NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (2023)

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Somerset, NJ -- On a day to highlight the “student” in student-athlete, the Northeast Conference (NEC) honored its brightest stars from the 2022-23 winter season.

The NEC announced Scholar-Athlete award winners from seven different winter sports, along with its Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll lists.

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LIU sported a trio of scholar-athlete winners, while Sacred Heart landed a pair of honorees. CCSU, Merrimack and St. Francis Brooklyn had one award winner apiece. There were four repeat honorees, highlighted by CCSU graduate student Angie Rafter (Danielson, CT/Killingly), who won the ninth NEC scholar-athlete honor of her career, extending her own conference record.

All scholar-athlete award winners must have 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.

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Every honoree compiled at least a 3.70 grade point average in their respective sport.

Along with the scholar-athletes, the NEC announced its Winter Academic Honor Roll, consisting of 893 student-athletes with a 3.20 or better grade point average, the third highest total in conference history. There were also 345 student-athletes named to the Winter Commissioner’s Honor Roll, recognizing those superior student-athletes with a 3.75 or better grade point average. That figure was the second most in league annals.

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Merrimack graduate student forward Jordan Minor (Kingston, MA/Brimmer & May) added to his long list of honors by repeating as the men’s basketball scholar-athlete award winner. The NEC Co-Player of the Year was the franchise player on Merrimack’s regular season championship squad and went on to earn All-Tournament team recognition after sparking the Warriors to their first conference title. Minor recorded a league-leading 15 double-doubles in 28 games, a total that ranked him 16th in the country. He also paced the NEC with 9.4 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game, while ranking second in scoring (17.4) and field goal percentage (.515). Minor was the only player in the nation this season who averaged at least 17 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and one steal per game. He made a steady progression up the All-NEC list, elevating from third team as a sophomore to second team in his junior campaign to first team honors this past season. The two-time NEC Player of the Week out of Kingston, MA ended his career at Merrimack ranked 28th on the league’s career rebounding chart (791) and is ninth all-time in blocks (202). He is one of 27 players in conference history to accumulate at least 1,250 points and 750 boards, and one of only four players to achieve 1,000 points, 750 rebounds and 200 rejections. Minor has been named to the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll three times and is a four-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll. Minor compiled a 3.85grade point average as a Communications and Media major and has a 3.50 GPA in his graduate studies.

NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (1)

St. Francis Brooklyn senior guard Alyssa Fisher (Baton Rouge, LA/University Laboratory School) wrapped her senior season by capturing women’s basketball scholar-athlete honors. Fisher was named the NEC’s Most Improved Player this past season and was tabbed to the All-NEC first team for the Terriers, who reached the NEC semifinals. She nearly doubled her point production from 8.5 ppg a year ago to 16.1 ppg this season, a figure that ranked her third in the in the NEC. Fisher’s play was even more impressive during league play, averaging 17.9 ppg to finish tied for second in the rankings. She scored 20+ points on nine occasions and was the only player in the NEC to put up two 30-point performances. Fisher eclipsed the 1,000-point plateau and ended her four-year run with 1,056 points. The Baton Rouge, LA went on earn another major honor when she was selected as the I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Fisher is a four-time member of the NEC Academic Honor Roll and has twice been named to the NEC Commissioner’s Honor Roll. She has posted a 3.78 GPA while pursuing her degree in Health Care Management.

NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (2)

Sacred Heart has now won six straight women’s bowling scholar-athlete accolades, the last two by way of senior Hannah Manetta (Port Jefferson, NY/Comsewogue). A two-time All-NEC performer, Manetta was named to the All-NEC second team this past season behind the strength of her 19.34 pins per frame average and .510 strike percentage in conference play, which ranked tenth and third, respectively, on the circuit. Rolling strikes in a league-best 48.8 percent of her 954 total frames, Manetta’s 19.54 frame average was good for fifth amongst all NEC bowlers, while her 19.69 pin-per-frame mark in traditional format play was also good for fifth in the circuit. At year’s end, she earned honorable mention NTCA All-Region distinction. Manetta, who hails from Port Jefferson, NY, is an Interdisciplinary Studies major who maintains a 3.92 GPA. She is a three-time NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll selection.

NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (3)

LIU graduate student Jonathan Gonzalez (Brentwood, NY/Brentwood) claimed the men’s indoor track and field scholar-athlete award for the second year running. Gonzalez pocketed a bronze medal at the NEC Indoor Track & Field Championships in February, finishing third in the 800 meters with a season-best time of 1:54.70 in a near photo finish. He also ran the opening leg on LIU’s gold medal distance medley relay team. Earlier that month, Gonzalez finished second in the 1,000 at the Met Championships. The Brentwood, NY native finished the fifth on the NEC indoor season performance list in the 800 (1:54.7) and seventh in the mile (4:11.98). He has been selected to the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll each of the last three years and carried a 3.96 grade point average while majoring in Health Education. He has compiled a perfect 4.0 GPA pursuing his Master of Science in Educational Technology.

NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (4)

It may have been the “Last Dance” for CCSU graduate student Angie Rafter (Danielson, CT/Killingly), but she made her final collegiate season another memorable one. Rafter put an exclamation point on a star-studded Blue Devil career by winning her third scholar-athlete honor in indoor track and field and ninth all-time accolade, adding to her own, possibly untouchable record. She has also been recognized for her athletic and academic success an unprecedented four times in cross country and twice in outdoor track and field. Rafter was the catalyst in CCSU defending its NEC indoor track and field title, earning Most Valuable Performer for the second straight season. She once again pulled off the distance triple, winning the mile (5:03.36), 3,000 meters (9:52.30) and 5,000 meters (17:32.07) before running the anchor leg on CCSU’s gold medal winning distance medley relay team. Rafter, who was also named the Most Outstanding Track Performer (Distance) at the meet, was a six-time NEC Athlete of the Week over the course of the season. The Danielson, CT native went on to win the mile at the IC4A/ECAC Championships, setting a new program record for the third time this season with a 4:40.38 showing. She also set program marks in the 3,000 meters (9:06.82) and 5,000 meters (15:57.74) earlier in the season. Rafter once again stood atop the NEC performance lists in 2022-23, posting the top times in the conference by wide margins in the mile, 3,000 and 5,000 meters. She is pursuing her Master’s degree in Psychology after completing her undergraduate studies in English. Rafter recorded a 3.96 GPA as an undergrad and currently carries a 3.97 GPA in her graduate courses. Rafter has been named to both the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll in each of her five years.

NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (5)

Men’s swimming and diving scholar-athlete honors were awarded to LIU junior Marcell Matyikó (Veszprém, Hungary/Lovassy László Gimnázium). Matyikó played a key role in the Sharks’ runner-up finish at the NEC Swimming & Diving Championships in February, accumulating 47 points over his three events. He finished second in the 200 fly (1:51.50), and fourth in both the 200 (1:53.04) and 400 (4:03.48) individual medley. Hailing from Veszprém, Hungary, Matyikó previously won gold in the 400 IM in 2022 and in the 200 fly at the 2021 NEC meet, in which he set the school record (1:50.45). Matyikó, who was named Academic All-District by College Sports Communicators (CSC), was also tabbed to the NEC Academic and Commissioner’s Honor Roll lists for the third straight year. He maintains a 3.91 GPA while majoring in Biology.

NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (6)

LIU junior Venna Andersen (Lloydminster, Alberta, Canada/Lloydminster Comprehensive) was named the co-scholar-athlete recipient in women’s swimming and diving. Andersen piled up 47 points at the NEC Swimming & Diving Championships in Geneva, OH, finishing first in the 100 breaststroke (1:02.27), and touched second in the 50 free (23.22) and 100 free (51.09) events. Along the way, she set a school record in the breaststroke (28.37) and swam legs on LIU’s winning 200 and 400 medley relay teams that also established new program standards. Anderson was named the NEC Swimmer of the Week three times over the course of the 2022-23 season. The Lloydminster, Alberta product was recognized by College Sports Communicators as an Academic All-District honoree. Anderson is a Biology major who has posted a 3.71 GPA during her time at LIU. She has earned a spot on the NEC Academic Honor Roll in each of the last two years.

NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (7)

Sacred Heart senior diver Olivia McNicholas (Hicksville, NY/Kellenberg Memorial) was the co-winner of the women’s swimming and diving scholar-athlete. McNicholas captured the three-meter diving title at the NEC Championship in February. She also took fourth in the one-meter competition to finish with 35 points at the meet. For McNicholas, who calls Hicksville, NY her hometown, it marked her second NEC title after winning the one-meter crown at the 2022 NEC Championship. She was also named the ECAC Winter Championship Diver of the Meet back in December after sweeping the one and three-meter boards, and established a new program record in the three-meter dive with a 259.00 score at the ECAC meet. McNicholas was a six-time NEC Diver of the Week in 2022-23 and has now been honored 11 times in her career. A three-time member of the NEC Academic & Commissioner’s Honor Roll lists, McNicholas carries a 3.79 GPA and is a Nursing major.

NEC Announces 2022-23 Winter Scholar-Athletes, Academic Honor Roll & Commissioner’s Honor Roll (8)

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