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6 Flames Named to VaSID Academic All-State Team

July 12, 2019  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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(Clockwise from top left): Noel Palmer, Chase Burton, Alicia Finnigan, Ruben Garcia, Annika Roberts, Ervin Chang

(Clockwise from top left): Noel Palmer, Chase Burton, Alicia Finnigan, Ruben Garcia, Annika Roberts, Ervin Chang

Liberty student-athletes Chase Burton, Ervin Chang, Alicia Finnigan, Ruben Garcia, Noel Palmer and Annika Roberts have earned spots on the 2018-19 Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Academic All-State Team.

Every Commonwealth college and university, including NCAA Division I, II and III, NAIA and independents, had the opportunity to submit student-athletes to be honored. To be eligible, student-athletes were required to have a cumulative grade point average of 3.25 or better. The student must have achieved sophomore status, and he or she could not have been in the first season of competition at their current school.

Burton, a native of Naples, Fla., received two major honors during his junior year, the ASUN Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year and ITA/Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award. On the court, the business administration major with a 3.92 GPA found his greatest success alongside doubles partner Nicaise Muamba this season. The pairing finished the 2019 campaign as the No. 10 doubles unit in the Atlantic Region and was a second-team VaSID All-State unit.

A sport management major with a 3.76 GPA, Chang was previously honored as the ASUN Male Student-Athlete of the year and the ASUN Men's Golf Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia native earned honorable mention Ping All-America recognition after leading the Flames to a 20th-place finish at the NCAA Men's Golf Championship. The junior was additionally named to the first team of both the ASUN Men's Golf All-Conference and VaSID All-State squads.

After graduating with a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies and a 4.0 GPA, Finnigan was named to the VaSID Academic All-State squad for the second year in a row. The Sugar Land, Texas native earned her second Google Cloud All-America® honor in 2019 and was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year award. In the pool, Finnigan captured her third straight CCSA 200 butterfly title, helping the Lady Flames claim their first CCSA team championship since 2014.

A junior from Madrid, Spain, Garcia graduated in May with a 4.0 GPA and a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary studies. The ASUN All-Academic Team honoree started all 15 games of the 2018 season at midfielder, contributing one assist.

Liberty's lone sophomore representative on this year's VaSID Academic All-State squad, Palmer maintains a 4.0 GPA in biology. The Forest, Va., native earned spots on the Google Cloud Academic All-District® and ASUN Women's Outdoor Track & Field All-Academic Teams this spring. Palmer set a pair of school records (cross country 5K and outdoor track 10K) as a sophomore and was a four-time ASUN event runner-up.

Roberts graduated in May with a bachelor's degree in accounting and a 3.96 GPA after just three years on campus. The junior defender from Landenberg, Pa., became just the fourth player in program history to receive at least three NFHCA Division I Scholar of Distinction accolades. Roberts started all 19 games for the BIG EAST runner-up Lady Flames in 2018 and collected her second BIG EAST All-Academic Team honor.     

Liberty's 2018-19 VaSID Academic All-State Team Honorees
Name, Class, Hometown, Cumulative GPA, Major, Sport
Chase Burton, Jr., Naples, Fla., 3.92, Business Administration, Men's Tennis

Ervin Chang, Jr., Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 3.76, Sport Management, Men's Golf

Alicia Finnigan, Sr., Sugar Land, Texas, 4.0, Interdisciplinary Studies, Women's Swimming & Diving

Ruben Garcia, Jr., Madrid, Spain, 4.0, Interdisciplinary Studies, Men's Soccer

Noel Palmer, So., Forest, Va., 4.0, Biology, Women's Cross Country/Track & Field

Annika Roberts, Jr., Landenberg, Pa., 3.96, Accounting, Field Hockey