Spartans Turn in Another Strong Semester in the Classroom

Spartanburg, S.C. – Following in the footsteps of a record-breaking semester for academic performance last fall, USC Upstate’s student-athletes nearly matched those results with a strong effort this spring, posting a 3.134 departmental grade point average (GPA).

Upstate’s student-athletes posted a department record 3.135 last fall, the top mark ever achieved in a semester since the department began tracking the semester GPAs in the late 1990’s. With the Spartans turning in a 3.134 GPA this spring on the heels of the record-breaking performance in the fall, 2012-13 stands as the top performance by Upstate’s student-athletes in the classroom in the history of the athletics program.

“We are extremely proud of the effort our student-athletes put into their academic pursuits and in exemplifying the ideals of being a student-athlete,” said Lee Fowler, Athletic Director at Upstate. “It is not easy balancing the demands of academics and athletics, but they continue to show the ability to excel in both areas.”

Upstate’s 3.134 GPA this spring was aided by 14 Spartans who earned perfect 4.0 GPAs. The figure is just two shy of the 16 achieved in the fall, giving Upstate 30 perfect 4.0 GPA scores this year. Eight different programs had student-athletes earn a 4.0 GPA with women’s golf and women’s soccer each having a department best three student-athletes each earn perfect marks.

The 14 Spartans with a perfect 4.0 GPA in the spring were Malika Allie (women’s golf), Mario Blessing (men’s basketball), Courtney Deblois (women’s soccer), Kristi Goodman (women’s golf), Alexa Hone (women’s soccer), Anastasia Kolesnitchenko (women’s cross country/track & field), Kara Lohr (softball), Anna Miller (softball), Rachel Reiling (women’s golf), Samatha Ritts (women’s soccer), Emily Sanders (volleyball), Marvin Schmiege (men’s soccer), Dylan Taylor (Men’s cross country/track & field) and Laura Transue (women’s cross country/track & field). There were seven Spartans who earned a perfect 4.0 GPA for the entire year. They were Allie, Deblois, Kolesnitchenko, Lohr, Miller, Reiling and Schmiege.

Dr. Oliver Trittenwein, who also serves as a professor of Psychology at Upstate, led a strong group of tennis players who ended up leading the department in the spring. The women’s tennis team posted the top GPA of all 15 athletic programs, turning in a 3.505 effort. The men’s tennis team was right behind with the second-best GPA at 3.415. The tennis teams were two of 10 programs which posted a GPA above 3.0 with eight programs posting a 3.2 or higher.

The women’s soccer team was third in the department with a 3.316 GPA and was followed by volleyball (3.301), women’s cross country (3.262), women’s golf (3.259), men’s soccer (3.253), softball (3.210), women’s track & field (3.121) and baseball (3.090) of the programs that earned a 3.0 GPA or better. All 15 programs recorded a GPA of at least 2.5.

The female programs led the department in the spring semester with a 3.223 GPA, while the men’s teams turned in a record breaking 3.035. The figure topped last fall’s semester of 3.006 for the top mark in the history of the department by the male teams. Of the 221 total student-athletes at Upstate this past semester, 143 earned above a 3.0 marking the second highest percentage on record at 65 percent, trailing last fall’s department mark of 66 percent.

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