A pair of standout student-athletes were awarded with the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Athletics’ highest honor—the Jack Bonham Award.

Women’s tennis player Petra Melounova and men’s volleyball player Colton Cowell were selected for “best exemplifying the ideals for which Jack Bonham stood for in the areas of athletic excellence, academic achievement, public service, leadership and character.”

Melounova is just the fifth tennis recipient all-time and first since Rose Thomas won it in 1984. Cowell is the eighth men’s volleyball honoree and fourth in the last six years following in the footsteps of Stijn van Tilburg (2019), Kūpono Fey (2017) and Taylor Averill (2015).

Melounova’s accolades

Melounova, a Havlíckuv Brod, Czech Republic native is the first tennis player (male or female) to earn three Big West Conference Player of the Year awards and first to advance to the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 while qualifying for nationals three times.

She was named UH‘s Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year recipient twice and earned UH and ITA scholar-athlete honors three times. Melounova was named to the Dean’s List three times and is scheduled to graduate with her degree in electrical engineering in December.

Cowell’s contributions

In 2020, Cowell earned second-team AVCA All-America honors and was one of three finalists as the nation’s top outside hitters. The Makawao, Maui native was also a first-team all-Big West honoree.

Cowell has given back to the community, coaching club volleyball while teaching and mentoring local youth to achieve what he’s done through hard work and perseverance. He is also the team’s top scholar-athlete, three-time Big West all-academic and recently earned a BA in economics.

For the full story, visit the UH Mānoa Athletics website.

Cowell and Melounova
Cowell and Melounova