UAlbany wins sixth straight Commissioner's Cup
SAVANNAH, Ga. – For the sixth consecutive year, the University at Albany has won the Stuart P. Haskell Commissioner’s Cup, awarded annually to top-performing athletic department in the America East.
The Great Danes earned the Commissioner’s Cup for the seventh time overall on the strength of six America East titles, two runner-up finishes and four regular-season championships.
“Winning the Commissioner’s Cup for a sixth straight season is a tremendous achievement that speaks to the commitment, consistency of effort and overall excellence of our student-athletes, coaches and staff,” UAlbany Director of Athletics, Mark Benson, said. “We are proud of the fact that our student-athletes have consistently succeeded in the classroom with an outstanding overall department GPA of 3.11. Winning the Commissioner's Cup is a true reflection of our university’s leadership providing the necessary support of our student-athletes in pursuit of these outstanding accomplishments.”
The Commissioner’s Cup is determined by a scoring system under which programs earn points for their teams’ performances both during the season and in the conference tournaments for the league’s 17 sports.
UAlbany earned 411 total points. Stony Brook was next with 333, and New Hampshire followed with 280. UMass Lowell (274), Binghamton (241), Vermont (232), UMBC (220), Maine (190) and Hartford (176) rounded out the final standings, which were revealed Tuesday, June 5, at the league’s annual banquet in Savannah, Ga.
During the 2017-18 school year, UAlbany won the league tournaments in men’s soccer, women’s indoor track, men’s lacrosse, men’s outdoor track, women’s outdoor track and softball. Men’s indoor track and women’s lacrosse were runners up in their league championships, while field hockey, volleyball, men’s lacrosse and softball all won regular-season titles.
UAlbany first won the Commissioner’s Cup in the 2004-05 school year and has captured each since 2012-13.
The Helping Hands Team, now in its fifth year, was established to recognize a male and female student-athlete from each of the nine America East schools for their exemplary efforts in the area of community services while remaining in good academic standing.
Bellinsky, a Presidential Honor Society member who earned her bachelor’s degree in Rhetoric and Communications this past spring, was UAlbany’s Student Athlete Advisory Council President. She also was the America East SAAC Representative and a member of the America East Alumni Advisory Panel. She performed more than 100 hours of community service, organizing bi-weekly efforts for student-athletes to volunteer with children and helping begin the UAlbany Student-Athlete Mental Health Mentor Program, among other endeavors.
Gronostaj, who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, was a UAlbany SAAC Representative who was part of the UAlbany and America East’s “Spread Respect” initiatives. He also volunteered for the Capital Area Council of Churches Mobile Lunch Program and was a recipient of the East Greenbush First United Methodist Church Community Service Scholarship.
“Tara and Kyle are the embodiment of our commitment to develop and support our student athletes to be Great Leaders, Great Champions and Great Danes,” Benson said. “These two student-athletes are very deserving of this honor for their outstanding work here at UAlbany and in the community.”
2017-18 Highlights in America East Competition
- Men’s soccer captured the America East championship, earning 34 points toward the Commissioner’s Cup.
- Field hockey (29 points) and volleyball (31 points) both won regular-season titles.
- Women’s soccer earned 29 points with a third-place finish in the regular season.
- Men’s cross country gained 14 points, while women’s cross country picked up 10.
- Women’s indoor track won the America East championship to earn the maximum 18 points. Men’s track was runner up, earning 16 points.
- Women’s basketball earned 45 points after finishing second in the America East and reaching the league semifinals.
- Men’s basketball’s fourth-place finish gained 29 points.
- Men’s lacrosse (34 points) and softball (40 points) each won both their regular-season and tournament championships.
- Men’s and women’s outdoor track both won championships as well to pick up 18 points each.
- Women’s lacrosse contributed 34 points after finishing second in the regular season and reaching the tournament finals.
- Baseball earned 12 points.