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5 PC Athletics’ squads named NJCAA Academic Teams of the Year

June 24, 2014

Women’s Basketball heads distinguished list that honors volleyball, softball, men’s & women’s soccer


Phoenix, Arizona – June 24, 2014 -- Phoenix College is proud to announce that five of the school’s eight athletic teams have earned a spot on the NJCAA Academic All-American Teams list.  For the second straight year, three women’s teams-Women’s Basketball, Volleyball and Softball-head the list.  They’re followed closely by both the men’s and women’s soccer teams at PC.  The teams each achieved the prestigious academic honor for the 2013-14 academic year by finishing the year with a cumulative team grade point average of 3.0 for their student-athletes.  The announcements comes just less than two months prior to the student-athletes’ return to the classrooms on the PC campus for the start of the 2014-15 fall semester. 


  • After finishing second in the athletic program in this category a year ago, Kristi Kincaid’s PC Women’s Basketball team narrowly edged out the volleyball squad for the top honors in 2013-14.  The ladies also showed what the increased emphasis of the Phoenix College Student-Athlete Scholastic Success (SASS) Program can do, upping their cumulative GPA by nearly two-tenths of a points from 2012-13.  Under the direction of Kincaid (whose teams have been a part of this list in each of her four years at the helm) and SASS Mentor Nancy Cook-Tidwell, the Bears’ Women’s Basketball team paced the way for the rest of the department with a 3.37 cumulative grade point average among its 11 student-athletes.  Leading the way was freshman starting guard Alannah ‘Aly’ Kennedy, who earned a flawless 4.0 cumulative GPA among her 29 credits this year; fellow freshman Jessica Franco, who earned a 3.903 cume GPA for her 31 credits; and fellow starting backcourt mate, sophomore Daesha Jackson (DAY-shuh), whose 3.818 cumulative GPA for her two-year academic career also earned her an NJCAA Award for Superior Academic Achievement.  Joining them above the 3.0 cumulative GPA level was Levette Jiles (3.786), Ash’le Callon (who upped her two-year GPA to 3.536 by getting “straight A’s” during her sophomore year), Paloma Anderson (3.469), Lauren Lucky (3.154) and Brett Larson (3.136). 
  • Just narrowly missing the top rung on this list was last year’s PC Academic Team Champion, Amanda Liebermann’s PC Volleyball team.  The team-under the guidance of Liebermann (who-like Kincaid-has never missed having her team make this list during her six-year tenure) and SASS Mentor Liz O’Brien-was a model of consistency as 11 of the 12 student-athletes on the 2013 roster achieved no less than a cumulative 3.0 GPA individually, leading to the team finishing with a 3.267 cumulative GPA.  A pair of volleyball student-athletes, Danielle Cipolletti (3.827) and Brianna ‘Monet’ Olmos (3.818), not only paced the way for the team but also made up half of the school’s contingent of student-athletes on the NJCAA Awards for Superior Academic Achievement list individually.  They were the top sophomores, while Tatum Winter led a strong freshman contingent with a perfect 4.0 cume GPA over her 13 credits.  Right behind them were Mia Mazon (3.80), Miranda Michaelson (3.586), Cheyenne Meadows (3.308), Kaila Gladden (3.28), Nicole ‘Coley’ Goss (3.156), Gianna Kioa (3.125), Hanna Willis (3.109) and Caitlyn ‘Catie’ Foran (3.108).
  • Placing in the top three for the second straight year in the PC Athletic program is the PC Softball team, who not only achieved a cumulative 3.25 GPA as a team under the guidance of PC Head Softball Coach Heinz Mueller and SASS Mentor Sandra Leal, but also populated the Bears’ list of NJCAA Academic All-Americans with more student-athletes than any other program in 2013-14.  Heading that list was pitcher Jackie Aguilar, who used a perfect 4.0 GPA during her sophomore campaign to become the top student-athletes on the NJCAA’s individual list with a 3.903 cume GPA over her two-year career.  Joining her on that list were fellow sophomores Leilani ‘Lani’ Redmond (3.766), Rebecca Wyatt (3.727) and Makenzi Dallas (3.654), who all earned NJCAA Awards for Exemplary Academic Achievement.  Paving the way to add her name to that sophomore honors list next year is freshman Brianna Schrimpf, who led the team as a freshman with a perfect 4.0 GPA this year over 30 credits.  Also excelling in the classroom for Mueller’s illustrious squad were Molly Stern (3.676), Kelli Wickerman (3.559), Aliza Benitez (3.384), Autumn Vallie (3.30), Paige Hamelin (3.259), Claudia Vazquez (3.132) and Nicole Larsen (3.115).
  • Proudly representing the male sports at PC Athletics is a team that achieved as much of a banner year on and off the field as any in recent memory:  the PC Men’s Soccer team.  The history that Dave Cameron’s squad achieved on the field-clinching the first outright ACCAC Men’s Soccer Regular Season title in the history of Maricopa County-is nearly as fulfilling as the spot they carved out on this list, achieving a stellar 3.05 cumulative GPA under the tutelage of Cameron and SASS Mentors Fred Amador and Dmitri Logvinenko.  Leading the pack academically for the Bears was defender David Bonney (3.789) and ACCAC Player of the Year and 1st Team NJCAA All-American midfielder Ryo Sugihara (3.745), who both achieved NJCAA Awards for Exemplary Academic Achievement in the process.  Exceeding them academically for the year was a pair of freshmen:  Alexis Flores, who was a perfect 4.0 over his 29 credits in 2013-14; and Johnny Dunbar, who achieved a 3.852.  Also putting the team over the top to make this list were Jason Johnston (3.561), Sakae Iohara (3.529), Nathan Fisk (3.257), Jesus Zazueta (3.231), Tafadzwa ‘Tee’ Semwayo (3.208), Roberto Carrizosa (3.161), Aiden Raj (3.071), Jose Alvarez (3.056) and Sergio Rizo (3.043).
  • Rounding out the ‘fab five’ of this list is Chris Sagar’s PC Women’s Soccer team, who make a triumphant return to this list for the first time since 2008 with a 3.04 cumulative grade point average.  Sagar and SASS Mentors Robin Cotter & Lauren Roberts beamed with pride when finding out that the team had made the national list after seeing over half of the 23-woman roster achieve a 3.0 GPA or higher.  Much of that credit has to go to freshman Courtney Perry, who achieved a perfect 4.0 GPA over her 15 credits to pace the way; and five other student-athletes were achieved a cume 3.5 GPA or better:  Yesenia Zavala (3.615), Keetley McLachlan (3.613), Sandra Santos (3.565), Alexis Fernandez (3.56) and Lydia Padilla (3.525).  Also helping put the squad over the top for the honor were Daniella Petersen (3.464), Gabriela ‘Gaby’ Fuentes (3.339), Amy Gutierrez (3.193), Cecilia Duarte (3.105), Karli Cameli (3.095), McKenna Jostes (3.067), Brittney Rowe (3.038) and Alyssa Mullis (3.0).