IU has announced that three athletes will share the school’s “Athlete of the Year” honor in connection with the 2020-21 athletics year ended on June 30.
Women’s basketball’s Grace Berger, men’s soccer’s Victor Bezerra and diver Andrew Capobianco all claimed the distinction. Each of the three were able to achieve significant individual accomplishments while helping their respective teams compete at the very top of their sports.
The full release from IU, including quotes from AD Scott Dolson and all three coaches, follows.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – The Indiana University Department of Athletics has announced that women’s basketball guard Grace Berger, men’s soccer forward Victor Bezerra and diver Andrew Capobianco have been named IU’s 2020-21 Athletes of the Year.
“Congratulations to Grace, Victor and Andrew for not only their remarkable individual efforts this season, but also for leading their respective programs to tremendous team success at the NCAA level,” said IU Vice President and Director of Athletics Scott Dolson. “In each case these individuals contributed enormously to their programs placing in the top 10 nationally at season’s end, which represents the type of individual and team success that we strive for. Each has already placed themselves among the very best that their programs have ever produced, and with all three set to return, I’m excited to see them continue to do great things in 2021-22.”
Berger helped guide the women’s basketball program to a NCAA Elite Eight appearance in 2020-21 and an overall record of 21-6 and second place finish in the Big Ten with a 16-2 record. The Louisville, Ky. native averaged 15.4 points, 6.8 rebounds, 4.6 assist and shot 44.1 percent from the floor. She recorded the program’s first-ever triple double last season in the opener against Eastern Kentucky and finished the year as the nation’s leader in the category with three. Berger scored in double figures 23 times including seven games with 20 points or more. Her honors last season including a pair of All-American honorable mention nods from the WBCA and USWBA along with All-Big Ten First team accolades. She was a top 10 finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award, which honors the nation’s best small forward and named to the Wade Watch List midseason team.
“Grace earned every bit of this achievement and I’m excited to see her applauded for her incredible play on the court this season,” head coach Teri Moren said. “She has continued to elevate her game and has done a tremendous job of leading our program to new heights.”
Bezerra is a MAC Herman Award runner-up who guided the Hoosiers back to a national championship game appearance in his sophomore season. He is a 2020 United Soccer Coaches First Team All-American, Top Drawer Soccer Best XI First Team, United Soccer Coaches All-North Region First Team, Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and All-Big Ten First Team who started 15-of-16 matches and led the team in goals (12), points (28), shots (50), shots on goal (26) and game-winning goals (4). His season mark of 12 goals is the most by an IU player since Eriq Zavaleta (18) in 2012. He set a new program-record for single-season Big Ten Tournament goals with 5 to help IU claim its 11th regular season, tournament double in program history.
“Victor had a wonderful season both on and off the field,” head coach Todd Yeagley said. “He led our team in scoring and played a big role in our run to the NCAA title match and capturing the BIG 10 double. He’s worked hard developing over the past few years and we can’t wait to have Victor back this fall. He also high marks in the classroom and was awarded Academic All-American honors this spring. Victor represented IU and our soccer program with distinction.”
Capobianco is the 2021 NCAA 3-meter champion, his second consecutive national title, and earned three All-American honors as a redshirt senior. He was named the Big Ten Diver of the Year and Big Ten Co-Diver of the Championships along with an All-Big Ten First Team honoree. The Holly Springs, N.C. native also took the podium in the 1-meter springboard at the NCAA Championships with a fourth-place finish this season. He has earned his spot on Team USA in the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic games in the 3-meter springboard and 3-meter synchro event.
“Andrew has had a tremendous year,” head diving coach Drew Johansen said. “Defending an NCAA title is one of the hardest things to do in sport, and to follow it up three months later qualifying for his first Olympic Games in both springboard events is quite a breakout year. I cannot wait to see what he does in Tokyo, and the coming 2021-22 season.”
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