Student-Athletes Honored at 54th Annual SNHU Athletic Awards Ceremony

2019 senior banquet winners holding trophies.


BEDFORD, N.H. – Graduate student Tiago Fernandes (Porto, Portugal) and senior Kylie Lorenzen (Holliston, Mass.) received male and female Athlete of the Year honors, respectively, to highlight nine major awards that were handed out Monday night, as the Southern New Hampshire University Department of Athletics & Recreation celebrated the 2018-19 season and recognized its seniors at the 54th Annual Athletic Awards Ceremony, which was held at the Manchester Country Club.

The Athlete of the Year award, given to a student-athlete whose outstanding play brought about both regional and national recognition for that player and for Southern New Hampshire University, was handed out by SNHU President and CEO Paul Leblanc.

Fernandes is 18-3 so far this year in singles play, including 8-0 in conference at the top flight. Ranked as high as 39th in the national as a singles competitor, the five-time Northeast-10 Player of the Week advanced all the way to the finals of the singles bracket of the ITA East Regional Championships in the fall. Fernandes, the reigning two-time NE10 Player of the Year, is now a perfect 44-0 all-time against conference opponents, having lost just five of the 91 sets he has played. 

Fernandes broke the program's single-season mark for singles victories last season and its all-time singles wins record this season.

Lorenzen, a three-time NE10 Player of the Week selection this season, averaged 18.8 points, 9.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 2.0 steals per contest, while shooting 49.3 percent from the floor and 82.6 percent from the stripe. For the second straight season, she earned Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America Honorable Mention, Division II Conference Commissioners Association (D2CCA) All-East Region Second Team and Northeast-10 All-Conference First Team accolades.

Lorenzen, who started all 29 games, ranked third in the league in scoring and field goals made (210), fourth in free throws made (119), fifth in rebounding, sixth in steals, eighth in free throw percentage and 13th in field goal percentage. In the East Region, she placed third in scoring and field goals made, sixth in rebounding and ninth in free throws made, as well as inside the top 20 in free throw percentage and steals. Nationally, she placed 25th in field goals made, 29th in scoring, 37th in double-doubles, 40th in rebounding, 62nd in free throw percentage, 63rd in free throws made and 78th in field goal percentage. 

Lorenzen registered 12 double-doubles during the year and reached double figures in scoring on all but two occasions. She scored 20 or more points 14 times, including a career-best 31 in a 59-55 win at Merrimack College on Nov. 20. 

In SNHU's single-season record book, Lorenzen's 283 rebounds are tied for first, while her 545 points and 210 field goals rank second, and her 119 free throws place her fourth.

Lorenzen became the program's all-time leading scorer in a Feb. 16 win versus Merrimack and then its all-time leading rebounder Feb. 26 against Assumption College. She wrapped up her career first all-time in the program's record book in scoring (1,798), rebounding (932), field goals made (654), free throws made (462) and free throws attempted (575), as well as third in games played (113) and 10th in steals (173). 

Doug Blais, Faculty Athletics Representative and a professor of sport management at SNHU, presented the Scholar-Athlete of the Year awards, which are given to a student-athlete, who has attained excellence in the classroom and on the playing field. The winner must be a starter or an important reserve and must have completed at least one academic year at Southern New Hampshire University.

Jake Walkinshaw (Seymour, Conn.), a grad student on the baseball team, was chosen as the male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. Walkinshaw, a sport management major, closed his undergraduate career with a 3.88 grade-point average, and now owns a perfect 4.0 GPA in grad school. Walkinshaw is 5-0 with a 2.12 earned-run average in nine starts this season. Walkinshaw has struck out 72 and walked just 19, while allowing 48 hits in 63-and-two-thirds innings. Already a four-time NE10 Pitcher of the Week this season, Walkinshaw ranks second in the league in innings pitched, third in strikeouts, fifth in wins and ninth in ERA.

Ashley Elder (Bristol, Conn.), a senior thrower for women's track & field, was the female recipient of the Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Elder, a psychology major, won the shot put seven times during the indoor season, before becoming the first athlete in program history to qualify for the NCAA Indoor National Championships. Elder captured the shot put title at the NE10 Championships and set new school records in both the shot put and weight throw. So far in the outdoor season, she is 3-for-3 in winning the weight throw, in addition to claiming three victories in the hammer and two more in the shot put.

The Penmen Pride Award, given by University College President Patricia Lynott, is presented to a senior student-athlete, who represents what it means to be an SNHU student-athlete, displaying excellence in all phases of the student-athlete experience.

Men's golf senior Matt Paradis (Hooksett, N.H.) earned the male Penmen Pride Award. Paradis, the two-time reigning Northeast-10 Individual Champion, leads the team with an average of 71.7 strokes per round this season. The four-time NE10 Player of the Week has won four events this year, finished in the top five on six occasions and placed in the top 10 in eight of nine tournaments. Paradis captured Northeast-10 Individual medalist honors for the second straight season in the fall, becoming the first back-to-back NE10 Champion since 2012-13. He became just the fifth golfer in the history of the tournament to shoot a 66, en route to setting a new NE10 Championship mark with an 8-under par.

Senior Erin Garczynski (Norwood, Mass.) was tabbed the female Penmen Pride Award winner. The softball catcher is batting .417 with six home runs, 32 RBI and 29 runs scored, while getting on base at a .470 clip and slugging .689. Garczynski put together a 13-game hitting streak earlier in the season and has hit safely in 33 of 44 games, thus far. She leads the conference in batting average, hits and doubles, while ranking second in home runs, slugging percentage and total bases, as well as third in RBI and on-base percentage, and sixth in runs. Garczynski has been named the NE10 Player of the Week twice this season.

Vice President of Student Affairs Heather Lorenz bestowed the Unsung Hero Award upon the recipients. The Unsung Hero Award goes to a senior student-athlete, who made major contributions to the success of the team with a relentless work-ethic and pride in team success.

Senior Anthony Gandolfi (Nutley, N.J.), the male Unsung Hero Award winner, collected a pair of assists, while anchoring the NE10 Champion men's ice hockey team at the blue line, as a true defensive defenseman. Gandolfi was truly unsung, leading the NE10 in plus/minus rating, while playing against the opposing team's top line and best player.

The female Unsung Hero Award went to senior Miranda Peloquin (Greenville, R.I.), a midfielder on the women's soccer team. Peloquin registered 10 points on four goals and two assists, starting 11 of the 18 games she suited up in, while battling a season-long injury. Despite that, she tied for fourth on the team in goals from her midfield position and changed the game in ways that don't show up on the stat sheet.

John Peters was also selected as the winner of the seventh annual Jim Atherton Award, presented by Associate Director of Athletics Tom Wilkins. The award was created in memory of Jim Atherton '13, a student worker in the athletic department for two years, who passed away following a battle with Ewing's sarcoma in March 2013. The award is given annually to an outstanding student worker in the SNHU athletic department. Peters is a student-supervisor in the marketing department.

Anthony Fallacaro, Director of Athletics & Recreation, opened the night with his welcome, while Wilkins served as the Master of Ceremonies. Dinner followed both the year-in-review highlight video, created by Coordinator of Athletic Communications Geoff Lopes, and the invocation, which was delivered by Fr. Bruce Collard, Director of Campus Ministry. 

After dinner, senior gifts were presented by the head coaches of each team, who were invited up on stage by Director of Athletic Communications Eric Coplin after being addressed by Executive Director of Alumni Engagement Kristi Durette.

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