SRU Good News for June 29, 2009
PSAC names SRU's Jen Blasko Scholar-Athlete of the Year'
Jen Blasko, a standout on the Slippery Rock University women's volleyball team and a May graduate, was named today as the 2008-09 female recipient of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference Pete Nevins Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.
Blasko, of Summit Hill, is the seventh SRU student-athlete to receive the PSAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor and the second in the last two academic years. Jennifer Hansen, a women's track and field national champion pole-vaulter, was honored in 2007-08.
Prior to being named to the Nevins Award, Blasko earned a PSAC Fall Top Ten Award and was named an ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America performer by the College Sports Information Directors of America.
She was one of two Rock student-athletes to receive PSAC Top Ten and Academic All-America honors during the 2008-09 academic year. Women's cross country/track and field All-America performer Jenn Harpp was the recipient of a Winter Top Ten Award and earned second-team Academic All-America status.
The selection of Blasko and Harpp as Top Ten Award winners extended to 12 the number of consecutive academic years in which at least one SRU student-athlete has earned that honor.
Blasko graduated with a perfect 4.0 grade-point average as an exercise science major. She has been admitted to SRU's physical therapy doctoral program.
On the court, Blasko earned Daktronics Inc. first-team and American Volleyball Coaches Association honorable mention all-region honors in 2008. She ranked ninth in the PSAC in kills (2.96 pg) and led the team in kills, digs (3.02 pg) and service aces (52).
Blasko was a four-year starter for head coach Laurie Lokash. She is a three-time All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference-Western Division selection and, in addition to her all-region honors this fall, was named to AVCA All-Atlantic Region honors in 2007.
She also earned ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District honors in each of her final three seasons and was a four-year member of the PSAC Scholar-Athlete list. Blasko helped lead The Rock to a 26-12 record this year and a fourth consecutive berth in the NCAA Tournament, as well as a berth in the PSAC Tournament for the second time in her four years. She is one of only three players in Rock history to have played in the NCAA Tournament all four seasons of her collegiate eligibility.
The Academic All-America, Academic All-District, Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Top Ten Award and Scholar-Athlete competitions all recognize student-athletes who distinguish themselves in the classroom as well as the arena of competition. To be a candidate for the honors, a student-athlete must have achieved a minimum of a 3.25 cumulative grade-point average and be a starter or key reserve with legitimate athletic credentials.
The PSAC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award is in its 19th year of existence and was renamed last year to honor East Stroudsburg University's Pete Nevins, longtime sports information director who died in 2007.
Mark Metzka, who played men's basketball from 1994-95, was the first SRU student-athlete to be named to the honor. Metzka is an assistant director of admissions at SRU. Other former honorees were: Lori Robinson, women's basketball team in 1995-96; football standouts Dave Sabolcik (1997-98) and Tim Kusniez (1999-2000); and Karyn McCready, a member of SRU's women's track and field national champion team, 2003-04.
Kyle Goldcamp, a Gannon University basketball standout, received the men's award for this year.
Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.
Editor's Note:The successes of our friends and colleagues at the University are something we should all celebrate�and share. The University Public Relations Office has introduced a daily E-feature to share a good news story about a person, program, activity or service associated with Slippery Rock University. When good news happens to you, please let us know so we might share it with others. Submit items through campus e-mail to: GoodNews@sru.edu.