Worcester, MA-- The WPI athletic department recently honored all of its 20 varsity teams which encompasses nearly 600 student-athletes at its annual awards banquet. During the festivities, twelve student-athletes were presented with major awards. These accolades highlight some of the best varsity student-athletes at WPI who excel both in the classroom and in their respective sports.
The night was highlighted by two top award winners; Alex Venditti who captured the Melvin G. Massucco Award and Emily Doherty who brought home the Varsity Club Award. The night also included the honorees of the Ray Cherenzia Award which highlights each teams "unsung hero".
At the conclusion of the evening it was that WPI had captured the 2016 Worcester Cup. Presented by the Worcester Telegram and Gazette, the Cup is awarded to the Worcester-area school with the highest overall winning percentage during the academic year, which was an eye-popping .700 at the time. The 2015-2016 Cup marked the eighth straight win for the Engineers and 11th victory for WPI in the last 12 years.
Frank C. Harrington 1898 Award – Harry Nyce
Presented to a distinguished contributor to WPI Athletics over a significant period of time
Harry is a great supporter of WPI Crew. He has rowed, coached, and supported the team financially and by volunteering his time for forty years. He has also been an important part of Collegiate and US Rowing in a broader sense by developing and running timing systems for regattas around the country including The Head of The Charles and The IRA. And, Harry is a good friend.
The John P. Coghlin Award – Matt Carpenter (West Grove, PA) - Football
Presented to a team manager who is eligible for a varsity letter and has carried out invaluable service for his/her team
Matt has been an invaluable member of the football program over the past four years. Injuries each year kept him off the field throughout his career. After another season ending injury in the summer of 2015 he, unfortunately, had to hang up the cleats and instead became team manager. Matt coordinated all filming of each practice and game, daily from August until November. He also inputted all film and information into the football editing system. Matt's dedication and love for WPI Football are amazing as he found a way to be an integral part of the team despite being unable to compete. In addition, Matt guides recruits and families around campus to help the coaching staff on recruiting weekends. Matt is graduated with a degree in chemical engineering and will attend graduate school here on Boynton Hill.
The Charles R. McNulty Award – Jack Bauer - (Cumberland, RI) - Men's Swimming and Diving
Presented to the outstanding male athlete in the freshman class
Jack, the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, qualified for the NCAA Championships as a member of the 800-yard freestyle relay and in the 100-yard butterfly. He also achieved B cuts in the 50-yard freestyle and 100-yard backstroke. Jack made his mark at the conference meet as a member of the winning 200-yard freestyle relay and 200-yard medley relay and the runner up 400-yard medley relay and 400-yard freestyle relay. In addition to setting records in both medley relays, Jack took down the 100-yard butterfly, 50-yard and 100-yard backstroke records in his season finale at MIT. Oddly enough, his 49.05 in the 100-yard butterfly prelims unseated WPI Hall of Fame member Joel Rousseau to become the first freshman to eventually earn a bid to the national meet since Rousseau in 2004.
The Coaches Award – Casey Hunt (Granby, CT) - Volleyball
Presented to the outstanding female athlete in the freshman class
Casey, the program's first All-NEWMAC honoree, logged a dozen double-doubles and led the Crimson and Gray with 251 kills while ranking fifth amongst conference opponents with 2.92 per set overall. The rookie was also second on the team in digs with 299 on the year and 3.48 per set. Hunt registered 143 of her digs in the 10 conference matches to rank ninth in league play. In addition to a career-high 19 kills in the conference meeting with Clark, Casey logged a career-best 22 digs against Smith and a key win over then-previously unbeaten St. Joseph's (ME).
The Leo S. Jansson Award – Warren Staver (Centreville, MD) – Men's Track and Field
Presented to the sophomore male athlete who best exemplifies the high standards expressed in "The WPI Athlete". The WPI Athlete is someone who, through hard work and positive attitude, achieves success above and beyond ability wile representing the University with distinction.
Warren, a USTFCCCA Division III Indoor Track & Field All-New England honoree for finishing the season in the top five in the 400-meter dash, logged his award-winning time at the Scarlet and White Invitational with a school-record 48.60. The sophomore also put his name on the wall with program-best times of 1:04.64 in the 500-meter and 1:21.38 in the 600-meter. Warren took home All-ECAC honors for a third-place finish in the 400 and All-New England (DIII) accolades for a runner up finish in the 600. He continued his record-breaking ways in the outdoor season with a winning-time of 48.89 in the 400 at Springfield. The sophomore racked up eight indoor victories, including the 400 at Bowdoin, the 600 at Springfield, the 800 at Smith to go along with 4x400-meter relay triumphs at Bowdoin, Smith and Wheaton, and the 4x800-meter relay at Springfield. The All-NEWMAC second teamer was the runner up in the 400 and 4x400 and later took second, and All-New England accolades, in the 400 at the New England DIII Championships.
The Carolyn McCabe Award – Ama Biney - (Worcester, MA) – Women's Basketball and Softball
Presented to the sophomore female athlete who best exemplifies the high standards expressed in"The WPI Athlete". The WPI Athlete is someone who, through hard work and positive attitude, achieves success above and beyond ability wile representing the University with distinction.
Ama performed on the court, on the field and in the classroom as evidenced by an Academic All-America nod in the sport of softball to go with a pair of CoSIDA Academic All-District honors. She was a big reason the women's basketball team won a record 18 games in a row and the NEWMAC tournament. Ama led the team with 11.5 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and ranked third in the conference in steals with 55. The dynamic sophomore also anchored a defense that is third in the country in points allowed per game at 45.1. The two-time NEWMAC Player of the Week scored 16 points and added eight rebounds to help the Engineers knock off top-seeded Babson. This spring, Ama sported an Engineer-best .639 slugging percentage, 16 doubles, three triples and a league-best 52 runs. She also batted .388 with 57 total hits and 35 RBI while touting a perfect fielding (72-of-72) and stolen base (30-of-30) percentage and was second in doubles and stolen bases among NEWMAC student-athletes. The local product legged out the game-winning single to claim the NEWMAC crown and added to her conference trophy case after garnering first-team All-NEWMAC honors this winter for the Crimson and Gray championship women's basketball team. The reigning department freshman of the year hit .645 with two homers, four doubles and two triples en route to NEWMAC Player of the Week after joining softball about to depart for FL after playing in NCAA tournament the day before.
The Poly Club Award (Male) – Andrew Bauer (Cumberland, RI) – Men's Swimming & Diving
Presented to the top male athlete in the junior class, who has outstanding academic records along with campus involvement of a non-athletic nature.
Andrew, the NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year, won the 100- and 200-yard freestyles and was the runner up in the 50-yard freestyle at the NEWMAC Championships. He was also part of the championship 200-freestyle and 200-yard medley relays and the second-place 400-yard freestyle relay while setting a number of records in the process. An All-American in the 800-freestyle relay, Bauer set the 50-, 100- and 200-yard freestyle records, as well as the 800 free relay and 400-yard freestyle relay marks at the NCAA Division III Championships. The 2014 department freshman of the year is a member of the investment club and Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity.
The Poly Club Award (Female) – Lindsay Gurska (Revere, MA) - Softball
Presented to the top female athlete in the junior class, who has outstanding academic records along with campus involvement of a non-athletic nature.
Lindsay, the NEWMAC Player of the Year, led the Engineers with seven home runs and 45 RBI to go along with a .388 batting average, a .612 slugging percentage, 59 hits, including 18 for extra bases and 37 runs scored. Behind the dish, Lindsay touted a .997 fielding percentage (305-of-306). She hit safely in 36 of 47 games and notched more than one in 16 contests. Lindsay enjoyed a five-game multi-hit streak the second week of April and had a 4-for-4 game in the second game at Wheaton on March 26. Her RBI single in the eighth inning against Tufts ensured the Engineers a spot in the Medford Regional title round. On top of her on field play, she maintains a perfect GPA in the Biology & Biotechnology department. She also was selected as the 2016 WPI Outstanding Women Student Award recipient for the junior class, the "Bonnie-Blanche Schoonover Award". Lindsay works as an office assistant in Residential life, is a peer-learning assistant for Intro to Biotech and Cell Biology, and currently volunteers at UMass Medical Emergency Department.
The Percy Carpenter Award – Clyde Niba (Atlanta, GA) – Men's Basketball
Presented to a senior male who displays the best example of sportsmanship while a WPI athlete
Clyde, the NEWMAC's top 3-pointer shooter at 44.0 percent, led the Engineers with 15.4 points per game. The D3hoops.com All-Northeast fourth teamer also excelled on the boards, ranking second on WPI with 6.5 boards per game. Clyde finds himself in the top 10 of the conference in scoring, rebounding, 3-point percentage and blocks. He took home first team All-NEWMAC honors this season after being first team All-GNAC following the 2013-2014 season. Clyde, who played his final two seasons at WPI after transferring in from Dean and Lasell, ended his outstanding four-year collegiate career with 1,267 points. Off the court, Clyde is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers and works in the Sports & Recreation Center.
The Patricia Graham Award – Liz Pellegrini (Worcester, MA) – Women's Track and Field
Presented to a senior female who displays the best example of sportsmanship while a WPI athlete
Liz became the first WPI female runner to earn All-America honors thanks to her second place, and school-record time, in the 400-meter hurdles at the 2016 NCAA Division III Outdoor Track & Field Championships. The local product, who also boasts two 100-meter high hurdle and one 400-meter intermediate hurdle NEWMAC titles. Liz is decorated with double-digit All-New England and All-ECAC selections to go with a number of All-NEICAAA performances. She also owns the indoor 200-meter dash record and is a member of the record-setting outdoor 4x100-meter relay, indoor 4x200-meter relay and 4x400-meter relay. The senior created an app for the Milan Expo for her IQP and followed it up with studying animal palpitation model of the abdominal at Tufts Veterinary for her MQP. Liz is also a member of Alpha Xi Delta, Tau Beta Pi and Habitat for Humanity. Beyond her success in the classroom and on the track, she serves as a team captain and even organized a bus to take spectators out to cheer on the cross country teams as they competed at the NCAA Regional Championship.
The Melvin G. Massucco Award – Alex Venditti (Newton, MA) - Baseball
Presented to the male senior athlete on his achievements, contributions, character, leadership, sportsmanship, and promotion of school spirit during his years at WPI
Alex, who has earned a plethora of awards the past two seasons, including 2016 ABCA and D3baseball.com All-America accolades, led the NEWMAC with 16 home runs, 62 RBI, 122 total bases and an .853 slugging percentage while ranking second in batting average (.434) and walks (30), and third on base percentage (.538). On a national level, the NEWMAC Player of the Year, 2013 NEWMAC Rookie of the Year and two-time NEWMAC All-Conference honoree, was second in home runs, home runs per game, batting average and slugging percentage in addition to being third in RBI per game. The two-time NEWMAC Co-Player of the Week in 2016 belted a pair of home runs in a single game against Worcester State, Babson and Becker and grand slams versus Wentworth, Coast Guard and Elms. He also went yard to lift the Engineers to a 4-2 victory in their semifinal series opener with Wheaton. Alex enjoyed a 15-game hitting streak and has 18 multi-hit games to his credit this season. Defensively, he had a fielding percentage of .994 (348-of-350) and took part in 36 double plays. The career .374 hitter logged 166 hits, including 37 doubles and 30 home runs, in 444 at-bats over a span of 128 games played.
The Varsity Club Award - Emily Doherty - (Shrewsbury, MA) - Women's Soccer
Presented to the female senior athlete on her achievements, contributions, character, leadership, sportsmanship, and promotion of school spirit during her years at WPI
Emily, a CoSIDA Academic All-America third teamer, NSCAA All-America third teamer, and NSCAA Scholar All-America second teamer, also took home NEWMAC All-Conference and Academic All-Conference accolades, and NEWISA All-Region recognition in addition to a NEWISA Senior Bowl invite. She set the program record for goals (18) and points in a season (41) and ends her career ranked second in all-time with 37 goals and third with 87 points. The local product's 2015 goal and point totals also led all NEWMAC student-athletes overall while her output in league play ranked second (6) and third (15), respectively. For her career, Emily added 13 assists to go with 10 game-winners in 72 games played. The 2014 and 2015 NEWMAC All-Conference first team honoree, and 2014-15 Poly Club Award winner completed her IQP, "Getting on the Right Track: An Analysis of Human Factors to Improve Reliability and Safety in Operations at Namibia's Railway Company, TransNamib," last spring. The three-time NEWMAC All-Academic team member is also a member of the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority.
2015-16 - Ray Cherenzia '73 Award - Photo Gallery
Presented to a member of each varsity team that exemplifies the spirit of an "Unsung Hero" - who works hard every day, puts the team first over their personal goals, who does the little things without much recognition, yet are vital to their team's success in competition, in the classroom and in the community. The award recipients must represent their program and the university in a respected and dignified manner.
Baseball - John Mulready '16 (Rockland, MA)
Men's Basketball - Ian Converse '17 (Woodstock, CT)
Women's Basketball - Lisa Mendez '16 (Yonkers, NY)
Men's Cross Country - Tobin Dancy '16 (Shrewsbury, MA)
Women's Cross Country - Jessica Orr '16 (Westerly, RI)
Field Hockey - Grace Davis '16 (Sandwich, MA)
Football - Peter Salem '16 (Dracut, MA)
Men's Rowing - Kenedi Heather '18 (Taunton, MA) (coxswain)
Women's Rowing - Gabrielle O'Dell '17 (Saratoga Springs, NY)
Men's Soccer - Brien Hard '16 (New Hartford, CT)
Women's Soccer - Karina Larson '18 (Storrs, CT)
Softball - Natalie Fabrizio '18 (Hampstead, NH)
Men's Swimming and Diving - Alex Powers '16 (North Scituate, RI)
Women's Swimming and Diving - Emily Martin '17 (Penfield, NY)
Men's Track and Field - David Goodrich '17 (North Haven, CT)
Women's Track and Field - Anne Harris '16 (Hamburg, NY)
Volleyball - Kat Hurlock '18 (Burlington, CT)
Wrestling - Joe Pizzuto '16 (Liverpool, NY)