Basketball’s Tierno Earns CUNYAC/Modell’s Scholar-Athlete of the Month

For the month of November, College of Staten Island’s Women’s Basketball standout Olivia Tierno has been named the CUNYAC/Modell’s Scholar Athlete of the Month. The senior, a forward on the basketball team, is a role model for all student-athletes.

A psychology major boasting a 3.92 GPA with the college’s Verrazano School Honors Program, Tierno is the CSI SAAC President, a Student-Athlete Representative on the CSI’s Hall of Fame Committee and a member of the CSI Intramurals Council. She has been on the CSI’s AD SAAC Honor Roll, given to student-athletes who have a GPA of 3.0 or higher. The senior also works at TLC Physical Therapy where she helps patients with exercise, steam and ice, dedicates her time to the CSI Green Thumbs Community Garden providing the college community with fresh fruits and vegetables, and volunteers for Families Helping Families, assisting the special needs community on the Island.

“This award couldn’t go to anyone more deserving,” said Head Coach Tim Shanahan. “She’s so selfless on and off the court, where it really counts all while putting her time into her school work. She’s a great influence and role model.”

“Olivia is a great representative of the College of Staten Island and the Verrazano School,” commented Dr. Charles Liu, the school’s director. “She combines high academic achievement with a dedication to the community, and we are very proud of her excellence in leadership.”

On the court, the forward averaged 17 points, 4.3 rebounds and 2.5 steals in 30 minutes per game for the month of November. In a game against Green Mountain, Tierno made 10 baskets resulting in 28 points, recorded 4 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals in 31 minutes. She leads her team in points, points per game and steals and is shooting 44% from the field. Within the CUNYAC, the Staten Island native is second in scoring, fourth in field goal percentage, fifth in free-throw percentage, sixth in steals, eleventh in three-point field goals and thirteenth in assists.

“It an honor to receive this award and it means that much more to receive it in my senior year,” exclaimed Tierno. “I’m proud to win something like this where I’m recognized for both my work on the court and in the classroom.”

For CSI Cross-Country, Anthony’s Run Is a Labor of Love

Anthony's Run attracts runners of all ages for a good cause.

For 19 years, Anthony DeMartino captured the hearts of his family and friends as he valiantly battled Duchenne’s Muscular Dystrophy, which ultimately took his life in 2007. For the last three years, College of Staten Island Cross-Country Head Coach Robert Russo and his wife, the former Christina DeMartino, Anthony’s older sister, have brought Anthony’s story to countless others. They organize Anthony’s Run, a 5k trek through Staten Island’s Clove Lakes Park to help promote awareness and find a cure for the severe, life-threatening, disease. The 2011 installment of Anthony’s Run will take place on Saturday, September 17, at 10:00am, and the Russo’s will be there again taking center stage at one of Staten Island’s signature charity events.

“We started the idea behind Anthony’s Run a few months after he passed,” said Russo. “We were determined to keep Anthony’s memory and positive spirit alive. Anthony’s loving heart, courage, and perseverance inspired us to start an organization that can help achieve these goals and also directly help others living with similar diagnoses. We knew the best way to honor Anthony’s memory and celebrate his life would be by making a positive impact on others.”

It has certainly accomplished that mission. More than 250 participants took part in last year’s event, including both the CSI Cross-Country and Volleyball squads, who helped organize the event, sell raffle tickets, and distribute nearly 100 individual and team awards, making it one of the biggest charity events on Staten Island.

“We are overwhelmed by the amount of people and support we have had for this event over the years. As early as the spring of this year, past participants reached out to us to ask when the next Anthony’s Run would take place. We’ve also used the feedback of our volunteers and participants to improve the event each year,” Russo noted.

Russo says the support has been striking, and comes into focus in many ways. “We regularly see people wearing the event t-shirt and the very popular wristbands we give to participants. We had a family member vacationing in Italy who was recognized by another Staten Islander because he was wearing the wristband. It really helps us understand the effect we have on the people we serve.”

The relationship to Anthony is the principal reason why the Russo’s take on the challenge of Anthony’s Run each year, but the charity run is unlike many others in its ability to affect people first-hand. All of the funds raised support causes close to home, including offering financial support for medical treatment and equipment for local families that cannot afford the overwhelming costs.

“People really appreciate knowing their donation made an impact on their community. We encourage the event to be family friendly and even though we have great competition among many talented runners, we open the event to walkers and young children,” he said.

Despite the overwhelming turnout and the response by the College of Staten Island student-athletes to support the run each year, both Robert and Christina continue to work extremely hard to make Anthony’s Run bigger and better each year. They hope that people in the community who may be hearing about Anthony’s Run for the first time this year will make it one of the charitable causes that they support, whether they run or not.

“We understand that there are many great causes to participate in,” Russo began. “Anthony’s Run is a fun and exciting way to participate in a local event for a local organization that helps people in the community. Sometimes when volunteering for larger organizations, the message gets lost in all the sales and promotional aspects of what you really signed up to help accomplish. No matter how you want to get involved, we’re happy to have you. This is apparent in the responses we’ve gotten. Many people reach out to us from various sports clubs, school teams, and other organizations interested in helping out. Whether they donate their time, money, or expertise, they are all helping to advance our cause and contribute to the continuing success of the Foundation.”

Anthony DeMartino passed away in March of 2007, shortly after graduating with honors from Tottenville High School. He was a typical teenager who loved to watch the Mets and Jets, play Smack Down on his Playstation, and spend time with his family and friends. He was an avid reader and writer of poetry, and had a great talent for drawing.

Anyone interested in participating in the run, making a donation, or volunteering on raceday to help support Anthony’s Run can do so by visiting the Foundation’s Website at: http://anthonydemartinofoundation.org.

CSI Baseball Wins CUNYAC Championship Again

The CSI Men's Baseball team won its 15th CUNYAC Championship last night.

The College of Staten Island Men’s Baseball squad captured its 15th CUNYAC Postseason Championship last night, winning a thrilling, 1-0, 10-inning affair against No. 2 seeded Baruch College in the one-game, winner-take-all Final held at MCU Ballpark in Brooklyn, NY. The top-seeded Dolphins (23-16) were powered by a complete-game, three-hit shutout performance from sophomore Richard Anderson, who dueled Baruch’s (16-19) Jesus Izarra in one of the CUNY’s finest finals in the 29-year history of the tournament.

Under the lights and through whipping winds, the Dolphins and Bearcats battled through quick innings where both starting pitchers breezed through the frames, at times using sound defense to break clear of jams.

The Dolphins set their lead-off batter on base in the four straight frames to start the game against Izarra, but each time the Bearcats responded, including a pair of double plays turned in the first and fourth innings, helping to keep the Dolphins off of the scoreboard. Meanwhile, a masterful Anderson was controlling the powerful Baruch lineup, allowing a lone hit through the first five stanzas, as CSI also overcame a pair of infield errors. In the second inning Alvin Mata was caught in a rundown between third base and home plate, trying to leg out an extra base off of a Henry Roman error, and later, in the game’s eighth frame, Roman roped in a line drive to end a modest threat after flubbing a routine ground ball one batter earlier.

CSI appeared to seize momentum during the regulation innings as well, seemingly destined to finally touch Izarra, who earlier in the season shut the Dolphins out in a seven-inning, 1-0, complete game. The fifth inning marked a huge moment in the game. With two outs, CSI’s Dan Lynch legged out a pair of stolen bases to reach third base, and when an Izarra pitch went wild, Lynch bolted for home, seemingly falling under a would-be tag by Izarra at the plate that would have given CSI the lead. Lynch was ruled out on the play, ending the inning, and Lynch was tossed from the game for arguing the call.

“It’s a lot easier now to take that call considering the final outcome, but we felt he was definitely safe,” said CSI skipper Michael Mauro, who was coaching third base at the time. “It was a crucial play and it just didn’t work out our way. I’m glad we fought through it.”

Lynch’s dismissal saw freshman James Lewis, making only his fifth start of the season, move over to centerfield from left field, as Ray Gise entered in place of Lynch to play left field.

“We started James for defense,” said Mauro. “On a night like this with the wind playing the role it did, we needed his defense in the outfield. We never thought we would get the offense we did out of him.”

Indeed, Lewis, who came into the game batting 4-of-27 (.148), posted only one of two multi-hit games for the Dolphins, frustrating Izarra, who later unintentionally plunked Lewis in the ninth inning to ignite another rally.  With Roman already having earned one base, the pair was then moved over to second and third base via Gise’s sac bunt. With one out registered, however, Izarra again conjured up the magic, getting Bryan Moreno to offer at his first pitch to ground harmlessly to shortstop with no threat to advance Roman. Up next stepped Mark Glennerster, who hopped on a breaking pitch and stroked a liner to left-centerfield. As well as the ball was hit, Baruch’s Mata raced in from centerfield and covered an amazing amount of ground to catch the liner extended and on the run, ending another inning, leaving the Dolphins, who had left 14 runners on base in the game, grasping for answers.

With the score still knotted at 0-0, the game moved into the extra frame. With eyes turned back to Anderson, the sophomore was putting more touch on CSI’s best pitching performance of the season. After registering two quick outs, Anderson yielded a seeing-eye single through the right side to Anthony Melendez, and Melendez promptly stole second base. Facing Marcus Mejia next, Anderson laced a low fastball past the Baruch designated hitter that Mejia swung through for the final out, ending the Bearcats threat.

“This was exactly the game we envisioned him having,” Mauro said about Anderson’s three-hit shutout through 10 innings. “We needed him to throw a gem and we knew he could do it. As great as he was we are not surprised. He’s been valuable for us all year long.”

Mauro did contend, however, that the team needed to bail out its warrior on the mound with a strong tenth inning, and the Dolphins answered the call.

With one out, CSI’s Pat Gale laced a screaming line drive past Anthony Melendez, who was hit with an error when the ball went off of his glove on the misplay. With Gale at first, freshman Joey Falcone was intentionally walked for the second straight at-bat, and one batter later, Sal Todaro was ever-patient, earning a seven-pitch walk of his own to load the bases for Roman. The junior hopped on Izarra’s first pitch, roping a lazy fly ball to left field.  Perhaps on a normal night, the fly ball would have warranted a chance for Gale to come home via a sac fly, but the swirling winds brought the ball too far in for Gale to have a play, so the senior stayed put. Down to their last chance of the inning, up stepped Lewis again. The right-hand hitting frosh saw a hanging inside pitch delivered by Izarra, and laced a towering shot to left field, sailing over the head of Yuksecol in left field for a base hit.  The base hit scored Gale for CSI’s walk-off win, and no sooner did Lewis round first then he was mugged by his teammates as the evening’s offensive hero.

“I can’t even explain how good it feels because every inning was so stressful, and fun, and just amazing,” commented an emotional Mauro after the game. “It was one of the most exciting games I have ever been a part of, and for James to come up and get that hit, I am so happy for him.”

The timely hit, however, did not erase the true story of the evening, which was Anderson’s masterful pitching performance, and the righty pitcher was the unanimous choice for Tournament Most Valuable Player honors.

“He was excellent,” said Mauro. “We knew if he kept the ball down and got into a rhythm he was going to have a good night. He was dynamite. He is going to be a phenomenal pitcher for this team for years to come.”

Mauro was also quick to cite his opponent, Baruch hurler Izarra, who turned out to be the hard-luck loser, allowing nine hits and the lone unearned run.

“I have to give him credit,” Mauro said. “That’s the second time he shut us down and he gutted it out the whole way.  It could have gone either way and we might still be playing if it were up to these two pitchers. I’m just happy we scored first and when we did.”

For the Dolphins, the win marks the 15th title in the CUNYAC’s 29 years of postseason championship contention. It also marks the second straight year the Dolphins earned the win over Baruch in the Final. It was only the second extra-inning Final in CUNYAC history (CSI beat Lehman College, 5-4, in 2000 in 14 innings), and it was the lowest-scoring title game in history.

“It’s always sweet,” said Mauro of his second championship at CSI. “The way that we won makes it sweeter but our goal is to be here and to win this game every year. We did it tonight.”

For CSI the CUNYAC Postseason is over but the season itself is not. CSI has a non-conference single home game at 6:00pm this evening against Stevens Tech and this weekend will travel to Maryland to face Salisbury University for a doubleheader. On Monday, May 9, the draw for the ECAC Metro NY/NJ Postseason Championship Tournament will be announced, and CSI is hoping to be in the mix for that as well.

CSI Men’s Basketball Alumni Game to Be Held January 29

The CSI Men's Basketball program will hold its first alumni game this Saturday at 11:00am.

It has been a long time coming, but the College of Staten Island Men’s Basketball program will be holding its Inaugural Men’s Basketball Alumni Game on Saturday, January 29, at 11:00am at the Sports and Recreation Center. Designed to welcome back alumni who played for CSI both when it was a two- and four-year institution, the event will be used as a fund- and friend-raiser for the program, with all proceeds generated supporting the program in the name of late Assistant Coach Matty White.

CSI alumnus Craig Sleap ’01, a member of the Basketball program from 1996 to 2000, while doubling on the Baseball team, crafted the idea to host the inaugural event along with CSI Head Coach Tony Petosa ’86, ’93.

“Craig and I spoke a few times about an alumni game, and when Matty passed away, a collection of alumni really wanted to do something fitting in his honor,” explained Petosa. “I think this alumni game is a great way of preserving his memory. Having a group that he admired and that looked up to him assembled in one place to celebrate what once brought them together is overwhelming. We are very excited about it.”

Approximately 40 to 50 former alumni have already committed to participate, as CSI sent invitations to hundreds of former alumni, in coordination with the Office of Alumni Relations. Associate Director of Alumni Relations Jennifer Lynch was excited about the concept from the start.

“The inaugural Alumni Men’s Basketball game will recognize the legacy of Assistant Men’s Basketball Coach Matty White. At the same time, we also recognize the amazing contributions of our alumni athletes through the years. We look forward to welcoming them back to campus for a historic game and encourage our alumni and campus community to come cheer them on.”

The event will feature a full game played before CSI Men’s and Women’s doubleheader tip-off versus CUNYAC-rival Hunter College, beginning with the Men’s game at 1:00pm. Alumni will be provided with complimentary game jerseys and a full luncheon at the conclusion of the event. Registration is $30 for alumni who wish to play or those wishing to contribute and get a t-shirt with all proceeds generated assisting the Men’s Basketball program. The games are free for spectators.

An assistant coach for the Dolphins for 17 years, Coach White lost his battle with kidney cancer this past May. He was 74. In a dedication ceremony prior to tip-off, members of the alumni will present the White family with a commemorative plaque officially renaming the event the Matty White Men’s Basketball Alumni Game.

“Coach White never played a minute of basketball at CSI, and you won’t find his name in the wins and losses annals of coaches here either, but what he meant to our program is immeasurable,” said Associate Athletic Director David Pizzuto, who has helped organize the event. “For the alumni to dedicate this day to him is a strong indication of just how valued he was and how he was embraced by the CSI family. There is no one more truly deserving.”

Alumni who want to register early for the event can contact Petosa or Pizzuto at 718.982.3169/3166. Late registration will take place beginning at 9:30am at the Sports and Recreation Center on the day of the game.

Memorable Evening Had at Second Annual Baseball Alumni Game

It felt like a midsummer night as 20 former Dolphin Baseball players turned out for some friendly competition at the second annual Baseball Alumni game at the CSI Baseball Complex. Alumni from teams ranging from 1985 to 2006 put on their gloves and got out their bats to be Dolphins baseball players for one more night, as alumni from the odd-numbered years defeated the even-numbered-year squad 3 to 2.

View the CSI Today Photo Gallery.

Current CSI assistant coach John Scrivani coached the winning odd-numbered team that donned black jerseys and consisted of Frank Guglielmo ’03, Kevin Biesty ’05, Ted Maceda ’04, David Granato*, Anthony Hillery ’07, Mark Gonzalez*, Steven Schnell*, Robert Marolla ’96, T.J. Greco ’01, Joe Ruiz ’06, and Victor Reich ’90. Wearing blue was the even-numbered team, coached by CSI assistant Tom Wohlfit, which included Anthony Avena’01, Bill Lonergan ’93, Anthony Calafiore ’92, Nick Secchini*, Andrew Fraschilla*, Joe Perrotta*, Matt Stefanski*, Pat Smith*, and Arne Mattsson ’79.

Mark Gonzalez was awarded MVP honors for the black team after knocking in the winning run and getting the save on the mound. Anthony Avena, who tallied three hits, an RBI, and a run scored, was named MVP for the blue team.

CSI head coach Mike Mauro ’89 and associate head coach Neil Barbella organized the Alumni matchup, and CSI’s Alumni Association provided t-shirts and raffles. All members of the 2009 CSI CUNYAC Championship team were there to help with batting practice and registration.

“It was a great night, thanks to our supportive alumni and the hard working staff at CSI,” said Barbella, “I’m happy so many people look forward to this night and the alumni and their families have an enjoyable evening. We hope it continues to grow as word spreads to all of our Dolphin Baseball alumni.”

*Denotes that a player attended CSI but did not graduate from the College.