Clarksville, Ark. - University of the Ozarks student-athletes Olivia Fisher and Brian Sarber were named the 2007-2008 Female and Male Athlete of the Year, it was announced Tuesday at the annual athletic banquet.
The Athlete of the Year award is given to a student-athlete who displays outstanding athletic accomplishments, combined with academic excellence and superior career credentials.
Fisher, a senior, was a three-sport standout and becomes one of the few Ozarks’ athletes to ever receive All-Conference honors in three different sports. Fisher was named the American Southwest Conference East Division Women’s Tennis Player of the Year this season. She additionally earned ASC All-East Division First Team honors. She played the entire season at No. 1 singles and dropped just one conference match, posting a 4-1 singles record in league play. She finished the season with a 7-5 overall singles mark. She went 7-4 in doubles play. It is the third straight season Fisher has been All-Conference in tennis. She is an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America nominee for tennis. The Mountain Home, Ark., native earned Second Team All-Conference honors in soccer this season. She was named to the D3kicks.com Women’s Soccer Team of the Week at her midfield position during the 2007 campaign and finished her career as a two-time All-Conference soccer player. She is the career leader at Ozarks in games played (73). During the 2007-08 basketball season, the 6-foot center earned Honorable Mention All-Conference. She won the league rebounding title with a 9.3 rebound per game average.
In her career, she has been on the ASC All-Academic Team for three years. Fisher is a biology major and the daughter of Mike and Toni Fisher.
Sarber, a junior, is a three-year starter on the soccer team and was named the ASC Defensive Player of the Year in 2007. The 6-foot-5, 230-pound goalkeeper additionally earned First Team All-Conference honors this season. His national honors in 2007 included NSCAA All-Region Second Team honors, ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America All-District Team and D3Kicks.com All-Region First Team. The Allen, Texas, native posted a conference-best seven shutouts and led the league in goals against average (0.67) and saves percentage (.869). During the season, he was named ASC Defensive Player of the Week. Sarber helped his team to the 2007 ASC regular season championship and a school best 11-2-0 conference record. For his career, he has been a two-time NSCAA All-Region player, a three-time All-Conference performer and a two-time member of the ASC All-Tournament Team. He is the career leader at Ozarks in lowest goals against average (0.81), which is also an ASC record. He ranks second in career shutouts (17) and saves (265) at Ozarks.
He has been on the ASC All-Academic Team twice. He is an accounting major and the son of William and Maureen Sarber.
“This is an outstanding honor for both of these student-athletes,” said athletics director Jimmy Clark. “They were each worthy of this award. They are very good in the sports they participate in. I am proud of their accomplishments both on the field and in the classroom. They are excellent representatives of the university. They truly exemplify the word student-athlete.”
Other nominees for Male and Female Athlete of the Year were Erica Eneks (basketball), Chelsea Joslin (softball), Curt Dixon (baseball) and Habeeb Kareem (basketball).
Team awards given at the banquet were as follows:
Baseball: Outstanding Offensive Player-Cory Briggs, So., SS, Greencastle, Pa.; Outstanding Defensive Player-Scott Dietz, So., C, Rowlett, Texas.; Pitcher of the Year-Curt Dixon, Sr., RHP, McAlester, Okla.; Coach’s Award-Chris Sexton, So., C, Royse City, Texas.
Men’s Basketball: Outstanding Offensive Player-Habeeb Kareem, Sr., F, Houston, Texas; Outstanding Defensive Player-Tony Brock, Jr., G, Little Rock, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Clint McHenry, Sr., F, Sallisaw, Okla.
Women’s Basketball: Outstanding Offensive Player-Erica Eneks, Sr., G, Mountainburg, Ark.; Outstanding Defensive Player-Sara Shaw, Fr., G, Natural Dam, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Kayla Quertermous, Fr., G, Sullivan, Mo.
Cheerleading: Cheerleader of the Year-Amy Rogers, Jr., Malvern, Ark.; Freshman of the Year-CharLee Sloan, Fr., Fayetteville, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Rachel Butts, Jr., Maumelle, Ark.
Men’s Cross Country: Outstanding Runner-Isaac Doss, Fr., Eureka Springs, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Keen Seong Liew, Fr., Tmn Puchong Prima, Malaysia.
Women’s Cross Country: Outstanding Runner-Samantha Puent, Jr., Bangor, Wis.; and Coach’s Award-Jessica Heidelberg, So., Natural Dam, Ark.
Men’s Soccer: Outstanding Offensive Player-Darren Clark, Sr., F, Broken Arrow, Okla.; Outstanding Midfielder-Nate Abbott, Sr., Pryor, Okla.; Outstanding co-Defensive Player-Brian Sarber, Jr., Allen, Texas; Outstanding co-Defensive Player-Jason Owens, So., Tulsa, Okla.
Women’s Soccer: Outstanding Offensive Player-Heather Dryden, So., MF, Plano, Texas; Outstanding Midfielder-Jessalyn Halsted, Sr., Harrison, Ark.; Outstanding Defensive Player-Taylor Crutchfield, So., D, Claremore, Okla.
Softball: Outstanding Offensive Player-Chelsea Joslin, Sr., C, Claremore, Okla.; Outstanding Defensive Player-Jessica Pianalto, Sr., INF, Springdale, Ark.; Most Improved-Jessica George, Fr., OF, Mayflower, Ark.; Coach’s Award-Sara Otteman, Fr., UT/P, Lockport, Ill; and Coach’s Award-Julie Wilkinson, Fr., 3B, Unionville, Mo.
Men’s Tennis: Outstanding Player-Keith Edwards, Jr., Grapevine, Texas; and Coach’s Award-James Johnston, Sr., Oklahoma City, Okla.
Women’s Tennis: Outstanding Player-Olivia Fisher, Sr., Mountain Home, Ark.; and Coach’s Award-Brittany Hein, Jr., Grand Prairie, Texas.