Mendonca, Gloria Honored With Joe Kearney Award
    Melanie Gloria is the first-ever women's tennis player to win the award.
    Melanie Gloria is the first-ever women's tennis player to win the award.

    Aug. 4, 2009

    FRESNO, Calif. - Fresno State baseball player Tom Mendonca and women's tennis player Melanie Gloria have been named the 2008-09 Western Athletic Conference Joe Kearney Award winners. Mendonca is the second-consecutive Bulldog baseball player to win the award, while Gloria is the first-ever women's tennis player to win the award. The award is named in honor of former WAC commissioner Joe Kearney and is given annually to the top male and female student-athletes in the WAC.

    Mendonca is the fifth male student-athlete from Fresno State to be recognized with the award and Gloria is the fifth female student-athlete to be honored. Both student-athletes aided their teams to win conference titles and helped Fresno State win their second consecutive WAC Commissioner Cup.

    Mendonca, a junior third baseman from Turlock, Calif., was the 2009 WAC Player of the Year after he led the league and ranked third nationally in home runs (27). A semifinalist for the Dick Howser and Golden Spikes National Player of the Year Awards, he was named to five All-America teams in 2009.

    Mendonca led his team to three consecutive WAC Tournament titles and the 2008 NCAA Championship, as he was named Most Outstanding Player of the College World Series after tying a College World Series record with four home runs. In just three years, he blasted 56 home runs, shattering the Fresno State career record by 13 and tying for fourth place all-time in WAC history. His 174 career RBI also ranks third in Fresno State history. Mendonca earned a gold medal with Team USA at the 2008 European Championships and was a second round draft pick by the Texas Rangers.

    Gloria, a senior from Montreal, Canada, is a four-time WAC Player of the Year and led the Bulldogs to four consecutive WAC titles. The 2009 ITA Northwest Region Senior Player of the Year, she was a third team Academic All-American and was named the Fresno State Bulldog of the Year as a senior. Gloria also made her third appearance at the NCAA Doubles Tournament and received her fourth invite to the NCAA Singles Tournament in 2009.

    Gloria concluded her career with 123 singles wins, good for second place in school history. She reached No. 1 in the ITA doubles national rankings in 2008, and earned All-America status in both singles and doubles, becoming only the second two-time All-American singles player in school history. The Bulldogs also advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament in all four of her seasons, a program first.

    Other nominees included: Men: Ryan Grinnell, Boise State, Track and Field; Solomon Elimimian, Hawai'i, Football; Mac Hopson, Idaho, Basketball; Antonio Baker, Louisiana Tech, Football; Matt Bowman, Nevada, Baseball; Bryan Marquez, New Mexico State, Baseball; Jarron Gilbert, San Jose State, Football; Gary Wilkinson, Basketball.

    Women: Eleni Kafourou, Boise State, Track and Field; Amber Kaufman, Hawai'i, Track and Field/Volleyball; Allix Lee-Painter, Idaho, Cross Country/Track and Field; Amberly Waits, Louisiana Tech, Softball; Brittany Puzey, Nevada, Softball; Krystal Torres, New Mexico State, Volleyball; Erica Moston, San Jose State, Golf; Krista Larson, Utah State, Track and Field.

    More Headlines