Howell, Johnson named to All-MEC Acro & Tumbling First Team


BRIDGEPORT —The Mountain East Conference today announced its first Acrobatics & Tumbling All-MEC teams along with its top honors for the 2019 season. The student-athletes will be presented their awards at the inaugural MEC Acrobatics & Tumbling Championship this weekend at Fairmont State. 

Fairmont State headlined the awards with Karah Naples named Athlete of the Year, Kelsey Kyle selected as the Specialist of the Year, Catherine Reynolds tabbed as the Freshman of the Year, and Kristi Kiefer was chosen as the Coach of the Year.

Naples, a senior from Woodbridge, Va., was a two-time MEC Athlete of the Week and National Collegiate Acrobatics & Tumbling Association (NCATA) Specialist of the Week in 2019. She helped Fairmont State post a perfect 10 in the Open Pyramid four times this season, and added two more perfect scores in the inversion pyramid and open toss during the 2019 season. Naples also averages a 9.475 in her individual tumbling pass, the aerial, this season. Overall, she competes in eight heats and team event for the Falcons.

Kyle, a senior from Parsons, W.Va., is the Specialist of the Year for her efforts in 2019. She serves as a base during competitions, including Pyramid, where she has helped Fairmont State post a perfect score of 10.0 in five different meets this year. Kyle helped Fairmont State average a 9.77 in the inversion pyramid, and a 9.98 in the open pyramid this season. The open pyramid has not scored below a 9.95 (out of 10.0) this season.

Reynolds, a native of Fairfax, Va., competes as a top, base and tumbler in six different heats and team event for Fairmont State as a freshman. She was selected as the NCATA Freshman of the Week on two occasions this season, and on the NCATA honor roll three other weeks. She's twice completed an individual tumbling pass that had not been done in NCATA competition, with her second pass scoring season-highs 9.90 in the last two competitions. Reynolds averaged a 9.70 in the six-element tumbling pass this season.

Kiefer is the Coach of the Year after guiding Fairmont State to a 6-1 overall record, including a perfect 4-0 mark against MEC competition to earn the league's first regular season title.

Additionally, the Falcons are ranked No. 5 in the country in the most recent NCATA rankings. Fairmont State posted a season-high 278.680 in its final meet of the season as it heads into this weekend as the top seed for the MEC Championships. Fairmont State’s meet score of 278.680 is the highest for the program since the 2014 season.

In addition to Naples, Kyle and Reynolds, Haley Alitzer and Abagail Settembrino were also chosen to the All-MEC first team. Glenville State had three student-athletes earn first team honors in Brianna D'Angelo, Sarah DiSpaltro and Jenae Shar. West Virginia Wesleyan was represented on the first team by Nicole Johnson and Joniah Howell. Davis & Elkins' Nina Day also had a spot on the first team, as did West Liberty's Theresa Evangelista.

Earning All-MEC second team honors were: Kylee Buzzard (West Liberty), Sarah Calk (Urbana), Jackie Deary (Glenville State), Lexus Ficca (West Liberty), Cheyenna Jones (Davis & Elkins), Kenzie Kyle (West Liberty), Kassidy Montondo (Davis & Elkins), Kate-Lynn Sidenstecker (Urbana), Jennifer Tassos (Fairmont State) and Rebekah White (West Virginia Wesleyan).

The All-MEC teams and honors are selected by a vote of the league's coaches.

2019 All-MEC First Team

Name School Cl. Hometown

Haley Alitzer Fairmont State Sr. Middletown, Del.

Nina Day Davis & Elkins Fr. Sandwich, Ill.

Brianna D'Angelo Glenville State Sr. Endicott, N.Y.

Sarah DiSpaltro Glenville State Sr. San Diego, Calif.

Theresa Evangelista West Liberty Fr. Zebulon, N.C.

Nicole Johnson W.Va. Wesleyan So. Lubbock, Texas

Joniah Howell W.Va. Wesleyan Fr. Waco, Texas

Kelsey Kyle Fairmont State Sr. Parsons, W.Va.

Karah Naples Fairmont State Sr. Woodbridge, Va.

Catherine Reynolds Fairmont State Fr. Fairfax, Va.

Abagail Settembrino Fairmont State Sr. Pittsburgh, Pa.

Jenae Shar Glenville State Sr. Washingtonville, Ohio

2019 All-MEC Second Team

Name School Cl Hometown

Kylee Buzzard West Liberty So. St. Marys, W.Va.

Sarah Calk Urbana Fr. Corpus Christi, Texas

Jackie Deary Glenville State Sr. Brooklyn, Conn.

Lexus Ficca West Liberty So. Weirton, W.Va.

Cheyenna Jones Davis & Elkins So. San Jose, Calif.

Kenzie Kyle West Liberty So. Parsons, W.Va.

Kassidy Montondo Davis & Elkins So. Watertown, N.Y.

Kate-Lynn Sidenstecker Urbana Fr. Bay City, Mich.

Jennifer Tassos Fairmont State Sr. Clarksburg, W.Va.

Rebekah White W.Va. Wesleyan Fr. Williamson, W.Va.

Athlete of the Year: Kara Naples (Fairmont State)

Specialist of the Year: Kelsey Kyle (Fairmont State)

Freshman of the Year: Catherine Reynolds (Fairmont State)

Coach of the Year: Kristi Kiefer (Fairmont State)

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