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Shen Alumni Joanie Cooney receives Sportsmanship Award

posted May 30, 2014, 4:07 AM by Jill Murphy


Joanie Cooney


New York, NY – Senior women’s volleyball captain and Skyline Conference All-Star, Joanie Cooney (Ballston Lake, NY/Shenendehowa) and Maritime’s Dave Sparozic have been named the inaugural recipients of the Skyline Sporting Awards in voting conducted by the league’s directors of athletics.


Director of Athletics and Recreation Dani Drews said of Cooney, "To me, Joanie epitomizes all that is great about Division III athletics.” Drews continued “She is an outstanding student, an intense competitor, a leader on the floor and off. However, what is most special about Joanie is that she approaches every circumstance, euphoric or disappointing, with great class. While the pain of her career-ending injury was evident on her face, it was the grace with which she responded that was a perfect example of the kind of person she is and the character she possesses.   I am so proud of Joanie and grateful to the Skyline Conference for recognizing her with their inaugural Sportsmanship Award."


Named a team captain in 2013 and a member of the Skyline Conference women’s volleyball All-Conference

First Team, Cooney had her season cut short by injury with two weeks remaining in the regular-season. She was a visible supporter from the sidelines for the remainder of the 2013 campaign and frequently helped coach her teammates as the Gators advanced to the finals of the Skyline Championship. Cooney was the recipient of the 2013-2014 ECAC Merit Medal and garnered Skyline Scholar-Athlete of the Year distinction in 2013 as a psychology/pre-med major at Sage.


Nominees for the Skyline Sporting Awards must be named to his/her sport’s All-Sportsmanship team in the fall, winter or spring of the current academic year, be in good academic standing, embody the highest standards of leadership, integrity and sporting conduct, demonstrate enthusiasm about the sport in which they compete and have noteworthy act(s) of sporting conduct during the specified academic year.


A total of 138 student-athletes were named to the All-Sportsmanship teams of the league’s 17 sports during the 2013-14 academic year. From 2007-2013, the Skyline Conference instituted the Sportsmanship Trophy to gauge team sportsmanship among its member schools.


Cooney was named to the 2013 Skyline Conference Sportsmanship Team in the fall and was named to the 2013 Skyline Conference Women’s Volleyball All-Star First Team for her efforts on the court prior to her injury. She was also selected to the 2013 Skyline Conference Scholar-Athlete Team and was also named the 2013 Skyline Conference Women’s Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, while also earning an additional posting to Sage’s Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll.


Head Women’s Volleyball Coach Sandy Augstein-Collins said of Cooney, “I am thrilled to have Joanie Cooney recognized by the Skyline Conference as the recipient of the Sportsmanship Award.” Augstein-Collins added, “Joanie is the perfect example of the type of student-athlete, who should receive this award. She is an intense competitor on the court demanding the best from herself, her teammates and her opponent and also a first class representative of Sage Volleyball at all times whether in the classroom or the community.”


On her senior season, she led Sage with her 570 setting assists, while contributing 50 kills, 16 aces and 169 digs. She finishes her Gator career ranked No. 2 all-time on the career setting assist list at Sage with her 2,973 setting assists in 124 matches played. She added 949 career digs as well in 413 career sets played.


At Sage, Cooney was named to The Sage College’s Intercollegiate Athletic Honor Society, which recognized junior, senior, or graduate level student-athletes, that have maintained a cumulative grade-point-average of 3.3 or better and have participated as a member of a varsity team for at least two seasons. Cooney was an honoree as a junior and a senior for her outstanding efforts in the classroom. She was also placed on the 2014 Sage Scholar-Athlete Team for her outstanding efforts in the classroom, which culminated with her graduation from The Sage Colleges on May 17.