June 24, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- The votes are in, and fans on Twitter have selected representatives from four different sports and four different schools as the "Best of the Patriot League" in 2013-14.
The Twitter votes were conducted last week for the Men and Women's Team and Player of the Year, with fans using designated hashtags to cast their votes in a 24-hour period for each honor. The following teams and student-athletes won the Twitter fan votes in each category.
Men's Team of the Year: Bucknell Baseball
Women's Team of the Year: American Field Hockey
Men's Player of the Year: Boston University senior track student-athlete Rich Peters
Women's Player of the Year: Lehigh sophomore softball student-athlete Morgan Decker
After sharing the regular-season title with Army, Bucknell put forth a dominant effort in the Patriot League Baseball Tournament by sweeping series from both Navy and Lehigh. The Bison defeated Liberty in the postseason, becoming the first Patriot League team to win an NCAA Regional game since 2009.
American swept through the Patriot League field hockey regular season and Tournament, with a 3-0 win over Boston University in the title game on Nov. 9. American beat Quinnipiac in an NCAA Play-In Game to make the NCAA Tournament, and finished at No. 18 in the nation while posting a 15-6 record.
Peters excelled from the fall through the spring in 2013-14, with his season highlighted by a pair of trips to NCAA Championships. He finished fourth in the mile at the NCAA Indoor Championships in March for the best place by a Patriot Leaguer in more than 20 years and first-team All-America honors, and competed at the NCAA Outdoor Championships in the 1,500-meter run with a second-team All-America finish. Peters was named the Patriot League Men's Indoor Championship Track Athlete of the Meet for winning the 1,000-meter run and mile, won the 1,500-meter at the League Outdoor Championship and placed second at the Cross Country Championship.
Decker won her second straight Patriot League Softball Player of the Year award as the third baseman led the Mountain Hawks to the regular-season title and a 30-20 overall record. Decker was named an ECAC All-Star and NFCA All-Region selection while leading the Patriot League in home runs, slugging percentage and on-base percentage and placing second in batting average.
Decker led all winners with 32 votes, followed by American field hockey (28), Bucknell baseball (24) and Peters (13). Loyola men's lacrosse was voted runner-up for Men's Team of the Year, while its senior standout, Joe Fletcher, was runner-up for Men's Player of the Year. Runner-up status on the women's side went to the American volleyball team and Army women's basketball sophomore Kelsey Minato.
There were 269 total votes cast across the four categories, led by 91 for the Women's Team of the Year honor. The Patriot League maintains seven Twitter accounts with a combined 10,900 followers, including nearly 6,400 for the main account, @PatriotLeague.