The new event was designed to create a platform for the seniors from all 14 of Seton Hall's varsity athletic programs to be recognized for their outstanding achievements as student-athletes in front of their coaches, teammates, family and friends.
After each head coach made brief remarks about the impact that every senior has had on his or her team during their careers at Seton Hall, the student-athletes received their senior gift, framed piece of sport-specific memorabilia such as jerseys, lane flags for swimming and diving and pin flags for the golf teams.
Every year at the SAAC Awards Banquet a member of the Athletics Department staff is awarded the Most Valuable Pirate Award, but for the first time this year at the Senior Awards Banquet a student-athlete was recognized as the Student Most Valuable Pirate.
The inaugural winner of the award was men's golf senior Troy Spencer (High Point, N.C.), who was honored for showing leadership, dedication and excellence not only in the field of competition, but also in the classroom and in the Seton Hall community.
Following the Most Valuable Pirate Award the Seton Hall Men's and Women's Senior Student-Athlete of the Year honorees were announced. This year's female award featured co-recipients, Jasmine Crew (Camden, N.J.) of the women's basketball team and Meghan Matusiak (Winfield, Ill.) of the volleyball team.
Crew recently wrapped up one of the most impressive single-season performances in SHU women's basketball history, earning Second-Team All-BIG EAST and Second-Team All-Met honors. She scored 577 points last season, the third-highest single-season tally in program history, averaging 18.6 points per game, the second-highest per game total for a Pirate. She is the only player in program history to record two 30-point games and scored a career-high 35 points against Louisiana Tech.
Matusiak finished her career as one of the best offensive players in Seton Hall history. A First-Team All-BIG EAST selection in 2011, she led the Pirates with 414 kills and ranked second in the conference with 3.83 kills per set. Matusiak was an American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Northeast Region Honorable Mention selection and was named the BIG EAST Player of the Week on Nov. 15. She finished her career ranked second all-time at Seton Hall with over 1,400 kills.
This year's Male Senior Student-Athlete of the Year was Jordan Theodore (Englewood, N.J.) of the men's basketball team. Theodore's 2011-12 season will forever be etched in the Seton Hall record books. The Second-Team All-BIG EAST selection shattered SHU's 49-year old single-season record for assists with 226 and ranked in the top-10 in the conference in scoring, assists per game, free-throw percentage, steals per game and assist-to-turnover ratio. Theodore finished his career as only the fourth player in school history to score over 1,300 points and dish out more than 500 assists.
The banquet also included Academic Recognition from Director of Academic Support Services Matt Geibel. In addition to recognizing Seton Hall's BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year nominees, Matusiak and Dale Anderson (Alberta, Canada) of the baseball team, Geibel also honored Seton Hall's three Senior Scholar Athletes of the Year, Wiebke Balcke (Potsdam, Germany) of the women's soccer team, Amy Bonistalli (Naperville, Ill.) of the women's swimming and diving team and John Dawson Neufeld (Calgary, Alberta) of the men's golf team.
Geibel also announced Seton Hall's 30 recipients of an Academic Merit Award, given to senior student-athletes who have maintained at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average.
|2012 ACADEMIC MERIT AWARD WINNERS|
|Dale Anderson||Baseball||Social & Behavioral Sciences|
|Wiebke Balcke||Women's Soccer||Diplomacy & International Relations|
|Ashley Barnes||Women's Track & Field||Social & Behavioral Sciences|
|Ashley Beamish||Women's Soccer||Graphic Design & Advertising Art|
|Elizabeth Bond||Women's Soccer||Accounting & Sport Management|
|Amy Bonistalli||Women's Swimming||Finance|
|Erik Chester||Men's Cross Country||Finance & Sport Management|
|Michael Dietze||Men's Soccer||Sport Management|
|Peter Dill||Men's Basketball||Philosophy|
|George Fernandez||Baseball||Marketing & Management|
|Pete Gingeleskie||Men's Swimming||Finance|
|Matt Holland||Men's Swimming||Marketing|
|Kaitlyn Karl||Women's Diving||Nursing|
|Chelsea King||Women's Soccer||Elementary & Special Education|
|Nicole Longobardo||Women's Golf||History|
|Meghan Matusiak||Volleyball||Social & Behavioral Sciences|
|Craig Michaud||Men's Track & Field||Graphic Design & Advertising Art|
|Caitlyn Milazzo||Women's Soccer||Elementary & Special Education|
|Meghan Milazzo||Women's Soccer||Graphic Design & Advertising Art|
|John Dawson Neufeld||Men's Golf||Political Science|
|Will Penny||Men's Diving||Chemistry|
|Marilyn Purvis||Women's Swimming||Nursing|
|Sean Schnarr||Men's Track & Field||Biochemistry|
|Megan Rathbun||Women's Swimming||Nursing|
|Elizabeth Verow||Women's Tennis||Marketing & Management|
|Rose Virgilio||Women's Swimming||Fine Arts & Advertising Art|
|Jehmessah Walker||Women's Cross Country||Political Science|
|Will Walsh||Baseball||Marketing & Management|
|Krissy Wrobel||Volleyball||Public Relations|
|Giovanni Zammiello||Men's Soccer||Finance|