Fraser Valley – The University of the Fraser Valley athletic department announced academic award winners for the 2019-20 academic year this week, and it was Veronica Kobes, Sahib Sidhu, and the women’s volleyball team taking top honours.

Kobes, for the third consecutive year, was the winner of the women’s individual academic award, which recognizes the female student-athlete with the highest grade-point average. The hometown Abbotsford product posted a flawless 4.33 GPA on a 4.33 scale, indicative of straight A-pluses over the course of 28 credits in her Bachelor of Science studies.

Sidhu was also a repeat winner, earning the men’s individual academic award for the second straight year. The Surrey, B.C. product posted a 4.18 GPA while amassing 29 credits toward his Bachelor of Kinesiology degree.

The President’s Shield, recognizing the team with the highest academic average, went to women’s volleyball, which combined for an outstanding 3.66 GPA. Twelve student-athletes from the squad managed at least a 3.5 GPA individually – an incredible accomplishment.

The Cascades also celebrated 65 student-athletes for academic excellence, including 31 who earned academic plaudits from their respective national governing bodies.

“Congratulations to each and every one of our academic honourees,” said Steve Tuckwood, UFV director of athletics and campus recreation. “This year ended with a lot of uncertainty due to COVID-19, and for the athletes to carry on and finish strongly despite that challenge is testament to their commitment.”

A UFV-record 18 Cascades were named U SPORTS Academic All-Canadians, which honours those who achieve an academic standing of 80 per cent (3.67 on the UFV GPA scale) or better while playing on a varsity team. Recipients included Kobes, Maddy Gobeil, Jessica Zawada, Alexis Worrell and Nikki Cabuco from women’s basketball; Kenan Hadzovic, Jordyn Sekhon and Sukhraj Bains from men’s basketball; Tripat Sandhu, Halle McCambley, Kelsey Mitchell, Kailyn Halvorson, Kate Fisher and Joven Sandhu from women’s soccer; and Sidhu, Jehmrode Kahlon, Kadir Yagci and Trevor Zanatta from men’s soccer.

Cascades volleyball athletes were eligible for the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) version of this prize, known as the National Scholar Award. Winners included Amanda Matsui, Sedona Arabsky, Sarah Brownlee, Alysha Cooper, Lexi Edwards, Ashley Huberts, Megan Wegren and Karissa Marazzi from women’s volleyball; and Matt Kornelsen, Graham Walkey, Landon Uy, Justin Peleshytyk and Dylan Neudorf from men’s volleyball.

Additionally, Cascades Academic Awards were bestowed on 34 athletes who posted a 3.5 GPA or better, but did not fall under U SPORTS Academic All-Canadian or CCAA National Scholar award criteria. Those included Atle Koellmel, Charandeep Rangi, and Samuel Enchelmaier from men’s soccer; Daniella Bavaro, Brittany Costa, Jessica Fennell, Kareena Sahota, Emily White, Bryana Buttar, Harneet Dadrao and Jashan Sandhar from women’s soccer; Vlad Mihaila from men’s basketball; Simon Frackiewicz from men’s volleyball; Stephanie Demeules, Cassidy King, Kristen McBride and Haley Poier from women’s volleyball; Natasha Kozlowski and Avery Biggar from women’s golf; Jacob Lucki and Jacob Armstrong from men’s golf; Holly Boulton, Erika Ganal, Cheye Gustafson, Melissa Jongedijk and Morgan Reive from women’s rugby sevens; Connor Coverett, Ty Hall, Stephen Horner, Travis Klein, JD Storozynsky and Dylan Emmons from men’s baseball; and Emily Klootwyk and Shivohn Peters from women’s rowing.

All told, approximately one-third of UFV’s student-athlete body earned at least a 3.5 GPA in 2019-20.

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