Following tremendous campaigns on and off the playing field, three St. John’s teams have been awarded the BIG EAST Team Academic Excellence Award, given to the squads with the highest grade-point average (GPA) in the conference for their respective sports.
The University’s baseball, women’s soccer, and volleyball teams were each presented with the honor for the academic achievements of their student-athletes during the 2017–18 season.
St. John’s University was one of only four schools to garner three or more certificates, joining Georgetown University, DePaul University, and Creighton University with the most awards.
For the third consecutive season—and fourth overall under Head Coach Ian Stone—the women’s soccer team was honored by the league with the prestigious award. Their 3.73 GPA ranks as the highest across all sports in the conference during the 2017–18 academic season.
Four individual women’s soccer players were also honored for their play on the field. Junior and Communication Arts major Christina Bellero, joined recent graduates Allie Moar ’18CPS, and Jesse Schaefer ’18TCB on the All-BIG EAST Second Team. Maia Cabrera, also a Communication Arts major, earned a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team.
In addition to academic success, Head Coach Ed Blankmeyer led his team to its 37th NCAA Tournament appearance, tied with the University of Southern California and the University of Oklahoma for the eighth most among all Division I programs. The Red Storm also won its ninth BIG EAST Regular Season and ninth BIG EAST Tournament title, both of which are league records.
Since the establishment of the St. John’s volleyball program in 1994, the Red Storm players have recorded a GPA of 3.0 or above in 13 seasons—the most in the BIG EAST over that span. Led on the court by Head Coach Joanne Persico, junior and Childhood Education major Erica Di Maulo became only the fifth Red Storm volleyball player to be named to the All-BIG EAST First Team. Julia Cast ’18CPS, a recent graduate, also earned accolades when she was named Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Offensive Player of the Year.
In addition to the team awards, the BIG EAST conference also announced that 194 St. John’s student-athletes have been selected to its 2017–18 All-Academic Team. Every St. John’s program that competes in the BIG EAST was also honored with at least one selection.
Nominations for the All-Academic Team are submitted by each of the BIG EAST’s 10 member and nine affiliate institutions. To be eligible for the honor, a nominee must have competed in a BIG EAST-sponsored sport, attained a minimum GPA 3.00 for the preceding academic year, and completed a minimum of two consecutive semesters or three consecutive quarters of academic work, with a total of 18 semester or 27 quarter credits.
The St. John’s track and field program placed the most names on the All-Academic Team with 34. The baseball and lacrosse teams both recorded 28 names to finish second. Both the volleyball and men’s tennis programs earned the distinction of having all of its student-athletes named to the All-Academic Team.