Chronicle Athletes of the Week: Antoinette Maldonado and Kevin Jolley

By on February 22, 2006

Antoinette Maldonado
Sport: Hockey
Class: Freshman
Hometown: Glendora, Calif.
Major: Business

Maldonado, a swift freshman forward, has set the tone for a young Bobcat team this season. The California native is second to Vicky Graham in scoring, as she’s tallied 17 points on eight goals and nine assists in 27 games played.

She didn’t anticipate such a successful rookie campaign.

“I expected to make an impact, but I didn’t expect for it to lead to being one of the team’s top scorers,” said Maldonado, who assisted on Vicky Graham’s record-breaking goal during a 3-0 victory over RPI on Saturday.

Maldonado has received recognition from the ECACHL four times this season.

“I feel honored to be recognized in one of the best leagues in the country,” Maldonado would say.

She was most recently honored on Feb. 13, after she had a hand in both of Quinnipiac’s goals scored during a 2-2 tie with Dartmouth.

Though failing to make the playoffs in their inaugural ECACHL season wasn’t the easiest thing to swallow, Maldonado isn’t worried.

She recognizes that the road to a brighter future on the ice is being paved.

“We did not have the experience to capitalize on all of our opportunities. But now that we are more familiar with our new league opponents, I feel we have the potential to be more competitive in the next few years,” she said.

With the ‘Cats moving into a 3,500-seat arena next season (one which dwarfs the Northford Ice Pavilion they’re accustomed to playing home games in), selling high-profile recruits should come easier.

Kevin Jolley
Sport: Basketball
Class: Senior
Hometown: Cheverly, Md.
Major: Sociology

Jolley, a long time friend of former standout guard Rob Monroe, stepped onto campus last fall with questions surrounding his game. The transfer via Hutchinson (Kan.) Community College was, at a generously listed 6-foot-5, quite undersized for a post player.

Some of the detractors wondered how he would fare against taller players down low night in, night out. Jolley quickly put those detractors on mute, suddenly converting them into supporters.

Now a fan-favorite senior who leads by example, Jolley is one of the few forwards in the NEC who can go out and cop a double-double when needed.

After establishing himself as one of the conference’s premier forwards and a gem of the 2004 recruiting class last season, Jolley has once again played a pivotal part this year.

A significant contributor off the bench, Jolley has come up big several times this season. A crucial victory has typically been the result.

Jolley has recorded four double-doubles this year. He’s managed to do this despite playing this season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.

After starting forward Victor Akinyanju re-injured his ankle during a win over in-state rival Sacred Heart on Feb. 2, the Bobcats needed Jolley to step up in the sidelined big man’s absence (like he had done during Akinyanju’s previous injury).

Jolley didn’t cringe, bulldozing his way to 16 points and nine boards to help the Bobcats to a 73-68 outlasting of St. Francis N.Y. The Feb. 4 win avenged a loss that the ‘Cats were handed a week earlier.


About Zach Smart