Chronicle Athletes of the Week: Amoi Alawoya and Aldin Beslagic
Hometown: Pomona, Calif.
In her very last game at the Burt Khan Court, Alawoya registered a double-double and put the Bobcats on her shoulder during a nail-biting, 3-2 loss to conference rival St. Francis, Pa.
Alawoya posted 16 kills along with 15 digs as the fifth-place ‘Cats came roaring back from two games down to force a fifth set in the senior day showdown. In 57 games played, Alawoya has notched 114 kills (2.00 kills per game) and has once again emerged as one of the team leaders in assists.
Alawoya is also a vocal leader on the court and rounds out a strong senior class which includes Danielle Erickson, Caitlin Casti, Erika Montgomery and Jamie Locke. This quintet of seniors has all been playing together since 2002 when they were just callow freshman.
Interesting Facts: The California native had a storied career at Pomona High School, which is recognized as one of the state’s perennial powers and sets the standard in girls’ volleyball competition.
At Pomona, Alawoya was a four-year starter and floor general. She also competed in softball. She was able to do all of this while excelling on the prestigious “Crush N’ Stuff” club team, which was the top finisher in the 2002 California State and Torneo Volleyball Festival.
Alawoya was sidelined by nagging injuries for nearly all of her freshman year but came back strong the following year. As a high school senior, Alawoya received some national exposure as she was named to the Sports Edition of Who’s Who Among American High School Students, which recognizes the country’s outstanding high school athletes.
Class: Graduate Student
Hometown: Derventa, Bosnia/Guglingen, Germany
Major: Administration (pursuing an MBA)
Beslagic, a 6-foot-6, 220-lb. defenseman, was a force to be reckoned with during his final season in a Bobcat uniform. Beslagic has been with the team since 2001 and thus shouldered a great deal of experience for a young team.
Beslagic, a player who has labored through the team’s ups and downs throughout the years, led by example in his fifth and final year. He had a medical red shirt after playing in just two games during the 2002 season, giving him the extra year of eligibility.
He is long and aggressive and great in the air – Beslagic won nearly every served ball that came his way this year. Beslagic is also strong distributing the ball from the center-back position, finding the wings and helping create scoring opportunities.
During a tie with Robert Morris last month, Beslagic collided with goal keeper Ken Lewis during the second half and was knocked out cold. He suffered a concussion and did not play in the next game. However, Beslagic returned earlier than expected and anchored a defensive unit while helping lead the ‘Cats to a 1-0 conference victory over St. Francis, N.Y.
Interesting Facts: Beslagic has been a very pleasant surprise for the Bobcats to have this season. This is because at the end of last year, due to an undisclosed issue regarding ex-coach Sam Carrington’s handling of financial aid, Beslagic was not expected to return as a graduate student-player.
Beslagic has played alongside a number of players during his five years at QU. Among those players is former defender Eric Da Costa – now the Bobcats’ head coach. Beslagic, who has been tabbed “Big Poppa” by his friends and teammates, was glad to play for his former teammate and claims that this made the transition to a new coach much smoother.