Bucknell University Announces Women's Water Polo Awards for 2011 Season

Kandis Canonica
Kandis Canonica

LEWISBURG, Pa. – Seven members of the Bucknell University women’s water polo program were recognized last week with team awards. Kandis Canonica (Burlingame, Calif./St. Ignatius Prep), Hallie Kennan (Palo Alto, Calif./Palo Alto), Meghan McNally (Floral Park, N.Y./Sacred Heart Academy), Amanda Skonezney (Mechanicsburg, Pa./Cumberland Valley), Heather Smith (Redwood City, Calif./Sacred Heart Prep), Stephanie Ovalle (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) and Julianne Valdes (Miami, Fla./Gulliver Prep) each earned an award following a 2011 season that saw the Bison post a 13-18 record and finish in seventh place at the Eastern Championship.

Canonica earned the Vicki Gorman Award, which is given to recognize “contribution to Bucknell water polo at a level in excess of expectations”. This is the second time Canonica has been honored with the Vicki Gorman Award, having shared it with Valentina Rozas as a sophomore in 2009.


Bucknell’s all-time leading scorer with 423 career points and the program’s leader in career assists with 221, Canonica led the Bison in scoring this year with 88 points on 43 goals and a team-high 45 assists. The co-captain also drew a team-best 50 ejections and 15 steals in her final season.

A 2010 Honorable Mention All-America selection, Canonica was a four-time all-conference honoree and was an All-Eastern Championship selection each of the last two years. She is the only player in program history to post three 100-point campaigns and she became the fourth player to net 200 career goals when she tallied three in her final contest against George Washington

Kennan was the recipient of the Allyson Gillespie Award, which is given annually in recognition of “leadership, loyalty and total dedication to Bucknell water polo”. The junior left-hander earned the Most Improved Award in 2010 and bettered many of those numbers with 55 goals, 32 assists, 87 points, 41 steals and 16 ejections drawn this season.

A veteran of 93 career games, Kennan spent her first year as a primary starter in 2011 and was second on the team in points and led the way in steals. She will enter her senior campaign just five points shy of 200 in her career and just 35 shy of joining the program’s top-10 scoring list.

Skonezney was named the Lynn Kachmarik Award winner for “unwavering commitment, and a selfless generosity to teammates”. A third-year starter as a junior, Skonezney broke Bucknell’s career record for sprints won in 2011 and has now captured 145 in her three-year career.

In addition to her team-high 29 sprints won, Skonezney posted 22 goals, tied her career high with 21 assists and registered her third consecutive 40-point season. She also recorded 18 steals and a career-high 14 ejections drawn.

Senior co-captain McNally earned the Class of '99 Award, which “recognizes the first graduating class whose perseverance and dedication led to the establishment of the program”. This season, McNally played in all 31 games, starting nine, and totaled career highs in goals (13), assists (12) and points (25). She also posted six steals and drew a career-high eight ejections.

Freshmen Smith and Ovalle shared the Most Improved Award, marking the first time rookies earned the honor since Jessica Trimis in 2004. Smith’s 26 starts were second-most on the team behind Canonica, while she tallied 24 goals and eight assists. She also posted 26 steals and drew 12 ejections.

Ovalle, who teamed with Skonezney to form a potent sprint duo, won 26 of 40 sprints this past spring. She also contributed on the offensive end with 14 goals and 18 assists, tying Smith for seventh on the team in points (32).

A fellow freshman, Valdes, earned Rookie of the Year honors, continuing a string of high-scoring freshmen for the Bison. Valdes finished third on the team in points (85), was second in goals (47) and second in assists (38).Her 42 ejections drawn ranked second on the squad, while she also added 29 steals, third-most on the Bison.

Valdes finished the season with 25 multi-point games and she registered at least one point in 30 of 31 games played.

Allyson Gillespie Award
* - recognizes demonstrated leadership, loyalty and total dedication to Bucknell water polo
1999: Dana Cull
2000: Paige Cull
2001: Julie McLaughlin
2002: Adrienne Schober
2003: Kelly Hofstetter
2004: Mandy Bynum
2005: Meg Blitzer
2006: Elizabeth Jensen
2007: Meagan Gins
2008: Aubrey Rowe
2009: Aubrey Rowe
2010: Alison Carter
2011: Hallie Kennan

Vicki Gorman Award
* - recognizes contribution to Bucknell water polo at level in excess of expectations
1999: Kristen D’Agostino
2000: Adrienne Schober
2001: Paige Cull
2002: Brooke Rea
2003: Cody Keffer
2004: Meg Blitzer
2005: Mandy Bynum, Cody Keffer
2006: Meagan Gins
2007: Aubrey Rowe
2008: Valentina Rozas
2009: Kandis Canonica, Valentina Rozas
2010: Valentina Rozas
2011: Kandis Canonica

Class of ’99 Award
* - recognizes first graduating class whose perseverance and dedication led to establishment of program
1999: Dana Cull, Alyson Kienle, Meghan Rielly, Courtney Watson
2000: Kristen D’Agostino, Emily McKnight
2001: Allison Hernandez
2002: Lindsay Chesterfield
2003: Jamie Fulop
2004: Kelly Hofstetter
2005: Katie Hartigan
2006: Amanda Nogic
2007: Mandy Bynum
2008: Jennifer Swoyer
2009: Kelsey Herrmann, Rachel McGillis
2010: Shana Palencia
2011: Meghan McNally

Lynn Kachmarik Award
* - presented for unwavering commitment and a selfless generosity to teammates
1999: Deann Long
2000: Dana Clarke
2001: Kimberly Kaczor, Katie Stahler, Caity Selleck
2002: Eileen Ketterer
2003: Amy Woolish
2004: Elizabeth Jensen
2005: Eileen Ketterer, Sadie Abuhoff
2006: Mandy Bynum, Mallory Sullivan
2007: Sadie Abuhoff
2008: Meagan Gins
2009: Shana Palencia
2010: Kandis Canonica
2011: Amanda Skonezney

Most Improved Award
2000: Brooke Rea, Katie Stahler
2001: Dana Clarke, Elizabeth Wilmarth
2002: Meredith Stevens, Ashley Aiken
2004: Jessica Trimis
2005: Amanda Nogic
2006: Susan Kingerski, Laura Stalker
2007: Jennifer Swoyer
2008: Shana Palencia
2009: Meghan McNally
2010: Hallie Kennan
2011: Heather Smith, Stephanie Ovalle

Rookie of the Year
2001: Kelly Hofstetter
2002: Cody Keffer
2003: Kaitlin Bardoe
2004: Mallory Sullivan
2005: Meagan Gins
2006: Aubrey Rowe
2007: Valentina Rozas
2008: Whitney Allen, Kandis Canonica, Haley Prickett
2009: Amanda Skonezney
2010: Tara Murao
2011: Julianne Valdes

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