MANSFIELD, Mass. – Senior Tiago Fernandes (Porto, Portugal) of the Southern New Hampshire University men's tennis team captured Northeast-10 Sport Excellence Award honors and was also one of six Penmen to receive NE10 Academic All-Conference recognition, as the conference office announced its spring academic honors Wednesday.
Fernandes, who was selected to both the Google Cloud Academic All-America and All-District Men's At-Large Team, is a business administration major with a 3.96 GPA and was one of six members of the NE10 Men's Tennis Academic All-Conference Team, in addition to being its Sport Excellence Award winner. Fernandes, the Northeast-10 Player of the Year for the second straight season, as well as an NE10 All-Conference First Team selection at No. 1 singles and Second Team pick at No. 3 doubles, guided the Penmen to a 16-7 mark, their third straight NE10 Regular-Season and Championship titles, a third consecutive NCAA Tournament berth, and the program's first NCAA postseason win. Fernandes, who was also crowned the NE10 Championship's Most Outstanding Player for the second straight year, finished 24-6 in singles play out of the top flight, setting a new program mark for victories in a season, while finishing the campaign by winning 13-in-a-row. The five-time NE10 Player of the Week was also 17-10 in doubles action, having his 12-match win streak snapped in the final loss of the year.
Junior Anna Sala (Matadepera, Spain) was one of seven student-athletes to earn the honor from women's tennis. Sala, a graphic design major with a 3.92 GPA, was a two-time NE10 Player of the Week, an NE10 Second Team choice at No. 1 singles and a First Team honoree at No. 1 doubles. Sala was 16-4, overall, at singles, while also producing a 17-3 doubles mark, going 11-1 in the league in both.
Sophomore Maddy Barone (Halifax, Mass.), a mathematics major with a 3.89 GPA, was one of 13 softball players to receive the recognition. Barone was a Google Cloud Academic All-District Team selection, following a season in which she earned NE10 Third Team accolades. The right-handed hurler was dominant in the circle for SNHU and ranked in the top 10 in every pitching metric in the NE10. She ranked second in the league in shutouts (10), fourth in wins (18), ERA (1.68) and innings pitched (171.0), fifth in strikeouts (145) and appearances (33), sixth in batting average against (.218), and seventh in both strikeouts per game (5.94) and complete games (17).
Baseball matched Merrimack College by placing a league-best three players – senior Caleb Potter (Mentor Ohio), redshirt-junior Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.) and redshirt-sophomore Joshua Goldstein (Haverhill, Mass.) – on the 15-member baseball team.
Potter, a sport management major with a 3.66 GPA, was a National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) East Region Honorable Mention and NE10 Second Team honoree. In 55 games, Potter hit .301 (63-209) with 25 extra-base hits, including 11 home runs, 40 RBI and 44 runs scored, while slashing .391/.541/.938. He ranked second in the NE10 in home runs, third in extra-base hits, fifth in total bases (93), sixth in slugging percentage, ninth in runs and 10th in RBI. Potter fell just one home run shy of matching the single-season program record.
An MBA candidate with a perfect 4.0 GPA, Walkinshaw bounced back this season to earn NE10 Second Team honors. After missing the first 19 games of the campaign following last year's season-ending injury, Walkinshaw went 6-1 with three saves and a 1.64 ERA in nine 13, including four starts, striking out 36 batters over 38-and-a-third innings. Despite missing the first third of the season, Walkinshaw ranked eighth in the league in wins, 10th in saves and 17th in batting average against (.174).
Goldstein, who owns a 3.75 GPA as a business management major, was a pleasant surprise at second base for the Penmen this season, as he earned NE10 Third Team accolades. Though he made just four errors in 47 games for a .972 fielding percentage, it is with the bat, however, where Goldstein really opened some eyes, as he hit .354 (46-130) with 18 RBI, 36 runs scored and 13 extra-base hits, while producing a slash line of .488/.469/.957. Goldstein led the league after getting hit 17 times and also ranked first in OBP, fifth in batting and eighth in sacrifices.
To be eligible for selection to the NE10 Academic All-Conference teams, a student-athlete must have met or exceeded the following minimum requirements: 1) participated in at least half of the team's competitions and been either a starter or significant contributor; and 2) achieved a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale).
The NE10 is an association of 15 diverse institutions serving student-athletes across 24 NCAA Division II sports. Together we build brilliant futures by embracing the journey of every student-athlete.
Each year, 4,500 student-athletes compete in conference championships, making the NE10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the NE10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.
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