55 CSUN student-athletes from 11 different sports were named to the 2015 Academic All-Big West winter and spring sports teams on Tuesday.
To earn the recognition, a student-athlete must maintain a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher, be in at least his or her second academic year at their institution and have participated in at least 50 percent of his or her team’s competitions.
The 11 sports include basketball, track and field, golf, tennis, baseball, softball, tennis, water polo and volleyball from the Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF), a conglomerate of men’s volleyball programs from the Big West, West Coast, Pac-12 and Division II Rocky Mountain Athletic Conferences.
Women’s Track and Field lead all sports with 13 student-athletes. The Track and Field team excelled by winning the Big West Conference Championships.
The list of recent alumnae includes: Mariah Counts, Samantha Dirks, Lydia French, Olympia Jewett, Le’Shel Vines, and Katrina Wilbanks. The rest includes: Jakalya Daniels, Monique Griffiths, Megan Kittlitz, Marissa Rossi, Jenna Vincej, and sophomores Emma Millard and Caitlin Nilssen.
The Big West Conference Champions, fresh off a 40-win season and a NCAA Tournament appearance, the softball team was second with 10 members: sophomores Madison Fleming, Taylor Glover, Katie Hooper, Taylor Nate, Daphne Pofek, Carissa Sherman, juniors Madalyne Handy and Maylynn Mitchell and alumnae Jordan Sauceda and Kaitlin Toerner.
Women’s Water Polo, who had multiple wins against top-10 teams, a record-breaking senior class, and a third place finish in the Big West Conference Championship Tournament, resulted in a winning season in six of the last seven years.
Sophomores Emily Fuller, McKenzie Pollei, junior Taitum Herrington, and seniors Kelcy Barrott, the Dick Enberg Post-Graduate Scholarship for Academic Excellence winner Kiernan Davis, Kelcie Ferreira, MacKenzy Fowler and Big West Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Marisa Young are the Matadors that made the cut.
The back-to-back Big West Conference Tournament Champions had five players on the team, lead by alumnae Randi Friess, Camille Mahlknecht and Women’s all-time leading scorer Ashlee Guay. Emily Cole, who was a sophomore this past season and Katelin King, a redshirt freshman this past season, were also on the list.
On the men’s track and field team, sophomore James Knowles, junior Taylor Cudequest, and alumni Danny Jones, Jordan Taylor and Cameron Van Dieren made the list. Taylor was named Big West Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year at the Varsity ‘N Awards ceremony as well.
Men’s golf posted a top-five finish along with three top-10 showings and landed sophomore Sam Engel, and departed seniors: Steven Molumby, Michael O’Connor and Dodge Ward on this prestigious list. They also won Men’s Academic Team of the Year with an overall 2.952 GPA
The men’s basketball team had a short bench all season due to a huge portion of several backups held out by the university because of an investigation into potential team and university violations by those players; however, that did not stop the team from making the Big West Conference Tournament, nor did it stop alumni Stephen Maxwell and CSUN men’s all-time leading scorer Stephan Hicks and senior-to-be Landon Drew from making the list.
Junior Arinda Bhanaraksa, and seniors Elisabeth Haavardsholm and Sharon Shin represented women’s golf. The team finished eighth at the Big West Conference Championships.
Women’s Tennis started the 2015 season 9-0 and 7-0 against Division I opponents; the best start to a season since the 2001 team went 11-0.
In addition to a record of 16-5 and a 5-3 Big West Conference record, the team was named Women’s Academic Team of the Year for the second consecutive year with a combined 3.466 GPA. Sophomores Mickey Hsu, Vivian Lin and junior Jessica Warren made the cut.
The CSUN men’s volleyball duo of redshirt sophomore Nick Alegredo and fellow sophomore John Peachey earned Academic All-MPSF honors.
Alumnus Nick Murphy was the lone baseball player on the list, the baseball team had 14 players finish the 2014-2015 year with a 3.0 GPA or higher. The team also had 33 wins, the most since 2002 and had alumnus Jerry Keel and junior Calvin Copping drafted in the top-25 rounds of the 2015 Major League Baseball draft.