Nov. 13, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. – Army sophomore setter Mary Vaccaro was named the Patriot League Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year and is one of seven student-athletes named to the Academic All-League team, it was announced Tuesday afternoon by the League office.
Now in its third year, the Academic All-Patriot League Team was added for all sports beginning in the 2010-11 season to honor additional student-athletes who excel both on and off the field. The Volleyball Academic All-Patriot League Team has seven student-athletes to equal the size of the sport's All-Patriot League first team.
Seven of the League’s eight institutions are represented, with American, Army, Bucknell, Colgate, Holy Cross, Lehigh and Navy each collecting one.
Joining Vaccaro on the Academic All-League squad were American senior Rebecca Heath; Bucknell junior Jessica Serrato; Colgate senior Michelle McCarthy; Holy Cross senior Megan Lynch; Lehigh junior Amanda Clark; and Navy junior Erin Fortner.
Vaccaro was named Setter of the Year and earned first-team All-Patriot League honors Tuesday for the second consecutive season. She enters this weekend’s Patriot League Tournament leading the League with 938 assists, while her 9.57 assists-per-set average is second. A native of Orinda, Calif., Vaccaro has also assisted Army’s defensive efforts, totaling 278 digs and averaging 2.84 digs per set through 98 frames thus far. She’s logged 20 service aces and 32 total blocks for the Black Knights, who enter this weekend’s tournament as the No. 3 seed.
Vaccaro has shined in the classroom as well as on the court, posting a 3.88 cumulative grade-point average while majoring in kinesiology. She’s currently on a pre-med track through her major, and has made the Dean’s List at the U.S. Military Academy. She’s a team leader within her company, which puts her in charges of the physical, military and academic development of a member of West Point’s freshman class. Vaccaro also volunteers her time as a council member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Last week she was named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District I First Team by the College Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA).
Vaccaro is Army's second Scholar-Athlete of the Year in the 23-year history of the honor in volleyball, and the academy's first since Briana Stremick in 2008.
Fortner joined Vaccaro as student-athletes who earned both All-League and Academic All-League honors Tuesday. Fortner, from Villa Hills, Ky., averaged 3.36 kills and 1.78 digs per set while hitting .191, and was voted to the All-Patriot League first team earlier Tuesday by the eight head coaches. She has a 3.58 cumulative GPA at the U.S. Naval Academy as an honors oceanography major.
The remaining five members of the Academic All-League team have been significant contributors on the court while maintaining high levels of achievement in the classroom.
Heath was the 2011 Scholar-Athlete of the Year and garnered Academic All-District first-team honors last week. She boasts a 3.86 cumulative GPA at American as an anthropology major. Serrato owns a 3.75 GPA as a management major at Bucknell. McCarthy is a Spanish and English double major at Colgate with a 3.82 GPA. Lynch has a 3.60 GPA majoring in psychology at Holy Cross. Clark, a biology major at Lehigh, has a 3.73 GPA.
To be eligible for the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award and the Academic All-Patriot League team, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.20 cumulative GPA and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen are not eligible for this honor.
2012 Patriot League Volleyball Academic Awards
Scholar-Athlete of the Year – Mary Vaccaro, Army, So.
Academic All-Patriot League Team
Rebecca Heath, American, Sr.
Mary Vaccaro, Army, So.
Jessica Serrato, Bucknell, Jr.
Michelle McCarthy, Colgate, Sr.
Megan Lynch, Holy Cross, Sr.
Amanda Clark, Lehigh, Jr.
Erin Fortner, Navy, Jr.