Patriot League Announces Volleyball Academic Awards

PATRIOTLEAGUEDOTORG American senior Rebecca Heath was named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year Wednesday.
American senior Rebecca Heath was named Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year Wednesday.

Nov. 16, 2011

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - A day after American placed a League-high four student-athletes on the All-Patriot League Team and garnered three major awards, the Eagles collected one more piece of hardware when senior Rebecca Heath was named Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned a place on the eight-member Academic All-League team, it was announced Wednesday.

Now in its second 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 is to have seven student-athletes to equal the size of the sport's All-Patriot League first team. Because of a tie in the voting, this season's squad has eight members.

Holy Cross led with two honorees, followed by American, Army, Bucknell, Colgate, Lehigh and Navy, which placed one apiece. The two Crusaders to make the squad were juniors Elizabeth Watters and Megan Lynch. Army junior Ariana Mankus, Bucknell senior Anne Ellenberger, sophomore Caitlin Cremin of Colgate, sophomore Amanda Clark of Lehigh and Navy sophomore Erin Fortner complete the team.

The eight-member squad is broken down into three seniors, a pair of juniors and three sophomores.

Heath was one of several contributors for American, which went 13-1 in Patriot League play and will host this weekend's upcoming Patriot League Tournament in Washington, D.C. A second-team All-League selection Tuesday, the senior outside hitter sits third on her team and seventh in the League hitting .268 with 264 kills on 671 swings. Her average of 2.54 kills per set is 10th-best in the League entering the weekend. She owns the League's seventh-best single-match attacking performance of the season so far when she hit .632 with 13 kills on 19 swings and just one error in a three-set win at Lafayette Oct. 14. Heath has collected 224 digs on the year, averaging 2.15 per set, and is fourth on the Eagles with 28 blocks. She was the League's Rookie of the Year in 2008.

In the classroom, Heath owns a 3.841 cumulative grade-point average majoring in anthropology at American. She was recently named to the Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team and will appear on the national ballot later this month for Academic All-America honors. A three-time member of the Dean's List at American, she has boasted a perfect 4.0 GPA in two semesters and has appeared on the Patriot League Academic Honor Roll three times.

Heath is the fifth Scholar-Athlete of the Year from American in the sport of volleyball and is the second straight Eagle named to the award, following last year's honoree Cassandra Ricketts. Seniors have been named to the League's top honor five years in a row.

Heath is one of three student-athletes to capture All-League honors Tuesday and add Academic All-League laurels Wednesday. Mankus and Lynch are the others, with Mankus having been placed on the first team while Lynch was a second-team honoree. Mankus boasts a 3.273 cumulative GPA at the U.S. Military Academy majoring in art, philosophy and literature, while Lynch owns a 3.56 GPA at Holy Cross studying philosophy.

The remaining eight Academic All-League selections have all excelled both on the court and in the classroom. Ellenberger has a 3.62 GPA at Bucknell majoring in chemical engineering and, like Heath, was a first-team Academic All-District selection and will be eligible for the Academic All-America team later this month. Cremin boasts a 3.67 GPA at Colgate and has not declared a major, while Watters is a religious studies major with a 3.56 GPA at Holy Cross. Clark majors in arts and sciences at Lehigh with a 3.85 GPA, while Fortner has a 3.62 GPA studying oceanography at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Lynch is the only repeat Academic All-League selection, as she was named to the squad last season as a sophomore.

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 grade-point average and be a starter or key player in his/her sport. Freshmen or students in their first academic year at their school are not eligible for the honor.

The Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year for each individual sport comprises the pool of nominees for the Patriot League Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards given out over the summer. One male and one female are selected for this honor.

2011 Patriot League Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year Rebecca Heath, American, Sr.

2011 Volleyball Academic All-Patriot League Team
Rebecca Heath, American, Sr.
Ariana Mankus, Army, Jr.
Anne Ellenberger, Bucknell, Sr.
Caitlin Cremin, Colgate, So.
Elizabeth Watters, Holy Cross, Jr.
Megan Lynch, Holy Cross, Jr.
Amanda Clark, Lehigh, So.
Erin Fortner, Navy, So.