Two Navy athletes have been named the Naval Academy Athletic Association (NAAA) Athlete-of-the-Week for their outstanding performances. Sasha Panyan, a junior from Lutherville, Md. on the men’s tennis team, and Lewis Gray, a senior from Jupiter, Fla. on the rugby team, were presented with the accolade by Northrop Grumman.
Panyan was named the MVP of the 2023 Patriot League Tennis Tournament, helping the Mids secure their fifth consecutive championship title. In the quarterfinals, he and teammate Luke Garner, a sophomore from Arnold, Md., won 6-1 against Loyola, and in the semifinals, they won 6-0 against Bucknell. The duo was leading 5-2 against Boston University in the final when play was stopped, as Navy had secured the doubles point. Panyan also won two No. 1 singles matches against Bucknell (6-3, 7-6 [9-7]) and Boston University (6-2, 6-3) and was leading 6-2, 5-2 against his Loyola opponent when play was halted.
Navy will find out their NCAA Tournament destination and opponent on May 1, with the opening weekend of the event taking place from May 5-8.
Meanwhile, Gray scored Navy’s first try in their 12-10 victory over Lindenwood in the Division I-A Elite Playoff Semifinals. The senior led the Mids with 111 meters carried and recorded the third-most meters gained with 48. Gray also kicked 293 meters on eight attempts, and his defensive efforts included three tackles and the only breakdown steal in the match for Navy.
Gray has been leading the Mids this season with 17 tries and 166 points scored. He is tied as the team leader with seven penalty kicks and has made the second-most conversion kicks with 30.
Navy will face Cal on May 6 at 7:30 p.m. ET in Houston, Texas, in the national championship game.
The Naval Academy Athletic Association recognizes a male and female athlete each week during the academic year who demonstrates exceptional performance in their respective sports. The award is sponsored by Northrop Grumman, a leading global security company that provides innovative systems, products, and solutions in unmanned systems, cybersecurity, and logistics.