HILTON HEAD, S.C. – Wofford College running back Eric Breitenstein and Davidson College women’s basketball player Sophia Aleksandravicius have been named the 2013 Southern Conference Male and Female Athletes of the Year, the league announced today (May 28). Aleksandravicius and Breitenstein will be honored in conjunction with the league’s annual Honors Dinner on Wednesday night in Hilton Head, S.C.
Aleksandravicius becomes the first female athlete at Davidson to win the award and the sixth women’s basketball player in the SoCon to take the honor. The Pound Ridge, N.Y., native was named the league’s Women’s Basketball Player of the Year for the second consecutive season in 2013. She also was named the league’s top defensive player for the second straight year.
A three-time Player of the Week in 2013, Aleksandravicius was also named the league’s Player of the Month in January and February. As a senior, she led the league in scoring (16.5 ppg), rebounding (9.9 rpg) and blocked shots (2.9 bpg). Aleksandravicius finished the 2013 season with 20 double-doubles and recorded the program’s first triple-double with 20 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks against Furman. A first-team all-conference selection in 2013, she became the first player in school history to earn first-team all-conference honors for three straight years.
Aleksandravicius finished her career ranked in the league’s top 10 in scoring (ninth), made field goals (fifth), free throw (ninth), rebounding (fourth), and blocks (first). Off the court, she volunteered with the Boys & Girls Club, Davidson Elementary and the Davidson Run for Green. She completed her degree in political science earlier this month.
Breitenstein was named the league’s Bob Waters Male Athlete of the Year after earning the league’s Offensive Player of the Year Award for the second consecutive season. He finished third in the 2012 Walter Payton Award voting. As a senior, Breitenstein led the Southern Conference and ranked second nationally with 2,035 rushing yards.
A three-time All-American, Breitenstein finished his career as the league’s second-leading rusher with 5,730 yards and ranks third in league annals with 65 career touchdowns. He set a new Southern Conference record in 2012 with 12 100-yard rushing games and set the conference’s single-game mark with 321 yards at Elon. As a senior, he helped the Terriers earn a share of the conference championship and a berth in the FCS Playoffs.
An environmental studies major, Breitenstein was a two-year co-president of Wofford’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. He spearheaded a campus-wide recycling initiative and also assisted with Relay for Life while serving as a Miracle League Buddy at Jesse Boyd Elementary. Breitenstein also worked as a Terrier Tales participant, promoting reading in Spartanburg libraries.
The Athlete of the Year Awards are selected annually by the Southern Conference athletics directors and a media member representing each conference school. The award recognizes athletic achievement, academic performance and civic involvement. Prior to 1990-91, the award was selected solely by members of the Southern Conference Sports Media Association. Beginning in 1991-92, the men’s award was named after the late Bob Waters, who was Western Carolina’s head football coach from 1969-88.