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Longwood athletes set school record for GPA

Bolstered by record-setting team grade point averages (GPA) from five teams, Longwood athletics achieved a school-record cumulative GPA of 3.26 for the spring 2021 semester, solidifying the department’s best academic performance of its 15-year Division I era.

The 3.26 GPA breaks the previous semester record of 3.14 that the Lancers set in the fall of 2018 and matched in the fall of 2019, and saw men’s basketball, men’s soccer, men’s tennis, women’s lacrosse and softball all set program highs for team GPAs. In total, a record 11 of Longwood’s 14 team surpassed the 3.00 GPA benchmark, while Longwood’s women’s teams set a record with a combined GPA of 3.33 and the men did the same with a 3.17.

Along with those numbers, Longwood athletics also produced the university’s 2021 co-valedictorian in women’s soccer senior Carrie Reaver, who was the fourth Lancer to earn that distinction in the past seven years. A biology major and the two-time Big South Women’s Soccer Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Reaver was one of 15 Lancers to earn president’s list honors in the spring and one of 89 to achieve at least president’s list or dean’s list recognition.

That department-wide performance continued a longstanding trend of academic success for Longwood’s student-athletes, who have now teamed up to earn a department GPA of at least 3.00 for nine consecutive semesters and seven consecutive academic years. This spring’s performance also marked the fourth straight semester in which Longwood’s men’s and women’s teams both finished above a 3.00.

“I’m extremely proud of our student-athletes and grateful for their dedication to academics,” said assistant athletics director/academic services Hannah Ledger, who has overseen a number of record-breaking academic performances since joining the Longwood athletics department in October of 2016.

“It would have been easy to be overwhelmed this year with all of the unknowns, but they took everything in stride and proved that student really does come first.”

Leading the way for Longwood’s teams were men’s and women’s tennis, which recorded the highest GPAs of all Longwood teams for a second straight semester. Under the direction of third-year director of tennis Jhonnatan Medina Alvarez – also a 2021 Longwood graduate and dean’s list selection himself – the Lancer men led all teams with a 3.60 GPA, while Lancer women’s tennis had the highest mark of the women’s team’s at 3.57.

Behind men’s tennis, men’s golf (3.34) and men’s soccer (3.32) rounded out the men’s team’s top three, while women’s lacrosse (3.48) and women’s cross country (3.44) followed women’s tennis for the highest women’s team GPAs. Men’s soccer earned its highest GPA of the Division I era and had nearly half of its roster named to the dean’s list or president’s list. Meanwhile, women’s lacrosse also earned its highest team GPA of the D-I era, had four players earn president’s list recognition, and four others named to the dean’s list.

“The academic outcomes from this spring and this year as a whole are staggering, but I’m most impressed by the ability of our teams’ to overcome significant adversity to achieve that,” Longwood Athletics Director Michelle Meadows said. “It’s humbling to think that this performance came just one year after our athletics department and our entire university was presented with a seemingly insurmountable challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Since March of 2020, our student-athletes and coaches had to make a number of significant adjustments, from remote learning to major disruptions in their already demanding schedules, but they were able to keep the right priorities at the forefront. Each of our programs stepped up to the challenge and collectively made this success a reality. This is a testament to the Lancer spirit present in our student-athletes, coaches and support staff, and emblematic of the commitment to excellence in the Longwood community as a whole.”

Also coming in with record performances were men’s basketball with a 3.29 and softball with a 3.39. Men’s basketball set a team GPA record for a seventh consecutive semester under third-year head coach Griff Aldrich, placed a record seven players on the dean’s list, and surpassed the 3.00 benchmark for a fourth straight semester. The softball team, in its first year under head coach Dr. Megan Brown, posted its highest mark of the D-I era as well, with five players earning president’s or dean’s list recognition, including president’s list selection and All-Big South first-teamer Sydney Jacobsen.

Several Lancer teams also extended long-running streaks of 3.00 semester GPAs, with both men’s golf and women’s soccer running theirs to 25 straight semesters dating back to the spring of 2009. Field hockey, with a 3.27 GPA, ran its to 14 straight semesters, while softball’s extended to nine in a row.

Spring 2021 president’s list

Marc Casasnovas (MTEN)

Nicole Fordyce (WLAX)

Ryan Hammer (MGLF)

Karly Harwood (FH)

Nina Hederich (WTEN)

Madison Hommey (WSOC)

Sydney Jacobsen (SB)

Mary Kate Levush (WSOC)

Madison Lockamy (WSOC)

Harper Melton (WLAX)

Haley Moomau (WLAX)

Carrie Reaver (WSOC)

Emily Cate Smith (WLAX)

Isa Villarreal (WSOC)

Nathaniel Wong (MSOC)

Spring 2021 dean’s list

Dominick D’Ercole (BASE)

Eliot Dix (BASE)

Garrett Erford (BASE)

Andrew Gorham (BASE)

Corbin McCloud (BASE)

Andrew Melnyk (BASE)

James Nelson (BASE)

Andrew Potojecki (BASE)

Heru Bligen (MBB)

Abraham Deng (MBB)

Jesper Granlund (MBB)

Bennett Mohn (MBB)

Cameron O’Conner (MBB)

Ilija Stefanovic (MBB)

Zac Watson (MBB)

Shahmique Cromwell (MXC)

Brandon Weaver (MGLF)

Daniel Ahrens (MSOC)

Tosin Ayokunle (MSOC)

Paul Caspar (MSOC)

Luke Farber (MSOC)

Justin Gates (MSOC)

Markus Gronli (MSOC)

Jonas Kalchner (MSOC)

Lucas Muller (MSOC)

Anthony Roland (MSOC)

Leif Vanslyke (MSOC)

Matthew Ward (MSOC)

Ben Wilkinson (MSOC)

Andrew Illett (MTEN)

Guillermo Cagigas (MTEN)

Rosen Naydenov (MTEN)

Ernest Rocabert (MTEN)

Mallory Odell (WBB)

Andrijana Reljic (WBB)

Milou Vennema (WBB)

Bailey Deaver (WXC)

Caroline Fairbanks (WXC)

Maddie Foster (WXC)

Aislinn Garcia (WXC)

Casey Williams (WXC)

Kolbey Donahue (FH)

Katie Frey (FH)

Hunter-Paige Johnson (FH)

Kylie Levine (FH)

Madison Nuckols (FH)

Cammy Toddy (FH)

Rio Weber (FH)

Jamie Wright (FH)

Emma Landis (WGLF)

Jacky Nickels (WGLF)

Sirena Walsh (WGLF)

Lexi Barwis (WLAX)

Katie Call (WLAX)

Julia Koenig (WLAX)

Jade O’Connor (WLAX)

Kennedy Culbreath (WSOC)

Alex Dinger (WSOC)

Catharine Forst (WSOC)

Jordan Horacek (WSOC)

Katelyn Laux (WSOC)

Mikayla Schuetz (WSOC)

Isabella Unrath (WSOC)

Madison Van Dyke (WSOC)

Kiersten Yuhas (WSOC)

Sydney Backstrom (SB)

Madison Blair (SB)

Alexis Wayland (SB)

Arleigh Wood (SB)

Alexandra Hincu (WTEN)

Emma Nurgazieva (WTEN)

Crystal Nzewi (WTEN)

Maria Saez (WTEN)

Adelaide Thuilot (WTEN)