May 14, 2014
MAPLEWOOD, N.J. - The Seton Hall University Department of Athletics hosted its third-annual Pirate Blue Senior Awards Banquet on Wednesday, May 14, at the Maplewood Country Club in Maplewood, N.J.
The event was introduced in 2012 and aims to provide a platform to recognize the seniors from all 14 of Seton Hall's varsity athletic programs for their outstanding achievements as student-athletes in front of their coaches, teammates, family and friends. As part of the ceremony, each senior is presented with a framed jersey or sport-specific memorabilia to commemorate their experience as a Seton Hall student-athlete.
The marquee awards of the night honored Seton Hall's Female and Male Student-Athletes of the Year. Following a pair of record-setting campaigns, Kerrie Kolackovsky (Franklin Square, N.Y.) of swimming & diving and volleyball's Alyssa Warren (Joliet, Ill.) shared the honors on the women's side while baseball standout Josh Prevost (Belle Meade, N.J.) took home the men's award.
Unquestionably one of the most accomplished swimmers ever to take the block for The Hall, Kolackovsky concluded her decorated career in the most fitting way possible. A holder of a of a staggering six individual program records, she swam her way to two gold medals at the 2014 BIG EAST Championships in February, outclassing the field in her trademark breaststroke events. The elusive titles were the first by a Seton Hall female swimmer in two decades, joining newly inducted Seton Hall Athletics Hall of Famer Jen Heider as the only swimmers in program history with multiple BIG EAST championships to their credit. The long-awaited first championship came as she beat runner-up and teammate Megan Mallon (Glen Mills, Pa.) to the wall in the 100-breast and was followed by a 200-breast showing in which the Franklin Square native clocked a time of 2:19.60 in the final, winning gold by nearly a four second margin over Xavier's Natalie Hyde.
Her outstanding effort at the championships also included a silver medal in the 200-yard individual medley and a starring role on school-record setting 800-free, 200-medley and 400-medley relay teams; earning her a share of the conference's Most Outstanding Female Swimmer Award. By the end of the meet, she had also earned All-BIG EAST honors in all six aforementioned events; the third-highest individual total in the league.
While the championships ended a drought of sorts for the program, Kolackovsky was no stranger to winning prior to reaching the top of the conference and will leave The Hall with more than 70 individual victories to her name.
Warren upheld a similar standard of excellence throughout her career on the volleyball court and capped an impressive four-year stretch in which she anchored the Seton Hall defense with yet another exceptional season. Even without the distinctive libero jersey, one would not have had to look very hard to find Warren on the floor as she continued to make plays at an unprecedented rate. One season after being named BIG EAST Libero of the Year and earning a Second Team All-Conference nod, she seized the opportunity to establish herself as the premier player at her position in a new-look league, making her way onto the All-BIG EAST First Team and garnering a second-straight Libero of the Year award.
Also named Freshman and Junior Female Athlete of the Year during her time in South Orange, Warren led the BIG EAST with 639 digs as a senior; nearly 100 more than the runner-up. In a victory over Columbia on September 21, she recorded 27 digs - one of 16 20+ digs performances the Joliet native registered in 2013 - usurping the top spot on the program's all-time digs list from current assistant coach Allie Matters in the process.
As a team co-captain, Warren played in all 31 matches for the Pirates and by season's end, she pushed her career total to an unrivaled 2,381 digs; becoming the first Seton Hall player to surpass the 2,000-digs plateau.
Still in the midst of what has been a dominant tear through his senior campaign, the emergent Josh Prevost becomes the second-straight Pirates' pitcher to win the men's award after former Seton Hall hurler and current Philadelphia Phillies prospect Jon Prosinski earned the distinction in 2012-13. Through 13 starts, Prevost has amassed a gaudy 11-1 record for a squad that will enter the final of the regular season at 37-11 overall. The 11 wins rank second in Division I and he needs just one more victory to match the program's all-time single season record. The 6-foot-8 right hander has baffled opposing hitters, striking out 102 in 101.0 innings; both totals which currently lead the BIG EAST and already rank among the top single season performances by a Seton Hall pitcher. He also boasts conference-best marks in earned-run average (1.43) and batting average against (.148) and his 11 wins are two more than any other pitcher in the league entering the final weekend.
Named BIG EAST Pitcher of the Week on six separate occasions in 2014, the Belle Meade product's excellence has transcended the confines of the conference landscape. After striking out a career-high 13 batters in a two-hit shutout that kicked-off a three-game sweep of Villanova, Prevost was named National Player of the Week.
With one scheduled regular season start remaining, he has pitched his way onto the National Pitcher of the Year and Golden Spikes (college baseball equivalent of the Heisman Trophy) watch lists by allowing just 4.63 hits per nine innings; the lowest mark in the nation among any qualifying Division I pitcher. He also leads the country with a 0.69 WHIP and his five complete games are the seventh-most nationwide. and he ranks among the top-30 nationally in strikeouts (10th), ERA (21st), strikeout-to-walk ratio (5.67, 23rd) and games started (27th).
In addition to these awards, swimmer Joey Lacus (Wethersfield, Conn.) was selected to receive the Student Most Valuable Pirate Award.
Every year at the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) Awards Banquet, a member of the Athletics staff is given the Most Valuable Pirate Award in recognition of their service to the department. The Student Most Valuable Pirate Award highlights a senior student-athlete who has displayed leadership and dedication, and made exemplary contributions not only in the field of competition, but also in the classroom and in the Seton Hall community.
In his time at The Hall, Lacus has immersed himself in a number of different facets of athletics, embodying what it means to be a Pirate. A team captain and school record holder in the pool, the Wethersfield native served as SAAC President in 2013-14. A three-time BIG EAST Academic All-Star, he also held the position of President within the Pirate Blue Student Club for the last two years, a continuation of his extensive work with the department's fundraising vehicle.
The banquet also included academic recognition from Director of Academic Support Services Matthew Geibel. Men's cross country captain Carl Johnston (Surrey, British Columbia) and women's golfer Hannah Basalone (Brea, Calif.) were honored as the Scholar Athletes of the Year, a distinction given to the female and male senior student-athletes with the highest cumulative GPAs. Special recognition was also given to Kevin Matthews (Ambler, Pa.) of men's soccer and women's tennis player Chloe Sher (Tin Shui Wai, Hong Kong) who have been nominated for BIG EAST Scholar Athlete of the Year awards.
Geibel also announced Seton Hall's 27 recipients of an Academic Merit Award, given to senior student-athletes who have maintained at least a 3.2 cumulative grade point average, a list that included representation from 12 different varsity teams.
2014 ACADEMIC MERIT AWARD WINNERS
|Stacie Ballou||Women's Golf||Physics|
|Hannah Basalone||Women's Golf||English|
|Matt Benson||Swimming & Diving||Marketing|
|Greg Black||Swimming & Diving||History & Greek|
|Kevin Bonder||Men's Soccer||Marketing & Management|
|Ashley Clarke||Women's Soccer||Marketing|
|Ian DeLisio||Swimming & Diving||Finance|
|Nyala Eddings||Women's Cross Country||Management|
|Meghan Hayes||Women's Soccer||Education|
|Meredith Henze||Softball||Athletic Training|
|Carl Johnston||Men's Cross Country||Biology|
|Marie Klemme||Women's Soccer||Biology|
|Kerrie Kolackovsky||Women's Swimming & Diving||Criminal Justice|
|Joey Lacus||Men's Swimming & Diving||Graphic Design|
|Kevin Lynch||Men's Basketball||Sport Management|
|Samantha Massei||Women's Golf||Public Relations|
|Kevin Matthews||Men's Soccer||Finance|
|Kristen May||Women's Cross Country||Biology|
|Jennifer Pettigrew||Women's Soccer||Business|
|Rocio Portela||Women's Tennis||Diplomacy|
|Katie Ritter||Women's Soccer||Criminal Justice|
|Amie Ruhe||Women's Soccer||Marketing|
|Chloe Sher||Women's Tennis||Environmental Studies|
|Elaine Swaby||Women's Basketball||Social & Behavioral Sciences|
|Alyssa Warren||Volleyball||Marketing & Sport Management|