Merrimack Places Five on NE-10 Spring Academic All-Conference Teams
Links: Full League Release
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. – The Merrimack College Athletic Department saw five of its student-athletes named to the Northeast-10 Conference Spring Academic All-Conference Teams, as announced by the league Wednesday.
Four different Merrimack programs saw at least one student-athlete represented: the men’s and women’s tennis teams, the softball team and the men’s lacrosse team. The five selections join a group of 100 student-athletes conference-wide who were recognized for their outstanding achievements in the classroom and on the playing field in each of the NE-10’s spring sports.
Highlighting the Warrior quintet was the duo of softball senior Jessica Fugazzotto (Newton, Mass.) and men’s tennis junior Vince Bellino (Amesbury, Mass.), each of whom earned their second academic all-conference selection. Joining them in earning their first honors were men’s lacrosse senior Connor Whittemore (Walpole, Mass.); men’s tennis junior Miguel Belfort (Caracas, Venezuela) and women’s tennis junior Shakee Messina (Caracas, Venezuela).
A CoSIDA All-Academic and NE-10 All-Conference Second Team choice, Fugazzotto was one of the most dynamic players in the conference and finished with a team-high 25 runs and 40 hits while leading all starters with a .367 batting average. In the classroom, she was equally stellar, posting a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring while graduating with a 3.914 cumulative GPA and a degree in Psychology.
The Department’s other two-time all-academic choice, Bellino was named to the NE-10 All-Conference First Team after recording a perfect conference record of 9-0 in singles and 10-0 in doubles. He finished the year 13-9 overall in singles and was also dominant in the classroom, posting a perfect 4.0 spring GPA and owns a three-year 3.975 cumulative GPA while pursuing a degree in Accounting.
Earning his first all-academic honor from the men’s tennis team was Belfort. The Electrical Engineering major was also an NE-10 All-Conference First Team selection and finished with a perfect conference record of 9-0 in singles. In the classroom, he posted a 3.25 spring semester GPA and stands at 3.621 overall after two years on campus.
On the women’s tennis team, Messina earned her first all-academic selection as well after a dominant junior year in which she was named to the NE-10 All-Conference First Team. Finishing the year with a perfect 12-0 record in singles and an 11-1 doubles mark in conference play, Messina posted a 3.675 spring semester GPA and owns a cumulative 3.508 GPA heading into her senior year as a Business major.
Finally, Whittemore represented the men’s lacrosse team on the all-academic list and deservedly so after being named an NEILA All-New England First Team and All-Academic Team selection. In 15 games, the Business major finished with six ground balls and caused three turnovers. He wrapped up his career at Merrimack with a 3.425 spring GPA and an overall mark of 3.519.
To be eligible for selection to the Northeast-10 Academic All-Conference Teams, a student-athlete must have met or exceeded the following minimum requirements: 1) participated in at least half of the team's competitions and been either a starter or significant contributor; 2) achieved a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale); and 3) completed at least one academic year at his/her current institution.
College NE-10 Spring Academic All-Conference
Connor Whittemore – Men’s Lacrosse
Jessica Fugazzotto – Softball *
Miguel Belfort – Men’s Tennis
Vince Bellino – Men’s Tennis *
Shakee Messina – Women’s Tennis
* = two-time academic all-conference choice