April 23, 2008
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Head Coach Melanie Balcomb gathered players, coaches, staff and fans at the Vanderbilt Marriott last week for the 2008 Commodore Women's Basketball Awards Banquet.
Senior Liz Sherwood and juniors Christina Wirth and Jennifer Risper were among those honored at the event, emceed by radio veteran Charlie Mattos. Vanderbilt won a school-record 11 regular season Southeastern Conference games this year and advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 for the third time in five years.
Sherwood -- the lone senior on the 2007-08 team -- was named the Coaches' "Go-To Player" after averaging 10.8 points per game and connecting on 62.7 percent of her shots from the field. In only three seasons at Vanderbilt, Sherwood scored 1,056 career points to currently rank 24th on VU's all-time scoring list.
Wirth took home three pieces of hardware -- the Academic Award, the Give-Back Award and the Commodore Award. A human and organizational studies major, Wirth leads the team in GPA and earned CoSIDA Academic All-District honors this season. On top of her hard work in the classroom and on the court -- where she averaged a team-high 13.1 points per game and was named first-team all-conference -- Wirth has been extremely active in community service efforts throughout Vanderbilt's campus.
Risper was lauded as the team's defensive MVP. Her 91 steals during the 2007-08 campaign marked the highest single-season total since Deborah Denton made 92 steals in the 1988-89 season. For her achievements, Risper also earned second-team All-SEC and SEC All-Defensive team honors.
Freshman Hannah Tuomi earned the honor of Most Improved. Tuomi earned a spot in the Commodores' starting lineup in early January that she would not relinquish. The 6-1 post player notched her first career double-double at Tennessee and was named to the SEC's All-Freshmen Team.
Vanderbilt will return 12 letterwinners, including all five starters, to next year's squad as Balcomb enters her seventh season in Nashville.
2007-08 VU Women's Basketball Postseason Awards
Commodore Award: Christina Wirth
Go-To Player: Liz Sherwood
Defensive MVP: Jennifer Risper
Most Improved: Hannah Tuomi
Academic Award: Christina Wirth
Give-Back Award: Christina Wirth