Westfield's Rachel Dionne selected Academic All-America

Westfield State University senior Rachel Dionne (Feeding Hills/Agawam High School) earned another prestigious scholar-athlete award as she was named to the 2011 Capital One Academic All-America® Women's At-Large Second Team, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

The Women's At-Large program for Academic All-America® includes the sports of bowling, crew, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis and water polo. The nation's top student-athletes are recognized for their combined performance on the playing fields and in the classroom.

"This is a great honor for Rachel and we congratulate her on her outstanding academic and athletic career," said Westfield State athletics director Dick Lenfest. "We have had a number of outstanding student-athletes in my six years at Westfield and we are constantly striving to maintain that trend."

A lacrosse and cross country standout for the Owls, Dionne graduated from Westfield State University on May 21 with a cumulative grade point average of 3.992, majoring in mathematics. She was Westfield's senior female co-scholar-athlete of the year and the New England Women's Lacrosse Alliance (NEWLA) scholar-athlete of the year in 2010 and 2011.

Dionne was a NEWLA first-team all-conference selection four consecutive years. In 15 games this season the hustling midfielder ranked third on team with 52 points (28 goals, 24 assists); she ranks second on Westfield's career scoring charts with 180 goals, 94 assists and 274 points. In addition, she was a member of the cross country team for the past three years and was all-conference in 2010, placing fourth.

Dionne was an Academic All-District first team selection in 2011 and a second team pick in 2010. She is the fifth Westfield State student-athlete to earn Academic All-District honors in the past two years. Other Owls honored have been Stephanie Bartkus (volleyball), Alicia Gardner (softball), Kerry Arouca (track and field/cross country), and Kate MacLellan (soccer).

Dionne is the first Westfield State student-athlete to earn Academic All-America® honors in 24 years. Lisa Lebiecki (first team, softball), George Bent (second team, basketball) and Cheryl Bassett (third team, softball) were Academic All-Americans in 1987. Lebiecki also was a second-team selection in 1986.
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director.

Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 14,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.

For more information about the Academic All-America® Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com.