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Morrell Named Alumni Association's Female Athlete Of The Year

Courtesy: ODU Athletics
         
Release: April 29, 2013
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April 29, 2013

NORFOLK, VA--ODU All-American Quarterback and Walter Payton Award winner Taylor Heinicke (Atlanta, GA.) and two-time Conference USA women's golfer of the week Samantha Morrell (North Kingstown, RI.) were named Athletes of the Year by the Old Dominion University Alumni Association, while seniors Jonathan Plisco (Newport News, VA.), of football and Maeghan Pardy (Ontario, Canada) of women's rowing were named the 2013 recipients of the Jack Wilkins/James Howard Scholar Athletes of the Year at the annual Old Dominion University Athletic honors banquet, held at the Ted Constant Convocation Center Monday night.

Taylor Heinicke was the winner of the 2012 Walter Payton Award as the best player in the FCS. He was named an Associated Press first team All-American, Walter Camp All-American, and the Dudley Award winner as the Best Division I Player in Virginia. He was also selected as the CAA Offensive Player of the Year. Taylor broke Steve McNair's 18-year old passing yardage record with 5,076 yards and set an FCS record with 398 completions. He led the nation in passing yardage, passing yards per game, completions, passing touchdowns, and total touchdowns. He set a Division I record for passing yardage in a game with 730 and in total offense with 791 yards in ODU's come-from-behind win over New Hampshire, 64-61. He also earned CAA All-Academic honors. He led the Monarchs to an 11-2 record, first place in the CAA and advanced to the NCAA FCS Quarterfinals.

Samantha Morrell claimed medalist honors at the Bucknell Spring Break Tournament and was named Conference USA Women's Golfer of the Week twice this spring. She fired a final round 69 to win medalist honors in that event. As a team, ODU won the UNCW Seahawk Classic, finished second in the Bucknell Tournament. Morrell's 144 total gave her a two-shot win over Nova Southeastern's Linnea Johansson. In five of her last six matches, including the final two of the fall season, she has finished second (LPGA Xavier), fifth (Campbell) and fourth (JMU), third at Pinehurst and now a first place at Bucknell. Sam finished 10th at last week's C-USA Championships, just five strokes behind the winner. She currently has a 75.7 stroke average thus far. She is a two-time All-CAA selection and majoring in communications with a minor in Spanish.

The Jack Wilkins/James Howard Scholar Athletes of the Year are presented to the male and female senior athletes with the highest cumulative grade point average. Both Howard and Wilkins were instrumental in the formation of the ODU Intercollegiate Foundation, now the Old Dominion Athletic Foundation.

Outstanding both on the field and in the classroom, punter Jonathan Plisco has racked up a plethora of athletic and academic accolades throughout his career at Old Dominion. The punter graduated as the FCS all-time leader in career punting average at 45.1 yards a boot and earned three All-America honors this past season, as well as first-team All-CAA honors. For his career, Plisco was named All-America 12 times and twice was named first-team All-CAA. A two-time CAA-Academic All-Conference honoree, Plisco was named to the ADA Academic All-Star team as a senior. He graduated in December with a 3.55 grade point average in finance.

Maeghan Pardy is a three-year Lady Monarch captain on the rowing team who has never lost a home meet. She helped lead ODU over North Carolina by nearly 13 seconds in the Varsity 8 race. ODU posted a time of 7:29.5 while UNC finished at 7:42.2. Maeghan earned CAA All-Conference honors in 2012 as she helped the Lady Monarchs Varsity 4 boat to third place in the league championships. Was the rowing teams MVP the last two seasons. A three-time LEAD Award winner. She has set personal records at each individual testing distance. She carries a 4.0 grade point average in psychology.

ALUMNI ASSOCIATION'S MOST VALUABLE PLAYERS
BASEBALL- (Will be named after the completion of their season)
MEN'S BASKETBALL - DeShawn Painter (Norfolk, VA.)
WOMEN'S BASKETBALL- Shae Kelley (Denver, CO.)
FIELD HOCKEY- Julie Hodge (Downingtown, PA.)
FOOTBALL- Taylor Heinicke (Atlanta, GA.)
MEN'S GOLF- Jamison Randall (Cumberland, RI.)
WOMEN'S GOLF- Samantha Morrell (North Kingstown, RI.)
WOMEN'S LACROSSE -Christina Rea (Levittown, NY.)
WOMEN'S ROWING-
MEN'S SOCCER - Chris Harmon (Downingtown, PA.)
WOMEN'S SOCCER -Taylor Mertz (Midlothian, VA.)
WOMEN'S SAILING-  Julia Wisener (Rochester, NY.)
COED SAILING-  Dillon Paiva (Raleigh, NC.)
MEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING- Sidni  Hoxha (Tirane, Albania)
WOMEN'S SWIMMING & DIVING- Kimberley Rashleigh (Sydney, Australia)
MEN'S TENNIS- Carlos Lopez Villa (Madrid, Spain)
WOMEN'S TENNIS-  Melissa Esnal Olguin (San Sebastian, Spain)
WRESTLING- Chris Mecate (Highland, CA.)

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