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home : sports : regional December 17, 2014

Former LI Standout Shufelt Named GNAC Woman of Year

BOSTON -- Her ability on the court and field is equalled only by a sunny disposition, and the Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) honored one of its top athletes Wednesday by naming St. Joseph's College's Danyelle Shufelt its 2012-13 GNAC Woman of the Year.

Shufelt, a four-year member of the Monks' softball and basketball programs, graduated cum laude this past May as a Biology/Pre-Physician's Assistant major.

A 2009 Lyndon Institute grad, Shufelt was as stellar in the classroom as she was on the court and the diamond. She claimed three All-Conference accolades as a four-year starter for the Monks' softball team, and three GNAC All-Academic honors.

"Being a successful scholar-athlete and an influential volunteer has given me opportunities to gain a sense of community involvement and pride, to develop new social networks, and to devote time to something I love," Shufelt said. "I have grown tremendously in self-confidence and leadership and have developed stronger teamwork and life skills. This honor really means a lot to me."

The daughter of Jim and Shelley Shufelt of Sutton, Danyelle helped her teams to a 200-82 record since stepping on campus in the fall of 2009. The Monks made conference tournament appearances in seven of eight possible occasions with her in uniform. She helped the softball team to three consecutive GNAC softball titles (2011-13) and St. Joseph's basketball team three times advanced to the GNAC semis or better, including a championship appearance in 2012, with Shufelt in the fold.

A durable player, Shufelt missed only three games (all during her freshman basketball season) during her two-sport NCAA career. She played in 103 games with 36 starts -- including all 27 games as a senior -- for the Monks' basketball team and started all 176 contests for the SJC softball program over the last four seasons. Upon further research, it is believed that no athlete has participated in more games (279) at St. Joseph's College.

Shufelt leaves the softball program as the Monks' all-time leader in games (176) and at bats (607), and ranks second in team history in hits (231) and runs scored (163). A career .381 hitter, she is also third in SJC softball annals in stolen bases with 50 thefts in 52 attempts over four seasons. She is just the second player in program history to eclipse the 200-hit mark.

She posted her finest softball season in 2013, hitting .446 (78-175) with 51 runs, five doubles, five triples, 20 RBI and 22 stolen bases in as many attempts. A senior captain, Shufelt broke the Monks' single-season records for hits and at bats.

"Danyelle truly had a special senior year," said softball coach Jamie Smyth. "I am so happy for her personally for winning this award, which she truly deserved. This team has been fortunate to have had players like Danyelle and (2011 GNAC Woman of the Year) Alyssa Dunn -- two young women who have played significant roles in where [our] softball program is today."

Also a fine player on the hardwood, Shufelt netted 771 points with 212 rebounds, 183 assists and 130 steals as a four-year member. She posted career-highs in scoring (11.5 PPG), assists (72) and steals (51) as a senior co-captain, and capped her career as the third-most efficient three-point shooter in program history, having made 83.3% (230-276) from the charity stripe over four seasons.

"It is not very often that you have a student-athlete like Danyelle as part of your program," said basketball coach Mike McDevitt. "A dean's list student who also excelled as a two-sport athlete is very rare these days and this honor is a tribute to all her hard work and dedication. We are very proud of all that Danyelle has accomplished during her four years."

Away from the game, Shufelt worked basketball and softball clinics and also worked as a math tutor at Saint Joseph's.

By earning the GNAC Woman of the Year honor, Shufelt is now a candidate for NCAA Woman of the Year. According to, the award "honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, community service and leadership."

The top ten finalists from Division III will be named by the NCAA in August. The national winner will be announced at the Woman of the Year Awards Dinner in Indianapolis on Oct. 20, 2013.

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