Angie Forburger, assistant Sports editor
UCLA men’s and women’s tennis both received academic recognition from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association this past week.
Both teams were named 2018 ITA All-Academic Teams, having a cumulative GPA of 3.2 or above. Members of both teams also earned individual academic honors, maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA for the academic year.
Recent graduates Austin Rapp and Martin Redlicki and rising redshirt sophomore Reid Ponder were the men’s tennis players that received ITA Scholar-Athlete awards.
This marks the fourth ITA Scholar-Athlete award of Redlicki’s career and the ninth postseason award he has earned this year. The recent graduate was also the top-ranked singles player in the nation for most of 2018 and was this year’s NCAA doubles champion with rising junior Evan Zhu.
This year, Rapp was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic First Team, alongside Redlicki, for the first time in his career. He was also selected as a 2018 All-American in doubles after advancing to the semifinals of the NCAA doubles championship with rising sophomore Keegan Smith.
Ponder made his UCLA tennis debut in the fall and earned a 4.0 GPA in all three quarters last year.
On the women’s team, rising sophomores Abi Altick and Sophie Bendetti and recent graduate Terri Fleming were also named ITA Scholar-Athletes.
Altick posted a 30-11 singles record in her first year with the Bruins, leading the team in overall wins. She also earned an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention for the year.
Fleming earned her third career Pac-12 All-Academic award this year, becoming only the 10th UCLA athlete ever to do so. She was also named an All-American in doubles with rising redshirt junior Jada Hart.
In addition to her scholar-athlete award, Bendetti was also selected for the 2018 Spring Director’s Honor Roll.
Sam Connon, assistant Sports editor
Three more Bruins were named to preseason award watch lists this week.
Rising sophomore cornerback Darnay Holmes was added to the Louisville Sports Commission’s preseason watch list for the 2018 Paul Hornung Award. The award is given to the player deemed most versatile in college football, with Odell Beckham Jr., Christian McCaffrey, Jabrill Peppers and Saquon Barkley being some of the most recent winners.
Holmes played defense and special teams for the Bruins last year, averaging 21.7 yards per kickoff return. The former five-star recruit recorded 39 tackles in 13 games in addition to three interceptions – one of brought back 30 yards for a touchdown against Hawai’i.
Rising junior kicker JJ Molson was named to the Lou Groza Collegiate Place-Kicker Award watch list. He was 49-of-50 on extra points last season, bringing his career totals to 76-of-77. Molson was also a career-best 17-of-21 on field goal attempts and finished with the third-highest field goal percentage in the Pac-12.
Rising redshirt senior punter Stefan Flintoft was also given some preseason recognition after being added to the watch list for the Ray Guy Award. Flintoft averaged 42.9 yards per punt and placed 21 punts within the opponent’s 20-yard line. His junior season culminated with a 65-yard punt in the Cactus Bowl against Kansas State in December.
Gabriel McCarthy, assistant Sports editor
Five members of the UCLA women’s rowing squad traveled to Poland to represent national teams at the 2018 World Rowing Under 23 World Championships.
Rising seniors Saskia Budgett, Kyra Edwards, Megan Slabbert, Carlisle Wheeler and recent graduate Sophia Denison-Johnston joined different national teams in Poznan, Poland, from Wednesday through Sunday.
Slabbert, Edwards and Budgett competed for Great Britain’s U23 national team, while Wheeler and Denison-Johnston were a part of the United States’ U23 national team. Denison-Johnston competed in the lightweight double sculls and Wheeler competed in the women’s 4x.
Denison-Johnston finished first in the double sculls final with a time of 7 minutes and 48.31 seconds, beating China’s and Denmark’s national teams. The USA quadruple sculls team finished last in the 4x finals with a time of 7:2.94.
The Great Britain 4x squad featuring the trio of Bruins claimed bronze behind Romania’s and Netherlands’ national teams, respectively. The team that consisted of Budgett and Edwards claimed gold last season at the U23 Championships in Bulgaria.
All five members of the UCLA crew rowed on either the varsity eight or second varsity crews last season. They joined UCLA alumna Marie Jacquet as Bruins that have competed at the tournament in recent years. Jacquet was a two-time All-Pac-12 Conference selection for the Bruins in 2016 and 2017 and medaled three times at the Under 23 Championships.