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June 20, 2013

New leaders of Tech SAAC refuel for 2013-14 sports season


By Erin Bean

TTU Sports Information

COOKEVILLE, Tenn. -- The 2012-13 Tennessee Tech athletic season has come to an end, but the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) is already looking ahead to next year with a new set of officers. The squad is highlighted by seven different student-athletes across six sports.

Returning in a leadership position is senior soccer star Ellie Iaciofano as SAAC president. After two solid seasons as a Golden Eagle, Iaciofano enjoyed a breakout year in 2012, leading the team in goals (8) and points (20) and tying for the team lead in assists (4). The rising senior received all-OVC second-team honors. Her 20 points were the ninth-highest single season tally in Tech history. Her eight goals were also the ninth highest in single season history.

Iaciofano, from Loveland, Ohio, was awarded the team's Offensive MVP Award following her stellar season in 2012. She recorded three multi-goal games and one multi-assist game. She finished third in the conference in points and points per game as well as third in goals and goals per game. She also ranked in the top 10 in the OVC in assists and assists per game.

She takes over the gavel from past president Kellie Cook.

Second in command as SAAC vice president will be softball rising senior Kendall Hooper from Hermitage, Tenn. Hooper finished the year ranked second on the team with a .281 batting average, while tied for first on the squad in home runs with four. One of two players to see action in all 50 games, she was second on the team in at bats (153) and hits (43). She owned the second-highest slugging percentage (.399) for the Golden Eagles and was third in RBI (21). Hit safely in 32 of her 50 games, with 10 multi-hit games. Including walks, she reached base safely in 40 games. She clubbed a season-best three hits (3-for-3) in game at Morehead State, and had two different six-game hitting streaks. In the first, early in the year, she went 9-for-17 for a .529 average during that six-game stretch. During the second streak, she was 9-for-21 for s .428 average over six games.

Residing in the President-Elect position will be David Hess, a junior member of the Golden Eagle baseball team.

Hess, a right-handed pitcher finished second on the team and fourth in the Ohio Valley Conference in strikeouts with 77. He wrapped up an impressive sophomore campaign finishing 7-2 with a 3.84 ERA, making five starts and 22 total appearances. His 65.2 innings of work ranked third on the team and his .285 batting average allowed was the second lowest among Tech pitchers with over 50 innings pitched. Hess earned Collegiate Baseball newspaper Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week honors after putting together one of the most impressive pitching performances of the season. In just 4.1 innings of work, the Tullahoma, Tenn., native struck out a career-high 11 batters. He faced 14 batters, allowing just one hit and walking none to earn his seventh win of the year. His strikeout total accounted for 85% of his total outs in the contest, the second highest percentage in the nation this season by a pitcher who tossed at least four innings. Five of his 11 Ks were looking.

Holding a second term as secretary will be Meghan O'Donoghue. A member of the Golden Eagle cross country and track & field teams, she competed in a variety of distance events ranging from 3,000 to 10,000 meters. She posted career-best numbers in the 3,000-meter run during the indoor season and the 10,000-meter event during the outdoor season.

Two student-athletes were selected to represent Tennessee Tech at the Ohio Valley Conference SAAC meetings. Remaining on the team is Lucas Woodason, a member of the Golden Eagle football team who played in three games last season before an injury sidelined him for the balance of the season. The Atlanta native returns to the field in 2013 as a redshirt sophomore defensive back. Joining him will be Cortney Fry, a freshman on the Golden Eagle softball team. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, she was the team's starter at second base and one of three players on the team to play in all 50 contests.

Cook will remain be the OVC SAAC representative to the NCAA. The former Golden Eagle basketball player from Madison, Ala., will be enrolled in Tech's graduate program.

In photo above, from left: David Hess, Ellie Iaciofano, Meghan O'Donoghue, Luke Woodason, Kendall Hooper and Cortney Fry.