Penn Announces 2010-11 Senior Student-Athlete Awards

PHILADELPHIA - The University of Pennsylvania's Division of Recreation and Intercollegiate Athletics (DRIA) handed out its major intercollegiate senior student-athlete awards Tuesday night, April 26, in a ceremony held at The Inn at Penn. Five awards were handed out.

In the two largest awards of the night, football standout Luis Ruffolo was honored with the Class of 1915 Award while women's volleyball player Megan Tryon received the Association of Alumnae Fathers' Award.

The Class of 1915 Award, given annually since 1931, is presented to the male student-athlete who best exemplifies the spirit and tradition of University of Pennsylvania Athletics. The recipient must be a senior student-athlete who shows outstanding athletic, academic, and leadership qualities. The academic standard is a 3.0 GPA. Voting on the award is conducted by the head coaches of Penn's men's varsity programs as well as selected athletic department administrators.

The Fathers' Award, meanwhile, has been given annually since 1945 to the person who is recognized for her contribution to Women's Athletics at the University of Pennsylvania. The recipient must be a senior student-athlete who shows outstanding athletic, academic, and leadership qualities. The academic standard is a 3.0 GPA, and voting on the award is conducted by the head coaches of Penn's women's varsity programs as well as selected athletic department administrators.

The Norman J. Goldring Award was given to Paul Shay from men's lightweight rowing and Lisa Barnett from the women's cross country/track & field team. The Goldring Award is given to one graduating male and female student-athlete with the highest GPA who earned a varsity letter in his/her senior year.

Barnett was also the recipient of the George H. Frazier Award, which is given to a graduating student-athlete (male or female) with the highest GPA who competed on one of the following teams: basketball, crew, track, soccer, baseball or football.

CLASS OF 1915 AWARD - Luis Ruffolo, football
Luis Ruffolo joins a prestigious and selective group as the University of Pennsylvania's Class of 1915 Award winner. His selection is all the more impressive when you consider he plays a position which involves not a shred of individual statistics. But the voters couldn't ignore his impact in Penn football's back-to-back Ivy League championship seasons.

As a three-year letterwinner on the offensive line, Luis was integral to the Quakers' offensive success, appearing in 27 games and starting 24. During that span, the Quakers ran over their opposition, becoming just the third team to post back-to-back undefeated Ivy campaigns.

In each of Luis' last two years as a starter, Penn allowed the fewest sacks in the Ivy League. The Webster, N.Y., native was asked to play multiple positions along the line during his tenure in the Red and Blue-he starred as Penn's left tackle, but was also a starter at center in several games to fill in for an injured teammate.

As a junior, in his first full season as a starter, Luis earned second-team All-Ivy accolades. His senior year in the trenches, he was named third-team All-America by The Sports Network and was selected first-team All-Ivy by the Ancient Eight coaches. These accolades came after the 2010 Quakers led the Ivy League and ranked sixth nationally in rushing. The Red and Blue also led the league in total offense and scoring offense, and on November 7 they put up 52 points at archrival Princeton to set school records for points and yardage (600) in the 102-game series with the Tigers.

Penn went 23-7 in Luis' final three seasons, including a 19-2 mark against the Ivy League. During that time, he was a part of the program's 800th win (third in FCS history) and its 1,300th game-the first school in college football history to reach that mark. Penn finished the 2009 and 2010 seasons ranked in the top 20 in the Football Championship Series (FCS) national rankings, and the Quakers currently hold the longest active conference winning streak in the nation (15).

Since the award's inception in 1931, Luis is the 33rd football player to earn this honor. He is the first football player to do so since John Bishop in 1998.

A student in the College of Arts and Sciences, Luis is a three-time Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area recipient and a 2009 Academic All-Ivy recipient. He is a Biological Basis of Behavior major with a BIBB/Health Services Management minor.

FATHERS' AWARD - Megan Tryon, volleyball
In helping to set a new bar for success in women's volleyball at Penn, Megan Tryon becomes the third women's volleyball player in the last decade to be named the winner of the Fathers' Trophy.

In her four years with the Quakers, Megan and her teammates collected a record of 44-12 in the Ivy League, including a 25-3 mark in 2009 and 2010 as Penn won back-to-back Ivy titles for the third time in school history. In 2009, Megan led the women's volleyball team to a 23-6 record, the most wins for the program since 1987, and its first-ever NCAA Tournament victory, a 3-1 win over Army. In the second round, the Quakers faced two-time defending national champion Penn State. They didn't back down, taking a 19-16 lead in the first set before eventually falling to the Nittany Lions in three sets. A year later the Quakers found themselves needing a win in the final regular-season match against Princeton to defend their Ivy title. Penn won a grueling five-set match as Megan finished with 52 assists, 14 digs and four kills. Tied with Yale at 12-2 overall, the team was forced to play a playoff, and Megan came up big again with 53 assists and nine digs as Penn's 3-2 win propelled the Red and Blue to their second straight NCAA trip.

Individually, Megan has also set herself apart, leading the Ivy League in assists each of the past two seasons and earning Ivy League Player of the Year honors in 2010. She became the program's eighth Player of the Year selection and received her second straight first-team All-Ivy selection. She was also named AVCA All-Region honorable mention for the second time, the second Quaker to be honored twice.

As the team's quarterback and offensive catalyst, Megan has directed the league's top offense each of the past two years. In 2009, the team was ranked 13th in the country in kills per set while she ranked fourth in the nation individually with 11.96 assists per set. Her 1,328 assists that season also set a Penn record. As a senior in 2010, Megan led the Ivy League in assists once again and also set the school record for assists in a career with 3,783.

FRAZIER AWARD/GOLDRING AWARD (female) - Lisa Barnett, cross country/track & field
Lisa Barnett is a double winner this year, taking both the Frazier Award as well as being the female recipient of the Goldring Award. She is a member of both the women's cross country and track & field teams and is a three-year letterwinner for the Quakers.

Lisa has starred as a distance and middle-distance runner for the Red and Blue. She competed in every regular-season cross country meet in 2010, highlighted by a 25th-place finish at the Fordham Fiasco, and also ran in the 2010 Heptagonal Cross Country Championships in October.

On the track, Lisa has served primarily as a middle distance runner with her strengths in the 1,500 and the mile. Earlier this year, she posted a career best in the indoor mile at the historic Armory Track and Field Center in New York City, crossing the finish line in 5:22.31 to place eighth in her heat. Her top time in the 1,500 came just over a year ago at Princeton's Larry Ellis Invitational when she placed in the top 10 with a time of 4:54.61.

Over her career, Lisa has earned seven top-10 finishes as an individual and as a member of several relay teams. During that time, the women's track & field team has had some of its best success in recent years. Within the past two seasons, the Quakers have posted their highest finish at the Indoor ECAC Championships since 2006, won their first P-Y-P meet since the same year and remain unbeaten against their biennial rivals from England, Oxford and Cambridge.

Lisa is a Communication major in the College.

GOLDRING AWARD (Male) - Paul Shay, lightweight rowing
Paul Shay joined the Penn men's lightweight rowing team as a sophomore. As a testament to his immediate impact with his teammates on and off the water, they voted him team commodore just one year later. This year, he serves as the team captain.

For the last two years, Paul has spent most of his time on the water with the varsity crew. For the better half of the 2009-10 campaign, he was a member of the varsity boat that would eventually post the school's best finish at EARC Sprints since 2005. The Quakers placed sixth and reached the national championship race, the Varsity Grand Final, for the first time in five years. Already this season, the varsity crew -- where he has anchored the third seat -- claimed the Matthews-Leonard Cup for the first time since 1990. The 2010-11 Quakers have just one cup race remaining this season and will then look to duplicate their success at EARC Sprints on May 15 with aspirations of competing at the national championships for the second straight year.

Paul has been the epitome of a student-athlete. He serves as a role model in the classroom, maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout most of his career as a pre-med major. Last summer, the Pittsburgh, Pa., native was named to the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area team.