The Merrimack College Athletics Department was honored with a pair of Northeast-10 Conference end-of-year award finalists this week as senior Matthew Ronai from the baseball program and senior Delaney Yule of the field hockey squad were named finalists for the NE10 Man and Women of the Year awards.
Each nominee is a senior student-athlete that has excelled in all areas of their collegiate careers, on the field, in the classroom, and in the community. The two respective winners are set to be announced and honored at the NE10 year-end banquet in Springfield, Mass. on Monday, June 3 at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
The 2018-19 academic year marks the seventh year in which a Man of the Year will be named, while the Northeast 10 Conference Woman of the Year honoree will be put forth as the NE10’s official NCAA Woman of the Year nominee.
Women’s track & field leads all sports with five nominees, while men’s basketball, men’s track & field and women’s lacrosse each have four.
Ronai’s career on the baseball diamond has featured a myriad of accolades both on the field and in the classroom. Athletically, he concluded his collegiate tenure this spring by being a four-time all-conference selection, landing most recently on the all-league third team as an outfielder. He finished his career this spring by becoming just the sixth player in school history with over 200 career hits, posting 211 to rank in a tie for fourth in school annals. He also posted 113 RBI on four years, sitting eighth in Merrimack’s history, while his .323 career batting ranks sixth overall in school history, but is the second highest among four-year student-athletes. He posted his third straight year of 50-plus base hits (55), leading the team with 12 doubles this past spring.
The Orange, Conn. native made headlines one year ago by becoming the program’s second-ever Academic All-American. He boasted a 3.83 cumulative as a sports medicine major, and was a three-time College Sports Information Directors of American (CoSIDA) Academic All-District selection. His mantle also includes two NE10 Academic All-Conference selections (2017, 2018), and three separate All-East Region honors following his junior campaign. Ronai was also a Preseason All-Region selection by the NCBWA this spring. On campus, Ronai served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (S.A.A.C.), and was active in the community, particularly with the team’s Vs. Cancer initiative that saw Merrimack raise nearly $8,000 towards the fight to end pediatric cancer.
Yule’s career ended this fall with a National Field Hockey Coaches Association First Team All-American selection, the first of her career. The starting center back for the field hockey program in every games this past two years, Yule was named the NE10’s Defensive Player of the Year after helping Merrimack to its first-ever conference championship this spring. She enjoyed a career season that included a career-high six goals and 15 points while also leading Merrimack with four defensive saves. Her 14 career defensive saves rank second all-time in program history.
The Southbury, Conn. native was also an all-league first-team honoree this fall, and boasted a pair of academic all-conference honors. In her career, Yule received two first-team all-league selections as well as being selected on the NFHCA All-Academic squads and a Scholar of Distinction honor in 2015. She registered a 3.907 GPA with double major in math and elementary education. Yule was inducted to and served as Merrimack’s Chapter President of the Pi Epsilon Mu, the Math National Honor Honor Society. On campus, she was a four-year peer tutor at the Merrimack College Math Center, and was named a Presidential Scholar this spring.
2018-19 NE10 Man of the Year Nominees
Brendan McDougal, Adelphi, Lacrosse
Leakey Kipkosgei, American International, Cross Country/Track & Field (pictured)
Dillon Bruso, Assumption, Track & Field
Ryan Richmond, Bentley, Basketball
Jake Castorf, Franklin Pierce, Lacrosse
Zachary Prattson, Le Moyne, Lacrosse
Matt Ronai, Merrimack, Baseball
Michael Kandolin, New Haven, Track & Field
Daniel Galarza, Pace, Swimming
Cody Ball, Saint Anselm, Basketball
Levi A. Holmes, III, Saint Michael’s, Basketball
Matt Cerutti, Saint Rose, Basketball
Tyler Steskla, Southern Connecticut State, Swimming
Tiago Fernandes, Southern New Hampshire, Tennis
Alexander Demeule, Stonehill, Cross Country/Track & Field
2018-19 NE10 Woman of the Year Nominees
Chelsea Abreu, Adelphi, Lacrosse
Dana Watts, American International, Basketball
Abigail Jones, Assumption, Track & Field
Sarah Reilly, Assumption, Lacrosse
Stephanie Mattson, Bentley, Track & Field
Lilian Baah, Franklin Pierce, Track & Field
Bryanna Fazio, Le Moyne, Lacrosse
Delaney Yule, Merrimack, Field Hockey
Alexandria Kerr, New Haven, Basketball
Mackenzie Reh, New Haven, Lacrosse (pictured)
Paige Predmore, Pace, Field Hockey
Liberty Gendron, Saint Anselm, Cross Country
Madison Dobecki, Saint Michael’s, Field Hockey
Christine Myers, Saint Rose, Cross Country/Track & Field
Leanna Jadus, Southern Connecticut State, Volleyball
Kylie Lorenzen, Southern New Hampshire, Basketball/T&F
Kacie Smith, Stonehill, Field Hockey