BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- Moravian College honored its 2018 senior student-athletes at the annual Senior Athletics Awards Banquet Wednesday night in Johnston Hall. Javelin national champion Mary Kate Duncan and softball standout Josie Novak were named the Co-Outstanding Senior Female Athletes while golfer Tyler Smith was honored with the Outstanding Senior Male Athlete award. The Blue & Grey Scholar Athlete awards were presented to women's soccer student-athlete Lauren Bertucci and baseball player Nicholas Mazzella. The H.T.D. Gillespie Award for outstanding service to Moravian's athletics program was presented to Ed Little.
Duncan is the defending NCAA Division III National Champion in the javelin and is currently ranked third in the nation in the event. She is a two-time All-American with a fourth place finish in 2016 to go with her title last spring. She will compete at the NCAA Championships for the fourth time in her career later in May. Duncan won the 2018 Landmark Conference Champion in the event after being the Landmark Conference runner-up in 2016 and 2017. She was a two-time ECAC Division III Champion, and Duncan will earn her third United States Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Mideast Region honor in the event this month. Duncan's career-best throw of 46.26 meters (151-9) that won the national title ranks tenth in school history with the top nine distances belonging to two-time national champion and two-time Olympian Christina Scherwin '05. This spring, Duncan was selected as the 2018 Lehigh Valley Association of Intercollegiate Athletics for Women Most Outstanding in Field as well as Moravian's Co-Most Outstanding. Duncan has also excelled in the classroom with a 3.82 GPA while majoring in Public Health. She has been on the Dean's List every semester, and was a member of Moravian's inaugural Chi Alpha Sigma National Athlete Honor Society induction class in April. Duncan was also named to the 2017 CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Division III Academic All-America Second Team, and is a three-time member of the Landmark Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll.
"I've said many times that Mary Kate is the perfect student-athlete," Head Coach Jesse Baumann said. "She's a strong student and will be pursuing her Masters out at Pitt this fall. She volunteers her time in the community, she's humble, respectful, extremely hard working, disciplined, and a great athlete. Just as important, she's a "gamer" and has always done her best on the big stage. At NCAAs her sophomore year, she had a huge throw in finals to catapult her into 4th place. She won NCAAs last year on her 5th throw after the competition was leap frogging her and turning up the pressure on her. She's gone up against D1 athletes at Penn Relays and it didn't startle her at all. We've been extremely fortunate to have her as a part of our program the past four years. She's all you could ask for in a representative of the college and our program and will be remembered as one of the best student-athletes in the history of our track & field program here."
Novak, has been a standout pitcher on the Greyhound softball team for four years. She was named to the 2017 National Fastpitch Coaches Association Division III All-America Second Team, and has been a three-time NFCA All-Atlantic Region honoree with a First Team selection in 2017 and Third Team honors in 2015 & 2016. Novak has been the Landmark Conference Pitcher of the Year the last three seasons after being the Rookie of the Year in 2015. She has also been selected to the Landmark All-Conference First Team all four years. Novak is a three-time ECAC Division III All-Star, twice in the South and once in the Metro, and she was the Metro Pitcher of the Year in 2017, the South Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and the South Co-Rookie of the Year in 2015. Entering the NCAA Division III Regional at The College of New Jersey on Friday, Novak is second in school history with 605 strikeouts, second all-time with 31 shutouts, second in program history with an .830 winning percentage (73-15), third all-time in wins with 73, third in school history in innings pitched with 572.2, fourth all-time with three saves, fifth in program history with a 1.43 ERA and has one no-hitter. Off the field, Novak has a 3.33 GPA double majoring in mathematics and accounting. She is a four-time member of the Dean's List and has been selected to the Landmark Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll three times.
"Josie has had an outstanding career, which you can see by her being an All-American last spring and finishing in the top five in almost every pitching category in our record book," noted Head Coach John Byrne. "Josie has been a true student-athlete throughout her career and has helped us to three Landmark Conference Championships and three berths into the NCAA Championships. We're definitely going to miss her but we have some unfinished business with games still to be played this week in the NCAA Regional."
Smith was a three-time member of the Empire 8 All-Conference Team before the Greyhounds began playing in the Landmark Conference. He earned a spot on the First Team in 2017 and was on the Second Team in both 2016 and 2015, when he was also honored as the Empire 8 Conference Rookie of the Year. Smith finished his career fifth in school history with a career scoring average of 76.82 strokes per round over 54 career rounds. He had one sub-70 round during his career with a 69 at the Franklin & Marshall College Fall Invitational in October 2016. Smith was also an outstanding student off the course with a 3.94 GPA while majoring in accounting and minoring in business management. He was a six-time selection to the Empire 8 Conference President's List and was named to the Landmark Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll in 2018. Smith has been on the Dean's List every semester, and was a member of Moravian's inaugural Chi Alpha Sigma National Athlete Honor Society induction class in April.
"Tyler has been a big part of our program the last four years and has earned a number of awards throughout his career but to be honored as the Senior Male Athlete is a great honor for him and well deserving," commented Head Coach Kevin Edwards. "He was one of the hardest workers I have coached and was a great leader and captain."
Bertucci, a defender on the women's soccer squad, has a 3.99 GPA while majoring in business management and minoring in both Spanish and education. She has been on the Dean's List every semester, and was a member of Moravian's inaugural Chi Alpha Sigma National Athlete Honor Society induction class in April. Bertucci was named to the CoSIDA Division III Academic All-America Second Team last fall while also being selected as the Landmark Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete. She is a three-time Landmark Conference Fall Academic Honor Roll selection, and has served as both secretary and treasurer for Moravian's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. On the pitch, Bertucci was honored as the 2017 Landmark Conference Defensive Player of the Year and named to the United Soccer Coaches All-Mid-Atlantic Region Second Team after helping the Greyhounds to a 9-6-1 record and just six goals allowed this past fall. The Hounds allowed just six goals this fall, the fewest in program history, with six 1-0 losses including two in overtime. Bertucci was also selected to the Landmark All-Conference Team for the fourth straight season and her second consecutive spot on the First Team after being on the Second Team as a freshman and sophomore. In 2017, Bertucci netted one goal that was a game-winner, and she finished her four seasons at Moravian with three goals and an assist for seven points in 63 career matches including a pair of game-winning goals.
"Our coaching staff and program are extremely proud of Lauren for winning this award," noted Head Coach Jeff Ykoruk. "Her hard work and dedication in the classroom are second to none. She is the true meaning of a student-athlete and has represented not only the athletes well here at Moravian well, but the entire Division III community."
Mazzella, a pitcher on the baseball squad, has posted a 3.69 GPA in his career while majoring in both physics and mathematics. He has been on the Dean's List every semester, and was a member of Moravian's inaugural Chi Alpha Sigma National Athlete Honor Society induction class in April. Mazzella is a three-time member of the Landmark Conference Spring Academic Honor Roll. On the field, Mazzella has made 48 appearances including 20 as a starting pitcher, and has a 12-10 career record with a pair of complete games. Mazzella has tossed 150.2 career innings with 97 strikeouts for the Greyhounds.
"Nick has been an ideal student athlete, and his efforts on the field are only met by his efforts in the classroom," stated Head Coach Paul Engelhardt. "His care for his academics, with a clear goal in mind for his future, made him the best choice as our scholar athlete of the year. Nick is a great combination of achieving in the classroom and on the field. He has been a four-year starter for us as a pitcher, and has earned many career top 10 finishes. His accomplishments on the field are worthy of praise alone. But it is his academic achievements that set him apart. We have had many outstanding student athletes. Nick is one of the best. His dual major in science and math made for a strenuous schedule and workload. Nick was not only able to maintain those class requirements, but he excelled. Nick is one of the best students that Moravian has to offer the community. He will represent this College well moving forward. It has been an honor having Nick as a student-athlete. I look forward to following his success throughout his lifetime."
Little retired from Moravian in 2009 after 41 years as a physical education professor and with the athletic department including 24 seasons as head baseball coach. Since his retirement, Little has continued to be part of the Moravian community, serving as the shot clock operator for the men's and women's basketball teams each winter and as a member of the Blue & Grey Club. Little, who came to Moravian in 1968, was just the fourth coach in the history of the program. He led the 1990 squad to an MAC championship and his 1992 and 1986 teams won the MAC Southern Division title; each won 18 games, a school record tied by the 1996 team and broken in 1997. The 2003 & 2004 teams reached the Commonwealth Conference Tournament with the 2004 squad playing in the championship round. In his 24 years at the helm of the Moravian program, the Hounds recorded 327 wins, the second highest victory total in the history of Moravian baseball. Little was also a member of the football and basketball coaching staffs.