Bentley's Gina Lirange & New Haven's Ivy Watts Selected as NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30 Honorees

Bentley's Gina Lirange & New Haven's Ivy Watts Selected as NCAA Woman of the Year Top 30 Honorees



September 3, 2015

MANSFIELD, Mass. - Former Northeast-10 Conference student-athletes Gina Lirange and Ivy Watts were both selected as Woman of the Year Top 30 Honorees by the NCAA, it was announced today.

Lirange, a former field hockey player at Bentley, and Watts, a track and field standout at New Haven will be recognized for their selection by the NCAA at a dinner October 18 in Indianapolis, Indiana.

The NE-10 was the only Division II athletic conference to have more than one student-athlete selected as a Top 30 honoree, and was one of just four conferences overall. The others were the ACC and Pac-12 (Division I), and the Centennial (Division III). 

For 25 years, the NCAA Woman of the Year program has honored the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of outstanding female college athletes. From the Top 30, nine finalists will be named (three from each NCAA division).

The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will then select the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year from among the nine finalists. 

Lirange, whose four years at Bentley culminated with her graduating Summa Cum Laude in May, excelled in the classroom and was active in community service in addition to earning All-America honors on the field. She earned a 3.87 grade point average as an accountancy major, making the President's List each of her first seven semesters.

Lirange was the Falcons’ leading scorer the last two seasons, giving the team double figure goals both years. The former Bentley Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President was accorded second-team Division II All-America honors by the National Field Hockey Coaches Association last fall and twice received All-America recognition from Synapse Sports.

Watts graduated from the University of New Haven with a 3.98 GPA in psychology. She received the 2014-15 Female Distinguished Scholar Athlete Award in March from the New Haven faculty.

A sprinter for the Chargers’ indoor and outdoor women’s track & field teams, Watts has regularly aided a number of community service projects. She holds or is a part of five program records on the track and earned All-America honors in the 4x400-meter relay during the 14-15 indoor season.

Lirange and Watts were recognized by the NE-10 this past June during the league's annual awards banquet, as they were selected as Co-Women of the Year by the conference. 

To see the full list of finalists, please click here.

Speech by Bentley's Gina Lirange at NE-10 Awards Banquet -

Ivy Watts' Speech - 

Lirange and Watts During the Question and Answer Session at the NE-10 Banquet -

The Northeast-10 Conference is an association of 15 NCAA Division II colleges and universities located in New England and New York that is committed to supporting balanced academic and athletic opportunities for more than 6,500 student-athletes.

Each year, 4,500 of those student-athletes compete in conference championships in 24 sports, making the NE-10 the largest DII conference in the country in terms of sport sponsorship. Leading the way in the classroom, on the field and within the community, the Northeast-10 is proud of its comprehensive program and the experience it provides student-athletes.