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NM State's Murphy, UMKC's Rozner Named 2015-16 Joe Kearney Award Winners

NM State's Murphy, UMKC's Rozner Named 2015-16 Joe Kearney Award Winners
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DENVER - NM State volleyball player Gwen Murphy and Missouri-Kansas City golfer Antoine Rozner are the 2015-16 Western Athletic Conference Joe Kearney Award winners. 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.

The 2015 WAC Player of the Year, Murphy was an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) honorable mention All-American, just the seventh player in NM State history to earn the honor. She was also named AVCA first team All-Region, first team All-WAC, was the MVP of the 2015 WAC Tournament and was a three-time WAC Player of the Week. Murphy finished the season ranked 10th nationally with a .421 hitting percentage, the third-highest single-season mark in WAC history.

During the 2015 season, Murphy had four matches in which she had no hitting errors, including a sweep of Robert Morris when she finished with 14 kills on 15 attempts for a .933 hitting percentage, breaking the WAC record that had been in place since 1999. Additionally, she was named the Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week for Aug. 24-30, becoming the first Aggie ever to earn the honor. Murphy was the 14th player in WAC history and the first since the 2007 season to receive the AVCA weekly honor.

During her career, the Aggies won two regular-season titles (2013, 2015) and three WAC Tournament titles (2012, 2013, 2015). Murphy holds school records for matches played (136) and sets played (472).

“Gwen was the WAC Player of the Year and an All-American, but her statistics are even more impressive when you look at what she did in our non-conference schedule against nationally-ranked competition,” NM State Head Coach Mike Jordan said. “She was dominant in matches against Texas, Arizona and Arizona State, among others. We have had quite a few great players here and I believe Gwen had the best season in NM State history. She was a great competitor and a tremendous leader.”

Rozner placed second at the 2016 NCAA Regional to advance to the NCAA Championship as an individual, the first WAC golfer since 2006 and just the second UMKC golfer to do so. He tied for eighth place at the NCAA Men's Golf Championship. During his senior season, Rozner was named WAC Golfer of the Year, first team All-WAC, second team PING All-American and honorable mention All-American by Golfweek. He won four events and set the UMKC record for lowest single-season scoring average (70.49). He was twice named WAC Golfer of the Month last fall and was named WAC Golfer of the Week twice in the spring.

Rozner is a two-time WAC Golfer of the Year, a three-time All-WAC honoree and a two-time Academic All-WAC honoree. He was also named a Cleveland Gold/Srixon All-American Scholar in 2014-15. Prior to UMKC joining the WAC, as a freshman Rozner was named Summit League Newcomer of the Championship and to the Summit League All-Championship Team after placing second. He was also a first team All-Summit League selection and was named to the Summit League Academic Honor Roll.

Rozner holds the school records for lowest career scoring average (72.23), lowest round (63 at Price's “Give ‘Em 5” Invitational on Oct. 23, 2015) and lowest tournament score (197 at Price's “Give ‘Em 5” Invitational Oct. 23-25, 2015). He ranks second all-time in career wins (7).

“Antoine leaves a strong legacy as one of the most accomplished athletes in UMKC history,” UMKC Head Coach J.W. VanDenBord said. “He has been an ideal student-athlete from a coach's perspective - he has worked hard on his game and diligently in the classroom. He has been a model for the younger players in our program and his influence will be felt for years to come. He left our program as one of the top collegiate players in the country and one of the top amateur golfers in the world.”
2015-16 WAC SAAC Members
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