Prettyman, Pierce, Saddler Take Top Honors at University of Delaware Athletics Awards Banquet
Prettyman, a three-sport standout in cross country and indoor and outdoor track & field from Newark, Del. (St. Mark’s High School), was a double-winner as she was presented the Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year and the Mary Ann Hitchens Award; Saddler, who capped a record-breaking career by leading the Blue Hens to the Colonial Athletic Association title and an NCAA Tournament title in March, was named the Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year; and Pierce, who earned All-CAA honors four times and finished as the No. 2 leading rusher in UD history, earned the Edgar Johnson Award.
The most prestigious honors bestowed on a UD student-athlete, the Johnson and Hitchens Awards are presented to a senior letterwinner who has exhibited the qualities of hard work, dedication, leadership, fairness, and striving for excellence that were the hallmarks of Johnson’s and Hitchens’ career. Johnson served as UD Director of Athletics for 25 years while Hitchens was a pioneer in women’s athletics and served as UD’s Senior Associate Director of Athletics as part of a 41-year career at Delaware.
A new exhibit honoring the Hitchens and Johnson Award winners with their biographies and an action shot was unveiled during the ceremony. The exhibit, which will also include the names of all the past winners, is now located in the lobby of the Bob Carpenter Center.
Monday night’s event drew over 500 student-athletes, coaches, and staff as Delaware celebrated a successful 2013-14 athletics season. UD Alumni Association President Ken Jones presented the Athlete of the Year Awards, which were selected from a vote of the Blue Hen head coaches, while University of Delaware Director of Athletics Eric Ziady presented the Johnson and Hitchens awards. Hitchens was on hand to help present the award as well.
Mary Ann Hitchens Award/Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year Award
Prettyman made several visits to the stage during the evening as she was named the Mary Ann Hitchens Award winner, the Outstanding Female Athlete of the Year, and the team Most Valuable Player for each of her three sports.
Whether she was racing through the woods on the cross country course, running past the competition on the indoor and outdoor track oval, or putting in long hours towards her academic endeavors, Prettyman has excelled in all her pursuits at the University of Delaware. As a three-sport standout in cross country and indoor and outdoor track and field, she earned 12 letters, served as a team captain, set 10 school records, and won 29 meet titles during her remarkable tenure at UD.
As a four-year standout in cross country, she was named team Most Valuable Player three times and led the squad in 21 races, capturing three individual titles along the way. She culminated her career this fall by becoming just the third woman in UD history and first since 1984 to compete at the NCAA Championships.
During the indoor season, Prettyman won five meet titles this past winter and earned All-East honors for the second time in her career when she finished second in the mile run at the ECAC championships in Boston. For her career, she set school records in the 800 meters, 1,000 meters, 3,000 meters, and 4 x 800 meter relay.
Prettyman was even more impressive on the outdoor track where she established school standards in the 800 meters, 1,500 meters, 5,000 meters, 4 x 800 meter relay, and the distance medley relay. Just two weeks ago she led the Blue Hens to their first-ever CAA team title when she was named the meet’s Outstanding Track Performer after winning both the 800 meter and 1,500 meter competitions. Her time in the 1,500 meters set a CAA meet record. She will compete at the NCAA East Regionals next week in Jacksonville, Fla.
In the classroom, Prettyman carries a near perfect 3.88 grade point average as an exercise science major, has been named to the CAA Academic Honor Roll numerous times, is a member of the National College Athlete Honor Society, and earned CoSIDA District 2 All-Academic honors last spring. She is a candidate for Academic All-American honors this year as well. She was recently admitted into the Physical Therapy graduate program at Delaware.
She has also played a key role in several community services initiatives, taking part in the Pigskin Pass for Special Olympics Delaware, serving at numerous youth track & field clinics, and taking a lead role in a shoe drive that collected over 600 pairs of shoes for the More Foundation Group that provides services for Africa and other underprivileged communities around the world.
Edgar Johnson Award
All-American football running back Andrew Pierce, who excelled on the playing field and in the community throughout his career, was the winner of the Edgar Johnson Award. Pierce will earn his degree in health behavior science with a minor in strength & conditioning later this month.
A native of Bridgeton, N.J. (Cumberland Regional HS), Pierce enjoyed an exceptional four-year career on the gridiron for the Blue Hens but also excelled in his leadership qualities and the time he spent serving the local community.
He arrived on campus as a walk-on back in 2010 and through relentless hard work, perseverance, and leading by example became one of the finest running backs in school history. Not only was he a fan favorite for his determination, quiet confidence, and classy demeanor, he earned the respect of his opponents, his teammates, and his coaches on a daily basis and twice served as a team captain.
On the field, Pierce was a four-year starter, led the team in rushing four consecutive years, and earned All-Colonial Athletic Association each of those seasons. He was a two-time All-American, was named the CAA Rookie of the Year in 2010, and led the Blue Hens to the national championship game as a freshman. He closed his career as Delaware’s No. 2 all-time leading rusher with 4,459 yards and 44 touchdowns.
His commitment to public service was equally impressive as he took a leading role in the team’s initiatives with the Sunday Breakfast Mission, Be the Match Bone Marrow Drive, B Positive Foundation, Habitat for Humanity, and the Food Bank of Delaware. In addition, he was active as a member of the Delaware Christian Athletes and with the Blue Hen Mentor Program. Last fall Pierce was selected as Delaware’s nominee for the CAA’s Chuck Boone Leadership Award.
Outstanding Male Athlete of the Year Award
The University of Delaware’s rise to the top of the Colonial Athletic Association standings over the last four years has been nothing short of spectacular. Led by head coach Monté Ross, the Blue Hen men’s basketball squad steadily moved to the top of the league, culminating in a conference title and a trip to the NCAA Tournament this past season when Delaware posted an impressive record of 25-10, including a dominating 14-2 mark in league play.
It’s certainly no coincidence that the Blue Hen upswing began when Devon Saddler stepped on campus. The Aberdeen, Md. native was nothing short of amazing during his four-year career, earning All-CAA honors each of those seasons, ranking among the nation’s leading scorers each of the last three campaigns, and becoming Delaware’s all-time leading scorer with 2,222 points.
A four-year starter and team Most Valuable Player, Saddler played a pivotal role once again in 2013-14 as he averaged 19.7 points per game to rank No. 2 in the CAA and No. 30 nationally among NCAA Division I players. He also pulled down 4.5 rebounds per game, knocked down 47 three-pointers, dished out 101 assists, and recorded 24 steals to earn first team All-CAA honors once again and finish second in the voting for CAA Player of the Year.
Saddler also earned a spot on the NABC All-District 10 team for the third straight year and was honored with selection to the Lou Henson Mid-Major All-American squad. In addition, this spring he took part in the prestigious Portsmouth Invitational, which featured many of the nations’ top seniors vying for a shot at the National Basketball Association.
A criminal justice major at Delaware, Saddler led the Blue Hens to a four-year record 76-55, including a mark of 46-23 in league play. He averaged 15.7 points per game throughout his career and scored 20 or more points an incredible 50 times during his tenure to easily earn the all-time UD scoring crown.
Other Major Awards
CAA Commissioner Tom Yeager was on hand to present the prestigious CAA John Randolph Inspiration to Blue Hen field hockey senior Heather Hartman. The award recognizes individuals who through strength of character and human spirit serve as an inspiration to all to maximize their potential and ability for success. It is named after former William & Mary athletic director John Randolph, who lost a courageous battle with cancer in 1995.
Hartman (Fredericksburg, Va./Mountain View), who started as a defender throughout most of her field hockey career with the Blue Hens, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in the spring of 2012. She underwent extensive chemotherapy and radiation to combat the disease, but insisted on continuing to take classes on campus. She earned a spring semester grade point average of 3.941 which working on her elementary education degree. Despite her own misfortune, Hartman showed her character and integrity by continuing to help others. She also returned to the field as a junior when she led the team with eight assists and as a senior played a vital role as Delaware captured the CAA title and advance to the NCAA Tournament.
Also honored was rowing standout Angela Quinn (Archbishop Prendergast/Aldan, Pa.), who received the Myles Brand Award from the UD sport management department. The award is presented to an outstanding sport management student who in and out of the classroom, potentially on the playing field, in the community and in their professional activities, displays the ideals championed by the NCAA in its core purpose - to govern competition in a fair, safe, equitable, and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student is paramount.
Most Valuable Players for each of the 21 UD athletics teams were recognized as were the Sportsmanship Award winners for each program.
In addition, 40 student-athletes were recognized as the newest members of Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society. In order to be qualified for the honor, student-athletes must be a junior or senior and have a cumulative grade point average of 3.4 or higher.
The 21 individual sport UD Team Sportsmanship Award winners were: Ben Asante (men’s soccer), Diana Marinaro (women’s soccer), Madison O’Beirne (field hockey), Pat Callaway (football), Kori Reigel (volleyball), Melissa Mazzo (cross country), Kelley Donovan (indoor track & field), Davon Usher (men’s basketball), Hannah Jardine (women’s basketball), Zach Lowe (men’s swimming & diving), Mary Kay Harris (women’s swimming & diving), E.J. Stoltzfus (baseball), Shelby Jones (softball), Tori Zorovich (women’s lacrosse), Garrett Johnson (men’s lacrosse), Curtira Williams (rowing), Tim Puterio (men’s tennis), Abby Martinez (women’s tennis), Spencer Nendza (women’s outdoor track & field), Dan Costenbader (men’s golf), and Baralee Theinthong (women’s golf). Harris, Nendza, and Jones each earned the award for the second straight year.
A total of 40 student-athletes were named to the National College Athlete Honor Society. The award winner by sport: Baseball - Jake Clark, Connor Hibbs, E.J. Stoltzfus; Field Hockey - Kasey Prettyman; Football - Chris Cordivari; Men’s Basketball - Thomas Allshouse; Men’s Golf - Nino Rosal; Men’s Lacrosse - Chris Herbert; Men’s Soccer - Mark Garrity; Luke Oostdyk; Men’s Swimming - Zach Lowe, Alan Panaccione, Tim Ware, Tim West; Women’s Cross Country & Track & Field - Emily Gispert, Alexis Gligor, Monica Hagenauer, Alyssa Kennedy, Melissa Mazzo, Jessica Olsen, Alana Pantale, Lindsay Prettyman, Nicole Rittman, Emma Sidoriak, Courtney Sniscak, Meredith Steenkamer, McKensie Walker; Rowing - Shannon Bell, Denise Cirelli, Molly Gardner, Jennifer Majcher, Jamie Noce, Angela Quinn; Women’s Basketball - Stephanie Leon; Women’s Soccer - Allegra Gray; Women’s Swimming & Diving - Lauren Ahrens, Hailey Farrell, Calli Marando, Megan Northsheild; Women’s Tennis - Dorothy Safron.
Below are the sport-by-sport UD Alumni Association Team Most Valuable Players as selected by the team members:
BASKETBALL: Senior center Kelsey Buchanan (Freedom/South Riding, Va.) was named Most Valuable Player after a standout senior season. After spending her first three seasons as a backup, Buchanan moved into the starting lineup this past winter and established herself as one of the top players in the CAA. An honor student in human services, she earned first team All-CAA honors this season when she led the team with 17.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game. She ranked in the top 10 in the CAA in five different categories while leading Delaware to a 20-11 record, a spot in the CAA Tournament championship game, and a berth in the Women’s NIT Tournament.
CROSS COUNTRY: Senior Lindsay Prettyman (St. Mark’s HS/Newark, Del.) earned her third consecutive team Most Valuable Player Award for cross country after leading the team in six meets during the season, including becoming the first UD runner since 1984 to compete at the NCAA Championships. She captured the Delaware Blue-Gold Invitational, posted top five finishes at both the Mt. St. Mary’s Duals, Towson Invitational, and Delaware Invitational events, and finished 20th at the NCAA Regionals.
FIELD HOCKEY: Senior goalkeeper Sarah Scher (Pocomoke/Pocomoke City, Md.) earned MVP honors as she played an integral role as the Blue Hens made history by posting a 17-5 record, winning the CAA title, and advancing to the NCAA Tournament where they defeated Liberty in the opening round. Scher earned second team All-CAA honors in 2013 when she recorded a league-high seven shutouts, posted a 1.54 goals against average, and recorded a .752 save percentage. She was also named the CAA Tournament Most Outstanding Player and earned a spot on the NFHCA national all-academic team as a hotel, restaurant, and institutional management major.
GOLF: Junior Amanda Terzian (Episcopal Academy/Haverford, Pa.) earned the team Most Valuable Player Award for the second straight year. An art history major, Terzian led the team to its best season ever as the Blue Hens won three tournament team titles and finished as runner-up at the CAA Championships. A team captain, she led the squad with a 76.46 stroke average this past season and posted four top 10 finishes, including a runner-up showing at the Rutgers Invitational. She followed that with a fourth overall finish at the CAA Championships in April.
INDOOR TRACK & FIELD: Lindsay Prettyman (St. Mark’s HS/Newark, Del.) earned team MVP honors for the first time for the UD indoor program. Prettyman won five individual meet titles and capped the campaign by earning All-East honors at the ECAC Championships by placing second in the mile run. She also set school records in the mile (4:45.55) and 3,000 meters (9:32.76) this year and owns three other UD standards for her career.
LACROSSE: Junior midfielder Caitlin McCartney (Archbishop Wood/Doylestown, Pa.) was named team Most Valuable Player for the third straight year after leading the Blue Hens to a record of 10-7 and the team’s first CAA Tournament berth since the 2009 season. A team captain and health behavior science major, McCartney earned All-CAA honors for the third straight year this spring as she led the squad with 39 goals and upped her career goal total to 114. She scored three or more goals eight times and also led the team with 40 draw controls.
OUTDOOR TRACK & FIELD: Lindsay Prettyman (St. Mark’s HS/Newark, Del.) won her third MVP award for outdoor track & field. Prettyman saved her best for last during the 2014 outdoor season as led the Blue Hens to their ever Colonial Athletic Association team titles two weeks ago. She was named the CAA Outstanding Track Athlete for the meet as she won both the 800 meters and 1,500 meters, becoming the first UD athlete to win multiple events at the conference meet since 1994. She set five school records and won six meet titles during the year, including teaming to win the distance medley relay at the Penn Relays.
ROWING: Senior Jenny Kohler (Shore Regional/Oceanport, N.Y.) earned the MVP award for rowing. A four-year standout and a 2014 first team All-CAA selection, Kohler anchored the Blue Hens Varsity Eights boat each of the last two seasons and capped her senior year by leading Delaware to a fourth place team finish at the CAA Championships this past weekend. She has competed in all eight official races this season, including a semifinal appearance at the Dad Vail Regatta and a fourth place finish at the CAA Championships. She is a psychology and criminal justice major at Delaware.
SOCCER: Senior midfielder Chelsea Duffy (Gloucester Catholic/Glassboro, N.J.) was named the Most Valuable Player for her squad after leading the Blue Hens to a record of 9-7-3 and an appearance in the Colonial Athletic Association Tournament. A human services major, Duffy won a slew of awards in 2013 as she was named first team All-CAA, second team All-East, and third team NSCAA All-Region. A three-time All-CAA selection, she ranked second on the team with 10 points this past fall and finished her career with nine goals and 10 assists.
SOFTBALL: Freshman third baseman Giovanna Kolofer (Notre Dame/Salinas, Calif.) was named the Most Valuable Player for the Blue Hen softball team. Kolofer earned second team All-CAA and CAA All-Rookie honors this spring when she led the team and ranked sixth in the Colonial Athletic Association with a .340 batting average. A nutrition major, Kolofer started 35 of 38 games, ranked second on the team with 22 runs batted in, and was third on the team in hits (35), runs scored (16), and stolen bases (10).
SWIMMING & DIVING: Freshman Annie Nunes (Wilmington, Del.) earned the team Most Valuable Player Award after recording an outstanding rookie campaign in 2013-14. Nunes led the team to a 7-3 dual record and a fifth place team finish at the CAA Championships in early March. She recorded five top 10 finishes at the CAA meet and set three school records in the process. A nursing major, she placed fourth in the 200 medley relay, sixth in the 100 breaststroke, seventh in the 400 medley relay, and ninth in both the 200 IM and 200 breaststroke events at the CAA meet.
TENNIS: Senior Olivia Heim (Pine-Richland/Gibsonia, Pa.) earned the Most Valuable Player Award for women’s tennis. Heim led the squad to an 8-8 dual record and a berth in the CAA Tournament during her final season on the UD courts. She posted a record of 15-12 in singles play and ended her career ranked No. 11 all-time in UD history with 61 victories. In doubles play, she posted a career record of 38-30 to rank among Delaware’s all-time leaders. She is an honor student as a business management major at Delaware.
VOLLEYBALL: Sophomore libero Ariel Shonk (Atlanta, Ga.) won the Most Valuable Player Award for her squad. An honor student as a marketing major, she enjoyed another standout season for Delaware from her defensive spot, earning third team All-CAA honors for the second straight year. She led the Blue Hens with 613 digs last fall and ranked second in the CAA and 11th in the nation with 5.52 digs per game. She reached the 30-dig mark eight times and was also third on the team with 78 assists and fourth with 17 service aces.
BASKETBALL: Senior guard Devon Saddler (Aberdeen/Aberdeen, Md.) earned the Colonel C.B. Shaffer Most Valuable Player Award for the fourth straight season after leading the Blue Hen men’s basketball squad to one of the most memorable seasons in school history. Saddler capped his career by leading the Blue Hens to a 25-10 record, the CAA regular season and tournament titles, and the team’s first berth in the NCAA Tournament since 1999. A criminal justice major and three-time team captain, he earned first team All-CAA, first team All-District 2, and Mid-Major All-American honors this past season when he ranked 30th nationally with 19.7 points per game. He became Delaware’s all-time leading scorer with 2,222 points and averaged 15.7 points per game over four seasons.
BASEBALL: Junior outfielder Norm Donkin (Ridley/Folsom, Pa.) made an immediate impact for the Blue Hen baseball squad this spring and was the recipient of the Pape Lukk (Pap Luck) Most Valuable Player Award. The junior criminal justice major and transfer from Harford (Md.) Community College has been the Hens’ everyday starting right fielder while also catching and pitching. He has led Delaware to a berth in the CAA Tournament for the third straight year, leading the team into action Wednesday in Wilmington, N.C. He currently ranks among the leaders in the CAA with a .333 batting average, 64 hits, 30 runs batted in, 33 runs scored, 16 doubles, 20 walks, and 10 stolen bases. He has a team-high 21 multiple hit games this season and had a career-high five runs batted in vs. Fairfield.
FOOTBALL: Junior wide receiver and kick returner Michael Johnson (Gainesville/Gainesville, Fla.) was the winner of the Most Valuable Player. A health sciences major, Johnson enjoyed a breakout season in 2013 when earned second team All-CAA honors and was a three-time Touchdown Club Player of the Week. He proved to be one of the top big-play performers in the country as he caught 60 passes for 1,035 yards, a 17.2 yard per catch average, and nine touchdowns; carried 13 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns; and averaged 20.9 yards per kickoff return. He ranked No. 2 in the CAA and No. 13 in the NCAA in all-purpose yardage.
GOLF: Sophomore Kyle Martin (Christopher Dock/Ambler, Pa.) was the winner of this year’s John J. DeLuca/ Scotty Duncan Memorial Team Most Valuable Player Award. Martin made big gains for the Hens in his second season in Newark as he led the team in three tournaments and placed 17th overall at the CAA Championships in April. He led the team with a 76.52 stroke average, had a low round of 70, and posted three top 20 tournament finishes, including a 12th place finish at the Navy Fall Classic. He is a management information systems major with a minor in entrepreneurial studies at Delaware.
LACROSSE: Stalwart defenseman James Connelly (Malvern Prep/Royersford, Pa.) earned MVP honors following an outstanding senior year. Connelly was a two-year starter who served as captain for the Blue Hens in 2014 when the team advanced to the CAA Tournament. He earned all-league honors each of the past two seasons, including first team honors in 2014 when he started all 16 games, ranked second on the team with 12 caused turnovers, and was fourth with 28 groundballs. A marketing major, Connelly was selected in the Major League Lacrosse Draft by Denver back in January.
SOCCER: Freshman forward Guillermo Delgado (Jose Luis Sampedro/Tres Cantos, Spain) was the winner of the MVP Award for men’s soccer. Delgado made an immediate impact for the nationally-ranked Blue Hens this past fall when he led the squad to a 14-5-1 record and an at-large berth in the NCAA Tournament. The high-scoring health and science major became the first ever UD freshman to earn All-American honors when he was named to the second team by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. He also was selected to the All-South Atlantic Region team, the All-East first team, the All-CAA first team, and was named the CAA Rookie of the Year. He led the CAA and ranked No. 4 in the nation with 15 goals scored.
SWIMMING & DIVING: Freshman Cory Camp (Blake/Olney, Md.) earned the Jack & Hugh Dougherty Team Most Valuable Player award. An exercise science major, Camp also made an immediate impact in his first collegiate season with the Blue Hens this season. He led the team to a 4-4 dual record and paced the team to a fourth place showing at the CAA Championships. He was selected as Delaware’s first-ever CAA Male Rookie Swimmer of the Year after an outstanding first-year campaign that saw him post three top four finishes at the CAA meet. He placed second in the 1,650 freestyle and fourth in both the 500 freestyle and 400 IM while also setting two school records.
TENNIS: Senior Troy Beneck (Wilmington Friends/Wilmington, Del.) received the Alexander J. Taylor MVP Award as the men’s tennis team’s top player. Beneck enjoyed an outstanding four-year career that saw him play at the team’s No. 1 singles spot each of his final three seasons. An honor student as an exercise science major, Beneck earned All-CAA honors in both singles and doubles each of his four seasons. He posted records of 23-7 in singles and 21-7 in doubles as a senior this past season and finished his career as Delaware’s all-time leader with 75 singles wins and 78 doubles victories.