BALTIMORE - UMBC Athletics honored its student-athletes at the 2017-18 Grittys, held at the Hotel at Arundel Preserve on May 6, 2019.
Freshman Courtney Coppersmith (York, Pa.) of softball and junior Alexios Prodanas (Kilkis, Greece) from track and field were selected as the Dr. Charles R. Brown Outstanding Athletes for the 2018-19 season.
Four seniors were tabbed as Outstanding Senior Athletes. Women's lacrosse's Lauren McDonald (Catonsville, Md./Catonsville) and swimming and diving's Hania Moro (New Cairo, Egypt) earned the award on the women's side. Swimming and diving Alexander Gliese (Columbia, Md./Long Reach) and men's basketball's Joe Sherburne (Whitefish Bay, Wisc.) took home the honor on the men's side.
Two basketball stars were honored with the Matt Skalsky Outstanding Scholar-Athlete Award. For the second year in a row, Sherburne earned the men's award, while women's basketball's Tyler Moore (Portsmouth, Va.) received the women's award.
Coppersmith has had a freshman season for the ages as she has been named to the Schutt Sports / NFCA Freshman of the Year Top 25 list. She has smashed almost all school strikeout records, thrown a perfect game and two additional no-hitters, and is top-5 in the country in multiple pitching categories. She's been named Louisville Slugger/NFCA Division 1 National Pitcher of the Week, is a five-time America East Pitcher of the Week and six-time Rookie of the Week, and became the first student-athlete to ever sweep the conference weekly individual awards in a single week.
A force for the track and field team, Prodanas has made in mark on the program, re-breaking his own weight throw record four times in the winter with a toss of 21.26m a the Penn State Tune-Up in February. The junior has also broken the hammer throw record twice during the outdoor season, most recently at the Bucknell Team Challenge with a toss of 68.01m. Prodanas was named America East Performer of the Week four times during the season.
McDonald has been a four-year fixture on the field for the Retrievers, accumulating 133 career goals, which ranks sixth overall in program history. The graduate student, who earned her bachelor degree in three years, led the Retrievers in 2017 with a program-record 62 goals and has produced double-digit scoring in all four seasons at UMBC. In the classroom, the current Geography and Environmental Systems master's student is a three-time America East All-Academic Team selection and earned IWLCA Academic honors a year ago.
Moro entered the pool at UMBC her freshman year and quickly began to make a splash. She's earned a total of six individual gold medals in her tenure and at this year's conference championships, she broke two 14-year-old records to become the school's top swimming in the 500 and 1650 free. She also is a school record holder in the 800 free relay. In addition to being a record holder at UMBC, she is also a national record holder in Egypt in the 800 free, and qualified for this year's World Championships in two events.
Gliese is an all-around student-athlete. The mechanical engineering major is a two-time America East All-Academic Team honoree, a 2019 conference Winter Scholar-Athlete, and is a fixture in the pool for the Retrievers. He shattered two conference and school records at this year's conference championships and broke Michael Phelps' pool record at UMBC Aquatic Complex this season. In July, the America East's Most Outstanding Male Swimmer will also represent Denmark as he competes at the 2019 World University Games after he broke his own national record in the 200 back, becoming the first Dane to break the 2-minute mark.
Sherburne played in and started in more game than any other basketball player in school history. He also has played more minutes that any other Retriever and finished 38th in the nation by playing over 1,242 minutes in his final season. He amassed 1,563 career points and buried 266 treys, ranking sixth and second respectively on the school's all-time lists. Moreover, the Wisconsin-native became the first UMBC Division I player to record 1500 points, 600 caroms, and 200 assists in a career and was invited to participate in the 2019 Dos Equis National Championship at the Final Four weekend in Minneapolis. An America East First-Team member in his final season, the financial economics graduate earned First-Team Academic All-American honors in both 2017-18 and 2018-19.
Moore has excelled in both the classroom and on the court. This psychology major is a two-time captain for the Retrievers and has etched her name into the record books after just three years in Baltimore. She is currently tenth all-time in three pointers made, tenth in three pointers attempted, and tenth in three point field goal percentage. This past season, she had the sixth best three point percentage in a single season. Her efforts in the classroom helped land her on the Google Cloud Academic All-District Team, just the second player in program history to earn the distinction.
In the classroom, Sherburne has maintained a 4.0 GPA throughout his three-year undergraduate tenure and well into his master's program. The two-time recipient of the Sklasky award was named to the America East All-Academic Team three years in a row and was selected to the the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team for two. In 2017-18, Sherburne became the first UMBC and America East men's basketball player to be named to the Academic All America® Division I Men's Basketball First Team. He followed that up in 2018-19 when he was named the 2018-19 Academic All-America Team Member of the Year and chosen as the America East's men's basketball's Scholar-Athlete of the year.
Major Award Winners
Dr. Charles R. Brown Outstanding Athletes – Courtney Coppersmith (F), Alexios Prodanas (M)
Matt Skalsky Outstanding Scholar-Athletes – Tyler Moore (F), Joe Sherburne (M)
Outstanding Female Seniors – Lauren McDonald, Hania Moro
Outstanding Male Seniors – Alexander Gliese, Joe Sherburne
Leon Upshur Memorial Award – Graham Whaples
Grittys Award Winners
1. Game of the Year - Men's Lacrosse defeats Vermont, 14-13, to claim America East Championship
2. Play of the Year - Cesare Marconi vs. Rutgers, Men's Soccer
3. Home Event of the Year - Men's Basketball takes down Vermont, 65-56
4. Record Breaking Performance - Courtney Coppersmith, Softball
5. Newcomer of the Year (Female) - Courtney Coppersmith, Softball
6. Newcomer of the Year (Male) - Matt Bennici (Walkersville, Md./Walkersville), Swimming and Diving
7. Breakthrough Athlete of the Year - Christina Corbi (Medford, N.J.), Women's Soccer
Carly Tolino (Middletown, Md./Middletown), Women's Lacrosse
2018-19 UMBC Award Winners
Most Valuable Athlete: Jon Bell
Most Improved Athlete: David Harris
Unsung Hero: Jordan Ehart
Most Valuable Athlete: Erin Stevenson
Most Improved Athlete: Olivia Bronson
Unsung Hero: Megan Chun
Most Valuable Athlete: Paola Rojas
Most Improved Athlete: Taylor Dunn
Unsung Hero: Kristin Watson
Men's Cross Country
Most Valuable Athlete: Nathan Nadal
Most Valuable Athlete: Matt Kingeter
Unsung Hero: Brian Cave
Women's Cross Country
Most Valuable Athlete: Kelsey Ponton
Unsung Hero: Bridgett Redding
Most Improved Athlete: Alexis Bartelloni
Most Valuable Athlete: Joe Sherburne
Unsung Hero: K.J. Jackson
Most Improved Athlete: R.J. Eytle-Rock
Most Valuable Athlete: Janee'a Summers
Most Valuable Athlete: Te'yJah Oliver
Unsung Hero: Tyler Moore
Women's Indoor Track
Most Valuable Athlete: Kaya Knake
Most Improved Athlete: Bridgett Redding
Unsung Hero: Tori Johnson
Men's Indoor Track
Most Valuable Athlete: Alexios Prodanas
Unsung Hero: Divinus Muteba
Most Improved Athlete: Miles Smith
Men's Swimming & Diving
Most Valuable Athlete: Alexander Gliese
Most Improved Athlete: Matthew Bennici
Most Improved Athlete: Jimmy Dwyer
Women's Swimming & Diving
Most Valuable Athlete: Hania Moro
Most Improved Athlete: Vanessa Esposito
Most Improved Athlete: Caroline Sargent
Most Valuable Athlete: Billy Nolan
Most Improved Athlete: Brett McIntyre
Unsung Hero: Danny Isaac
Most Valuable Athlete: Brittany Levine
Most Improved Athlete: Olivia Docal
Unsung Hero: Carley Tolino
Most Valuable Athlete: Courtney Coppersmith
Most Improved Athlete: Julia Keffler
Unsung Hero: Jenna Stupey
Women's Outdoor Track & Field
Most Valuable Athlete: Kelechi Nwanaga
Most Valuable Athlete: Kaya Knake
Most Improved Athlete: Bridgett Redding
Men's Outdoor Track & Field
Most Valuable Athlete: Manos Kamtsiklis
Most Improved Athlete: Taylor Baranoski
Unsung Hero: Andrew Haberman
Baseball Not announced at this time