Van Tilburg, Melounova named Hawai‘i’s Big West Scholar-Athletes of the Year


The 2019 Big West Male and Female Scholar-Athletes of the Year from the nine conference institutions were announced on Friday. The 18 honorees will be honored at a special banquet on Thursday, March 12 at the Anaheim Marriott Suites Hotel. Each institution selected its own honorees.

Stijn van Tilburg, (Amsterdam, Netherlands) finished his career last season with the Rainbow Warriors men’s volleyball program. He was the Big West Conference Tournament MVP, leading the Rainbow Warriors to its first ever Big West Conference Tournament title and eventually to the NCAA National Championship match. Van Tilburg was just the second UH men’s volleyball player to earn all AVCA All-American first team honors three times. He graduated in May 2019 with a degree in Economics and was part of the winningest class in UH men’s volleyball program history. Currently he is now playing professionally in Italy. After he retires from professional volleyball, he plans to earn his Masters degree and to one day become a Division I Athletics Director.

Petra Melounova (Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic) is in the midst of her senior season with the Rainbow Wahine tennis program. Petra is the most decorated player in program history. She is a three-time Big West Conference Player of the Year, and has also earned first team all-conference with her doubles partner. In 2019, she became the first Rainbow Wahine to advanced to the NCAA Tournament’s round of 16 to earn All-America honors. Melounova is the first player from the Big West to advance that far since 1996. She is the first Rainbow Wahine player to ever participate in three NCAA championships. An electrical engineering major, this is Melounova’s second Scholar Athlete of the Year honor. After graduating this spring, Petra plans to play tennis professionally and to eventually pursue a career
in electrical engineering.

For the first time, the Big West will offer a live stream of the program, which will begin approximately at 9:00 a.m. on March 12.

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