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Successful Spring for Ole Miss Athletes off the Field

Photo courtesy of Robert Jordan UM Communications
Photo courtesy of Robert Jordan UM Communications

Ole Miss is one of just two schools to go to a New Year’s Six Bowl and make the NCAA tournament in men’s basketball and baseball, and the highlights don’t stop on the fields and courts as the Rebels enjoyed another excellent semester in the classroom, posting the best fall and spring in recorded history.

Nearly half of the student-athlete population recorded a 3.0 grade point average or higher, while 29 recorded a perfect 4.0 this spring. Sixty-eight student-athletes earned their degrees.

“We just concluded the best statistical year academically in recorded history,” said senior associate athletics director Derek Cowherd.  “Our student-athletes battled the weather and SEC competition to post another strong semester of ‘firsts.’  We saw the level of national awards rise as well as the number of graduates rise.  I would like to thank the senior staff, administration, coaches and student-athlete development team for their work together in supporting the student-athletes. It is definitely a great time to be a Rebel.”

Soccer led the way, matching their highest team GPA (3.70) in consecutive semesters, and 13 made the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, with nine owning a 4.0. Seniors Bethany Bunker, Maddie Friedmann, Jennifer Miller and Sam Sanders, juniors Melissa Capocaccia, Sara Coleman and Addie Forbus and sophomores Caitlin Lewis and Courtney Carroll earned 4.0s.

While earning their 22nd consecutive NCAA appearance and finishing in the top four of the SEC for the 17th time, men’s tennis earned the highest team GPA of any male sport in recorded history, with a 3.50. The Rebel netters boast 10 of 12 student-athletes on the honor roll, including senior William Kallberg and freshman Zvonimir Babic with 4.0s.

Baseball earned its 20th NCAA appearance and heads to California this week for regional play at UCLA. Twenty-one of 36 players own a cumulative GPA of 3.00 or higher, including Scott Ashford, who posted a 4.0 this spring.

Track and Field combined for 53 athletes on the honor roll, including Jonathan Redding, who graduated with a 4.00 in Biochemistry and earned a Taylor Medal, and Michael Erb, who also posted a 4.0. Redding was also recently named to the Capital One Academic All-District Team. The women posted their second consecutive semester with a 3.00 GPA, led by 4.0s from Taylor Irby, Nicole Park and Arielle Wallace. Thirty members of both teams combined will continue their season this weekend at the NCAA East Preliminary Round in Jacksonville, Florida.

While earning their second NCAA bid in three years, men’s basketball had five players make the honor roll this semester, including M.J. Rhett, Jarvis Summers, Terrence Smith, Terry Brutus and Roderick Lawrence (4.0 GPA). Women’s basketball placed three on the honor roll, including Danielle McCray, Shandricka Sessom and Shequila Joseph.

Football placed 27 on the honor roll, including Cliff Coleman, Chase Hughes, Cale Luke and Nathan Noble with 4.0s.

Men’s golf returned to the postseason for the first time since 2011, and eight of nine players made the honor roll, including SEC Scholar-Athlete of  the Year Forrest Gamble and Chris Ingham with 4.0s. Women’s golf placed seven of eight on the honor roll, including Stani Schiavone who has maintained a resident GPA of 4.0 and received a Taylor Medal.

In addition to earning their seventh straight NCAA appearance, women’s tennis posted their seventh consecutive semester with above a 3.3 GPA and eight of nine made the honor roll.  Fourteen members of the softball team own a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better, and Bri Payne and Alyssa Invergo posted 4.0s. Rifle had six of seven on the honor roll, including Alison Weisz, who made the Chancellor’s Honor Roll for the fourth straight semester.

After a record-setting fall on the court, volleyball continued its progress in the classroom, with its second straight semester of a 3.0 or higher. Five players made the Chancellor’s Honor Roll, including Aubrey Edie and Rachael Weathersby with 4.0s.

Courtesy of Ole Miss Sports Information

Adam Brown
Adam Brown
Sports Editor

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