As 2017 winds down, the Alfred State athletic department would like to take a look back at the accomplishments of our student-athletes and staff on and off the playing fields during the past year. We have highlighted 12 of the top stories of the year.
Membership into New Multi-Sport Conference - In 2017, the American Collegiate Athletic Association (ACAA) was formed with Alfred State as one of the charter members. This NCAA DIII recognized conference has allowed student-athletes in soccer, cross country, volleyball, basketball, and softball to have postseason opportunities and to earn postseason athletic and academic awards.
NCAA DIII Progression - The Pioneers advanced to year four (the final year) of the NCAA DIII membership process. Full Release
New Faces within the Department - Several new faces joined the athletic department in 2017. Mike Armstrong became the baseball coach in January, Jason Doviak was hired as Director of Athletics in March, Steven Paternostro was named cross country and track & field coach in August, Kylie Bierman and Becca Straub were named assistant athletic trainers in August, Rose Stayer-Ruffner was named the western equestrian coach in August, and Rob Hirsch was named the wrestling coach in November.
- The women's basketball team won the ACAA Championship and qualified for the USCAA Championships
- The men's swimming & diving team finished 2nd at the AMCC Championships
- The women's swimming & diving team finished 3rd at the AMCC Championships
- The wrestling team finished 13th overall out of 99 teams at the NCWA Championships
- The lacrosse team won the USCAA Classic and advanced to the AMCC Showcase Finals
- The outdoor track and field team finished 20th at the ECAC Outdoor Championships
- The women's cross country team won the ACAA Championship and was 5th at the ECAC Championships
- The men's cross country team was 2nd at the ACAA Championship and was 4th at the ECAC Championships
- The women's soccer team won the ACAA Championship
- The volleyball team was 2nd at the ACAA Championship
Student-Athlete Athletic Success
- Catherine Bialecki was named USCAA DI Player of the Year
- Nick Beach was named AMCC Male Diver of the Year
- Sarah Stevens was named AMCC Female Diver of the Year
- Ian Van Valen finished 2nd overall in the 184 lb. weight class at the NCWA Championships
- Zach Curran was 2nd in the Pole Vault at the ECAC Championships
- Bryanna Godfrey was named Co-ACAA volleyball Player of the Year
- Michayla Salatel was named Co-ACAA soccer Player of the Year
- Allison Danielak was named ACAA soccer Goalkeeper of the Year
- Jocelyn Brittingham was named ACAA soccer Defensive Player of the Year
- Kiegan Brown was named ECFC Rookie of the Year
- 23 student-athletes were named to the All-ACAA teams
- Two football players were named to the All-ECFC teams
- Four student-athletes were named USCAA All-Academic
- 15 student-athletes were named to All-Independent teams
- Four student-athletes were named ECAC All-Stars
- Nine student-athletes were named to the All-AMCC teams
Student-Athlete Academic Success
- 29 student-athletes were honored by being selected to the USCAA All-Academic team
- 13 student-athletes were honored by being selected to the ACAA All-Academic team.
Student-Athletes Give Back - The tradition of Pioneer athletes giving back to the community continued in 2017. Pioneers participated in events like the Special Olympics Track Spectacular, the Pink Pride Game, Sock Toss, Adopt a Family for Christmas, VA visit, read to local school kids, and blood drives. Donations were made to the Allegany Cancer Services, Wilmot Cancer Center, the Lungevity Foundation, and the Ronald McDonald House to name a few.
Western Equestrian Becomes an Intercollegiate Sport - The western equestrian team made its intercollegiate debut this fall. The team has had success from the start and has had three athletes qualify for regional competition already this season.
Football Begins ECFC Play - The football team began play in the Eastern Collegiate Football Conference (ECFC). They took on SUNY Maritime in their first ECFC contest in late September and won their first conference game vs. Mount Ida in late October.
New Locker Rooms - The Pioneer Stadium Locker Room project was completed and the new facility started to be used by our football and soccer teams. The facility features three locker room spaces. The largest space has over 100 lockers, showers, restrooms, and a laundry room while on the other side of the building there are a pair of identical locker rooms with 30 lockers, showers, and restrooms. The space also has a athletic training room facility situated in between the locker rooms. Full Release
More Facility Updates - A concession stand was constructed and opened in the Orvis Activities Center. The Pioneer fitness center will feature new flooring and new equipment and new equipment has been ordered for the new fitness center in MacKenzie Complex.
Fundraising/Friendraising Success - The 3rd Annual Drive for the Development Fund raised more money in 2017 than the previous two events, the 2017 Day of Giving saw an increase in giving, and athletic corporate sponsors continued to have a steady impact. Individual teams also held successful crowd funding campaigns as well. Homecoming 2017 was a great success with large crowds watching Pioneer football, volleyball, cross country, swimming, wrestling, and basketball student-athletes.
Many exciting things are the horizon as 2018 begins. We look forward to celebrating more sucesses on and off the playing field.