From left to right: Assistant AD for Student Athlete Services Katie Arcuri, Male Athlete of the Year Jordan Young, Female Athlete of the Year Danielle Ponsiglione, Athletic Director Vernon Mummert

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 14 teams in 2011-12.

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 was the last team to finalize its season.

Major awards were presented to Female Athlete of the Year Danielle Ponsiglione, senior on both the women’s volleyball and softball teams.  Ponsiglione capped a sensational career with a solid season on both the hardwood and diamond.  The lone senior in volleyball, she led CSI in games played, finishing in the CSI top five in kills, assists, service aces and digs.  On the softball field she led CSI in every major pitching category, where she also broke five career and single season records en route to her second straight CUNYAC Pitcher of the Year honor .  Men’s basketball sensation Jordan Young was named Male Athlete of the Year.  The four-time CUNYAC All-Star and nationally-ranked forward in field-goal percentage, Young led the basketball program through its magical run to the NCAA Division III Sweet Sixteen, ending his career as the school’s second all-time leading scorer.

CSI Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors was given to men’s swimming star and senior Vladislav Romanov.  A four-time CUNYAC All-Star and back-to-back recipient of the CUNYAC Performer of the Year Award, Romanov won 90 first-place regular season finishes in his four year career, and closed this season with three CUNYAC records a silver medal in the 200-yard backstroke at the NCAA Division III National Championship. He holds a 3.67 GPA majoring in Business Management and was also named the CUNYAC Men’s Scholar-Athlete of the Year award. Dr. William Fritz, CSI Senior Vice-President for Academic Affairs & Provost, also honored the CSI Men’s Swimming & Diving team for posting CSI Athletics’ highest Team GPA, at 3.18.

Kaitlyn Flynn, senior for women’s softball, was awarded the 7th 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 last year, assisted in the presentation.  Flynn, a third-team all-region selection from the National Fastpitch Coaches Association, capped an unbelievable season en route to CUNYAC Player of the Year honors, exhibiting the finest sportsmanship on the field of play alongside her on-the-field accolades.

CUNYAC Executive Director Zak Ivkovic was on hand to offer nearly 30 awards, bestowed to CSI All-Stars scattered throughout the year and the CUNYAC’s three scholar-athletes, including Romanov and honorable mentions Kristi Dillon and Lauren Neglia.

Midway through the ceremony, members of the CSI Student-Athlete Advisory Committee presented their Inspiration Award, given this year to Michael Baybusky, CSI Bursar and the voice behind CSI SportsNet, CSI’s webcasting service which provides hundreds of free broadcasts to its listeners each year. The SAAC also awarded its third-annual G.L.O.V.E. Award to to the CSI Women’s 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 CSI academic year will come to a close in the coming weeks, when Commencement will take place on May 31.

Award winners this year include the following:

Women’s Volleyball

MVP: Ma Socorro Calleja

Rookie: JeanMarie Lewandoski

Coaches: Vasiliki Stergioula

Women’s Tennis:

MVP: Ilona Stoyko

Rookie: Sophia Varriano

Coaches: Jacqueline Jamaleddine

Women’s Soccer

Co-MVP: Demi-Jean Martorano

Co-MVP: Amanda Percaccio

Co-Rookie: Samantha Wysokowski

Co-Rookie: Melissa Gelardi

Coaches: Lauren Neglia

Men’s Soccer

MVP: Alfonso Castaneda

Rookie: Michele Kissi

Coaches: Ahmed El-Ghareib

Women’s Cross-Country

MVP: Amina Huseinbegovic

Rookie: Joanna Villegas

Coaches: Goodnews Nkama

Men’s Cross-Country

MVP: Andrew Pate

Rookie: Matthew Pfaff

Coaches: Shawn Cybulska

Women’s Track & Field (Club)

MVP: Rebecca Jo Liu

Coaches:  Mallory Baio

Men’s Track & Field (Club)

MVP: Michael Wallace

Coaches: Christopher Galea, Matthew Pfaff, Christopher Gonzalez, Andrew Pate

Women’s Basketball

MVP: Nikki Fabozzi

Co-Coaches: Victoria Donegan

Co-Coaches: Olivia Tierno

Men’s Swimming

MVP – Vladislav Romanov

Rookie – Timur Rakhimov

Coaches – Mitchell Lovell

Women’s Swimming

MVP – Vasiliki Stergioula

Rookie – Stephanie Collyer

Coaches – Priscila Alvarez

Men’s Basketball

Senior Awards: Jordan Young, T.J. Tibbs, Dale Taranto, Chris Maccarone, JC Albano, Lameik Black

Women’s Softball

MVP – Kaitlyn Flynn

Defensive MVP – Danielle Ponsiglione

Rookie – Brittany Smith

Men’s Tennis

Co-Coaches: Nick Zikos

Co-Coaches: Riad Hamai

Co-Coaches: Daniel Ursomanno

Men’s Baseball

Pitcher of Year: Richard Anderson

Co-MVP: Henry Roman

Co-MVP: Sal Todaro

Co-Rookie: Luis Ortiz

Co-Rookie: Will Difede


MVP: Naomi Grey

Rookie: Giana Abbruzzese

Coaches: Ashley Isaacs

Distinguished Service Award (awarded seperately)

Time Warner Cable Staff

Jeff Shelly, Dave Schwalbe, Nick Legakis, Joe Nugent, Tim Gannon

SAAC Inspiration Award

Michael Baybusky

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

CSI Women’s Basketball Team

Team G.P.A. Award

Men’s Swimming & Diving, 3.18 GPA

Bill Cali/John Scrivani Sportsmanship Award

Kaitlyn Flynn, Women’s Softball

Scholar-Athlete of the Year

Vladislav Romanov, Men’s Swimming & Diving

Male Athlete of the Year

Jordan Young, Men’s Basketball

Female Athlete of the Year

Danielle Ponsiglione, Women’s Volleyball & Softball