The University of Antelope Valley had 21 student-athletes qualify as 2018 Daktronics-NAIA Scholar Athletes across three different fall sports, increasing its total of 14 student-athletes last fall by seven. Women’s soccer led the way with 12 players, the most of any women’s soccer program in the NAIA, women’s volleyball added six, and men’s soccer totaled three.
In order to be nominated by an institution’s head coach or Sports Information Director, a student-athlete must maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 scale and must have achieved an academic standing of junior or higher.
Out of 732 total recipients across the nation, UAV women’s soccer led all NAIA women’s soccer programs with 12 student-athletes recognized, including 11 senior players and one junior.
The seniors honored included midfielder Celena Torres (Oxnard, CA), defender Reyna Ruiz (Oxnard, CA), forward Priscilla Ruiz (Salinas, CA), midfielder Jennifer Rodriguez (Oxnard, CA), goalie Janet Reyes (Mission Viejo, CA), midfielder Brooklyn Pawelek (Elko, NV), forward Sydney Morales (Fresno, CA), forward Giselle Cruz-Martinez (Oxnard, CA), defender Emerald De La Torre (Galt, CA), forward Daesha Brown (Tracy, CA), and midfielder Andrea Bedoya (Yuma, AZ).
Junior goalkeeper Anekha Birdi (Tracy, CA) was UAV’s lone junior recipient of the scholastic honor.
Out of 597 total women’s volleyball recipients nationwide, four UAV senior women’s volleyball student-athletes earned the honor, including defensive specialist Mikela Fountain (Everett, WA), outside hitter Alison Fuata (Hilo, HI), outside hitter Hannah Hextall (Weyburn, Saskatchewan, Canada), and setter Kaycee Shaffer (University Place, WA).
Junior outside hitter Camryn Buell (Lakewood, WA) and junior defensive specialist DeAnna Hernandez (San Diego, CA) were each recognized as well from women’s volleyball.
Out of 532 total national recipients, three UAV men’s soccer student-athletes were designated as NAIA Scholar-Athletes, all seniors, including forward Manuel Medina (La Puente, CA), midfielder Sanson Lopez (Norwalk, CA) and goalkeeper Guillermo Castro (Palmdale, CA).