8 Hawks selected as McDonald’s Hawks of the Week during November
Dec. 14, 2016

PRINCESS ANNE, Maryland — Eight Maryland Eastern Shore student-athletes have been selected for the first installment of the McDonald’s Hawks of the Week award for their achievements on and off the field of play during the month of November. The award is presented weekly to a pair of Hawks who excel athletically, academically or community service.

The honorees for the four weeks in November include: Mere Serea (Suva, Fiji), Ivana Blazevic (Zagreb, Croatia) and Rachel Kayongo (Northridge, California) from volleyball; Keyera Eaton (Winston-Salem, North Carolina) and Mariah McCoy (Rock Hill, South Carolina) from women’s basketball; Khalil Rmidi Kinini (Malaga, Spain) in cross country, Thashaina Seraus (Oranjestad, Aruba) in bowling and Bakari Copeland (Decatur, Georgia) in men’s basketball.



Although all eight student-athletes made an impact in November, perhaps none were as impressive as Rmidi Kinini. He was selected on Nov. 14 after becoming the first Maryland Eastern Shore runner to qualify for the NCAA Nationals in cross country, earning a time of 30:54 at the Mid-Atlantic Regional in University Park, Pennsylvania. The senior from Spain then raced to a 218th place finish at Nationals, finishing ahead of several Power 5 conference competitors. Along the way, he earned All-Academic honors from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC).

Eaton earned honors alongside Rmidi Kinini after helping the Hawks’ women’s basketball teams to a victory over Cheyney on Nov. 11. The North Carolinian went 7-for-12 from the floor to score a career-high 19 point, along with five made foul shots. Eaton also tallied a career high four steals in the 75-38 win — the Hawks’ first triumph to open a season in six years.

McCoy joined her teammate in the ranks of the honored eight with her electric performance at North Carolina State on Nov. 21. The senior went 9-for-16 in shooting, including an impressive six of eight from beyond the arc for a season-high 24 points. McCoy also grabbed four rebounds, a pair of blocks and a steal.

On the men’s side of the hardwood, Copeland earned his stripes the same week as McCoy with two solid outings against Colorado State and Louisiana Tech. In Colorado, the Georgia native swiftly sliced through the thin air to generate 15 points with four boards and an assist. Copeland continued his starring role with a 14 point performance in Louisiana, going 6-of-14 in shooting with five boards, two assists and a steal over 27 minutes of play.

The trio of volleyball players made the cut after a splendid conclusion to their 2016 campaign. Serea and Blazevic helped the Hawks finish out the regular season with a pair of victories against Norfolk State and Delaware State. Serea completed 16 kills over the two wins, just over two per set, with an exceptional hitting percentage of .600, along with 11 blocks (1.57 per set), including two solos. Blazevic setup most of the attacks, averaging over ten assists per set.

Kayongo continued the trend at the MEAC Championships, leading the team with three kills per set (21 total) over two matches. In the season finale against Florida A&M, the sophomore led with 2.14 points per set with nine kills, three aces, and three block assists.

In addition to their impressive play on the court, Serea and Kayongo were named to the MEAC Commissioner’s All-Academic team for maintaining a 3.0 or higher cumulative grade point average. Blazevic was a second team All-MEAC and an All-Rookie Team recipient.

Last but not least is Seraus, who staked her claim on the list during the 2016 edition of the Hawk Classic in nearby Millsboro, Delaware. Her efforts there earned her a MEAC Bowler of the Week award, coming in first during the individual rounds with a 227.6 average. Seraus capped it off with a season-high 269 as the Hawks defeated LIU Brooklyn. Overall The Shore placed third in the annual tournament.

Recipients of December’s award will be announced over the next couple of weeks. Maryland Eastern Shore hosts its next home event on Jan. 2, when men’s basketball challenges Valley Forge.

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