LATHAM, N.Y. – In a groundbreaking moment for the United East Conference, Hannah Gorel ’23 from Jessup, Md./Hammond has been recognized as the inaugural recipient of the United East Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete Award for Women’s Tennis. The conference office made the announcement on Tuesday morning, June 20.

The prestigious award is bestowed upon a graduating senior student-athlete who has excelled in academics, athletics, and community service. Each institution can nominate one student-athlete from each sport, and a voting group determines the final selection. The nominees’ cumulative grade point average (GPA) is a crucial criterion in the selection process.

Hannah Gorel vs. Goucher (3.5.23) Credit: Bill Wood

Interim Head Coach Sona Hussian spoke highly of Hannah, stating, “Hannah is one of the finest student-athletes to put on a Seahawks uniform. She puts in hard work on and off the court with a positive attitude.”

To qualify for the award, student-athletes must hold senior or graduate student class standing, have competed for at least two years at their current institution in any sport, be a leading contributor to their team’s success throughout their career, maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher, and demonstrate active leadership and community service involvement during their collegiate tenure.

This recent accolade follows closely on the heels of Hannah Gorel’s recognition as a member of the Academic All-America® First Team, as selected by the College Sports Communicators on June 1. This marks the 12th time a Seahawk has received the prestigious Academic All-America® award, with Hannah being the first since 2018.

Hannah Gorel joins an elite group of Seahawk athletes who have earned the United East Senior Scholar-Athlete Award in their respective sports. Liam deLone-Bellsey ’23 was honored in men’s soccer, while Lily Davison ’23 was bestowed the award in women’s lacrosse.

During her tenure as a student-athlete, Hannah Gorel captained the team for three years. She maintained a perfect academic record, graduating as one of the four valedictorians for the Class of 2023, with a 4.0 cumulative grade point average as a double major in computer science and mathematics. She delivered the valedictory address during the graduation ceremony.

Hannah consistently made the Dean’s List every semester, a distinction awarded to students who achieve a minimum semester grade-point average of 3.50 or higher on all courses attempted with at least 12 credit hours taken for a letter grade. She was also named a St. Mary’s Scholar for three consecutive years (2021, 2022, and 2023), an honor reserved for juniors and seniors who have earned at least 32 credit hours and maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher.

Furthermore, Hannah Gorel was an active member of Chi Alpha Sigma, the national collegiate student-athlete honor society for juniors and seniors. She was recognized as a co-recipient of the Female Scholar-Athlete Award at the 2023 Awards Convocation. Established in 1975, this esteemed award honors the female junior or senior varsity athlete who maintains a cumulative GPA of at least 3.50 or higher, has earned at least 32 semester-hours, and has played an important role on one or more varsity teams.

Beyond her academic achievements, Hannah also served as the president of the College chapter of the Society of Industrial and Applied Mathematics. Additionally, she actively participated in various clubs and organizations, including Best Buddies, Dance, and Equestrian Clubs. Her dedication to both academics and extracurricular activities earned her recognition as a well-rounded scholar-athlete.

Hannah Gorel’s commitment to excellence extended to her athletic endeavors as well. She was named to the 2019-20 Capital Athletic Conference and 2020-21 Coast-To-Coast Athletic Conference All-Academic Teams. In 2022, she was honored as a United East Conference Scholar-Athlete. Furthermore, Hannah received the United East Elite 14 Award, which recognizes the student-athlete with the highest GPA from a team competing in the United East Conference Championship Tournament.

On the tennis court, Hannah displayed her skills and dedication. During her senior campaign, she achieved a 4-9 overall singles record, with a 2-2 record in United East Conference matches. Her performance at No. 2 singles was particularly commendable, with a 4-5 record. Hannah achieved a 6-11 overall record in doubles, including a 4-1 record in United East Conference matches and a 6-8 record at No. 1 doubles.

Throughout her Seahawk career, Hannah Gorel’s exceptional abilities earned her recognition. She was named to the All-United East selection twice for doubles, earning First Team in 2022 and Second Team in 2023. In addition, she received an All-United East Second Team award for her performance at No. 2 singles in 2022.

As she moves forward from her collegiate career, Hannah Gorel has secured a position as a software engineer with Microsoft. Her remarkable achievements as a scholar-athlete have undoubtedly prepared her for success in her future endeavors.

The United East Conference Senior Scholar-Athlete Award for Women’s Tennis highlights the outstanding accomplishments of Hannah Gorel both on and off the court. Her dedication to academic excellence, athletic achievement, and community involvement sets a high standard for student-athletes everywhere. Hannah’s impressive list of accolades reflects her unwavering commitment to her studies, her sport, and making a positive impact in her community.

As the inaugural recipient of this esteemed award, Hannah Gorel inspires her teammates, fellow student-athletes, and future generations. Her hard work, leadership, and exceptional character embody the true spirit of a scholar-athlete. The United East Conference congratulates Hannah on this well-deserved recognition and wishes her continued success in her future endeavors.

David M. Higgins II is an award-winning journalist passionate about uncovering the truth and telling compelling stories. Born in Baltimore and raised in Southern Maryland, he has lived in several East...

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