The College of Staten Island honored a host of its student-athletes, coaches, and distinguished staff members with its annual Athletics Awards Banquet held at Sports & Recreation Center earlier this evening.  A total of over 80 award winners were highlighted as part of the gala, among them members of CSI’s 13 intercollegiate sports teams in 2009-10.
After greetings from Interim Athletic Director Paul Bobb, Vice-President for Student Affairs Dr. Jerald Jones-Woolfolk and CSI President Dr. Tomas D. Morales, awards were given for each sport in chronological order beginning with teams last fall, and ending with men’s baseball, which finalized its season just days ago by celebrating a CUNYAC Championship and advancing to the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Postseason Tournament.
Major awards were then presented to Female Athlete of the Year Kelly Kenny, senior on both the women’s soccer and swimming teams.  Kenny was a two-time CUNYAC champion in soccer, and elevated herself into a competitive diver for the Swimming team.  A former CUNYAC Championship MVP, the versatile Kenny played every position on the soccer pitch during her three-year playing career.  Men’s baseball ace Pat Gale was named Male Athlete of the Year.  Gale finished an impeccable junior campaign by posting an 8-2 record on the mound, earning CSI single season records for innings pitched, wins and strikouts. The junior also batted a healthy .418, was CUNYAC Player of the Year and is in the running for two All-American citations which are yet to be announced.
CSI Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors was given to soccer star and senior Adam Birnbaum.  Appearing in 58 games for the Dolphins over the past three seasons, Birnbaum sports a 3.895 GPA, majoring in Economics.  Birnbaum will return for his final season in 2011 as a graduate student at CSI. Dr. William Fritz, CSI Provost, also honored the CSI Women’s Swimming & Diving Team for posting CSI Athletics’ highest Team GPA, at 3.21.
Thomas DeWaters, senior for men’s baseball, was awarded the 5th Annual Bill Cali/John Scrivani Sportsmanship Award, named after CSI’s baseball skippers who earned similar honors from the Staten Island Advance in 2005. 
CUNY Athletic Conference representative Gregg Cohen was on hand to offer nearly 30 awards, bestowed to CSI All-Stars scattered throughout the year and the CUNYAC’s four Scholar-Athlete of the Year Honorable Mentions – Tara Meiners, Danielle McLaughlin, Ryan Hennessey, and Birnbaum.
Throughout the course of the evening, other notable awards were handed out.  A Distinguished Service award was given to Staten Island Advance sportswriter Jack Minogue, who has covered CSI sports since the school was a pre-four-year institution in 1976.
Midway through the ceremony, members of the CSI Student-Athlete Advisory Committee presented their Inspiration Award, given this year to women’s basketball star and senior Mallory Ameneiros, who battled multiple injuries to aid her team in 2009-10. The SAAC also awarded its inaugural G.L.O.V.E. Award to Head Coach Michael Mauro and the CSI Baseball Team for their model of Giving, Leading, Organizing, Volunteering, and Encouraging.
All tolled, the rousing event was a great success, according to David Pizzuto, Associate Athletic Director and principal organizer of the event each year. 
“It seems as if our banquet grows each year because the list of laurels gets greater and greater,” he said. “This is a fantastic event and a fitting close to our year. We have so much to be proud of and to give the students and award recipients their due is worth it.”
Photos of the event will be posted through a slideshow soon.  The CSI academic year will come to a close next week, when Commencement will take place on Thursday, May 27.
Award winners this year include the following:
Women’s Volleyball
MVP: Alba Basha
Coaches: Carmella Lubrano
Coaches: Danielle Ponsiglione
Women’s Tennis:
MVP: Gabriella Villarruel
Rookie: Justine Kuna
Coaches: Qing Li
Women’s Soccer
MVP: Kelly Kenny
Outstanding Player: Lauren Neglia
Sportsmanship: Ednita Lorenzo
Men’s Soccer
MVP – Lirim Begai
Rookie – Andriy Sudak
Coaches – Kenneth Zaw
Women’s Cross-Country
MVP: Lisa LaManna
Rookie: Caitlin O’Neill
Coaches: Bibi Ghafari
Men’s Cross-Country
MVP: Dean Kunjravia
Rookie: Shannon Pierre
Coaches: Matt Greger
Women’s Basketball
MVP: Kristen Panariello
Most Improved: Danielle McLaughlin
Coaches: Mallory Ameneiros
Men’s Swimming
MVP – Vladislav Romanov
Rookie – Joe Lee
Co-Coaches – Alex Griss
Co_coaches – Mohamed Hikal
Women’s Swimming
MVP – Gabriella Villarruel
Co-Rookie – April Bartlett
Co-Rookie – Priscilla Alvarez
Coaches – Tara Meiners
Men’s Basketball
MVP – Jordan Young
Rookie – Herschel Jenkins
Coaches – Dale Taranto
Matty White Leadership Award – Christian Montervino
Women’s Softball
Offensive MVP – Kaitlyn Flynn
Defensive MVP – Jennifer Volpe
Pitcher of the Year – Danielle Ponsiglione
Sportsmanship Award – Raechel Strobel
Leadership Award – Jillian Graniero
Men’s Tennis
Co-MVP: Patrick Thomas
Co-MVP: Gary Ambartsumov
Coaches: Tom Pack
Men’s Baseball
MVP – Pat Gale
MVP – Devon DiCasoli
Rookie – Cory Sullivan
Rookie – Joe Cassano
Coaches – Nick Tingos
Distinguished Service Award
Jack Minogue, Staten Island Advance
SAAC Inspiration Award
Mallory Ameneiros, Women’s Basketball
SAAC G.L.O.V.E. Award
Michael Mauro & the CSI Men’s Baseball Team
Team G.P.A. Award
Women’s Swimming, 3.21 GPA
Bill Cali/John Scrivani Sportsmanship Award
Thomas DeWaters, Men’s Baseball
Scholar-Athlete of the Year
Adam Birnbaum
Male Athlete of the Year
Pat Gale, Men’s Baseball
Female Athlete of the Year
Kelly Kenny, Women’s Soccer and Swimming & Diving