Photo Gallery: Women's Hoops Awards Banquet

The annual awards banquet was held on Tuesday night in the Stadium Club. VandyMania's WhitneyD was there and captured these images of the festive occasion.

This year for the first time the banquet featured a silent auction to raise funds for the team's trip to Europe in the summer of 2006.

Kornell Battle, Director of Basketball Operations, Kerwin Lonzo, who handles media relations for women's basketball, and Candice Storey, former player and currently compliance director at Vanderbilt enjoyed the meal.

Hillary Hager, one of last year's seniors and a graduate assistant with the team this year, poses with sophomore guard Cherish Stringfield and freshman post Katie Eggers.

At this time next year, juniors Nicole Jules and Erica Grimaldi will be the seniors saying goodbye.

Long time-manager Chanel Thomas, who hopes to attend graduate school at Peabody in the fall, poses Kornell Battle, and sophomore post Carla Thomas.

Another new feature at this year's banquet were table sponsorships. Besides the sponsor's invited guests, players and staff sat at the table, too.. Redshirt sophomore post Liz Sherwood shared a table with this young fan.

Chancellor Gordon Gee couldn't stay for the entire proceedings, but he stopped in and chatted with Head Coach Melanie Balcomb.

After dinner, it was time for the traditional highlight film, including highlights from this season as well as highlights from earlier seasons in the seniors' Vanderbilt careers.

Next, the team was introduced. Sophomore guard Dee Davis (right) attended the banquet on crutches. Earlier in the day she'd had surgery to repair a torn meniscus in her knee, but still came to the banquet to celebrate the season and to honor the seniors. From left: Abi Ramsey, Ashley Earley, Erica Grimaldi, Nicole Jules (in rear), Carla Thomas (in rear), Cherish Stringfield, Caroline Williams, Liz Sherwood (in rear), Katie Antony, Dee Davis, Katie Eggers (in rear).

If it's an Awards Banquet, then there are sure to be awards. Each award was presented by a different member of the staff. Here, Assistant Coach Stephanie Norman awards Caroline Williams with the Most Improved Player award.

Other awards included the Bedford Hunter Loyalty Award (Ashley Earley and Erica Grimaldi), the Chloe Stroop Spirit Award (Cherish Stringfield), Outstanding Defensive Player (Abi Ramsey), and the Commodore Award (Ashley Earley).

In addition, four players were recognized for making the SEC Honor Roll: Caroline Williams, Erica Grimaldi, Cherish Stringfield, and Ashley Earley.

Next Coach Balcomb spoke. She thanked many people for their help and support, beginning with the administration right on through the "practice guys" and honored the graduating seniors.

Then it was the seniors' time to talk. Abi Ramsey talked first . . .

. . . and Ashley Earley followed.

Then it was time to say goodbye two special seniors, who have left their mark in the Vanderbilt record books, in the banners in Memorial Gym, and in the hearts of their teammates, coaches, and fans..

Photographs copyright 2005 by WhitneyD for Top Stories