Club Sports student-athletes maintain 3.30 cumulative GPA
June 2, 2021 | Lynchburg, Va.
Liberty University's approximately 600 Club Sports student-athletes ended the spring semester with a 3.30 cumulative grade-point average, a slight improvement from the 3.27 cumulative GPA recorded in the Fall 2020 semester and barely below the program record 3.34 average established last spring.
"It's incredible to see our teams performing so well and see them prioritizing their academics alongside their commitment to their respective teams," Club Sports Director of Academic Advancement Sarah Kelly said.
A total of 35 out of 39 teams ended the semester with GPAs of 3.0 or better, with a total of 265 individuals making the Dean's List for maintaining GPAs of 3.5 or higher, including 105 with a perfect 4.0.
Kelly said COVID-19 restrictions threw a wrench in many of the teams' schedules, forcing student-athletes to be flexible as they balanced academic and athletic demands while maintaining spiritual disciplines and taking advantage of opportunities for social interaction.
"Our student-athletes definitely had a different dynamic to adapt to this semester, so we're proud of what they've been able to accomplish," she said. "We had many teams that dealt with changing schedules of home and away events so they didn't always know when they were traveling, but put in the hard work to stay on top of their work and communicate well with professors."
The teams accruing the highest GPAs for the spring semester were gymnastics (3.69), Division I women's hockey (3.56), men's and women's cycling (3.54), and men's and women's archery and women's synchronized skating (3.52).
Liberty's three-time defending ACHA DI women's hockey national championship team featured 10 student-athletes — more than any other program in the nation — named Academic All-Americans with GPAs of 3.5 or better: graduate forwards Vanessa DeMerchant and Valeria Manchak, senior forwards Shelby Bradford and Shannon Fehr, graduate defensemen Sally Hoerr and Dana McLeod, senior defenseman Sydney Pierce, junior defensemen Kristi Serafin and Aislyn Stretch, and freshman defenseman Priscilla Ziefle.
The Flames' DI men's hockey team, which advanced to the ACHA DI National Championships "Frozen Four" for the first time since 2008, had a record-high 14 of its 24 student-athletes make the ACHA DI Academic All-American list as it posted a cumulative GPA of 3.41.