UVa.’s Jarmere Jenkins, UNC’s Crystal Dunn receive ACC Athlete of the Year honors

uva logoVirginia men’s tennis standout Jarmere Jenkins and North Carolina women’s soccer star Crystal Dunn have earned the top honors bestowed upon ACC athletes for 2012-13 in voting by the Atlantic Coast Sports Media Association (ACSMA).

Jenkins, who helped lead the Cavaliers to the ACC’s first-ever national title in men’s tennis, is the winner of the 60th Anthony J. McKevlin Award as the conference’s premier male athlete.

Dunn claimed the 24th Mary Garber Award as the conference’s finest female athlete after keying the Tar Heels’ to their 21st NCAA women’s soccer championship and the program’s 22nd national title overall.

The awards are given in memory of distinguished journalists from the region. McKevlin was a sports editor in Raleigh, N.C., and Garber, of the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, was a pioneer as one of the first female sports journalists in the nation.

Jenkins, a native of College Park, Ga., ended the 2013 season ranked No. 1 nationally in singles and No. 2 nationally in doubles. In addition to earning NCAA Tournament Most Valuable Player honors as he led the Cavaliers to the national title, Jenkins was part of a national championship doubles team and was the 2013 NCAA singles runner-up.

The 2013 ITA National Player of the Year, Jenkins admitted to being a bit awe-struck as he scanned the names of past award recipients, which includes the likes of Michael Jordan, Tim Duncan and Charlie Ward. Jenkins became the first student-athlete to capture the McKevlin Award based solely for his accomplishments in men’s tennis; Maryland’s John Lucas (1976) exceled on both the tennis and basketball courts.

“Receiving the McKevlin Award is a little overwhelming at first when you look at the list of previous winners,” Jenkins said. “To join a group that includes so many great names, especially the ones that went on to become stars in the NFL and NBA, is a tremendous honor.

“I am going to share the prestigious award with my family, teammates and coaches who have helped me have an unbelievable four years at the University of Virginia.”

Jenkins’ postseason recognition included ITA All-America honors in both singles and doubles. The four-time All-ACC selection also claimed the ITA Indoor Intercollegiate Singles Championship. Jenkins ended the season with a 42-6 record in singles and a 29-7 mark in doubles play. He ended his career ranked third in career singles wins at Virginia with 140.

North Carolina’s Dunn was the consensus collegiate women’s soccer player of the year, claiming both the Hermann Trophy and the Honda Award for soccer in addition to national player of the year honors from Soccer America and Soccer News Net. In addition to being named a consensus first-team All-American, the Rockville Centre, N.Y., junior was named the ACC Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in her three years at North Carolina.

“It is tremendous honor to win the Mary Garber Award for 2012-13,” Dunn said. “I know the competition for the award must have been fierce, given the great year the ACC had in women’s sports.”

An All-ACC selection for the third straight year, Dunn scored five goals and had five assists during the 2012 season, with all five goals coming in NCAA play. Dunn, who earned All-NCAA Championship honors, started 11 straight games on defense because of injuries to UNC’s starting defenders, then moved to attacking center midfielder at the start of the NCAA Championship. Her efforts helped the Tar Heels beat No. 1 seeds in each of the final three rounds of the tournament to claim the national title.

Seven UNC women’s soccer student-athletes have combined to win eight Garber Awards since the conference initiated the honor in 1990. Dunn noted that she wears the No. 19 – the same number two-time winner Mia Hamm (1993 and 1994) wore during her playing days at UNC. Cindy Parlow Cone, the 1999 recipient, coached Dunn as a UNC assistant before being named Portland Thorns FC head coach last December.

“It is humbling to know that I am the eighth recipient from UNC and follow in the footsteps of players like Mia Hamm, Cindy Parlow and the other Tar Heel soccer players who have won the award,” Dunn said. “It is an honor to wear Mia’s collegiate number when I take the field for the Tar Heels and a privilege to have had Cindy on our coaching staff my first three years here.”

In addition to her banner junior season at UNC, Dunn starred on the U.S. Under 20 National Team that won the World Cup in Japan last summer.  Dunn played every minute for Team USA in pool play and the medal round as a wing defender, and she assisted on the game-winning goal in the 1-0 gold medal game win over Germany.

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