CCCSIA 2017-18 Athletes of the Year Award
PASADENA, Calif. - Butte College power-hitting baseball player Connor Blair,and Cerritos College tennis phenom Kseniaa Prokopchuk are the California Community College Sports Information Association 2017-2018 State Athletes of the Year. The awards, voted on by members of the CCCSIA Executive Board, are in their seventh year of existence recognizing a top student-athlete from each gender.
CCCSIA 2017-18 WOMEN'S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Kseniaa Prokopchuk, Freshman, Cerritos College Tennis (School 45, Ukraine)
As only the fourth player to ever win the triple crown of women's tennis, the Falcon Prokopchuk became just the fourth player in California Community College women's tennis history to win the Triple Crown by accomplishing CCCAA state individual titles in singles and doubles, while also playing for the state team champion. The last person to accomplish the feat previously was 13 years ago by Orange Coast's Michelle Esquivel.
In the state team championship final, playing at #3 singles, Prokopchuk swept Angelica Gagliano of De Anza College, 6-0, 6-0 and then earned a 6-4, 6-2 win over #2-seeded Sandra DeFranescu of De Anza College to win the CCCAA singles state championship. Prokopchuk and her doubles partner Lisa Suzuki went a perfect 29-0 in doubles matches in the 2018 season and capped off the state championships with a 6-3, 6-0 win over American River College's mother-daughter combo of Eva Spindler and Lelani Spindler.
They were also South Coast Conference doubles champions. Prokopchuk, who was 31-0 overall in doubles, is part of a CCCAA first as her brother Alex also won the Triple Crown on the Cerritos men's side--a brother-sister feat never accomplished prior and likely never to be matched.
The international student won the singles title despite coming into the state tournament as the No. 6 seed. She was 31-2 in singles play for the season.
CCCSIA 2017-18 MEN'S ATHLETE OF THE YEAR
Connor Blair, Sophomore, Butte College Baseball, Outfielder (Liberty High, Brentwood, Calif.)
Showing prodigious power, Blair led the state in home runs (21), runs batted in (77), total bases (149) and slugging percentage (.887). He was the ABCA Pacific Coast Division Player of the Year. He batted .411 in 44 games played, good enough for eighth in the state in hitting average.
Blair was named to the Pacific Association Northern California All-Region First Team and All-America First Team. He also was MVP of the Golden Valley Conference. Helping a low seed at #15 in the North, Blair nearly aided the Roadrunners to an upset before losing a best-of-3 game series v. #2 seed Sierra, 2-games-to-1.
Blair earned a NCAA Division I scholarship to the University of Washington.
Release by Robert Lewis, for the CCCSIA
PREVIOUS ATHLETES OF THE YEAR (began in 2011-12 season)