Anthony, Gantcheva Honored By UNLV
July 18, 2007
LAS VEGAS - Men's basketball standout Joel Anthony has been named the 2007 UNLV Sportsman of the Year, while women's tennis star Elena Gantcheva won the Sportswoman of the Year award, the UNLV athletics department announced Wednesday.
Anthony, who earned his degree in December and was a senior on the 2006-07 Runnin' Rebel squad, helped UNLV reach the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 for the first time since 1991. Individually, he was 11th in the country in blocked shots per game with 2.9 and his memorable performance of 13 blocks against TCU, which was a school and MWC record, tied for the second-most blocks for a game in the nation.
Anthony was also named the Mountain West Conference's Defensive Player of the Year after leading the MWC and his team in blocked shots with 3.6 bpg in conference games. A MWC Co-Player of the Week honoree in February, he turned in four or more blocks in a game 11 times last season and had at least eight blocks in a game four times.
Anthony finished his career with 157 blocks, which ranked No. 2 on the all-time UNLV chart. Last season he blocked 109 shots, which stood No. 2 on the single-season list at UNLV and was just three blocks shy of the school record.
Gantcheva, who just completed her junior year, was named the 2007 MWC Co-Player of the Year along with being selected first team All-MWC for both singles and doubles. She led her team to an NCAA Tournament at-large bid and qualified for the NCAA Doubles Championship. Gantcheva and her partner Kristina Nedeltcheva became just the second doubles team in school history to advance to the NCAA's round of 16 and finished with a school-record high ranking of 18.
Twice named MWC Player of the Week to bring her career tally to a school-record five such honors, Gantcheva finished the year ranked 75th in singles. She also tied the UNLV record for single-season doubles winning percentage with her 25-4 mark and moved to third all-time at UNLV in career singles victories with 83. She is the first tennis player to win the Sportswoman award since Katarina Malec in 2000.
The UNLV Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Year awards were voted on by head coaches, administrators and sports information personnel at UNLV.