April 9, 2014
Rice University student-athletes celebrated a successful year on Wednesday night at the annual Night of the Owl event, presented by the "R" Association. Women's tennis senior Dominique Harmath and baseball's Andrew Murphy and claimed the top honors bestowed on Rice University scholar-athletes.
A Toronto, Ontario native, Harmath received the 39th Joyce Pounds Hardy Award, which honors long-time Rice supporter Joyce Pounds Hardy and is presented to the top overall female student-athlete for her efforts in athletics, in the classroom and in the community. The two-time first team all-Conference USA team member in singles helped the Owls claim the 2013 league title and advance to the NCAA Tournament each of the past two seasons. She also represented Canada last summer at the World University Games in Russia. Harmath is a three-time C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll member and was named to the C-USA Academic All-Conference team last season.
Murphy, a catcher for the Owls took home the 2014 Bob Quin Award, given annually to Rice Athletics' most outstanding all-around senior male athlete. The award honors Quin, a well-respected Rice student-athlete who passed away during an Atlantic voyage in 1930. The Shreveport, La. native is a reserve catcher that has played a crucial role in preparing one of the top pitching staffs in the nation. Murphy has helped the Owls claim Conference USA titles and NCAA Tournament berths in each of his three full seasons. He was honored as Rice's C-USA Spirit of Service Award winner in 2012 for completing more than 100 service hours in that academic year alone. Murphy is also a fixture on the C-USA Commissioner's Honor Roll and was the program's 2013 Rice Scholar Athlete.
Also recognized during Night of the Owl were most valuable players for each sport along with other end-of-the-year awards. The celebration included the presentation of Rice Athletics' highest academic awards, the OJ Brigance Courage Award, the Carl Isgren Iron Owl Award winners along with Spirit and Community Service awards.
Men's basketball senior Bahrom Firozgary earned the "R" Association's J. Fred Duckett Postgraduate Scholarship, while Harmath was named the "R" Association Margie E. Sass Postgraduate recipient.
Firozgary walked onto the Owls basketball team as a junior and saw action in 45 games over two seasons, including three starts. The 2013-14 Rice Scholar Athlete for men's basketball was one of two Owls and just four Conference USA players to be named to the NABC Honors Court for academic excellence in 2012-13.
Among the sport MVPs, Clayton Chaney (men's track and field), Casey Clark (swimming) and Jessica Kuster (women's basketball) were repeat winners.
Below is a complete list of award winners.
Night of the Owl Award Recipients
Joyce Pounds Hardy Award - Dominique Harmath (tennis)
Bob Quin Award - Andrew Murphy (baseball)
"R" Association Margie Sass Postgraduate Scholarship - Dominique Harmath (tennis)
"R" Association J. Fred Duckett Postgraduate Scholarship - Bahrom Firozgary (basketball)
Carl Isgren Iron Owl Awards - Darik Dillard (football), Zech Lemond (baseball), Lilly Marrow (swimming)
O.J. Brigance Courage Award - Michael Kutzler (football)
SAAC Coach of the Year - Jim Bevan (women's cross country and track & field)
Freshman of the Year - Cali Roper (women's cross country)
Sport MVP Awards
Baseball - Dell Morgan Award - Zech Lemond
Men's Basketball - Billy Wohn Award - Austin Ramljak
Women's Basketball - Gene Hackerman Award - Jessica Kuster
Men's Cross Country - Jeff Wells Award - William Firth
Women's Cross Country - Mikki Hebl Award - Cali Roper
Golf - Vic Cameron Award - Kevin Reilly
Women's Soccer - Lauren Hughes
Swimming - Catherine Hannah Award - Casey Clark
Women's Tennis - Kay Pearson Keating Award - Katie Gater
Men's Tennis - Sammy Giammalva Award - Jonathan Chang
Men's Track and Field - Fred Hansen/Dave Roberts Award - Clayton Chaney
Women's Track and Field - Eva Jean Lee Award - Heather Olson
Volleyball - Hally Beth Poindexter Award - Kimberly Vaio
Football's George Martin Award winner will be announced at Sunday's team banquet