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July 8, 2011 > WWPA names 11 Pioneers to All-Academic Team

WWPA names 11 Pioneers to All-Academic Team

Submitted By Kelly Hayes, CSUEB Sports Info Director

On the heels of a season that saw the Cal State East Bay water polo team post its best-ever finish at the Western Water Polo Association (WWPA) Championships, the squad had 11 players named to the 2010-11 WWPA All-Academic Team on Monday, June 27. The 11 honorees for the Pioneers led all nine conference teams following East Bay's fourth-place showing at the WWPA Tournament.

Seniors Liz Warren, Kendra Mason and Danielle Comforti; juniors Jayme Pekarske and Ariel Noriega; sophomores Chelsie Bryan and Claire Pierce; and freshmen Meaghan Paschall, Sara Hudyn, Sarah Grunberger and Julia Charlesworth were among 58 women's water polo student-athletes honored by the conference. Warren collected her fourth straight all-academic honors, while Pierce, Bryan and Comforti each earned their second selection in as many years.

Pierce led the team and conference in scoring with 87 goals and earned first-team All-WWPA recognition in 2011. The Perth, Australia, native also collected Capital One first-team Academic All-District recognition after leading the team with a 3.86 grade point average. Warren became the Pioneers' first four-time WWPA All-Academic honoree after finishing fourth on the team in scoring. The Stockton native finished her career as the program's all-time scoring leader with 241 goals.

An All-WWPA Honorable Mention selection, Pekarske led the Pioneers in the cage in 2011, making 349 saves to rank third in the NCAA in that category, all while garnering a 3.31 grade point average. Grunberger joined Pierce and Pekarske as an all-conference honoree, earning WWPA All-Freshman Team recognition following a rookie campaign that saw her finish with an impressive 77 assists, which led the NCAA and ranks second all-time in the Pioneers' single-season assists list. The Sydney, Australia, native also held her own in the classroom, posting a 3.08 GPA as an economics major as a freshman.

Mason served as Pekarske's backup in goal and earned the Athletic Training Department's Scholar-Athlete Award after serving as a student athletic trainer, while Comforti, Hudyn and Bryan combined to score 55 goals, dish out 21 assists and make 81 steals on the year. Comforti finished out her two-year Cal State East Bay career with 54 goals, 46 assists and 76 steals, while maintaining a 3.25 GPA in the pre-nursing major.

Noriega, Paschall and Charlesworth were all key reserves for the Pioneers, gaining confidence and playing time as the season progressed to finish their first year in the red and black with a combined 18 goals and 13 assists. Each of the three also maintained at least a 3.0 GPA, led by Charlesworth's 3.83 GPA as a kinesiology major.

The WWPA All-Academic Team consists of players from member institutions who carry a minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA and have played in at least 50 percent of their team's contests, while classifying as a full-time student for at least one semester or two quarters. This year, the WWPA honored a combined 113 student-athletes on both the men and women's sides.

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