Irvine Valley's female and male athletes of the year were recently announced at a luncheon put on by the athletic department.
Freshman women's volleyball player Annie Mitchem was picked as the female athlete of the year and sophomore men's basketball player Shaquille Hunter was selected as the college's male athlete of the 2013-14 school year.
Mitchem, a 6-2 middle blocker, earned several top honors this past season.
The highest was being named the 2013 American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) two-year college player of the year.
Mitchem had already been named the Most Valuable Player of the Orange Empire Conference, all-state and All-American.
She led all community college players in the state in total blocks (137) and blocks per set (1.61) last fall. She was also amongst the league leaders in kills, kills per set, hitting percentage, points and points per set.
"She is as talented a young player as I have ever seen," Irvine Valley Coach Tom Pestolesi said after Mitchem was named conference MVP. "There might be kids that jump a little higher or hit a little harder, but you don't see someone that has the all-around game she has at such a young age. It is remarkable."
And Mitchem led Irvine Valley to one of the best seasons in program history.
The Lasers won the Orange Empire Conference title, made the State Championships and finished third in the state.
IVC, which was ranked as high as No. 2 in the state this season, ended with a record of 24-2 overall.
Mitchem was just as successful during the spring sand volleyball season.
She has been part of the new sand volleyball program for the Lasers that has won the state title for the last two seasons.
Mitchem along with partner Becky Moodie won all three of their matches at the state tournament event held at IVC last month as the Lasers went undefeated as a team in beating Fullerton, Grossmont and Golden West for the state crown.
Hunter, a 6-2 shooting guard, Hunter had one of the best two-year stretches by a player in IVC history.
He finished with 848 points (14.9 points per game average), 110 three-pointers made and a career free throw percentage of 88.3 percent.
Hunter ranks third in career points behind only Mike Ahmad (936 points from 1999-2001) and Danny Lambert (909 points from 2001-03), fifth in career three-pointers made and tied for fifth in career scoring average.
Hunter led IVC in scoring the past two seasons and was named all-Orange Empire Conference both years.
He averaged 15.0 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 assists during the 2013-14 season and helped the Lasers to a 25-5 overall record.
Hunter also led the team in three-pointers made with 56.
Hunter scored in doubles figures in 27 games, including IVC's final 21 contests this past season.
He had four games with 20 or more points, including a season-high 23 points in the team's 72-52 win over Orange Coast on Jan. 10.
Hunter hit the Lasers' biggest shot of the season, burying a game-winning three-pointer to lift IVC to a 64-63 win at Saddleback in January. With Irvine Valley trailing, 63-61, in overtime Hunter made the winning three-pointer with 1.5 seconds to play.
"He is an explosive scorer," IVC Coach Jerry Hernandez said. "And he is a gamer. When the lights come on, he is ready to compete and ready to play. He has the mentality that 'I am the best player in the gym.' He wants to take the big shot."
Hunter averaged 14.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.0 steals per game as a freshman for the Lasers in 2012-13. He led the team with 54 three-pointers. He started all 28 games his freshman campaign.
Hunter has signed to play at Cal State Dominguez Hills in the fall.