OGDEN, Utah -- The Big Sky Conference announced its 2013-14 Scholar Athlete Award winners Thursday, honoring a male and female student-athlete from each league institution. The award winners were selected by their respective institutions based upon athletic and academic performance during the 2013-14 school year. Ronni Munkeby (volleyball) and Ryan McGuigan (men's tennis) were the recipients from the University of North Dakota.
Munkeby, a 4.0 grade point average student as a graduate with a physical education, exercise science and wellness degree, led UND to its first-ever Big Sky Conference regular-season championship this past season. The Lisbon, N.D., native was an All-Big Sky First Team member and finished third in the league in hitting (.314).
She killed a career-high-tying 19 balls in the Big Sky Tournament semifinal match against eventual champion Idaho State and was named to the all-tournament team. Munkeby finished her accomplished career with 1,111 kills, ranking 12th all-time in program history. Her .293 career hitting percentage ranks third in UND history.
The decorated hitter was a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team honoree and was named an Academic All-America Third Team member in December. She became the 65th College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America honoree for UND all-time and 16th since transitioning to Division I. She's earned academic accolades from both the Great West and Big Sky Conferences, being named to the All-Academic Teams in both leagues. She is a past president of the UND Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was a two-time UND Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year (2013, 2014).
McGuigan posted a 3.918 grade point average, majoring in air traffic control. He was named to the 2013-14 Big Sky Conference Spring All-Academic Team and to the UND Athletics Director's Fall 2013 Honor Roll. The Fargo, N.D., native was also a finalist for UND's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
In his final year with UND, McGuigan captained the tennis team and played half of the season at No. 1 singles. He also played the majority of the season in No. 2 doubles, winning seven doubles matches. At the end of the year, McGuigan was named the team's Most Valuable Player.
To qualify for the Big Sky Scholar Athlete Award, a student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.2 (on a 4.0 scale), be a member of the graduating class and/or have completed their last year of intercollegiate athletic eligibility, have completed at least two years of intercollegiate competition at the institution, and be a letterwinner.
Complete list of Big Sky Scholar-Athlete honorees above (.pdf).