May 22, 2010

Gettysburg's Ditillo Named Elite 88 Winner

from press release

– There may not have been a better ending to the first day of festivities of the 2010 NCAA Division II and III Women's Lacrosse Championships at Gettysburg College as the Bullets' very own Nicole Ditillo (Baldwin, Md./Fallston) was honored as the first recipient of the NCAA's Elite 88 academic award at the conclusion of the Championships Banquet held in the College Union Building Ballroom Friday evening.

The ELITE 88, an award founded by the NCAA, recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 88 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA's 88 championships.

Ditillo held the top GPA among the 115 Division III women's lacrosse players competing in this year's championship event. An English and psychology double-major, she finished her tenure at Gettysburg with an adjusted GPA of 3.969.

After receiving the award from NCAA Championships Manager Sherard Clinkscales, Ditillo humbly took the podium and thanked both her teammates and coaches, particularly citing the good-nature ribbing from her lacrosse peers for being one of the College's top students.

C.W. Post's Kaurey Foley was named the first Elite 88 recipient out of the gathered Division II teams.

Earlier this week, Ditillo was tabbed ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District First Team for the second time by CoSIDA. She was tabbed the lacrosse program's first Academic All-American last spring, earning a spot on the second team, and she will vie for that same honor in the coming weeks.

Ditillo is a starting defender on Gettysburg's women's lacrosse team and was named All-Centennial Conference Honorable Mention this spring. A team co-captain, she has led the Bullets' defense to a No. 3 ranking in Division III in scoring defense with a goals against average of 6.51. Ditillo is the only Bullet to appear in all 21 games this season and has posted career highs for ground balls (37) and caused turnovers (18), in addition to 36 draw controls.

In addition to her awards as a student-athlete, Ditillo was recently named the first recipient of the Janet Morgan Riggs '77 Endowed Scholarship, which recognizes a worthy and promising student who majors in psychology.

Ditillo's future plans include travelling to England in the fall to teach lacrosse to grade school students through the English Lacrosse Association. After completing her time in England, she intends to head back to school to pursue a master's degree and teach certification to become a high school English teacher.

But first, Ditillo will look to lead the Bullets to their first national title this weekend as the team hosts the semifinals and championship at Clark Field. Gettysburg (18-3) takes on Salisbury University (19-1) Saturday, May 22, at 2 p..m. with the national finale set for Sunday at 3.

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