Nicole Birchenough, Dennis Rinaldi Named WNE Student-Athletes of the Week for Nov. 20, 2013

Nicole Birchenough, Dennis Rinaldi Named WNE Student-Athletes of the Week for Nov. 20, 2013
SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--Swimmer Nicole Birchenough and basketball center Dennis Rinaldi have been named Western New England University student-athletes of the week, for the period ending Sunday.

A junior from Lowville, N.Y. (Lowville Academy), Birchenough led the Golden Bears with three victories despite a 149-107 home loss to Gordon College on Saturday. She qualified for the New England Intercollegiate Swimming & Diving Association (NEISDA) Championships with an "A" cut time of 2 minutes and 29.04 seconds in the 200-yard butterfly, setting a personal record. She also took home the 100-freestyle in 1:02.68 and 50-fly in 29.69 seconds.

Three days earlier in a 138-117 defeat to Bridgewater State University, the criminal justice major won both the 50-fly (29.69) and 100-fly (1:06.26) while recording a career-best time of 1:01.71 in the 100-free for second place to set the pace for Western New England.

Rinaldi, of Harrison (N.Y.) High School, earned All-Coaches Versus Cancer Tournament honors at Connecticut College on Saturday and Sunday. The senior economics major posted career highs of 21 points and 18 rebounds in WNE's season debut against Suffolk University, and followed up that performance with a team-best 18 points on 6-of-9 field goal shooting at the host Camels.

Currently, Rinaldi is averaging a double-double of 18.3 points for fifth in the Commonwealth Coast Conference and 10.0 rebounds for second in the CCC. He also tops the conference with 15 offensive rebounds.