BRISTOL, Tenn. – The King College Student-Athlete Advisory Committee has named their student-athletes of the month for both December and January. Men’s Basketball and Women’s Wrestling were well represented as Eddie Piccinini and Julia Salata were named for the month of January, while Brian Hewitt and Sam Klingel were named for February.
Eddie Piccinini (Orlando, Fla.) helped the Tornado men’s basketball team ride a nine-game winning streak and an eight-game conference win streak. In eight games during the month, Piccinini shot 40 percent or higher in six of them. He topped the charts at home in a win against Barton College when he scored a season-high 30 points where he shot 7-of-11 from the field and hit 4-of-5 from three-point range that night. During January, he averaged 18.1 points-per-game and shot above 40 percent from short and long range. Over that time he also registered 4.0 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and a little over one steal per game.
Julie Salata (Canton, Mich.) has worked her way to a No. 1 ranking at the 170-pound division coming into the WCWA National Championships. She defended it by defeating No. 2 Brittany Roberts of Oklahoma City University in come-from-behind fashion, by decision (4-5, 1-0, 1-0). Salata finished the WCWA National Championships in fourth place overall at the 170-pound class, finishing 3-2 on the day. In her semifinal bout, she lost to eventual champion Justine Distasio (Simon Fraser) by decision (1-0, 1-0). She won her first two matches, including a win over nationally-ranked Brittany Jones (Missouri Valley) and one pin.
SAAC also named their athletes of the month for December, representing the best athletes over the winter break. Brian Hewitt was named Male Athlete of the Month as the Tornado men’s basketball team went 3-1 over the break, falling only top No. 3 Lincoln Memorial. Over the three-game span, Hewitt averaged 13.8 points per game, and shot 43 percent from three-point range. His best game was in the team’s loss to LMU when he scored 23 on 6-of-11 from deep and 8-of-16 from the floor. Sam Klingel was named Female Athlete of the Month, going 3-2 in competition while maintaining a No. 2 overall ranking in the 116-pound weight class. Among her wins, she defeated No. 1 Gabby Henry of the Cumberlands with a pin in the second period.