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Elena Ciccarelli and Alexandra Polivanchuk named December Bison of the Month

Elena Ciccarelli and Alexandra Polivanchuk named December Bison of the Month

WASHINGTON – The Gallaudet University Athletics Department has announced the two recipients of the Bison of the Month award presented by Gallaudet Interpreting Services (GIS) for December. Sophomore women’s basketball forward Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.) and sophomore women’s swimmer Alexandra Polivanchuk (Orebro, Sweden) were selected for their extraordinary performances as Bison student-athletes in the month.

Ciccarelli started all five games for women’s basketball in December where she helped to give the Bison a strong presence on the boards. In a loss to Whittier College in Calif., she grabbed a season-high 12 rebounds against the Poets on Dec. 29. She added six points scored, her second highest mark for the month. Ciccarelli followed that game with an eight-point and seven-rebound game against Williams College. In five games she averaged 3.6 points per game and 5.2 rebounds per game. This is the second year in a row Ciccarelli has been the December Bison of the Month.

“Elena is well deserving of this award. Not only does she work extremely hard in the classroom, Elena works hard to understand the game better as she strives to excel in all aspects,” said Gallaudet women’s basketball coach Stephanie Stevens.

Polivanchuk won five out of six events during two different meets for the Bison in December. On December 1, the Bison opened up conference play with a road trip to Cobleskill, N.Y., to face the host Fighting Tigers and Wells College. She finished first in three different races to pace the Bison. The reigning NEAC Swimmer of the Year edged out Cobleskill's Rachael Degnan in the 100-yard butterfly with a time of 1:04.66 as Degnan came in at 1:05.97 in the sophomore swimmer's closest race of the afternoon. She also won the 100 breaststroke and 200 individual medley with times of 1:15.91 and 2:25.05, respectively, as she finished ahead of the next closest swimmer by more than five seconds in each race. The following week the Bison competed at York, Pa., against the host Spartans and Penn St.-Altoona in a non-conference double dual meet. Polivanchuk was first in the 200-yard IM with a time of 2:22.82 and she was the first to the wall in the 100 backstroke (1:05.53). She narrowly lost her third event, 100 breaststroke, as she finished with a time of 1:15.80.

"This is great recognition for Alex's hard work and leadership. She loves to compete and takes on any challenge that comes her way," said Gallaudet swimming coach Larry Curran.

These are the fourth Bison of the Month awards for the 2012-13 athletic seasons. Each month the Gallaudet University Athletics Department will recognize two standout student-athletes from their respective sports. Previous winners include football running back Nick Elstad (Colorado Springs, Colo.) and women’s volleyball opposite hitter Lane Peters (Phoenix, Ariz.) for November; women’s soccer goalkeeper Kara Gulvas (Crown Point, Ind.) and men’s cross country runner Alex Close (Tallahassee, Fla.) for the month of October; and football senior defensive back Tony Tatum (Gardendale, Ala.) and volleyball senior outside hitter Ann Whited (Fishers, Ind.) for the month of September.

About GIS
GIS, a unit of the division of Administration and Finance at Gallaudet University was established to provide quality-sign language interpreting service to Gallaudet University and its constituencies. Last year, over 75,000 hours of interpreting services were provided to Gallaudet University and clients in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia areas. The passage of the 1992 Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) made equal access for all persons with disabilities the law. This law requires that "reasonable accommodation" be made to allow individuals with disabilities to participate and receive the same services and benefits available to those without disabilities. Gallaudet Interpreting Service (GIS) can assist you with meeting the requirements of the ADA by providing quality, reliable interpreting service for your events. For more information or to contact GIS please visit its website at

2012-13 Gallaudet Bison of the Month