WALTHAM, Mass. – Bentley University All-Americas Lauren Battista (North Easton/Oliver Ames HS) and Amy Varsell (Burlington, Conn./Lewis S. Mills HS) have been selected for the 2011-12 Northeast-10 Conference Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence awards for women's basketball and women's indoor track, respectively.
Sport Excellence awards are given to the premier student-athlete in each of the conference's 23 sports for excellence both on the field of play and in the classroom, and are chosen by a committee of athletic administrators and Faculty Athletic Representatives.
Battista, a sophomore, and Varsell, a junior, certainly have excelled both athletically and academically during their time at Bentley. Battista has amassed a 3.93 grade point average while pursuing a double major in marketing and liberal studies, and has posted back-to-back 4.0 semesters. Varsell has earned a 3.86 GPA as a corporate finance and accounting major. Both have made the President's List every semester they've been at Bentley.
The award is the latest in a long line that Battista has earned with her performance during the 2011-12 season, one that saw her lead the Falcons to their second straight Northeast-10 regular season and playoff championships, a number three national ranking in the final Division II poll, and a return trip to the NCAA Division II Elite Eight where the Falcons reached the national semifinals for the first time since 2003.
Battista, who averaged a team-best 16.8 points and 7.2 rebounds, was selected as the Northeast-10 Player of the Year, the Daktronics Division II East Region Player of the Year, a Women's Basketball Coaches Association All-America and a second-team Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America.
Battista is the newest member of Bentley's 1,000-point club as she became only the second player in the program's distinguished history to achieve that milestone as a sophomore.
Varsell, named the Division II East Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year by the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association, captured her third career All-America award last month when she placed third in the 800 meters at the NCAA Division II Indoor Championships, with a school record time of 2:10.41. She had previously finished fourth in the 800 at both the indoor and outdoor NCAA meets in 2011.
Varsell's indoor season also included defending her 800 championship at the Northeast-10 Championships and capturing the 800 at the New England Championships.
Varsell, who was fourth last fall in the NCAA Division II Cross Country East Regional, owns five school records indoors (400, 500, 800, 4x400, distance medley) and two outdoors (400, 800).