Seniors Lauren Rende and Andrea Liotta Named All-MAAC Preseason Players

By Grace Cardinal, Asst. News Editor

Senior softball player Lauren Rende and senior lacrosse player Andrea Liotta have been named All-MAAC preseason players. Both Rende and Liotta came off of incredible junior seasons, with Rende having been named a 2022 MAAC All-Academic Team member and Liotta being named MAAC Defensive Player of the Year. 

Last season, Rende started in 42 of the team’s 44 games. According to, she scored 26 times and drove in 14 runs, in addition to registering a team-best 12-game hitting streak. This season is especially important to Rende as she is currently recovering from an injury, and is looking to come back and finish her senior season strong. 

“It’s [the award] honestly an honor because it shows not only the hard work we put in on the field when everybody’s watching but the hard work that we put in behind the scenes,” Rende said. “A lot of people don’t see that. It’s important to me specifically because I’m coming back from an injury now. I’ve been regarded at a high standard and I want to live up to that and continue doing work behind the scenes in order to get back up to that expectation.”

In addition to achieving MAAC Defensive Player of the Year, Liotta was named first-team All-MAAC on defense. She started in each of the team’s 19 games last season and proved to be a powerhouse, leading the Jaspers in ground balls and forcing turnovers in every game but one. According to, Liotta was one of two unanimous selections to the Preseason All-MAAC Team. 

Andrea Liotta, former MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and one of the two female athletes at Manhattan named Preseason All-MAAC.

Jenna Dingler, head coach of the women’s lacrosse team, spoke highly of Liotta’s abilities and described her as an asset to the team. 

“Andrea leads by example each time she steps on the field,” Dingler said. “She attacks every opportunity to the best of her ability. Andrea is constantly making her teammates [work harder] and is a huge asset to our defense. We are excited for her to continue to excel this season.” 

Liotta says that receiving the honor has motivated her to push harder for the upcoming season. 

“I think that it provided a good push going forward into the season,” Liotta said. “Especially it being the last season it’s kind of like okay, they think you’re gonna have a good season, now it’s time to prove them right and have that good season that follows with the title of being selected for the team.” 

While this is both players’ senior year, Rende plans to return for her grad season next spring. She said that the team is a special group, and highlighted the group of incoming freshman players. 

Lauren Rende, former MAAC All-Academic Team member and one of the two female athletes at Manhattan named Preseason All-MAAC.

“ It makes receiving an award such as this all the more special because I want to be able to accomplish winning a championship with this group of girls specifically. I think that they’re a very phenomenal group of girls and I want to be able to share that with them,” Rende said. 

Rende shared the heartwarming reaction of her mother and explained that the award meant something important not just for her team, but for her family too.

“My mom doesn’t use social media much so when she saw the article, she screenshots and she sends it to me with a bunch of heart emojis and kissy-face emojis and then like the arm emoji,” said Rende. “Honestly, I feel like everything I do is for her and for my family so to receive a recognition such as that, I’m glad that she sees how hard I’m working and that I can show off the effort that she’s made me the person that I am to receive an award such as this.”

Liotta credits the COVID-19 pandemic for giving the women’s lacrosse team a new outlook and appreciation of each season they’re able to play.

“The fact that freshman year our season got cut short because of COVID made every year after that like you can’t take it for granted,” said Liotta. “You need to put in 110% because you never know if one day something is gonna happen and it’s just gonna be over. That was a motivational factor for wanting to do good. I think that it’s always about working 1% harder every single day to try to get to where we want to be.”

Rende concurred that COVID had a significant effect on the way the softball team plays after having a season cut short. The pandemic and its after-effects left the team ready to fight their way to the top. 

“When we won the MAAC in my sophomore year, the year after COVID, we bounced back,” said Rende. “Freshman year, as Andrea said, got cut short. Last year was an adjustment period where our head coach left and our assistant coach kind of took up the mantle. Now that everything’s set, I really think we’re gonna hit the ground running and again.”

Rende says the softball team plans to emphasize the mental health of players in the upcoming season. 

“We’ve been doing a lot of mental health training for this season,” Rende said. “Things like mental health aren’t regarded as important sometimes, so we really want to make that a key component in our play this year.” 

Rende said a strong mentality and consistent attitudes will help the team in the upcoming season. 

“All of those small things, even though you may not think it’s that big of a deal, they really are the breaking point between winning and losing. It’s gonna make a big change this season and I’m excited to see how far we take it,” Rende said.