April 28, 2009
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - The Siena women's basketball team held its annual awards banquet at the Century House in Colonie Sunday afternoon. The voice of Siena women's basketball, Mike Demos, served as master of ceremonies and the team recognized the efforts of its student-athletes and coaches.
The team was joined by support staff and administrators as well as fans and donors. Associate campus minister Fr. Kevin Daly gave the invocation.
The evening's first award, the Joe Hogan award for desire, dedication and positive attitude, named after the former head coach was presented to junior guard Merrick Volpe. Volpe was a team leader and started her final 17 games of the season. She averaged 5.8 points, 2.8 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. Volpe raised her game in the month of February, averaging 8.9 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists per game.
The Vicki Aromando Academic Excellence award went to junior forward Sarah Fullmer. A history major, she has a 3.58 cumulative GPA and is a two-time MAAC All-Academic Team member. Fullmer was one of the most productive players in the league, shooting 47.5% (5th MAAC) from the field and showed the ability to step out and hit the 3, ranking second on the team (34.7%). She averaged 7.4 points, 5.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks (2nd MAAC) per game.
Most Improved Player went to sophomore forward Serena Moore. Moore increased her point production from 1.9 last year to 7.8 ppg this year. Her rebounding almost doubled from 2.5 to 4.5 rpg.
The Val Higgins Leadership award was presented by head coach Gina Castelli and the award's namesake Val Higgins-O'Dell to senior forward Jess Edmonds. Edmonds missed her entire senior season due to injury, but stayed with the team and supported them from the bench. Edmonds played in 41 games during her career.
The Defensive Player award was presented by former MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and current assistant coach Jolene Johnston to sophomore forward Cathy Cockrum. Cockrum earned her first career start at Niagara on December 7 and never left the lineup. She constantly hit the boards and dove on the floor to get loose balls. Cockrum averaged 3.0 points, 2.9 rebounds, and 1.5 steals per game.
Most Valuable Player was awarded to Heather Stec who led the team in points (13.9) and rebounds (8.4). She had eight double-doubles this season and ranked in the top-10 in the league for points (7th-13.9), rebounds (3rd-8.4), and field goal percentage (2nd-50%). Stec earned Second Team All-MAAC and All-Academic Team honors this season.