Each month, The Summit League will feature outstanding student-athlete performances from a selected institution as recognized by its Faculty Athletic Representative. The December installment of The Summit League Scholar-Athlete Spotlight features three teams from Oakland University.
The volleyball team posted its best-ever record at the Division I level at 18-11 and finished tied for third in the league standings at 12-6, qualifying for its first-ever Summit League Championship. The Golden Grizzlies lost a tough four-set match to eventual champion North Dakota State in the semifinals. OU was led by Alli Kirk (3.52 GPA) with 603 digs, second most in school history. The 18 wins set a new D-I record, the 12 wins in league play tied the school record and OU is currently ranked third in the NCAA in digs per set (18.64). A total of 12 volleyball players earned a 3.00 GPA or higher out of 15 active student-athletes.
The Golden Grizzlies captured their seventh Summit League Tournament championship in 13 seasons and advanced to their sixth NCAA tournament. OU held top-seeded Wake Forest to just two goals in a 2-0 defeat, and trailed 1-0 late in the game. The Golden Grizzlies had 15 players earn a GPA of 3.00 or higher. Leading the way was Julianne Boyle (3.92), who earned All-Summit League first team accolades. She was joined by Serena San Cartier (3.78) and Kara Weber (3.40) on the all-league first team. OU became the first-ever No. 4 seed to win The Summit League Championship.
Women's Swimming and Diving
The women's swimming and diving team won the Academic Team Award from The Summit League last season and are on pace to do so again. The Golden Grizzlies have won all 12 Summit League titles heading into this season and are the favorites to win their 13th-straight. Alyssa Vela (3.26) is the president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and has earned a total of 20 All-Summit League honors. Picking up NCAA 'B' cuts this year for Oakland is Vanessza Balogh (3.42), Alyssa Busch (3.05) and Sandra Czerska (3.15). Balogh clocked a 'B' cut in the 400-yard individual medley en route to setting a new school record. She also posted a qualifying mark in the 200 breaststroke. Busch tallied a NCAA 'B' time in the 100 and 200 backstroke, while Czerska swam a NCAA 'B' cut time in the 200 fly this season.