June 25, 2008
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - The Gulf South Conference has announced its 11th annual GSC "Top Ten" Award winners, including West Florida's Suzana Cavalcante (Tennis) and Matthew Galloway (Golf). These awards, based on athletic, academic and extracurricular achievement during the 2007-08 academic year, recognize the top five male and top five female student-athletes as the best in the conference. The top male and female receive the Commissioner's Trophy, the Conference's most prestigious honor. The "Top Ten" are selected with the assistance of an advisory committee representing the ADs, SWAs, SIDs, FARs and Presidents from randomly selected GSC schools, which makes a recommendation to the Commissioner, who has the final decision. The Announcement of the top Male and Female Athlete will be made Thursday at the GSC Annual meetings.
Cavalcante is UWF's fourth Top Ten women's winner in five years and the school's third tennis honoree during the span. Galloway returns from last year upping the number of repeat men's Top Ten student-athletes to seven in the 11 years of the conference Award. He is the sixth consecutive UWF men's "Top Ten/Top Eight" athlete, which includes fellow golfer and 2003 Commissioner's Trophy winner Kevin Warrick.
Junior Suzana Cavalcante adds the honor to a long list of awards for the 2008 season, as she just received All-American accolades in both singles and doubles last week. The Brazilian native dominated the GSC this season and became just the second player in history to earn the GSC East Division Player of the Year three years in a row. She was also named to the All-GSC First Team for the third time in her career, as well as placing on the GSC's All-Academic First Team for her 3.63 GPA that was the highest for all UWF athletes named to the team. Cavalcante didn't stop with GSC honors as she collected the Arhur Ashe award for Sportsmanship in the South Region, and finished the year ranked in the top five in both singles and doubles. She posted a 19-8 singles record, nationally ranking as high as third this season.
Cavalcante led the Argos this season as they finished in the Elite Eight after being defeated by top ranked BYU-Hawaii in the national tournament. One of Cavalcante's biggest victories came in that matchup inquarter finals of the NCAA Division II National Tournament when she defeated then first-ranked Elwen Li to claim West Florida's only point in the loss. The victory by Cavalcante was the only loss of the season for the highly ranked Li.
Senior Matthew Galloway also adds this GSC honor to a long list of season awards, including a 2008 National Championship in Division II Men's Golf. Galloway was named to the All-GSC First Team, as well as the GSC All-Tournament Team and the GSC All-Academic team for the third straight year with a 3.45 GPA. The marketing major was named to the All South Region team, finishing the season ranked #99 in the GolfStat Cup rankings. After capturing the win at the national tournament, he was named to the All-American Second Team. A returner to the the GSC's Top Ten, Galloway earned eight top ten finishes this season and had a 72.38 stroke average with one tournament victory at the Matlock Collegiate Classic 67-73-70 (210).
Also included in the GSC's Top Ten were Meredith Heckel (Arkansas-Monticello, Softball), Edith Musebe (Henderson State, Volleyball), Kendyl Washburn (Harding, Soccer), and Erin Zellers (Alabama-Huntsville, Cross Country, Red Lion, PA). For the men, Michael Eubanks (Delta State, Football), Matt Hall (Harding, Basketball/Golf), Brandon York (Alabama-Huntsville, Cross Country), and Kenny Johnson (North Alabama, Basketball) finish out the list with Matt Hall joining Galloway as a returning Top Ten member.