The Hofstra University Department of Athletics celebrated the 2014-15 season with its annual Hofstra Pride Student-Athlete Awards Banquet Monday night at David S. Mack Hall on the Hofstra campus.
PHOTO GALLERY | ARCHIVED VIDEO OF AWARDS CEREMONY
Among the top award winners were Brittain Altomare (Women’s Lacrosse) and Kelsie Wills (Volleyball) earning the Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award as the top female student-athlete; Juan’ya Green (Men’s Basketball) taking home the “Howdy” Myers Male Athlete of the Year Award; Jonel Boileau (Field Hockey) as the recipient of the Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Female Scholar-Athlete Award; Cody Ruggirello (Wrestling) as the Dr. James M. Shuart Male Scholar-Athlete Award winner; Lulu Echeverry (Women’s Soccer) and Dion Nesmith (Men’s Basketball) as the recipients of the Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Awards; and Kaitlyn Krause (Volleyball) and Ari Richman (Men’s Tennis) as the recipients of the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award. In addition, Nuria Lopes da Silva (Volleyball) and Mike Malave (Men’s Lacrosse) served as Senior Speakers.
In addition, The Hofstra Athletics Pride Club named John Frew ’74 the organization’s Joseph M. Margiotta Distinguished Service Award recipient. Frew has been a long-time supporter of Hofstra Athletics and has been a long-standing member of the Hofstra Athletics Pride Club Board. He currently serves as the treasurer of the Pride Club.
Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award – Female Athlete of the Year
Brittain Altomare, Women’s Lacrosse
A senior attacker on the Pride Women’s Lacrosse team, Brittain Altomare was one of two recipients of the Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top female athlete. She is the fourth lacrosse player to earn the award, joining Hofstra Athletics Hall of Famer Kathleen Mikowski (2002, 2003), Bridget Eder (2005) and Corrine Gandolfi (2010).
The 2015 CAA Women’s Lacrosse Player of the Year, the first in program history, Altomare enjoyed a record-setting season for the Pride. She posted 81 points on 39 goals and 42 assists this past season, while also totaling 93 draw controls and 10 ground balls. Her point, assist and draw control totals were all single season program records and she led Hofstra in goals, assists, points and draw controls. She became the program’s all-time leader in points (247), assists (129) and draw controls (200), while also compiling 118 goals, which ranks seventh all-time.
A three-time All-CAA First Team selection, she is in the nation’s top 10 in five offensive categories, including ranking second in points per game at 4.88. Altomare, a Wolfsville, Maryland, native, closed out her career by scoring at least one point in 54 consecutive games.
A dual major in linguistics and early childhood and childhood education, Altomare has also been a two-time IWLCA All-Region selection.
Kelsie Wills, Volleyball
A senior outside hitter on the Pride Volleyball team, Kelsie Wills was a one of two recipients of the Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top female athlete. She is the second volleyball player to earn the award, following Elizabeth Curley (2007).
Wills became the second-ever American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American in program history in 2014 after leading the Pride to a CAA Championship and a bid to the NCAA Tournament. She was also named to the AVCA All-East Region team, becoming just the seventh player in school history to earn AVCA All-Region accolades.
The 2014 CAA Player of the Year and an All-CAA First Team selection, Wills led Hofstra with 506 kills, while ranking second in service aces (30), third in digs (312) and fourth in blocks (68). Her spectacular senior season saw her reach double-figures in kills in all but four matches and she tallied 13 double-doubles.
The Matamata, New Zealand, native, closed her career as the program’s all-time leader in kills with 1,942. She is one of only six players in program history to total at least 1,000 career kills and 1,000 career digs as she picked up 1,226 digs during her four seasons at Hofstra. She is also the first player in program history with three seasons of 500 or more kills. A three-time All-CAA first team selection, Wills, who majors in accounting, was also named the CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year in volleyball.
The Dr. Nathalie J. Smith Female Athlete of the Year
2015 – Brittain Altomare, Lacrosse & Kelsie Wills, Volleyball
2014 – Leah Galton, Soccer
2013 – Shante Evans, Basketball & Olivia Galati, Softball
2012 – Genna Kovar, Field Hockey
2011 – Tiffany Yovino, Soccer
2010 – Corrine Gandolfi, Lacrosse
2009 – Kayleigh Lotti, Softball
2008 – Sue Weber, Soccer
2007 – Elizabeth Curley, Volleyball & Ashley Lane, Softball
2006 – Ashley Lane, Softball & Sue Weber, Soccer
2005 – Bridget Eder, Lacrosse
2004 – Dolores Deasley, Soccer
2003 – Kathleen Mikowski, Lacrosse
2002 – Kathleen Mikowski, Lacrosse and Soccer
Howard “Howdy” Myers Award – Male Athlete of the Year
Juan’ya Green, Men’s Basketball
Juan’ya Green, a junior guard on the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team, was the 2015 recipient of the Howard “Howdy” Myers Award as Hofstra’s top male athlete. He is the fourth men’s basketball player to earn the award, joining Loren Stokes (2005, 2007), Antoine Agudio (2008), and Charles Jenkins (2009, 2010, 2011).
Green’s first season in a Hofstra uniform after transferring from Niagara was strong in every facet of the game. The Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, native led Hofstra in scoring, assists and steals, while ranking third on the squad in rebounding. He averaged 17.1 points, 6.5 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He helped lead the Pride to a 20-win season and a postseason berth in the College Basketball Invitational. He was named to the All-Colonial Athletic Association First Team, was a member of the CAA Championship All-Tournament Team and earned a spot on the All-Met Second Team.
Green led the CAA in assists per game and free throws made with 203, while ranking third in scoring average. Nationally, he was sixth in free throws made, ninth in assists per game and 10th in total assists (220). The 203 free throws made ranks as the second-most made in a season in Hofstra history and his 220 assists are the third-most in a single season in program history.
A sociology major, Green scored in double-figures in all 34 games in 2014-15. He led Hofstra with eight double-doubles and also had the Pride’s first-ever triple-double with 15 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists against LIU Brooklyn at the Barclays Center. It was the first-ever triple-double, NBA or NCAA, at the home of the Brooklyn Nets.
The Howard “Howdy” Myers Male Athlete of the Year
2015 – Juan’ya Green, Basketball
2014 – Chris Griebsch, Soccer
2013 – Shaun Foster, Soccer
2012 – Danny Poma, Baseball
2011 – Charles Jenkins, Basketball
2010 – Charles Jenkins, Basketball
2009 – Jay Card, Lacrosse & Charles Jenkins, Basketball
2008 – Antoine Agudio, Basketball & Charles Griffin, Wrestling
2007 – Loren Stokes, Basketball
2006 – Chris Unterstein, Lacrosse
2005 – Loren Stokes, Basketball & Jon Masa, Wrestling
2004 – Noel Thompson, Wrestling
2003 – Arni Gunnarson, Soccer
2002 – Kahmal Roy, Football
Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Award – Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Jonel Boileau, Field Hockey
Senior Jonel Boileau, a forward on the Hofstra Field Hockey team, is the recipient of the Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Award as Hofstra’s top female scholar-athlete. She is the second field hockey player to earn the award, joining Melissa McCarthy (2013).
An international business major with a 3.66 overall grade point average, Boileau was the 2014 Colonial Athletic Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year for field hockey and has made the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad in each of her four seasons. She is also a two-time CAA All-Academic Team selection and a member of the Hofstra University Dean’s List.
Boileau, who served as team captain, was the CAA Field Hockey Player of the Year in 2014 after leading the conference with career-highs of 16 goals and 38 points. She became the first Pride player to be named CAA Player of the Year in field hockey. Her 0.84 goals per game average was ranked 11th in the nation, while she was 14th in points per game (2.00). A three-time NFHCA All-Region and three-time All-CAA honoree, she was selected to play in the 2014 NFHCA Senior All-Star game.
A native of Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada, Boileau ranks third in career goals (40) and fourth in points (114) at Hofstra. In 2014 she was one of the inaugural recipients of the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award.
The Dr. Sylvia J. Giallombardo Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2015 – Jonel Boileau, Field Hockey
2014 – Rachael Senatore, Softball
2013 – Melissa McCarthy, Field Hockey
2012 – Jill Maier, Lacrosse
2011 – Dana Bergstrom, Soccer
2010 – Michele DePasquale, Softball & Stephanie Rice, Lacrosse
2009 – Lauren Engle, Volleyball
2008 – Shellane Ogoshi, Volleyball
2007 – Sue Weber, Soccer
2006 – Chrissy Arnone, Soccer & Tessa Sphar, Volleyball
2005 – Emma Kilduff, Soccer
2004 – Julie Tatar, Volleyball
2003 – Heather Brousseau, Softball
2002 – Stefanie Rewitz, Volleyball
Dr. James M. Shuart Award – Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Cody Ruggirello, Wrestling
Cody Ruggirello, a red-shirt senior on the wrestling team, is the 2015 recipient of the Dr. James M. Shuart Award. The award is presented annually to Hofstra’s top male scholar-athlete. Ruggirello is a repeat winner of the award and joins his brother, Lou (2008, 2011) and Nikola Djordjevic (2004, 2005, 2006) as the only people to win the award more than once. He is also the third wrestler to win the award along with his brother and Steve Bonanno (2012).
Ruggirello, who graduated with a degree in finance, and is pursuing his MBA in finance, has compiled a 3.81 grade point average during his academic career at Hofstra. He has been a member of the Dean’s List seven times and was named to the Provost’s List following the Fall 2012 semester. He has also been a National Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic team selection and a CAA Commissioner’s Academic Award recipient.
On the mat, Ruggirello compiled a 27-8 record in 2014-15 and qualified for the NCAA Championships for the second consecutive year. He was seeded 14th at 149-pounds at the NCAA Championships and posted a 3-2 record, falling one win short of All-America accolades.
The Walden, New York, native also took home first-place honors at the New York State Collegiate Championships last November and the Lock Haven University Invitational in late December.
The James M. Shuart Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year
2015 – Cody Ruggirello, Wrestling
2014 – Cody Ruggirello, Wrestling
2013 – Joe Burg, Baseball
2012 – Steve Bonanno, Wrestling
2011 – Lou Ruggirello, Wrestling
2010 – John Kenny, Baseball
2009 – Nick Altomare, Football
2008 – Lou Ruggirello, Wrestling
2007 – Michael Todd, Soccer
2006 – Nikola Djordjevic, Tennis
2005 – Nikola Djordjevic, Tennis
2004 – Nikola Djordjevic, Tennis
2003 – Aaron Kozlowski, Lacrosse
2002 – Marc Petit, Basketball
Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Awards
The Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award was established in 2007 to recognize the accomplishments of a male and female student-athlete who have always been exceptional representatives of the Hofstra Athletics program. The award is named after the former Pride lacrosse player, who waged a courageous 14-month fight against non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, before passing away in November 2006 at age 21.
Lulu Echeverry, Soccer
Lulu Echeverry, a senior on the Pride Women’s Soccer team is a recipient of the 2015 Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award. Echeverry is the fourth women’s soccer player to earn the award, joining Brittany Butts (2012), Krista Thorn (2011) and Krystal Robens (2008).
Echeverry played in all 21 games this past season and started five. Playing at both forward and midfield, she tallied two goals and five assists for nine points. While she shared the team lead in assists and her point total ranked fifth on the squad, her value to the team far exceeded her statistical output. Her demeanor on the field gave Hofstra its edge and that hard-nosed style of play rubbed off on the rest of the team as well.
An accomplished offensive player, who scored eight goals and added five assists as a sophomore starter, Echeverry took on a different role as team personnel changed. She excelled in her role coming off the bench and providing a spark with her tenacious play.
During her four-year career, Echeverry played in 80 games and recorded 11 goals and 13 assists. The East Meadow, New York, native has been extremely active in Hofstra’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, serving on the executive board as media coordinator. Echeverry will graduate with a degree in exercise science.
Dion Nesmith, Basketball
Dion Nesmith, a graduate guard on the Hofstra Men’s Basketball team, is a 2015 recipient of the Nick Colleluori Unsung Hero Award. He is the third men’s basketball player to win the award, joining Nathaniel Lester (2012) and Stevie Mejia (2013).
Nesmith averaged 11.1 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game for Hofstra in 2014-15. He played in all 34 games, making seven starts. His scoring average ranked fourth on the team, while he was second on the squad in assists and third in steals (46). His 49 three-pointers ranked fourth on the team.
A full-time starter in 2013-14, Nesmith moved into a sixth-man role this past season and excelled. He scored in double figures in 20 games and was a steady presence on a team that featured nine new players.
Nesmith was named to the Colonial Athletic Association All-Academic Team this past season. It marked his second consecutive season earning conference all-academic honors.
A Union, New Jersey, native, Nesmith earned his undergraduate degree in finance from Monmouth, and is pursuing his MBA in business analytics. During his two seasons with the Pride he scored 776 points and dished out 213 assists.
The Nick Colleluori Female Unsung Hero Award
2015 – Lulu Echeverry, Soccer
2014 – Cynthia Cheng, Golf
2013 – Taylor Albright, Lacrosse
2012 – Brittany Butts, Soccer & Courtney Crews, Softball
2011 – Krista Thorn, Softball/Soccer & Rachel August, Volleyball
2010 – Sam Brigham, Basketball
2009 – Carolann Lubach, Softball & Lauren Whitcomb, Lacrosse
2008 – Joanna Kralowetz, Softball & Krystal Robens, Soccer
2007 – Lana Harshaw, Basketball
The Nick Colleluori Male Unsung Hero Award
2015 – Dion Nesmith, Basketball
2014 – David D’Errico, Baseball
2013 – Stevie Mejia, Basketball
2012 – Ben Clymer, Wrestling & Nathaniel Lester, Basketball
2011 – Steven DeNapoli, Lacrosse & Mike Skudin, Lacrosse
2010 – Ray McDonough, Football
2009 – Michael Colleluori, Lacrosse
2008 – Kareem Huggins, Football & Michael Unterstein, Lacrosse
2007 – Gary Flood, Soccer
The Hofstra Pride Community Service Award
Introduced in 2014, the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award seeks to recognize a male and female student-athlete based on their service to the community. Selection is based on the total number of community service projects/hours during an academic year as well as overall enthusiasm for community service involvement. Also taken into consideration was how proactive they were in planning projects and getting their teammates on board.
Kaitlyn Krause, Volleyball
Kaitlyn Krause, a junior setter on the Pride Volleyball team, is one of two recipient of the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award. Krause, one of volleyball’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee representatives, was very active this past year and took part in six community service events.
Krause, a Farmington Hills, Michigan, native, served as a student leader for the One Love Educational Workshop. The One Love Foundation advocates for relationship violence prevention and was formed in honor of former Virginia women’s lacrosse player Yeardley Love.
She was also a volunteer for the University’s It’s On Us campaign launch. The campaign focuses on establishing a sense of ownership over the problem of sexual misconduct and relationship violence, and on empowering all of us to make a difference through bystander awareness and intervention. It includes an online pledge to keep women and men safe from sexual assault.
With members of the volleyball team she took part in the Long Beach Polar Plunge in support of the Make-A-Wish Foundation. She also served as a registration and event set-up volunteer at the Special Olympics Polar Plunge. Krause was also a volunteer during the Hofstra Spring Blood Drive and the CAA Food Drive Challenge in partnership with Long Island Harvest.
A marketing major, Krause was part of Hofstra’s CAA championship team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament in 2014. She recorded 192 digs and 28 service aces, which ranked third on the team.
Ari Richman, Tennis
Ari Richman, a senior on the Pride Men’s Tennis team, repeats as a recipient of the Hofstra Pride Community Service Award after earning the inaugural award last season. Richman was one of the most active student-athletes in participating in community service activities, taking part in 12 events during the 2014-15 academic year as well as assisting in the planning and execution of many events in his role of President of Hofstra’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
A native of Phoenix, Arizona, Richman was a volunteer during Hofstra University’s It’s On Us campaign launch. He also took part in both the fall and spring blood drives at Hofstra, volunteering at the check-in table and organizing team members in order to keep the table staffed.
He served as a volunteer at the women’s lacrosse HEADstrong Fundraiser last fall, which raises money and awareness for the HEADstrong Foundation’s fight against blood cancer.
During the fall Richman helped organize his team for the annual Shake-A-Rake event, assisting in the cleanup of yards of elderly and disabled residents of the surrounding community. He also took part in CAA Food Drive Challenge in partnership with Island Harvest and helped organize collection schedules throughout the weeklong event.
Richman took part in the Special Olympics Polar Plunge and served as a volunteer at the Long Island Children’s Museum Ghostly Gala. He was also part of a Guinness World Record when he participated in the Girl Scouts of Nassau County Cookie Dunk this past winter.
With members of his team, Richman took part in the American Cancer Society Walk for the Cure at Jones Beach in support of breast cancer research. He has also assisted with the Run With Pride 5K event and took part in Biography Day at North Side Elementary School. As SAAC President, he also had a hand in many of the other community service endeavors undertaken by the group including reading days at elementary schools and sport clinics for various youth organizations.
Richman, a mass media studies major with a minor in sociology, won 14 matches in singles play this past season and helped his team to a 10-7 overall record.
Hofstra Pride Community Service Award
2015 – Kaitlyn Krause, Volleyball & Ari Richman, Tennis
2014 – Jonel Boileau, Field Hockey & Ari Richman, Tennis
The Senior Speaker program was introduced in 2005 as a way of having representatives from the graduating senior class convey the Hofstra student-athlete experience. The Department of Athletics feels that the message of the senior class is best delivered by individuals have represented the University at a high level in the classroom, on the fields of play and in the community Each year the Senor Speakers will be selected based on these criteria.
Nuria Lopes da Silva, Volleyball
Nuria Lopes da Silva, a senior middle blocker on the Pride Volleyball team, was one of two senior speakers at the 2015 Hofstra Pride Student-Athlete Awards Banquet.
A Lisbon, Portugal, native, Lopes da Silva tallied 353 kills, 132 blocks, 31 service aces and a .327 hitting percentage in 2014 and helped the Pride to a Colonial Athletic Association championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. She led the team in hitting percentage, blocks and service aces, and was second in kills. For her efforts she was named to the All-CAA First Team.
Lopes da Silva, who has been a two-time CAA All-Tournament selection (2013, 2014), earned all-tournament honors at the Hofstra Invitational and the UConn Tournament this season and was the CAA Defensive Player of the Week on September 8.
A public relations major with a minor in philosophy, Lopes da Silva recorded 605 kills, 234 blocks and 60 service aces during her two seasons with the Pride.
Mike Malave, Men’s Lacrosse
Mike Malave, a senior midfielder on the Hofstra Men’s Lacrosse team, was the second of two senior speakers last night.
A four-year member of the Pride, Malave was a three-year starter for Coach Seth Tierney. This season he was an All-CAA Second Team selection after posting a career-best 28 goals and 34 points. He ranked second on the team in scoring and led the squad and the CAA in man-up goals with 10, a total that ranked second in the nation. Prior to the 2015 season, Mike was selected to the Preseason All-Colonial Athletic Association squad.
In 55 career games, Malave tallied 74 goals, 18 assists and 92 points. He also had three game-winning goals and 15 man-up tallies. He was a CAA All-Rookie pick in 2012 and earned All-CAA Tournament honors in 2014.
A native of Wading River, New York, Malave is majoring in finance.
2015 – Nuria Lopes da Silva, Volleyball & Mike Malave, Men’s Lacrosse
2014 – Alexandra Mezzanotte, Women’s Lacrosse & Chris Griebsch, Men’s Soccer
2013 – Maryann Miller, Women’s Lacrosse & Steve Bonanno, Wrestling
2012 – Candice Bellocchio, Women’s Basketball
2011 – Kayla Pifer, Women’s Soccer
2010 – Miklos Szabo, Men’s Basketball
2009 – Niki Williams, Women’s Basketball
2008 – Shellane Ogoshi, Volleyball
2007 – Lizanne Murphy, Women’s Basketball
2006 – Devale Ellis, Football
2005 – Danielle Skakandi, Women’s Lacrosse
2014-15 Outstanding Seniors
Baseball – Dalton Rouleau
Men’s Basketball – Dion Nesmith
Women’s Basketball – No seniors
Men’s Cross Country – No seniors
Women’s Cross Country – Eva Holtermann
Field Hockey – Jonel Boileau
Men’s Golf – David Mecca
Women’s Golf – Shannon Chadha
Men’s Lacrosse – Mike Malave
Women’s Lacrosse – April Iannetta
Men’s Soccer – Maid Memic
Women’s Soccer – Sam Scolarici
Softball – Erin Trippi
Men’s Tennis – Beau Wills
Women’s Tennis – Louise Lopez
Volleyball – Adama Aja
Wrestling – Cody Ruggirello