Aug. 4, 2010
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Although the start of a new semester is quickly approaching, special recognition and numerous awards are continuing to pour in for the accomplishments of Villanova student-athletes during the 2009-10 academic year. The year that just ended was filled with a great deal of success across the board for the Wildcats, both on the playing field as well as academically.
From an academic standpoint, Villanova student-athletes have posted a collective GPA above 3.0 for 13 consecutive semesters. In the recently released Academic Progress Rate (APR) data, the Wildcats had 21 teams earn a multi-year score above the national average for their specific sport. Included in that group is five teams with a perfect multi-year score of 1000; those teams are men's lacrosse, men's swimming & diving, men's tennis, women's basketball and softball. Additionally, four other teams rank in the top 10 percent of their specific sport, including football, men's soccer, women's indoor track & field and women's outdoor track & field.
Individual student-athletes also continue to be recognized for their academic accomplishments. The BIG EAST Conference recently released its annual list of Academic All-Stars, and Villanova had 273 student-athletes recognized among this list. To be eligible for the honor, a nominee must have competed in a BIG EAST-sponsored sport, attained a minimum grade-point average of 3.00 for the preceding academic year, and completed a minimum of two consecutive semesters of academic work with a total of 18 credits.
During the year, the Wildcats also had 16 student-athletes from nine different teams be recognized on the Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area teams. Senior Osayi Osunde (Bloomsburg, Pa.) of the football team and junior Brian Karalunas (Dewitt, N.Y.) from men's lacrosse each were selected as the Performer of the Year for their sport. To be eligible for the academic all-area teams, a student-athlete be at least a sophomore eligibility-wise and have a minimum GPA of 3.0. Athletic accomplishments are also considered during the voting process.
Villanova Student-Athletes on the 2009-10 Philadelphia Inquirer Academic All-Area Teams
Football - Osayi Osunde (Performer of the Year), Angelo Babbaro, Chris Whitney
Women's Cross Country - Nicole Schappert, Kaitlyn Tallman
Women's Soccer - Katy Nagy, Katie Ryan, Molly Williams
Men's Swimming & Diving - Jonathan Spindler
Women's Basketball - Maria Getty
Women's Swimming & Diving - Astrid Armgarth, Sarah Czar
Men's Lacrosse - Brian Karalunas (Performer of the Year)
Baseball - Dain Hall, Chris Johnson
Golf - Brendan Kelly
In its annual announcement last week, the U.S. Track & Field & Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) announced its 2010 Division I Scholar-Athletes. Villanova had six student-athletes recognized as Scholar-Athletes, including seniors Nicole Schappert (Delray Beach, Fla.) and Kaitlyn Tallman (Mindemoya, Ontario), juniors Ashlyn Llerandi (Ridgewood, N.J.), Sheila Reid (Newmarket, Ontario) and Ali Smith (Columbia, Md.) and freshman Ariann Neutts (Succasunna, N.J.). Schappert was also the recipient of an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.
To qualify as a USFTFCCCA Scholar-Athlete, a student-athlete must have compiled a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 and have met either the NCAA Division I Indoor automatic or provisional qualifying standard or participated in the NCAA Division I Outdoor Championships (including preliminary rounds) in their respective event.
The Wildcats had four water polo players named to the MAAC Academic Honor Roll released last month. Junior Kathleen Maloney (Chicago, Ill.) and sophomores Sarah Armel (Houston, Texas), Cara Clites (Ann Arbor, Mich.) and Ellie McCutcheon (Boca Raton, Fla.) each had a GPA of at least 3.2 to be eligible for the honor roll. Nominees must also have at least sophomore eligibility in their sport.
Earlier in the 2009-10 academic year, Villanova had seven football student-athletes honored on the CAA Football All-Academic Team, with Osunde chosen as the football Student-Athlete of the Year. In addition, senior long snapper Will Thompson (Glen Arm, Md.) was the football recipient of the inaugural NCAA Elite 88 Award. The award is presented to one student-athlete at the site of the finals for each of 88 NCAA Championships held throughout the year. Thompson had a 3.92 GPA as an Accounting major at Villanova.
The Wildcats also had four student-athletes named to CoSIDA/ESPN the Magazine Academic-All District teams during the year. Women's soccer player Erin Byrnes (Sayville, N.Y.) was a second team All-District 2 selection, while football players Angelo Babbaro (Canfield, Ohio), Osayi Osunde (Bloomsburg, Pa.) and Chris Whitney (Warminster, Pa.) all earned first team All-District nods.
Finally, at its annual Senior Student-Athlete Banquet in May, Villanova named Schappert and Babbaro as its female and male recipients of the Senior Student-Athlete of the Year award.