HADLEY, Mass. – The New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its 2009 Fall All-Academic selections today, with 373 student-athletes that participated in a fall sport earning All-Academic recognition. To be honored, a student-athlete must have reached junior academic standing and be a varsity letter winner with a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.35. A transfer student must have completed one year of study at the institution.
Of the 373 student-athletes that received Fall All-Academic, a total of 124 individuals were selected as All-Academic for the second-straight year. The 2009 Fall All-Academic squad also had 55 members honored on All-Conference teams this season, with 13 individuals alone coming from Middlebury, while 38 individuals garnered All-Sportsmanship and All-Academic. Seven student-athletes received recognition on All-Conference, All-Sportsmanship, and All-Academic teams: Amherst junior Rachel Yorke (Los Angeles, Calif.), Bowdoin senior Colman Hatton (Cape Elizabeth, Maine), Tufts senior Dena Feiger (Long Grove, Ill.), Wesleyan senior Ravenna Neville (Westfield, N.J.), and the Williams trio of senior Corey Watts (Madison, Wis.) and juniors Gaston Kelly (Hingham, Mass.) and Jacob Wagner (Wilmette, Ill.).
Notable members among the 2009 Fall All-Academic Team include Tufts’ Feiger, fellow Jumbo Margi Scholtes (Grosse Pointe, Mich.), and seniors Sophia Galleher (Denver, Colo.) and Michael Taylor (Evanston, Ill.) of Amherst. Feiger became the first-ever individual from Tufts to earn Volleyball Player of the Year this season as she led the conference with 11.18 assists per set while also contributing 2.52 digs. She was also named to the AVCA All-America Second Team and as the New England Women’s Volleyball Association (NEWVA) Player of the Year earlier this week. Majoring in quantitative economics, Feiger earned NESCAC All-Academic for the second year in a row as she helped her squad to a program-best 31 victories (31-5) along with the NCAA New England Regional title for the first time in school history.
Scholtes, a two-time All-NESCAC First Team member, was recently named the New England West Region Player of the Year by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFHCA). The senior back has helped the conference’s top defense win its first NESCAC Field Hockey Championship in 2009 along with an appearance in the NCAA semifinals for the second consecutive year. Scholtes has six goals and three assists while also going 4-for-4 on penalty stroke attempts. She also repeated as a member of the Fall All-Academic Team.
The 2009 Women’s Cross Country Most Outstanding Performer, Galleher won the individual title at the conference championship by the slimmest of margins, as her time of 21:39 over the 6-kilometer course was just one second ahead of Wesleyan’s Neville. It was also the best finish for Galleher in her four-year career at the NESCAC meet after placing 15th during her first year (24:10), 17th as a sophomore (23:32), and 77th as a junior (24:46). Galleher, who was named NESCAC Rookie of the Year in 2006, was the third consecutive runner from Amherst to win the individual championship, following Heather Wilson in 2007 and Elise Tropiano in 2008. Galleher will be with her team in Highland Hills, Ohio, this weekend, as the 2007 NCAA champ Jeffs will look for a strong showing at this year’s national meet.
A big part of the conference’s top defense, Taylor and the Lord Jeffs allowed a league-low 10.4 points per game, 50.9 rushing yards per game, and surrendered only three rushing touchdowns. Taylor was second among his counterparts in the NESCAC in tackles with a career-best 89 (47 solo), averaging 11.1 per outing. He also contributed 11.0 tackles for a combined loss of 40 yards, four sacks for a total of 25 yards, five pass break-ups, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery. Taylor became the first member of the Jeffs to win NESCAC Defensive Player of the Year since lineman Pat McGee in 2001. In addition to being named to the Fall All-Academic Team for the second time in his career, the economics major added All-NESCAC First Team Defense honors for the first time. Amherst won the 2009 NESCAC Football Championship, its first outright title and second overall after sharing the award with Colby and Middlebury in 2000.
Founded in 1971, the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) consists of 11 liberal arts colleges and has consistently reflected its commitment to the values of athletics and academic achievement. The member colleges of the conference are Amherst College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Colby College, Connecticut College, Hamilton College, Middlebury College, Trinity College, Tufts University, Wesleyan University, and Williams College. For more information on the NESCAC, visit www.nescac.com.