Northeast-10 Announces Winter Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award Winners

Northeast-10 Announces Winter Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award Winners


For Immediate Release

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April 20, 2012

South Easton, Mass. – The Northeast-10 Conference has announced it's Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award recipients for the 2011-2012 winter athletic season in the sports of men's and women's basketball, ice hockey, men's and women's swimming and diving, and men's and women's indoor track and field.

Seven student-athletes, who excelled both on the field of play and in the classroom during the winter season, have been recognized by the NE-10 Conference office, and were named Sport Excellence Award winners.

To be eligible for the Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence award the student-athlete must have completed at least two consecutive semesters of full-time enrollment at their current institution and at least two years of athletic eligibility at any institution. In addition, the student-athlete must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of a 3.30.

The athletes selected included a member of the Bentley University women's basketball team that won the Northeast-10 Conference Championship and advanced to the NCAA Division II Final Four, as well as a diver from Southern Connecticut State University that was recently named the NE-10 Diver of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.

Six different member institutions had at least one student-athlete selected, with Bentley being the only school with two winners.

Assumption College's Kevin Donahue led the Greyhounds men's basketball team in scoring at 16.3 points per game, and was also a first team Academic All-District Selection. He was a second team All-Conference selection, and was sixth in the league in scoring average, as he helped lead Assumption to an appearance in the Northeast-10 Championship. The senior has a 3.42 grade point average, and is majoring in Education and History. He was also named to the 2011-12 Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference Team.

Bentley's Lauren Battista earned the distinction in women's basketball. The sophomore was named the 2012 Northeast-10 Conference Player of the Year as she helped lead the Falcons to an NE-10 Regular Season and Conference Championship title, on their way to the Final Four. Battista has a 3.93 GPA, and is a Marketing and Liberal Studies major. She was named a First-Team All-American by the WBCA and Daktronics, and also earned Daktronics East Region Player of the Year.

Lauren also was named a Second Team Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America, and was elected to Bentley's Falcon Society, which is the highest honor for a Bentley undergrad. She's been named to the President's List at the school each of her first three semesters, and was a member of the Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference Team.

Battista is one of two Bentley representatives, as Amy Varsell was named the Sport Excellence recipient in the sport of Indoor Track and Field. Varsell has a 3.86 GPA and is majoring in Corporate Finance and Accounting. Recently, she earned All-America honors for the third time in her career with a third-place finish at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships in the 800 Meter Run. Varsell was named the 2012 United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Division II East Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year. She was named to the Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference Team, and has been named to Bentley's Presidents' List each of the five semesters she has been eligible.

Le Moyne College's Drew Acquaviva was named the 2012 Sport Excellence Award Winner in Swimming and Diving. Acquaviva currently has a 3.896 GPA and is majoring in Mathematics at Le Moyne. The senior recently set new Northeast-10 Conference marks in winning the 100-Yard Backstroke and 200-Yard Backstroke at the Conference Championships in February. Acquaviva has earned numerous honors and distinctions for his academic success as well. He is a three-time Academic All-Conference Selection, making him one of only six winter sports' student-athletes that can currently make that claim. He also was recognized with this award last year.

The University of Massachusetts Lowell's Angus MacDonald was selected as the award winner in the sport of Men's Indoor Track and Field. MacDonald, a distance specialist, is a graduate student with a 3.78 GPA majoring in Education. He earned All-America status in two events at the 2012 NCAA Division II Indoor Championships (the mile and as a member of the schools distance relay team, the eighth and ninth times he's been honored during his career. MacDonald finished the season ranked fifth in the country in the mile, and fifth in the distance medley. He was also named to the 2011-12 Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference Team.

So. Connecticut's Amanda Burden joins Acquaviva as the only other repeat winner of this award. Burden, the four time Northeast-10 Women's Diver of the Year, is a senior with a 3.76 GPA majoring in Psychology. She was named All-American in both the one and three-meter diving events at the NCAA Division II Championships, and won both events at the NE-10 Championships. Burden was a four-time All-American during her career, and is also a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District selection. She was also named to the 2011-12 Notheast-10 Academic All-Conference Team.

Stonehill College's Dana Borges earned the recognition in the sport of men's ice hockey. Borges helped lead the Skyhawks to the Northeast-10 Conference Championship, even though the team was picked to finish last in the preseason coaches' poll. The junior with a 3.68 GPA majoring in Criminology ranked third on the team in scoring with 21 points on four goals and 17 assists. He has been named to the Northeast-10 Commissioner's Honor Roll three times, and was also recognized with the Division II ADA Academic Achievement Award last year. Borges was also named to the 2011-12 Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference Team.

The Northeast-10 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence awards are chosen by a vote of a committee of athletic administrators and Faculty Athletic Representatives (FAR). The Northeast-10 will honor one student-athlete per conference-sponsored sport each year. There will be a total of 23 Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Award winners during the course of the academic year.

The conference will announce the spring sport winners in June.

The Northeast-10 is an association of 16 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 5,500 student-athletes. Each year, 4,000 of those student-athletes compete in Conference championships in 23 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.

2011-2012 Winter Sport Excellence Award Winners
Men's Basketball – Kevin Donahue, Assumption
Women's Basketball – Lauren Battista, Bentley
Ice Hockey – Dana Borges, Stonehill
Men's Indoor Track & Field – Angus MacDonald, UMass Lowell
Women's Indoor Track & Field – Amy Varsell, Bentley
Men's Swimming & Diving – Drew Acquaviva, Le Moyne
Women's Swimming & Diving – Amanda Burden, Southern CT State