CENTER VALLEY, Pa. --- Moravian College seniors Mary Kate Duncan and Josie Novak were recognized as Moravian's Co-Outstanding Athlete as well as the Outstanding Athlete in their respective sports along with senior Grace Bailly at the annual Lehigh Valley Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women annual awards luncheon at DeSales University on Wednesday.
The LVAIAW is made up of seven schools, Cedar Crest College, DeSales University, Lafayette College, Lehigh University, Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, Moravian and Muhlenberg College. For more information on the LVAIAW, visit www.lvaiaw.org.
Bailly was recognized as the LVAIAW Outstanding Athlete for women's tennis after helping the Greyhounds to an 11-3 record this season including a 6-1 mark in Landmark Conference action to earn the second seed in the Landmark Conference Tournament. The Hounds dropped a hard-fought, 5-4 decision to third seed Catholic University of America in the Semifinals at Hoffman Courts on Tuesday. Bailly had a 5-5 mark in singles action for the Greyhounds this season including a 5-4 mark in the sixth spot while serving as a team captain in her final year with the program.
"Grace has made profound contributions to the women's tennis program both on and off the court," said Assistant Coach Mariana Freitas. "As the captain of the tennis team, Grace displays sportsmanship at all times and understands the importance of leading by example. Last year, she clinched the match and gave our team the victory point on two different occasions against conference opponents. This is a terrific honor for Grace to be recognized for her hard work and dedication amongst other excellent players in the Lehigh Valley.
Duncan was honored as the LVAIAW Outstanding Athlete for women's field. Duncan won the 2017 NCAA Division III National Championship in the javelin, and she also earned All-America honors in 2016 with a fourth place finish. Duncan is a two-time United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Mideast Region honoree and has been the Landmark Conference runner-up in each of three trips to the conference championship. Duncan, who was the ECAC Division III Champion in 2016 and 2017, is currently third in the nation as she looks to defend her NCAA title later this month in Wisconsin. Last year, she was sixth heading into the meet before winning the championship. Duncan will first head to the 2018 Landmark Conference Championships being hosted by Elizabethtown College on May 5-6 as the Greyhounds search for their 11th consecutive conference title.
"Mary Kate has been a phenomenal representative of our program," commented Head Coach Jesse Baumann. "She has an intense competitive streak, but is still extremely humble, respectful, gracious, and an incredible worker. It's cliché, but she really is everything you want in a student-athlete. She's obviously had a tremendous amount of success here with two All-American awards, including an NCAA title, but she's achieved it the right way. We've been extremely blessed to have Mary Kate as a part of our program the last four years and there will certainly be a large hole without her here next fall."
Novak was selected as the LVAIAW Outstanding Athlete for softball while helping the No. 11 Greyhounds to a 29-5 mark in the regular season and an 11-1 record in Landmark Conference action to earn the top seed and right to host the 2018 Landmark Conference Tournament this weekend at Blue & Grey Field in Bethlehem. Novak was named to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-America Second Team in 2017. She is a three-time NFCA All-Atlantic Region honoree, making the First Team in 2017, the Second Team in 2016 and the Third Team in 2015. Novak is a two-time Landmark Conference Pitcher of the Year and was the conference's Rookie of the Year in 2015. She has made the Landmark All-Conference First Team three times, and was a three-time ECAC All-Star and two-time ECAC Pitcher of the Year. Novak is currently second in school history with 589 strikeouts, second in winning percentage at .826 (71-15), second in shutouts with 29, third in innings pitched at 558.2, third in wins with 71, fourth in saves with three and seventh in ERA at 1.47.
"Josie has had another outstanding year as a senior this year to conclude one of the best careers in school history in the circle," noted Head Coach John Byrne. "Josie will finish her career as one of the top two or three pitchers in most categories in the record books, and after being a second team All-American last spring, she has continued to help lead our program to the postseason again. Josie is part of a senior class that is 140-25 in their careers, and the group of six will look to add to that this weekend."