By Amanda Allie

A record nine Madonna sports teams were honored by the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes earning Scholar Team honors for 2011-2012. Madonna fields 11 teams and the previous mark of eight teams honored occurred in 2009-10.

The nine teams that earned honors are men’s cross country, basketball and golf, and women’s golf, cross country, soccer, basketball, softball and volleyball.

For consideration, teams must have a minimum 3.0 grade-point average. All eleven teams averaged a 3.17 GPA, making it the 10th year in a row Madonna athletes have carried a combined 3.0 average or higher.

Women’s golf took the lead with a 3.5 GPA, with women’s basketball trailing closely behind with a 3.48 GPA.

“I am pleased with the high level our student-athletes continue to achieve in the classroom,” commented athletics director Bryan Rizzo. “The importance of academics that our coaches have stressed to the student-athletes speaks volumes to the sustained success we have had. To have nine of our 11 teams on this prestigious list and two others just outside of it is outstanding. This is a well deserved honor for our teams and they should be proud of their accomplishment.”

In addition, four student athletes were named to the prestigious Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-American teams: golfer Michelle Hall, soccer player Diana Brda, and baseball’s Steve Pelletier took second-team selections while volleyball’s Karie Altman became Madonna first ever First Team Academic All-American.

Head Coach Scott Marzolino was proud of his women’s golf team for coming first academically, and stressed the athletic dedication the ladies put forward while focusing on the books.

“This team started in the gym in the early mornings of August getting prepared for a season that spans over nine months.  They started off on a very high note winning our event at Treetops and setting a team scoring record. They continued with the momentum to win the WHAC regular season and then capped off the season with a victory at the conference playoff,” he said.

This year was especially special for women’s golf because they won the WHAC conference playoff, attended the national tournament, and captured the regular season title in between. 

Next year, the team won’t be losing any of its key players, but the Fall 2012 roster will see two new players: Jordyn Shepler and Holly Laginess. Both women were recognized with All-State honors in Fall 2011.


9 teams earn academic honors