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Cal State East Bay Student-Athletes Honored by Division II Athletics Directors


Men's golfer Chris Herzog was one of 21 Pioneer student-athletes to earn the Division II ADA's Academic Achievement Award. (Photo: Luke Reid)

  • September 4, 2012

A group of 21 Cal State East Bay student-athletes were named as Academic Achievement Award winners by the Division II Athletics Directors Association (DII ADA) earlier this month. The Pioneer honorees were among nearly 4,500 Division II student-athletes representing 118 institutions to be recognized by the DII ADA for their academic accomplishments during the 2011-12 season.

The women's basketball and women's soccer teams led the way, earning four awards apiece.Hege Blikra, Taylor Smith, Brianna Terrance and Lauren Lucchesi all represented women's basketball, while Tenaya Davis, Donna Williams, Carly Genzoli and Katie Brawley each earned the academic honors.

Four teams – men's golf, volleyball, women's swimming and baseball – collected a pair of awards apiece. Chris Herzog and Mark DeWitt represented men's golf, Ed Rettagliata and Nolan Cassidy earned honors for baseball, Nikki Long and Michelle Woodward were recognized from volleyball and Rachel Knowles and Stephanie Lau collected the award for women's swimming.

Rounding out the honorees for the Pioneers were men's basketball's Jason Smith, water polo'sClaire Pierce, men's soccer's Tyler Andersen, softball's Jessica Machado and women's cross country's Bernadette Lu.

To earn the Academic Achievement Award, student-athletes must have a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher, have attended a minimum of two years of college and have been an active member of an intercollegiate team during his/her last academic year.

During the 2011-12 campaign, East Bay found success both on the field and in the classroom. In the department's first season of eligibility for the Division II and CCAA postseason, Pioneer women's cross country and men's golf both competed at NCAA Regionals, with the golf team earning its first NCAA Regional berth in program history. Women's basketball made the first CCAA Tournament in program history, nearly upsetting eventual champion Cal State Monterey Bay along the way.

Cal State East Bay became the first school in CCAA history to win both the men's and women's basketball Freshman of the Year award in the same season thanks to Micah Walker and Jacari Whitfield. All told, the Pioneers had two postseason award winners, earned seven all-region honors, collected 16 all-conference awards and boasted eight conference Player of the Week honorees during a successful 2011-12 campaign.

East Bay also saw Tenaya Davis and Claire Pierce collect Capital One Academic All-District honors, with Pierce earning Academic All-America recognition as well. In addition, the GCAA named Chris Herzog as an All-America Scholar by, Jenel Lopez and Rachel Knowles collected CSCAA Scholar All-America honors and Julia Charlesworth, Marrina Nation and Pierce collected ACWPC All-Academic recognition. Meanwhile, 43 Pioneers collected CCAA All-Academic honors and the women's basketball team was named among the strongest academic programs in NCAA Division II earning the No. 24 spot on the WBCA Division II Academic Team Honor Roll.

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