Nov. 28, 2011
Sophomore Peter Collins of men's tennis and Lesli Akeo of volleyball have been selected as the Leo Dufort Student Athletes of the Month, representing October. The two standouts have shined both academically and athletically, and represented Siena extremely well during the fall season.
A sophomore from Delmar, N.Y., Collins emerged as the leader of Siena's men's tennis team this past fall. He won a team-best seven matches during the autumn campaign (four singles, three doubles), establishing himself as a player to watch when the season resumes in the spring. Most notably, he won his match at No. 2 singles against Big East foe Connecticut, topping opponent Jai Yoon in straight sets. Also an excellent student, Collins has excelled in the classroom, posting a 3.91 cumulative GPA as an undecided business major and being named the MAAC's male Student Athlete of the Week in late-November.
Meanwhile, Akeo shined as one of the MAAC's top liberos during a stellar junior campaign. The native of Kapolei, Hawaii, was named MAAC Co-Defensive Player of the Year after ranking third in the conference and 44th nationally with 5.41 digs per set. She surpassed 1,000 career digs in her third season in Loudonville, and is poised to shatter the program record in that category next year as a senior. Her contributions led the Saints to nine wins in their last 10 MAAC regular-season games and the #3-seed in the conference tournament. A Management major, Akeo carries a 3.64 cumulative GPA, and is a two-time MAAC All-Academic Team selection.
The Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month Award is presented nine times annually (September-May) throughout the academic year. The award recognizes exemplary achievements in both academics and athletics. The late Leo Dufort received a B.S. in marketing and management from Siena in August of 1977. His entire academic career was completed on a part-time basis beginning in the spring of 1961, as a married adult while at the same time raising five children. He passed away suddenly of a heart attack while cross country skiing in February of 1993. His wife Jeanine wanted to do something to immortalize his memory. The original plaque was donated to athletics and the department began the Leo Dufort Student-Athlete of the Month Award to help carry out his legacy. Dufort graduated from Catholic Central High School in 1954, was a Navy Veteran (USS Bennington) who worked for JL Hammett Co. at the time of his death.