The Billiken men achieved a department-best 3.562 team grade point average last year, easily surpassing the minimum 3.2 required for the ITA All-Academic award. The Billiken women posted a 3.415 GPA.
SLU is among 84 NCAA Division I men’s teams to garner the award and one of seven Atlantic 10 Conference men’s programs to be honored. There are 125 NCAA Division I women’s teams recognized, including seven from the A-10.
Nishaad Balachandran, Yehia El Sallaly, Miguel Flores, Patrick Kella and Vuk Poledica from the men’s team and Mia Elmore, Stephanie Hollis and Brooke Urzendowski from the women’s team collected ITA Scholar-Athlete accolades, awarded to letter winners who registered at least a 3.5 GPA for the entire academic year. Saint Louis’ five honorees tied for third among A-10 men’s programs, while the Billikens’ eight Scholar-Athletes combined tied for fourth in the conference.
“We are extremely proud of both teams for earning this distinction from the ITA,” head coach Jon Zych said. “We focus our efforts on achieving excellence in the community, in our competitions and in the academic setting. Balancing these goals is difficult, but producing outstanding results is noteworthy.“I am proud of the team efforts and congratulate our teams,” Zych said. “Individually, I want to commend Steff, Brooke, Mia, Yehia, Vuk, Miguel, Nishaad and Pat on attaining a 3.5 or above GPA. They lead by example and show us how to strive for more.”