Athletics year-end awards announced
May 21, 2007
Dave Beyer, Sports Information Director
The Benedictine University athletics department has announced it’s end-of-the-year awards for the 2006-07 intercollegiate athletics season. The majority of the Eagles’ programs (with the exception of football and swimming) just completed their first season in the school’s new conference affiliation, the 12-member Northern Athletics Conference (NAC).
The “Athlete of the Year” awards went to senior football player Mike Alebich (Montini Catholic H.S.) for men’s sports, while junior women’s basketball center Tamika Curtis (Nazareth Academy) and senior softball pitcher/firstbaseman Melissa Kennedy (Lake Park H.S.) shared the female award.
Alebich - a junior in terms of eligibility who opted not to return next season after being accepted into medical school – was the Eagles’ leading tackler from his middle linebacker position. Alebich collected a total of 82 tackles (35 solo) and had one interception on his way to earning All-Illini-Badger Football Conference (IBFC) accolades. Alebich also served as a team captain, MVP and was also recognized by the IBFC on its all-academic squad.
Curtis had a career year in what has been an almost unprecedented three seasons in the Benedictine colors, thus far. She was named as a Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-America honorable mention (making her one of the top-40 players in NCAA Division III), second team All-Central Region by D3Hoops.com and was the NAC “Player of the Year” (as well as a first-team all-conference selection for the third time in as many seasons). Curtis averaged a lusty 18.4 points and 11.0 rebounds per game in leading the Eagles’ program to the first 20-win season in its history. She shot 55.3 percent from the field and had 57 blocked shots for the year.
Kennedy capped one of the most productive years in Benedictine’s rich softball history by leading the Eagles in virtually every category from both the pitching circle, as well as with the bat. For her efforts, Kennedy was named to a fourth-straight all-conference first team berth and was named third team All-Great Lakes Region for NCAA Division III. Some of her pitching numbers included a 14-10 record and 1.85 earned run average in 151 1/3 innings pitched. She had 19 complete games and four shutouts as opponents hit just .237 against her. With the bat, Kennedy had a .420 average with 14 extra-base hits (14 doubles, two triples and four home runs), while driving in 34 runs and scoring 20 runs herself.
Volleyball standout Liz Fredlund (Warren Woods Tower H.S., Mich.) was awarded the Senior Scholar Leadership Award. This award is presented to a graduating senior student-athlete who has competed at Benedictine for at least two full seasons, has a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.25, and has demonstrated exemplary leadership in their sport, on campus and in the community.
Fredlund led the Benedictine volleyball team to a 22-11 mark, a second place finish in the NAC regular season standings and a first-place in the league’s post-season tournament. She was a first-team All-NAC pick and earned two all-tournament awards during the season. Fredlund averaged 3.2 kills and 3.6 digs per game, while serving up a team-leading 37 aces and a .265 attack percentage. Off the court, she was a team captain, served as a member of BU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), has done volunteer work at nursing homes and for Lymphomathon.
The male and female Newcomer of the Year awards were presented to men’s basketball player Dan Klecan (Stagg H.S.) and softball player Aimee Mahoney (Gardner-South Wilmington H.S.), respectively.
Klecan had an outstanding freshman season for the Eagles, earning NAC All-Rookie Team status and being cited as the league’s co-Rookie of the Year. The 6’6” Klecan led the Eagles at 12.8 points per game, while also grabbing 4.1 rebounds per contest. He also led the team in three-point shooting, burying 58 treys in 170 attempts (34 percent).
Mahoney burst onto the Benedictine softball scene as a freshman and put up numbers well beyond her years. Mahoney was a second team All-Great Lakes Region selection and named to the NAC honorable mention team. On the year, Mahoney hit .311 with a team-leading 32 runs scored. She also topped the team with six triples and eight steals as Benedictine’s leadoff batter.
Benedictine University is located in Lisle, Illinois, just 25 miles west of Chicago, and has branch campuses in Springfield, Illinois, and Mesa, Arizona. Founded as a Catholic university in 1887, Benedictine enrolls nearly 10,000 students in 56 undergraduate and 19 graduate programs. Forbes magazine named Benedictine among "America's Top Colleges" for the sixth consecutive year in 2016. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (hlcommission.org). For more information, contact (630) 829-6300, firstname.lastname@example.org or visit ben.edu.