(MSU Billings release)
PORTLAND, Ore. — Three Montana State University Billings athletic teams earned academic team champion titles for the 2018-19 year announced by the Great Northwest Athletic Conference on Wednesday.
The Yellowjacket women’s soccer team, women’s golf team, and softball team each had the top grade point averages among all conference teams in their respective sports. The GNAC features nine women’s soccer teams, eight softball teams, and six women’s golf teams. The women’s soccer team’s 3.74 GPA was the highest GPA of any team, men’s or women’s, among all of the GNAC’s 15 sponsored sports and 122 unique athletic teams.
The women’s soccer team featured 11 academic all-conference selections during the fall of 2018, each of which not only met the GNAC minimum of a 3.20 GPA but attained a mark of 3.40 or higher. Leading the list was junior center back Amanda Hemmen, who was named a CoSIDA first-team academic All-American with a 4.0 GPA while studying biology.
MSUB’s women’s soccer team won its second team academic award, after also claiming the GNAC title during the 2011-12 academic year with a 3.48 GPA.
MSUB’s women’s golf team carried a 3.55 GPA, and the softball team won its title with a 3.45 GPA. The women’s golf team had four of its five eligible players earn academic all-conference, with sophomore Sydney Rochford leading the list with a 3.67 GPA. This marks the fifth team title for the MSUB women’s golf team, which also claimed the honor in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2015-16, and 2016-17.
The softball team meanwhile had seven academic all-conference picks, and sophomore Brittanee Fisher headlined the list with a team-best 3.77 GPA in health and human performance. This is the softball team’s second GNAC academic award, after it won the 2009-10 title with a 3.15 GPA.
The Yellowjacket women’s basketball team finished as the runner-up, with a 3.50 team GPA. MSUB’s four women’s sports that placed in the top three in their sports helped the Yellowjackets to 75 points in the overall women’s standings, which was good for fifth place in the conference.
Concordia University won the overall academic all-sports title with 167 points, as the Cavaliers claimed the men’s overall title with 86 points and placed third among the women’s rankings with 81 points. Northwest Nazarene University won the women’s overall title with 104 points.
The GNAC’s academic all-sports standings are based on the cumulative grade point averages of all of the athletes on the official team roster, including redshirts. Points are awarded in two-point increments.