ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The UNC Asheville Athletics Department handed out its annual awards at the 2014 ASHSPY’s Monday night at the Wilma Sherrill Center.


The Female Athlete of the Year went to senior volleyball player Rachel Wells. The Statesville native led the nation in digs in 2013 with a 6.38 per set average. Her 746 digs was the second most for a season in school history. Wells set a single-game school record with 54 against Radford on Nov. 15 at Justice Center. She earned Big South first team All-Conference honors and also made the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association All-State team.  Wells also earned a tryout with the U.S. National Team in February.


The Male Athlete of the Year was awarded to senior men’s basketball player D.J. Cunningham. He finished the 2013-14 season as the Big South’s leading rebounder (9.9) and blocked shots (3.6). His 3.6 average was fourth best nationally. Cunningham was third on the team in scoring with an 11.6 average. He also led the team in field goal percentage by hitting 56.3 percent of his field goal attempts. The Waterford Ohio native earned second team All-Conference honors and was named to the league’s All-Tournament team. His 98 blocked shots set an Asheville single-season record. He also earned a spot on the North Carolina Collegiate Sports Information Association All-State team. 


Bulldog booster Bruce Goforth was given the Dave Hart Service Award for his contributions to the UNC Asheville program.


Chancellor Anne Ponder was honored as she was given a plaque by Athletics Director Janet Cone and SAAC President Joey Cutting for her great contributions to the athletics department during her tenure. Chancellor Ponder will retire this summer.


Here is a list of the other awards handed out on Monday night.


Individual Awards


Best Moment:

Men's Soccer upsetting Coastal  


Record Breaking Performance:

Andrew Rowsey


Spotlight Award:

Rachel Wells


Crush Award:

Paige Love


Best Championship Performance:

Meredith Foster Ristic 


Best Blooper:

Rachel Wells


Strength & Conditioning Award:

Anna Moore


Best Post-Game Celebration:

Women's Basketball


Male Big Dog

Kurt Hibert


Female Big Dog

Kristen Lawson


Male Athlete of the Year

D.J. Cunningham


Female Athlete of the Year

Rachel Wells


Leadership and Service Award

Joey Cutting


Coach of the Year

Nick McDevitt


Mike Gore Service Award

Brady Buresh


Biggest Student Fan

Corey Duncan Lea


Biggest Community Fan

Greg Garrison


Strength & Conditioning Team

Women’s Basketball


Christenberry Award (Female)

Zoe Hamel


Christenberry Award (Male)

Bobby Castro


NCAA Woman of the Year

Kristen Lawson


NCAA Woman of the Year

Zoe Hamel


Dave Hart Service Award

Bruce Goforth


Team Awards

                                                                        Bulldog Award                Scholar Award          

Men's  Basketball

Corey Littlejohn

Giacomo Zilli

Women's Basketball

Paige Love

Jeannie Buckner

Men's Soccer

Rob May

Bobby Castro

Women's Soccer

Heather Muller

Suzie Zigante

Men's Tennis

Reid Dillon

Daniel Kripak

Women's Tennis

Zoe Hamel

Zoe Hamel


Rachel Wells

Chrissy Lakatos


Hallie Gillespie

Alexandra van Dorsten


Corey Randall

Eli Miller

Men's Cross Country

Patrick Osborne

Brent Schouler

Women's Cross Country

Melanie Kulesz

Rachel Carson

Men's Track & Field

Kurt Hibert

Skyler Winchester

Women's Track & Field

Meredith Foster

Corey McClintock