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Blue Devils win big for sportsmanship

The Northeast Conference announced the winners of its annual Fall Team Sportsmanship Awards on Jan. 16, and four of six awards went to CCSU Athletics teams — Women’s Cross Country, Men’s Soccer, Women’s Soccer, and Women’s Volleyball.

“The awards are designed to acknowledge the team in each conference sport that, in the opinion of its peers, most closely demonstrates good sportsmanship,” the NEC noted in a release. The awards were launched by league presidents in 2008.

Women's cross country earned the Sportsmanship Award for the first time after finishing as runner-up at the NEC Championships for the second year in a row. Five CCSU runners earned all-conference honors, led by junior Dawn Hubbell who finished third individually at the championships. Freshman Megan Brawner was named the NEC Freshman of the Year.

This is the third Sportsmanship Award for the women's soccer team, which set a program record for fewest goals allowed in NEC play. Senior Jennifer Cafferky was named NEC Defensive Player of the Year for the fourth time and junior Ashley Cavanaugh was named NEC Goalkeeper of the Year. The squad also earned the United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award for the 16th consecutive year.

The men's soccer team was named the Sportsmanship Award winner for the second straight season and third time overall. Five players earned All-Northeast Conference honors, including sophomore Andres Muriel Albino, who was named to the First Team. The men's soccer team was also a United Soccer Coaches Team Academic Award winner for the third straight year.

The volleyball team also earned its third Sportsmanship Award after earning a share of the NEC regular-season title. The Blue Devils had four all-conference selections and head coach Linda Sagnelli was named the ECAC Coach of the Year and NEC Coach of the Year. The team was honored with the AVCA Team Academic Award for the 11th straight year, while senior Maddie Smith was named CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team.

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