Pepperdine student-athletes honored for classroom prowess


Sixty-three Pepperdine Waves student-athletes received academic honors at the tail end of last month. 

Fifty-five baseball, women’s basketball, men’s and women’s cross country, men’s and women’s golf, women’s soccer, men’s and women’s tennis, women’s beach volleyball, and women’s indoor volleyball players garnered West Coast Conference All-Academic honors, including 15 who received first team status. 

Additionally, seven Waves men’s water polo players and one women’s swim and dive team member were recognized by two other athletic bodies. 

Diver Lexie Martin was named a College Swimming and Diving Coaches Association of America second team Scholar All-American on June 29, and men’s water polo athletes Zach Arthur, Sean Ferrari, Nicholas Fichman, Jake Howerton, Clay Kaneko, Balazs Kosa, and Nico Tierney were named to the Golden Coast Conference’s All-Academic team on June 24. 

Pepperdine swimmer Lexie Martin was named a CSCAA second team Scholar All American. Photo by Jeff Gordon.
Pepperdine swimmer Lexie Martin was named a CSCAA second-team Scholar All-American. Photo by Jeff Gordon

Martin, an exercise and nutrition science major, has a cumulative grade point average or 3.92. She was an All-PCSC first-team member in both the 1-meter and 3-meter diving and was twice named the PCSC Athlete of the Week. She was one of two Waves divers to qualify for the NCAA Zone Diving competition since 2012. 

The CSCAA Scholar All-American first-team recognition points out student-athletes with a GPA of at least 3.50, who were also invited to compete in their respective national championship. Second-team scholar All-Americans such as Martin had to have at least at 3.50 GPA and achieved a “B” time standard for the national championship or participated at a diving zone qualification meet.

Also, the Waves women’s swim and dive team was selected as a Scholar All-America Team. The squad had a 3.53 GPA in the spring. 

For the water polo players to be named to the GCC All-Academic team, they had to have at least a 3.0 GPA and have played in at least 50 percent of their team’s contests last season. 

Arthur, Ferrari, Fichman, and Kosa have now been honored for two consecutive seasons. Arthur and Kaneko also garnered All-American recognition from the Association of Collegiate Water Polo Coaches. Kosa was an All-GCC first-teamer last season, and Ferrari, Fichman, and Tierney were honorable mention. 

Five Waves earned WCC All-Academic first-team honors for the third straight year. They include men’s tennis players Daniel De Jonge and Tim Zeitvogel, women’s beach volleyball player Simone Priebe, women’s indoor volleyball and beach volleyball player Madison Shields, and men’s cross country runner Karl Winter.

The baseball players that received WCC academic recognition were Greg Mehlhaff, who was on the first team, and honorable mention players Grant Georges, Quintt Landis, Nolan Lingley, Mike Malinchak, and Michael Winaker. All the players were first-time honorees. 

Women’s basketball player Eve Braslis was named to the first team, while Jane Nwaba was honorable mention. 

Waves womens basketball player Eve Braslis was named to the WCC All Academic first team. Photo by Sarah Otteman.
Waves women’s basketball player Eve Braslis was named to the WCC All-Academic first team. Photo by Sarah Otteman.

Men’s cross country runners Jackson, Felkins, Austin Gromer, Ryan Hemphill, Nathaniel Lannen, Nathaniel Lerch, and Kyle McCabe were all honorable mention; McCabe for the third straight year. 

Women’s cross country runners Annelies Ondersma and Riley Wright were honorable mention for the third time, while Skyler Danley received it for the second consecutive year. Skylar Davis and Paula Leigh were also honorable mention. 

Men’s golfer Derek Hitchner was named to the first team for the second time. It is the third time he has received academic recognition from the WCC. Dylan Menante was honorable mention. 

Kaleiya Romero, a women’s golfer, was named to the first team, her first All-Academic award. 

Women’s soccer players Joelle Anderson, Zoe Clevely, Carlee Giammona, Kelsey Hill, Olivia Packer, Calista Reyes, Helen Schaefer, Tori Waldeck, and Trinity Watson were honored. Clevely and Hill were honorable mention for the second straight season, while Watson and Anderson have now received the status for three straight seasons. 

Men’s tennis players Peitro Fellin, Eric Hadigian, Enrique Luque Rico, and Corrado Summaria were honorable mention; Fellin and Luque Rico for the second time. 

Women’s tennis players Shiori Fukuda, Taisiya Pachkaleva, Nikki Redelijk and Lisa Zaar were named to the first team. Anastasia Iamachkine was honorable mention for the second time. Zaar has name received first-team status for two straight years. 

Women’s beach volleyball players Peyton Lewis was named to the first team. Cameron Baklenko, Savana Greene, Melanie Paul, and Mary Sinclair were honorable mention. Paul has received the honor for three years straight, and Sinclair two years. 

Women’s volleyball players Rachel Ahrens, Emma Ammerman, Kayla Joyce, and Isabel Zelaya were honorable mention. Ahrens has received the honor for two straight years, and Zelaya was on the first team a year ago. 

To qualify for WCC All-Academic status, student-athletes had to have at least a 3.2 GPA, have at least sophomore athletic and academic standing, and participate in at least half of the season’s contests.