A For Effort: WIHC Produces Academic Excellence During Fall Term

Dina DuBac has earned PSU's Freshman Academic Achievement Award

Strong academic performance has become more or less routine for the Penn State Women's Ice Hockey Club, and this past fall semester was no exception.

The squad posted a 3.41 grade point average overall during the term, with ten of 23 rostered players qualifying for Dean's List recognition through a GPA of 3.50 or better.

Dina DuBac was one of the ten who earned that distinction with a 3.53 in her first semester. That mark is tops among freshmen, therefore making the Pittsburgh native the winner of the team's Freshman Academic Achievement Award. The honor, inaugurated last season to encourage rookies to deliver a strong start to their college coursework, was won then by Rachel Cole but also given retroactively to Devon Fisk, Lucy Yeatman and Claire Gauthier.

Cole and Yeatman remain among the team's strongest academic performers with 3.98 and 3.91 cumulative GPAs in pre-medicine and mathematics/actuarial science, respectively. Riley O'Connor (3.87, biobehavioral health) and Tarika Embar (3.74, kinesiology) have also been elite in the classroom throughout their careers. Four other players also carry at least a 3.50, including Cassie Dunne, Kelly Watson, Sophie Paolizzi and, of course, DuBac.

ACHA Academic All-American honors, while given somewhat irregularly (last season marked the first year for the award since 2011-12) and not announced until the end of the season, are generally bestowed on upperclass players with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50. Under that definition, seniors Yeatman and Dunne, along with juniors O'Connor, Embar and Watson would each qualify.

Specific to the fall, O'Connor and Cole were spotless with 4.00 marks, while Watson (3.93, biology), Yeatman (3.85) and Embar (3.83) came close.

The Lady Ice Lions have this weekend off after four straight with games, but return to action next weekend to close the 2016-17 campaign with the ECWHL playoffs, hosted by the University of Massachusetts. Seeding for the tournament will not be finalized until this weekend's matches are complete, but a first round on Friday, February 24th between the fourth and fifth place teams will be followed by the semifinals on Saturday, February 25th and the championship and third-place games on Sunday, February 26th.

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