Arcadia University will induct five new members into its Athletic Hall of Fame in a formal ceremony on Oct. 11, 2014 in the University Commons as part of Fall Fest/Homecoming Weekend.
The Hall of Fame’s Class of 2014 is comprised of four former student-athletes—Tim Fitzgerald ’08 (men’s tennis), Laura Fencik ’07 (softball), Cory Keller ’00 (baseball), and Jenn Szeker ’02 (softball, women’s basketball, women’s tennis)—and former head men’s and women’s tennis head coach Tom McGovern. It is the seventh class inducted into the Arcadia University Athletic Hall of Fame since the inaugural class in 2008.
Tim Fitzgerald ’08 (Men’s Tennis)
Fitzgerald was a three-time conference Player of the Year, conference Rookie of the Year, a three-time conference champion, and a five-time All-Conference honoree in his four seasons as a member of the Arcadia University men’s tennis team.
Fitzgerald was named 2005 Pennsylvania Athletic Conference (PAC) Player and Rookie of the Year after going a combined 25-6 in his first collegiate season, which also saw him capture the 2005 PAC No. 1 doubles title and finish runner-up at No. 1 singles. He was named PAC Player of the Year again in 2007 after posting a combined record of 19-3, which included a perfect 10-0 record in singles play, on his way to capturing the No. 1 singles title and finishing as runner-up at No. 1 doubles.
Arcadia moved from the PAC to the Freedom Conference in Fitzgerald’s senior season, and he was named Freedom Conference Player of the Year and a First-Team All-Conference selection. He went a combined 22-6 in his final collegiate season, which saw him post an undefeated mark of 14-0 at No. 1 singles, ending his collegiate career with a school-record 24-match winning streak in singles competition. He also won the Freedom Conference No. 1 singles title.
Fitzgerald was named to the Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly-SIDA Men’s Tennis Academic All-Area Team and was named 2008 Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly-SIDA Men’s Tennis Academic Performer of the Year, the first Arcadia student-athlete to be named Performer of the Year. (The Philadelphia Inquirer/Philly-SIDA awards program recognizes student-athletes from the NCAA Division I, II, and III colleges and universities in the Philadelphia metropolitan area who excel both academically and athletically.)
Fitzgerald was named 2008 Middle Atlantic Conference Scholar Athlete of the Year, received Arcadia’s Senior Scholar Athlete Award, and earned the University’s Ruth C. Grant Distinguished Achievement Award. He earned Dean’s Distinguished List honors for all eight semesters of his undergraduate career.
Fitzgerald finished with a combined career record of 82-21, going 44-6 in singles play and 38-15 in doubles play. He holds program records for wins in all three categories. His 14 singles victories in 2007-08 and his 13 doubles wins in 2004-05 are both program records for victories in a single season, as are his 25 combined victories in 2004-05. He was named Arcadia’s Most Valuable Senior Athlete in 2008.
Fitzgerald, who earned a bachelor’s degree in photography from Arcadia in 2008, serves as head tennis professional at the DuPont Country Club in Wilmington, Del. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the Rodney Street Tennis Touring Association, a nonprofit organization that helps underserved youths “build lives though tennis and education.”
Cory Keller ’00 (Baseball)
Keller was a two-time All-PAC selection in his four seasons as a member of the baseball team, serving as team captain his junior and senior years.
Keller was named a First-Team All-PAC selection at second base in 1998 after batting a career-best .403 with 24 runs scored, 22 stolen bases, and a .506 on-base percentage, each of which set a single-season school record. Keller was named a Second-Team All-PAC selection in 2000 as a utility player after batting .314 with single-season school-record totals of 33 hits, 35 runs scored, and 24 stolen bases.
Keller finished his career as the Knights’ career-record holder in five categories, including batting average, on-base percentage, hits, runs scored, and stolen bases. His 63 career stolen bases remain a school record.
Keller, who served as an assistant coach in 2001, was also named a four-time PAC All-Academic selection.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in psychobiology at Arcadia, Keller went on to earn a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2005. He now serves as director of Clinical Sports Medicine Outreach at Temple University Orthopedics and Sports Medicine and is the official team physician for Temple University athletics.
Laura Fencik ’07 (Softball)
Fencik is the most decorated student-athlete in the history of the Arcadia University softball program. She is the only two-time National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-American in program history, having earned second-team honors in 2005 and third-team honors in 2007 while being named a three-time NFCA All-Region selection (First-Team 2005 and 2007, Second-Team 2006) and a four-time First-Team All-PAC selection.
Fencik posted a career .397 batting average with 194 hits, 50 home runs, 34 doubles, 171 RBI, and 111 runs scored with a .789 slugging percentage. She ranks among the Knights’ all-time leaders in each of those categories and is the program record holder in home runs, slugging percentage, and total bases (386). Her 50 home runs were the second-most in Division III history at the conclusion of her playing career and place her fifth on the all-time list.
Fencik batted a career-best .455 in 2005 while leading the nation with 18 homers, 60 RBI, and 127 total bases. Her totals in home runs and total bases that season, in addition to her .962 slugging percentage, are single-season school records. At the time, her 18 home runs placed her third on the all-time Division III single-season list; she currently is tied for 11th.
The Knights had their most successful four-year run in the history of the softball program with Fencik. Arcadia went 127-42 (.751) from 2004 to 2007, which included each of the program’s three 30-win seasons. The Knights set school records for wins in three consecutive seasons, culminating with a 34-9 record in 2006. Arcadia went 72-18 in conference play during that time and won the 2007 PAC regular season title with a 20-2 (.909) conference record, setting the program record for conference wins in a single season.
Fencik was also recognized for her performance in the classroom, being named a recipient of Arcadia’s Senior Scholar Athlete Award and being named to the PAC All-Academic Team. Off the field, she served as president of Arcadia’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and served as a conference SAAC representative.
Fencik earned a bachelor’s degree in health administration from Arcadia in 2007. She earned a nursing degree (RN) from Bergen Community College in May 2014, and will pursue her bachelor’s in nursing at the University of Texas at Arlington.
Tom McGovern, Head Coach (Men’s and Women’s Tennis)
McGovern guided the men’s and women’s tennis programs from 1994 to 2004 and is the all-time winningest coach in the history of both programs. The two programs combined for 156 total victories, 16 winning seasons, and two PAC titles. A total of 43 players earned All-Conference honors, 23 of which were conference champions.
McGovern led the women’s program to an overall record of 88-53, which included a 55-35 record in PAC matches and seven winning seasons. A total of 13 players combined for 22 All-Conference selections for McGovern, a number that includes eight players that captured a combined 13 PAC titles. He coached the program’s only conference Players of the Year: Jen Szeker in 2001 and Jin Hong in 2003.
McGovern was named 2001 PAC Coach of the Year after leading the Knights to a perfect 15-0 record and the program’s first conference title. That undefeated season was the first and, to-date, only undefeated season in conference history.
The women’s tennis team recorded double-digit win totals in four consecutive seasons from 1998 to 2001, setting the school record for wins three times. The 15 victories in 2001 still stand as the team record for wins in a season.
McGovern led the men’s program to an overall record of 68-41, which included a 44-18 record in PAC matches and nine winning seasons. A total of 21 players earned All-Conference honors, with 15 individuals combining for 21 conference championships, including 1997 PAC Player of the Year Matt Wentzel and 2000 PAC Player of the Year Vince Abate. Also among those All-Conference selections was Lak Shpabmixay, who would succeed McGovern as head men’s and women’s tennis coach.
McGovern was named 2000 PAC Coach of the Year after leading the Knights to a first-place tie in the conference standings at 5-1. Arcadia captured its first PAC title two years later in 2003 with a perfect league mark of 7-0 and a school-record nine total victories. The Knights bested that overall win total the following season with 10 victories, which still stands as the school record for wins in a season.
Jenn Szeker ’02 (Softball, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Tennis)
Szeker is the only student-athlete in University history to earn all-conference honors in three sports—as a member of the women’s tennis team three times and one time each as a member of the women’s basketball and softball teams.
Szeker posted a combined career record of 101-19 (.842) in four seasons as a member of the women’s tennis team, posting a career record of 55-7 (.887) in singles play and a 46-12 (.793) record in doubles action. She was named 2001 PAC Player of the Year after posting a combined record of 32-2, which included a perfect 17-0 record in singles play as she won the PAC title at No. 1 singles and was runner-up at No. 2 doubles. Szeker was 14-2 in singles play as a freshman and took home the PAC title at No. 3 singles that year.
The women’s tennis team had its most successful four-year run in program history during Szeker’s tenure, posting an overall record of 51-12 (.810) that included a 34-5 (.872) in PAC play. The Knights went a perfect 15-0 in Szeker’s senior season, which included capturing the program’s first conference title.
Szeker appeared in 104 games as a member of the softball team, posting a career .353 batting average with 113 hits, 73 runs scored, and 47 RBI. She earned First-Team All-PAC honors after batting .395 with career-high totals of 45 hits, 29 runs scored, and 18 RBI in 2002, and she batted a career-best .455 with a career high 10 doubles as a sophomore.
As a member of the women’s basketball team, Szeker appeared in 89 games and averaged 6.8 points and 7.3 rebounds in her four seasons with the program. She received honorable mention to the 2000-01 PAC All-Conference Team after averaging career highs of 8.6 points and 9.2 rebounds per game. Szeker finished her career ranked among the Knights’ career leaders in points, made free throws, rebounds per game and steals, and she was the program’s record holder in rebounds. Her career rebound and steal totals are still in the top 10 at Arcadia.
Arcadia’s 2002 Female Senior Athlete of the Year, Szeker earned her bachelor’s degree in scientific illustration from Arcadia in 2002 and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University in 2008.