championship, as he was named Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series after tying a College World Series record with four home runs. In just three years, he blasted 56 home runs, shattering the Fresno State career record by 13 and tying for fourth place all-time in WAC history. His 174 career RBI also ranks third in Fresno State history. Mendonca earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 2008 European Championships and was a second round draft pick by the Texas Rangers.

Gloria, a senior from Montreal, Canada, is a four-time WAC Player of the Year and led the Bulldogs to four consecutive WAC titles. The 2009 ITA Northwest Region Senior Player of the Year, she was a third team Academic All-American and was named Fresno State Bulldog of the Year as a senior. Gloria also made her third appearance at the NCAA Doubles Tournament and received her fourth invite to the NCAA Singles Tournament in 2009.

Gloria concluded her career with 123 singles wins, good for second place in school history. She reached No. 1 in the ITA doubles national rankings in 2008, and earned All-America status in both singles and doubles, becoming only the second two-time All-American singles player in school history. The Bulldogs also advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in all four of her seasons, a program first.

2008-09 Joe Kearney Award Nominees
Men, School, Sport   Women, School, Sport
Ryan Grinnell, Boise State, Track & Field   Eleni Kafourou, Boise State, Track & Field
Tom Mendonca, Fresno State, Baseball   Melanie Gloria, Fresno State, Tennis
Solomon Elimimian, Hawai‘i, Football   Amber Kaufman, Hawai‘i, Track & Field/Volleyball
Mac Hopson, Idaho, Basketball   Allix Lee-Painter, Idaho, Cross Country/Track & Field
Antonio Baker, Louisiana Tech, Football   Amberly Waits, Louisiana Tech, Softball
Matt Bowman, Nevada, Baseball   Brittany Puzey, Nevada, Softball
Bryan Marquez, New Mexico State, Baseball   Krystal Torres, New Mexico State, Volleyball
Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State, Football   Erica Moston, San Jose State, Golf
Gary Wilkinson, Utah State, Basketball   Krista Larson, Utah State, Track & Field

Previous Joe Kearney Award Winners
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