Depew, NY- In front of a sold out crowd of nearly 350 at Salvatore's Italian Gardens, D'Youville College Director of Athletics Brian Cavanaugh presented the Spartans' major awards for the 2013-14 academic year.
In a year where there were a number of standout seasons assembled by a host of Spartan student-athletes on the women's side, a duo of sophomores were selected as Co-Female Athlete of the Year: women's soccer midfielder Melissa LaVere (Clarence, NY/Williamsville East) and softball pitcher Kalie McHenry (Amherst, NY/Sweet Home).
As a member of the Spartan defensive unit that set new program records for goals against (0.76) and shutouts (10), LaVere scored 16 points on six goals and four assists.
In AMCC play, LaVere had three game-winning goals and the Spartans' defensive group was even stingier allowing just 0.56 goals against and six shutouts en route to a 7-1-1 record in league matches, good for second-place in the standings and making 2013 the best conference showing in the program's 13-year history.
Head coach Lew Potter says, "Melissa's contributions were instrumental to our success this season."
McHenry has put together a season for the record books. In AMCC conference play the right-hander led all pitchers in wins (9), strikeouts (90), ERA (1.11), complete games (12), starts (13), appearances (15), and innings pitched (94.2) while second in shutouts (3) and opponents' batting average (.190).
Three-times during the season McHenry was named the AMCC Softball Pitcher of the Week.
McHenry still has some work to do in 2014. The Spartans are the fifth-seed for this weekend's AMCC Tournament. The double-elimination event will be May 2-4 at Penn State Behrend in Erie, Pa. The winner of the tournament will receive a bid to the NCAA Tournament.
For the first time in school history a member of the golf team has been selected as D'Youville College Male Student-Athlete of the Year. Sophomore Joe Bellavia (Tonawanda, NY/Canisius) takes the honor after an outstanding season in the fall.
Bellavia earned All-Conference Honors with a sixth-place finish at the AMCC Championship making it the best showing by a Spartan golfer at a season-ending conference championship event. His three over par 75 on day two of the event set a D'Youville program record for lowest single-round score.
Bellavia was a top-ten finisher in every event he participated in and his average score of 80.5 per round is a new team single-season record.
Named as the 2013-14 Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year was women's volleyball player Kayla Deth (Buffalo, NY/Holy Angels Academy). The senior psychology major was also the recipient of the women's volleyball team's Most Improved Award and is four-time AMCC Academic All-Conference selection.
Named as the Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year was two-sport standout Matt Veronica (Tonawanda, NY/Kenmore East). Despite being in season nearly year-round his academics have not missed a beat. Excelling in the demanding Physical Therapy program, Veronica is four-year player in soccer and baseball and also has to his credit the second-highest number of total games played as a Spartan with 155. He is also a four-time AMCC All-Academic Conference selection.
Veronica also received the Most Improved award for baseball and the Spartan Award for men's soccer.
Here the team awards for the 14 Spartan intercollegiate programs:
Men's Basketball :
MVP – Julian Reed; MIP – Nate Sweetman; Spartan – Jon Gemerek
MVP – Bridget Andrews; MIP - Jill Piniewski; Spartan – Sarah Marino
Women's Cross Country:
MVP – Emily Quast; MIP – Katherine Vetter; Spartan – Maria Fusco
Men's Cross Country:
MVP – Matt Silver; MIP – Christopher Rumpl; Spartan- Anthony Oliveri
MVP – Lara Svensson; MIP – Kayla Deth; Spartan – Alyssa Dueringer
MVP – Matt Smith; MIP - Patrick Mann; Spartan – Matt Veronica
MVP – Melissa LaVere; MIP –Lauren Walsh; Spartan –Colleen Wiechec
MVP – Alex Johnson; MIP – Steve Goedtel; Spartan – Brett Cawthorn
MVP – Eric Simoncelli; MIP – Matt Veronica; Spartan - Dan Fox
MVP – Kalie McHenry; MIP – Lydia Monin; Spartan - Shannon Evans
MVP – Brianna Bartholomew; MIP – Kristin Petrushesky; Spartan – Lindsey Hurley
MVP – Joe Bellavia; Co Spartan – Harrison Civin; Co-Spartan – Joel Costanzo
MVP – Jessica Lampka; MIP – Luciana Payne; Spartan – Courtney Fox
MVP – Wei Yen Huang; MIP – James Moran; Spartan – Robert Amabile