The NC State Athletic Department hosted the 2017 Wolfie Awards Monday night at Reynolds Coliseum. The annual event showcases the best of Wolfpack Athletics over the last calendar year. Debbie Antonelli, a sports broadcaster and analyst who played on the women's basketball team under coach Kay Yow from 1982-86, served as the emcee for the night.
Ryan Held and Alexia Zevnik of the men's and women's swimming and diving teams earned the night's highest award, winning the men's and women's H.C. Kennett Award for demonstrating all-around leadership and qualities of sportsmanship and good character. Both athletes were their team's top scorers at the NCAA championships this year, helping to lead their programs to historic finishes.
Rookie of the Year (Awarded to a men's and women's newcomer who has had a significant impact on their team's competitiveness)
Dennis Smith, Jr., Basketball
Dennis Smith ranked 6th in the ACC in scoring, led in assists and was 2nd in steals. He is the first NC State freshman since 1977-78 to win ACC Freshman of the Year honors and the 1st player in NC State history to win the honor outright. He is the only player in ACC history to register two triple-doubles in the same season. Dennis was also All-ACC Second team.
Ky-Lee Perry, Swimming and Diving
Ky-Lee Perry made an immediate impact on the swimming and diving team, leading the team's sprint events. Ky-Lee won the individual ACC Championship in the 50 freestyle, breaking the school record. She placed third in the 100 freestyle at the ACC Championship and competed on three gold medal relay teams, which broke two conference records. She helped lead the team in claiming its first ACC title since 1980. At NCAA's, Perry helped secure the team its highest finish in program history, placing seventh.
Comeback Player of the Year (Awarded to the student-athlete who has overcome injuries to be a productive member of their team)
Matthew O'Donnell, Men's Swimming and Diving
Matthew O'Donnell is a vital part of the men's swimming and diving team, as he is an excellent contributor in the pool as well as a leader outside of the pool. His return from two difficult brain surgeries, which left him unable to compete for over six months, helped sparked the men's program in its quest to win three ACC titles in a row. The redshirt junior was one of the 18 men on the ACC Championship roster, where he scored in all three of his events and earned provisional NCAA qualifying times.
Community Spirit Award (Awarded to a team who serves the community through volunteering and/or charitable fundraising efforts)
Throughout the year the gymnastics team has spent lots of time volunteering in the community. They participated in a fundraiser for diabetes, visited patients in a Raleigh rehabilitation center, worked with autistic children during Christmas, and walked and cared for dogs that were up for adoption.
Performance of the Year (Awarded to a men's and women's student-athlete or team that had an outstanding performance in a competition)
Swimming and Diving Men's 800 Freestyle Relay (Ryan Held, Soren Dahl, Andreas Vazaios and Justin Ress) at NCAA Championship
The men's swimming and diving 800 freestyle relay team won the NCAA championship, breaking the ACC and school record, the pool record, the NCAA record and the U.S. Open record.
Women's Basketball versus Notre Dame on December 29, 2016
The women's basketball team stunned visiting No. 2/2 Notre Dame Dec. 29 in both teams' Atlantic Coast Conference opener, defeating the Fighting Irish 70-62 on Kay Yow Court inside Reynolds Coliseum. The Wolfpack never once trailed in the game, leading for 38 minutes and 54 seconds on route to handing the Fighting Irish just their second loss in ACC play since joining the league at the outset of the 2013-14 season.
ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year (Recognizes the top scholar male and female scholar athlete at each ACC institution. Must be in their last year of athletic competition, earned a varsity letter in a conference sponsored sport, and have a top 5 GPA in their gender.)
Andreas Schiellerup, Swimming and Diving
Andreas is a member of the men's swimming and diving team. He is a sophomore majoring in Human Biology with a concentration in Biochemistry. In 2014 and 2016, he was named to the All-ACC academic team and was a CSCAA Scholar All-American. Andreas is the 2016 NCAA 4x100 freestyle champion, a nine time All-American and nine time ACC champion. After graduation he plans to attend medical school in Denmark.
Alexia Zevnik, Women's Swimming and Diving
Alexia is a member of the women's swimming and diving team. She is double majoring in Biological Sciences with a concentration in Human Biology and Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources. From 2014-2016, Alexia was named to the All-ACC academic team and was a CSCAA Scholar All-American. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school to complete her PhD in Physical Therapy.
Wolfpack Unlimited (Presented to the team and/or individual who refuses to accept the status quo, by overcoming challenges to achieve goals that seemed unattainable)
The NC State women's soccer team had its best season in recent history. The team made postseason appearances in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 20 years and the ACC Tournament for the first time in 10 years. The soccer team had historical wins over No. 7 North Carolina in the ACC opener and No. 8 Minnesota in the first round of the NCAA Championships. It finished the season in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament, marking just the fourth time in program history the team advanced to the third round of the tournament. The Pack also set a program record, by finishing at 34 in the final RPI and finished the season with its second most ACC wins and points in program history.
Men's Team Coach of the Year (Awarded to a men's team coach who led their team to success during the season)
Braden Holloway, Men's Swimming and Diving
In his sixth year as head coach, Coach Braden Holloway led the men's team to a historic year, earning its third-straight conference title and tying its highest NCAA finish with fourth place. Coach Holloway was named ACC men's coach of the year.
Women's Team Coach of the Year (Awarded to a women's team coach who led their team to success during the season)
Tim Santoro, Soccer
Coach Tim Santoro guided the young Wolfpack to its most wins and first NCAA appearance since 1996. The Pack made a historic run to the Sweet 16. The team concluded the year ranked 23/24 in the national polls, set a program record in RPI and set its second-best ACC season in school history. Following the conclusion of the season, Santoro and his staff were named the NSCAA Southeast Staff of the Year and were finalists for the NSCAA Staff of the Year.
Team of the Year (Awarded to a men's or women's team that had an outstanding season.)
Men's Swimming and Diving
The men's swimming and diving team went undefeated in the regular season as well as earned its third straight conference title and matched its highest NCAA finish. At the ACC Championships, the team dominated the competition on route to the title, winning 7 of 13 individual events and 4 of 5 relays. NC State sent 14 athletes to the NCAA Championships, including its first diver since 1996. The team had 11 All-Americans and won a national title in the 800 freestyle relay that broke every record.
Women's Cross Country
The women's cross country team earned its 22nd overall conference title this year while placing a record number on the All-ACC team with six. At Regionals, the team handily won the meet, with five ladies finishing in the top 25 to earn All-Region honors. The team qualified for its 30th NCAA Championship, marking the most appearances by any program. There, the Wolfpack finished in fourth place, its highest finish since 2001. Erika Kemp and Rachel Koon both finished as All-Americans. The women's team placed seven on the All-ACC academic team and four on USTFCCCA's All-Academic team. In addition, the women's team was named All-Academic by USTFCCCA.
Chancellor's Cup (Awarded to a male and female team with the cumulative GPA at the end of the previous fall semester.)
Swimming and Diving