Santa Clara Leads All Schools with 11 Named to WWPA All-Academic Team

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The Santa Clara University women's water polo program saw 11 of its 2011-12 student-athletes make the 2012 Western Water Polo Association All-Academic Team – more than any other school in the nine-team league.

The Broncos, led by 10th-year head coach Keith Wilbur, has consistently placed multiple student-athletes on the WWPA All-Academic Team, while also earning recognition from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) as recipients of the organization's Public Recognition Awards (APR) for academic achievement.

"At Santa Clara, there is a culture for academic excellence in the athletic department, and the academic support is outstanding," said Wilbur. "Every year, one of the team goals for women's water polo has been to do well in the classroom. The players embrace the challenge of working hard at their sport while also striving to do well academically. I really think the athletes at Santa Clara are true student-athletes, and its great to have so many recognized by the conference."

The Broncos had four student-athletes post a GPA above 3.5, including freshmen Alexandria Cabral (3.775 GPA), Ashleigh Bandimere (3.692 GPA) and sophomores June Afshar (3.547 GPA) and Kaitlin Kirasich (3.546 GPA).

Santa Clara's 2012 WWPA All-Academic Team Honorees:
Alexandria Cabral (3.775 GPA) - pictured above
Ashleigh Bandimere (3.692 GPA)
June Afshar (3.547 GPA)
Kaitlin Kirasich (3.546 GPA)
Makena Pezzuto (3.481 GPA)
Alison Norris (3.419 GPA)
Morgan Fornesi (3.324 GPA)
Ashley Letrich (3.321 GPA)
Kendall Preston (3.225 GPA)
Natalie Kassel (3.162 GPA)
Jamie Swartz (3.137 GPA)
Laura Burtness (3.009 GPA)

For a complete list of the 2011-12 WWPA All-Academic Team click here.