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 the 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 2010-11.

After greetings from Director of Athletics Vernon Mummert and Vice-President for Student Affairs Dr. Ramona Brown, awards were given for each sport in chronological order beginning with teams last fall, and ending with women’s softball, which finalized its season just days ago by celebrating a CUNYAC Championship and advancing to the NCAA Division III Postseason Tournament.

Major awards were presented to Female Athlete of the Year Gabriella Villarruel, senior on both the women’s tennis and swimming teams.  Villarruel capped a sensational senior year by earning first-team all-star honors in both sports, finishing with a 20-7 overall record in both No. 1 singles and doubles play in tennis and medalling in her signature buttefly event at the CUNYAC Swimming & Diving Championships in February.  Men’s swimming sensation Pavel Buyanov was named Male Athlete of the Year.  The two-time CSI Male Athlete of the Year capped his senior year with six CSI and CUNYAC swim records, taking a silver and bronze medal at this year’s national championship in Tennessee in mid-March.

CSI Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors was given to softball star and senior Raechel Strobel.  Strobel, a four-time CUNYAC All-Star and back-to-back recipient of the CUNYAC Softball Sportsmanship Award batted close to .400 this season, and holds a 3.892 GPA majoring in Mathematics in CSI’s highly-touted Teacher’s Academy. Dr. William Fritz, CSI Provost, also honored the CSI Men’s Cross-Country team for posting CSI Athletics’ highest Team GPA, at 3.49.

Dean Kunjravia, junior for men’scross-country , was awarded the 6th Annual Bill Cali/John Scrivani Sportsmanship Award, named after CSI’s baseball skippers who earned similar honors from the Staten Island Advance in 2005.  CSI men’s basketball head coach Tony Petosa, who won the same honor from the Advance this year, assisted in the presentation. 

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 – Nikolay Shevchenko, Robert Hargraves, Villarruel, and Strobel.

Throughout the course of the evening, other notable awards were handed out.  A Distinguished Service award was given to CSI student Katrell Lewis, a member of the CSI Association board who has lobbied on behalf of Athletics for increased budget, coaching salary reform, and facilities upgrades, to name a few.

Midway through the ceremony, members of the CSI Student-Athlete Advisory Committee presented their Inspiration Award, given this year to men’s baseball freshman Joey Falcome, a six-year serviceman who serves two tours in Iraq and one in Afghanistan before coming to CSI in the fall of 2010. The SAAC also awarded its second-annual G.L.O.V.E. Award to Head Coach Petosa and the CSI Basketball 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, principal organizer and host of the event each year. 

“This is the highlight of our sports year and where we truly gather in one place at one time to showcase our athletes,” he said.  “Throughout the night you really get a sense of how special it is to represent CSI and be a part of the family here, and when you take in the breadth of the awards, it really is striking.”

Photos of the event will be posted through a slideshow soon.  An end-of-year highlight video, prepared by CSI Facilities Manager Anthony Avena was the highlight of the evening.  The video is available here.  The CSI academic year will come to a close in the coming weeks, when Commencement will take place on June 2.

Award winners this year include the following:

Women’s Volleyball

MVP: Danielle Ponsiglione

Rookie: Kaitlyn Flynn

Coaches: Samantha Fink

Women’s Tennis:

MVP: Gabriella Villarruel

Rookie: Ilona Stoyko

Coaches: Qing Li

Women’s Soccer

MVP: Demi-Jean Martorano

Rookie: Danielle McLaughlin

Coaches: Michele Kelley

Men’s Soccer

MVP – Kenneth Zaw

Rookie – Dong Luu

Coaches – Ahmed El-Ghareib

Women’s Cross-Country

MVP: Shantel Peters

Coaches: Kubra Shirazi

Men’s Cross-Country

MVP: Nicholas Italiano

Rookie: Shawn Cybulska

Co-Coaches: Matt Greger

Co-Coaches: Dean Kunjravia

Women’s Basketball

MVP: Allie Shanahan

Most Improved: Nicole Quattrocchi

Coaches: Olivia Tierno

Men’s Swimming

MVP – Pavel Buyanov

Rookie – Danila Novikov

Coaches – Nikolay Shevchenko

Women’s Swimming

MVP – April Bartlett

Rookie – Lauren Overeem

Coaches – Priscila Alvarez

Men’s Basketball

Co-MVP – Jordan Young

Co-MVP – T.J. Tibbs

Matty White Leadership Award – Liwei Pan

Women’s Softball

Offensive MVP – Kaitlyn Flynn

Defensive MVP – Joanna Tepedino

Rookie – Stefanie Solari

Coaches – Jennifer Volpe

Men’s Tennis

Co-MVP: Patrick Thomas

Co-MVP: Nicholas Zikos

Rookie: Daniel Ursomanno

Men’s Baseball

Co-MVP – Pat Gale

Co-MVP – Bryan Moreno

Co-Rookie – Matthew Morales

Co-Rookie – Joey Falcone

Co-Coaches – Nick Tingos

Co-Coaches – Mark Glennerster


MVP – Camello Vanloo

Coaches – Maria D’Onofrio

Distinguished Service Award

Katrell Lewis, CSI Student

SAAC Inspiration Award

Joey Falcone, Men’s Baseball

SAAC G.L.O.V.E. Award

Tony Petosa & the CSI Men’s Basketball Team

Team G.P.A. Award

Men’s Cross-Country, 3.49 GPA

Bill Cali/John Scrivani Sportsmanship Award

Dean Kunjravia, Men’s Cross-Country

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Raechel Strobel, Women’s Softball

Male Athlete of the Year

Pavel Buyanov, Men’s Swimming & Diving

Female Athlete of the Year

Gabriella Villarruel, Women’s Tennis and Swimming & Diving