Neuner leads way among WAA honorees: Sports Shorts 5/12/06

By Kate Fratar

At 102 years old and counting, the Women’s Athletic Association is the longest-running collegiate women’s athletic organization in the country. Its membership gathered at the International House Tuesday to honor 12 Maroons at its annual awards banquet.

Fourth-year soccer player Renee Neuner earned the Gertrude Dudley Medal as the outstanding senior athlete for leadership and skills. Leaving Chicago as the all-time scoring leader with 78 goals in 82 games, Neuner was crucial to the Maroons squad that made four consecutive trips to the NCAA tournament and made the Final Four twice. The WAA honor is the latest on a long list that includes the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship this year, the NCAA Division III Player of the Year in 2003, four All-UAA first team selections, and two ESPN the Magazine Academic All-District honors.

A number of Neuner’s teammates joined her at the podium. Fourth-year defender Kay Saul received the Mary Jean Mulvaney Scholar-Athlete Award as the senior with the highest GPA in her fourth and third years and at least three varsity letters. The Edith Ballwebber Award given by the Graduate Women’s Athletic Association to a member of each class for her total contribution to the athletic program went to fourth-year defender Ellen Fitzgerald while classmate midfielder Jacqui de Leon earned the team’s MVP title.

Other MVP nods went to Edith Ballwebber honorees third-year pitcher Petra Wade for softball, second-year Nofi Mojidi for basketball and outdoor track and field, third-year Katherine Yang for swimming and diving, third-year Nikki Sindy for volleyball, first-year Vindya Dayananda for tennis, and fourth-year Jessica Winter for cross country and indoor track and field. Winter also received the Patricia R. Kirby Multisport Athlete Award as the senior with the most varsity letters.

First-year volleyballer Katie Volzer rounded out the Ballwebber winners, while fourth-year Katie Dulmang won the Max Davidson Award as the tennis team member whose dedication to the squad and sport has surpassed all others.