The Daily Orange Sports Awards

The Daily Orange Sports Awards: Most Valuable Player

Andy Mendes | Design Editor

The five teams represented for this award are: Football, Cross Country / Track & Field, Softball, and Women's Basketball.

UPDATED: May 9, 2017 at 12:48 a.m.

At the end of every sports season, there’s an award ceremony. With the Syracuse academic year coming to a close, The Daily Orange sports staff wanted to hand out its own awards, decided on by the readers.

There will be five categories to vote on: Best Transfer, Best Team, Best Moment, Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player. One poll will be sent out every day on Twitter (@DOsports) and will be open for 24 hours, giving readers a full day to vote and pick the winner. The Daily Orange sports staff considered multiple options for each category before settling on the four in each poll.

Here were the nominees, listed in alphabetical order by last name, for Most Valuable Player.

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Tony D. Curtis | Staff Photographer

Amba Etta Tawo: Football

Etta-Tawo — the winner of the Best Transfer award — left Maryland to spend his graduate year at Syracuse. He took the school, and the country, by storm. Etta-Tawo broke the single-season school records for receptions (94) and receiving yards (1,482, also eighth best in the country) and tied the record for touchdowns (14).

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Courtesy of the ACC

Justyn Knight: Men’s Cross Country / Track & Field

Knight built on his already impressive resume in 2016. He finished second overall in the cross country national championship, leading SU to a third-place finish. The junior also finished first in the ACC championship, and won his second-straight ACC Performer of the Year award. He’s also excelled on the track, winning both the 3,000 meter and 5,000 meter indoor races at the ACC championships. On Saturday, Knight ran the world’s fastest time in the 5,000 meter race Payton Jordan Invitational.

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Jordan Phelps | Staff Photographer

*Winner* Sydney O’Hara: Softball

O’Hara had always been one of Syracuse’s best players, but she took her level of play to new heights in her senior campaign. Her .480 batting average led the NCAA and shattered the old school record for single-season batting average. She was a dominant as a pitcher as well, mostly in relief. She pitched 69.2 innings, maintaining a 1.81 era while striking out 125 batters and only allowing a batting average against of .194. She’s also the career leader in saves, with 13.

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Evan Jenkins | Staff Photographer

Alexis Peterson: Women’s Basketball

Peterson grew into a star during Syracuse’s run to the national championship game in 2016. That carried over into this season as she led the Orange to a 22-11 record. She was first in the conference in points (23.4) and second in assists (7). She was named the ACC Player of the Year, the first player in program history to win a conference’s player of the year award. She went out with a bang in the final game of the season too, a loss to No. 1 Connecticut, scoring 25 points. Peterson finished her career second in points (1,978) and first in assists (590).

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