Athletics Roundup: All-WCC Academic Team Honorees; Sports Banquet

Athletics Roundup: All-WCC Academic Team Honorees; Sports Banquet

University of San Diego student-athletes continue to receive accolades as more West Coast Conference spring sports announce their respective All-WCC Academic teams.

Spring 2020 - WCC All-Academic

Women’s Rowing

Clare Adams, Elli Schroeder and Susie Taylor were named to the WCC All-Academic Team for women’s rowing.
Adams adds to her impressive list of accolades after earning the prestigious Alcalá Award from USD in May. A double-major in international relations and Spanish, Adams also posted the highest GPA (3.98) of all Torero scholar-athletes for the 2019-20 school year.
This is the third selection for the senior, who also posted the highest GPA of all WCC rowers in 2017-18 and 2019-20. Adams raced with the varsity eight, the varsity four and was part of pair B during fall competition.
Schroeder, a finance major, earned her second academic honor, after being named to the team for the 2018-19 season. The senior posted a 3.73 GPA, racing with the varsity eight, second varsity four and pair C during the fall competitions.
Taylor holds a 4.0 GPA as she works towards her masters in leadership studies. It is the first all-academic selection for the redshirt senior who raced with the varsity eight and the No. 1 pairs team during the fall competitions.
In addition to the three first-team selections, 15 other Toreros received honorable mention for their efforts in the classroom including Sam Ahlman, Isla Blake, Kathryn Brady, Lexi Brinker, Amanda Finnie, Averi Hutton, Desiree Jason, Mady Kertin, Reyna Kirschel, Mari Olson, Juliette Owada, Hilde Ringger, Katie Sanchez, Brynne Stengel and Katrina Strash.


Delaney Heller and Kelli Kufta were named to the West Coast Conference All-Academic Team. Four more Toreros — Madison Casiano, Halle Kyler, Sara Silveyra and Rion Simms — received honorable mention.

This marks the third consecutive All-Academic team recognition for Heller, who carried a 3.43 GPA while majoring in Business Administration.

Heller led the Toreros in the circle during the abbreviated 2020 campaign earning nine wins in 20 appearances. She led the WCC in strikeouts with 77. Heller finished her career as one of San Diego's all-time best, ranking in the top 10 in wins (34), appearances (114), saves (6) and strikeouts (284).

Sophomore Kufta earned All-Academic recognition for the first time after starting all 27 games for USD in 2020. She slugged a team-high six doubles on the season, batting .268. She also recorded a .978 fielding percentage. Kufta carried a 3.41 GPA while majoring in Mathematics.


Adam Kerner and Thomas Luevano were selected to the West Coast Conference All-Academic Team.

Adam Lopez earned WCC All-Academic honorable mention, his first academic recognition after joining the Toreros for the 2019 season.

Kerner has been a standout for the Toreros for three seasons, excelling in the classroom and on the field for USD. The junior catcher maintained a 3.30 GPA, majoring in real estate and starting 105 games in his career. In an abbreviated 2020 season due to Covid-19, Kerner started 15 of USD's 16 games. He finished with a .305 average and was third on the team with 18 hits. Kerner drove in 11 runs and collected five doubles, tying for first on the team with two home runs.

Before coming to USD, Luevano graduated from Creighton where he earned his B.S. in Business Administration. The infielder holds a 3.78 GPA as he works to complete his master’s degree in Leadership Studies at USD. Luevano ranked second on the team with a .356 average, leading the team in hits (21), doubles (8) and tied Kerner with two home runs. He finished second in runs (11) and RBIs (14).

Lopez, a senior sociology major, maintained a 3.40 GPA while starting all 16 games at third base. This is the first academic award for Lopez who came to USD after earning his associate's degree with honors from Southwestern College in 2018. Lopez finished fourth on the team with a .309 average and fourth in hits (17) with five doubles and a home run. He collected nine RBIs and scored eight times for USD.

USD Sports Banquet Raises $140,000, Diversity and Inclusion Fund Created

The 42nd annual USD Sports Banquet, took place virtually for the first time in its history, broadcast live June 11 via the USD Toreros’ YouTube channel. This event, which is the largest annual fundraiser for USD Athletics with all proceeds benefitting the Torero Scholar-Athlete Fund, raised $140,000, Marcy Lanoue, senior associate director of athletics and chief development officer, announced.

The one-hour show was a chance to celebrate the 2019-20 USD athletics season, hear from student-athletes Miguel Berry (men’s soccer), Thana Fayad (volleyball), and Myah Pace (women’s basketball), comments from men’s basketball Coach Sam Scholl and an interview with women’s basketball Coach Cindy Fisher and volleyball Coach Jennifer Petrie.

Associate Vice President and Executive Director of Athletics Bill McGillis spoke too, appreciative of another successful season of Winning on the Field, Winning in the Classroom and Winning in the Community. He commended all Toreros for their perseverance in a unique year in which the spring sports season was cut short because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

McGillis also announced the formation of a Bernie Bickerstaff Diversity and Inclusion Fund. Bickerstaff, a USD alumnus, basketball player and coach for the Toreros, and who has been in the NBA for more than 40 years as a coach, general manager and other administrative roles. Bickerstaff currently serves as senior basketball advisor for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers.

The show’s main highlight was its annual drop down numbers game fundraiser. Tickets purchased gave Torero supporters the opportunity to win trips, golf, food and beverages, sports memorabilia, experiences and a grand prize of $10,000.

For more information or to donate, visit the USD Sports Banquet website.

—USD Athletics

USD News Center Editor Ryan T. Blystone contributed to this story.

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