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FDU's Arvis Berzins Repeated as NEC Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete Award Winner
FDU's Arvis Berzins Repeated as NEC Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete Award Winner

NEC Announces 2014 Spring Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll

Over 1,800 Student-Athletes Named To NEC Academic Honor Roll In 2013-14

6/17/2014

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Click Here For NEC Spring Academic Honor Roll
Click Here For NEC Spring Commissioner's Honor Roll

Somerset, NJ -- Two student-athletes from Fairleigh Dickinson and Wagner, along with one apiece from Bryant, LIU Brooklyn, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart. Saint Joseph’s and Saint Francis U comprised the 2014 Spring Scholar-Athlete award winners for the Northeast Conference (NEC).  This exceptional group of student-athletes featured three NEC Player of the Year recipients, a repeat award winner and a Capital One Academic All-American.

All scholar-athlete award winners earned a minimum of 60 semester hours at their institution, maintained a minimum cumulative grade-point-average of 3.20 and participated with distinction as a member of a varsity team.

Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC also announced its spring Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 800 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade-point average.  There were also 192 student-athletes named to the spring Commissioner’s Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average.  

Over the course of the 2013-14 academic year, a total of 1,806 NEC student-athletes landed a spot on the Academic Honor Roll. That figure represents nearly half of the NEC’s competitors. On the year, 479 student-athletes were named to the Commissioner’s Honor Roll.

Sacred Heart junior relief pitcher James Cooksey (Norwalk, CT/Norwalk) was the recipient of the baseball scholar-athlete award.  Cooksey was dominant coming out of the bullpen for the Pioneers, finishing the year with a league-leading 1.16 ERA en-route to first team All-NEC honors.  He finished with a WHIP of 0.89 and his .199 opponent batting average was tops in the NEC.  Cooksey compiled a 6-2 record with two saves for Sacred Heart, which advanced to the NEC title game for the sixth straight year.  He was named NEC Pitcher of the Week on May 12.  A Finance and Business Economics major, Cooksey enters his senior year with a 3.85 grade point average.

Fairleigh Dickinson junior David Gaylord (Tweed, Ontario/St. Theresa Catholic) took home scholar-athlete accolades in men’s golf.  In leading the Knights to a runner-up finish at the NEC Championship in May, Gaylord was the third place individual finisher, carding an even-par 144 over two rounds.  He averaged 75.2 strokes per round over the course of the season to earn second team All-NEC honors.  The Tweed, Ontario native posted four top-10 finishes on the year, including a third place showing at the FDU Invitational.  Gaylord was named Team MVP, and was the recipient of the Provost Award and the Richard Panicucci Service Award.  An Alpha Beta Award winner each semester at FDU, Gaylord is a member of the Honors Program and has compiled a 3.87 grade point average majoring in Marketing.  He has also been an active leader within the FDU Student Government Association, rising from Class Senator to Treasurer to President this coming fall.

Robert Morris sophomore Halley Morell (Brecksville, OH/Brecksville-Broadview Heights) earned women’s golf scholar-athlete plaudits.  Tabbed the NEC Co-Player of the Year, Morell finished as the runner-up at the NEC Championship in April with a seven-over 223 over three rounds.  She led the Conference with a 78.0 stroke average, which established a new program record.  Morell posted seven top-10 finishes this past year, highlighted by the individual title at the RMU Colonial Classic.  She also earned NEC Golfer of the Week honors on April 16 following a second place finish at the Red Flash Invitational in which she carded a career-low 71 in the first round.  A Management major, Morell maintains a 3.97 grade point average.

 
Saint Joseph’s redshirt junior Ryan McGee (White Plains, NY/White Plains) wrapped up an outstanding campaign with his selection as the scholar-athlete winner in men’s lacrosse.  McGee was named the NEC Offensive Player of the Year after leading the Hawks to the NEC regular season title with a perfect 6-0 mark in their inaugural year as an associate member.  He led the league with 3.73 points per game, and ranked second on the circuit with 2.27 goals per game and 1.47 assists per game.  McGee, who was named SJU’s Most Outstanding Player, collected a conference-best four NEC Player of the Week honors on the year.  He recorded at least one point in all 15 outings and racked up 11 multi-goal games.  At season’s end, McGee was one of two NEC players who were tabbed a USILA Scholar All-American.  McGee is a Finance major who carries a 3.59 grade point average.


Saint Francis U graduate student Danielle Conwell (Roxbury, NJ/Roxbury) capped off her career by winning the women’s lacrosse scholar-athlete award.  The high-scoring attacker came back strong after missing her senior season with an injury, leading the NEC with 3.94 points per game and 1.50 assists per game.  Conwell also finished fifth with 2.44 goals per game.  The first team NEC all-star ended her tenure in Loretto as the programs’ all-time leader in points (221), goals (161) and assists (60).  A former NEC All-Rookie pick, Conwell was a two-time NEC Player of the Week in 2014.  She completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees in Occupational Therapy and graduated her Master’s program with a 3.67 grade point average.


 Wagner junior shortstop Kelsey Parker (Lynnwood, WA/Lynnwood) collected softball scholar-athlete honors.  A second team All-NEC performer and the NEC’s Most Improved Player, Parker made a run at the Triple Crown in 2014.  She led the circuit with a .444 average and 41 RBIs, and finished third with nine homers.  Parker also ranked second in the conference with 60 hits and fourth with 31 runs.  She earned NEC Player of the Week citations a league-best three times for the Seahawks, who improved their win total by eight games this past season.  A Business Administration major, Parker maintains a 3.92 grade point average.
 
 
The lone repeat scholar-athlete winner, Fairleigh Dickinson junior men’s tennis player Arvis Berzins (Adazi, Latvia/Riga Centre Language School) added another honor to his burgeoning resume.  Berzins became the first three-time NEC Player of the Year after he led the Knights to within a whisker of a third straight conference title.  He was named NEC Player of the Month for September and was a two-time NEC Player of the Week in the spring.  Berzins closed out his junior year with a 17-5 record, including a 10-2 mark in #1 flight play.  His .773 win percentage ranked first among NEC players with ten or more singles matches.  In three years, Berzins has amassed a 49-23 singles mark and a remarkable 17-1 record against NEC competition.  He also earned first team All-NEC doubles recognition with teammate Gonzalo Quintana.  At year’s end, he was named a Capital One Academic All-American and was tabbed FDU’s Walter Marusyn Male Athlete of the Year for the second time.  Berzins, a Finance major, has registered a 3.87 grade point average.


LIU Brooklyn senior Lisa Maas (Norden, Germany/Ulrichsgymnasium Norden) was the pick for the women’s tennis scholar-athlete award.  Maas took over at the #2 singles flight this past season and helped guide the Blackbirds a runner-up finish at the NEC Championship in April.  She posted a 3-2 record against league competitors and also finished with an 8-7 overall mark teaming with NEC Player of the Year Sanne Louwers at #1 doubles.  Last month the Norden, Germany native was named LIU’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year for posting the top grade point average (3.97) for a graduating student-athlete.  A two-time member of the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll, Maas majored in Sports Science.


Wagner junior Matthew Kane (Horsham, PA/Hatboro-Horsham) took home scholar-athlete accolades in men’s outdoor track and field.  Kane won the high jump title with a 6’7” leap and scored a team-best 22.5 points at the NEC Outdoor Track & Field Championship meet in May.  He also finished second in the long jump (23’ 2 3/4”) and fifth in the triple jump (47’ 1 1/2”).  Kane qualified for NCAA Regionals in the high jump where he capped his season by clearing 6’ 6 3/4” in Jacksonville.  He has posted a 3.73 grade point average while majoring in Psychology.


Bryant senior Eimear Black (Glengormley, Ireland/Dominican College Fortwilliam) earned the third scholar-athlete award of her storied Bulldog career, and first in women’s outdoor track and field.  Having battled injuries for much of the season, Black was in top form at the NEC Championship this past May when she won the 10,000 meter run in record-breaking fashion.  She outdistanced the field by nearly 45 seconds and sliced over eight seconds off the meet record with a time of 35:56.94 to claim first team All-NEC honors.  Black added second team All-NEC accolades by finishing second in the 5,000 meters at the conference meet.  A two-time Scholar-Athlete in women’s cross country, she has been a member of the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll each year at Bryant.  Black graduated with a near-perfect 3.96 grade point average majoring in Biology.


2014 Northeast Conference Spring Scholar-Athletes

Sport              Name              School  Cl  GPA      Major
Baseball           James Cooksey     SHU     Jr  3.85     Finance & Business Economics
Men’s Golf         David Gaylord     FDU     Jr  3.87     Marketing
Women’s Golf       Halley Morell     RMU     So  3.97     Management
Men’s Lacrosse     Ryan McGee        SJU     Sr  3.59     Finance
Women’s Lacrosse   Danielle Conwell  SFU     Gr  3.67 (g) Occupational Therapy
                                                 3.37 (u) Occupational Therapy
Softball           Kelsey Parker     WC      Jr  3.92     Business Administration
Men’s Tennis       Arvis Berzins     FDU     Jr  3.87     Finance
Women’s Tennis     Lisa Maas         LIU     Sr  3.97     Sports Science
M.Outdoor Track    Matthew Kane      WC      Jr  3.73     Psychology
W. Outdoor Track   Eimear Black      BRY     Sr  3.96     Biology


About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 33rd year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30).  Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 22 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Mount St. Mary’s, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website (www.northeastconference.org) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Google+, all @NECsports.