A pair of Central Connecticut student-athletes were among a group of 10 honored by the Northeast Conference with Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors it was announced Tuesday. Natalie Novak of the volleyball team and Mason Schloop of the football squad were among the group of honorees, all of whom graduated with perfect academic records.
Novak was among a record-high seven high-achieving women honored as co-recipients of the NEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year award after completing their undergraduate careers with 4.00 grade-point averages — Wagner's Madeleine Delore (women's swimming & diving), Sacred Heart's Mari Fay (women's tennis), LIU's Laurie Hauet (women's track and field), LIU's Shyla Sanford (women's basketball), LIU's Grace Scura (women's fencing) and Merrimack's Jenna Wike (softball) rounded out the group.
Schloop was among the group of three men to equal the perfection to earn the male honor — Saint Francis U's Matt Blose (men's tennis), and LIU's Demetri Skoumbakis (men's soccer) were also honored.
Novak, a setter on the volleyball team, becomes the second Blue Devil to garner NEC Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year distinction, joining former women's volleyball player Nicole Dean (2016-17). The Exercise Science major played in 42 career matches over three seasons. In 2021, Novak dished out 20+ assists six times to rank second on the team with 4.06 per set.
Central Connecticut's first-ever NEC Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year honoree, Schloop also becomes the first NEC football student-athlete to attain the award. The Exercise Science major made 17 appearances for the Blue Devils as an offensive lineman. In 2019, Schloop logged time in nine games for league's top offense, which finished No. 8 in the nation in time of possession and No. 17 in yards on the ground.
In its 16th year, the NEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, which is sponsored by the league's Faculty Athletic Representatives, goes to the male and female student-athletes who have graduated after compiling the highest grade point average in the Conference at the conclusion of the academic calendar.
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 41st season, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 10 institutions of higher learning located throughout seven states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to a number of the largest markets in the United States including New York (#1), Boston (#9), Baltimore (#26), Hartford/New Haven (#33) and Providence (#53). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 24 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic access to 16 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions in 2022-23 will include Central Connecticut, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU, Merrimack, Mount St. Mary's, Sacred Heart, St. Francis Brooklyn, Saint Francis U, Stonehill and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league's official website official website (www.northeastconference.org) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok, all @NECsports.