Three University of the Fraser Valley volleyball players have been recognized at the conference and national levels for their accomplishments in the classroom.
Joel Kleingeltink of the Cascades men’s volleyball program has been named a Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Academic All-Canadian for the third consecutive year. The Academic All-Canadian award is the CCAA’s most prestigious student-athlete honour, and requires a high standard of academic success and athletic achievement. Recipients must not only attain academic honours at their university, they must also earn a conference all-star award.
Kleingeltink, a fifth-year right side from Langley, B.C., posted a 4.0 grade point average in the 2016 fall semester, and also excelled on the court. He finished in the top five in the PACWEST conference in kills, blocks, aces and total offence, and garnered PACWEST first team and CCAA All-Canadian nods.
“When it comes to success in school, I would attribute a lot of my success to my experiences from playing on a varsity team,” Kleingeltink stated. “All of the work that goes into being a good athlete pays off, and the same is for the student aspect. If you practice, work out and eat right you will see improvement in sport. If you study, go to class and do the work right, it will pay off when you write papers and exams.
“On the more practical side, being involved in athletics is very time demanding. I’ve had to always stay on top of assignments and prepare for things in advance. Over the years I’ve discovered how relaxing it is to get a paper done on Saturday morning instead of waiting until Sunday night.”’
Additionally, Kleingeltink, teammate Dan Tang (Surrey, B.C.) and Kara Williams (Mission, B.C.) of the Cascades women’s volleyball team have been recognized as PACWEST academic excellence award winners.
The conference’s academic award was first introduced in 1992-93, and to be recognized, a student-athlete must achieve honours standing or equivalent. Successful candidates must meet sport-specific criteria in order to be awarded with this honour.
The award takes into account academic performance from the 2015-16 school year, along with the 2016 fall semester. Tang, Williams and Kleingeltink all posted GPAs exceeding 3.5 in all three semesters.
“It’s always exciting to see our athletes recognized for their academic achievements,” said Steve Tuckwood, UFV director of athletics and campus recreation. “It shows commitment to their sport and their studies.”