Westcliff University hosted its first ever athletics banquet Friday afternoon on Instagram Live to recognize its student-athletes and coaches from the 2019-20 season.
The athletics staff gave out several awards including the Building Greatness Award, Warrior of the Year, Female Athlete of the Year, Male Athlete of the Year, Best Overall Team Performance, Game of the Year and Head Coach of the Year.
The Building Greatness Award was created by Athletics Director Shawn Harris to recognize two outstanding student-athletes from the 2019-20 season and was given to Jacob Knox from men’s basketball and Lauren Davis from women’s basketball.
“The Building Greatness Award recognizes not merely the best athlete on their team; it spotlights the best of the best, the MVPs of ALL MVPs, that special athlete that we can build our entire Athletic Department around for the foreseeable future,” Harris said. “This year Jacob (Knox) and Lauren (Davis) exemplified those legendary traits, dominating the competition consistently while simultaneously embodying our 5C’s culture without deviation.
“I am incredibly honored to present them both with the most prestigious and coveted award in our Athletic Department, the Building Greatness Award.”
Warrior of the Year
The Warrior of the Year is a similar award that was voted on by the department’s head coaches and was given to a student-athlete that incorporates the 5C’s, has exceptional grades, and is a top athlete. The award was given to Josh Glover from men’s soccer.
As the team's goalkeeper, Glover was an integral part of why the men’s soccer team was so successful in 2019. His leadership on and off the field is comparable to no other college student-athlete in the country. Last season Josh was the team captain, part-time goalkeepers coach for the other goalkeepers for both the men’s and women’s team, study hall advisor, and managed to keep straight A’s in his MBA program.
Warrior of the Year Nominees
Saray Castaneda (Women’s Soccer) - Castaneda is one of the most kind and caring individuals. She always puts the needs of others before herself, on and off the field. Without a doubt, Castaneda more than exemplifies the 5C’s and is a stand out leader among the team.”
Kassiday Beagan (Women’s Volleyball) - Beagan was a leader on and off the court. She was always one of the first student-athletes to volunteer when the athletic department needed something done. She was always one of the first ones in the gym, study hall, and even her classes. With Beagan you could always tell that she was striving for excellence in everything she did. She showed her strong character through her commitment to be the best that she can be for her team and really exemplifies what it means to be a 5C’s Warrior.
Carley Hill (Women’s Beach Volleyball) - Hill really exemplifies what it means to be a Warrior. She was able to maintain a 4.0 GPA during her time at Westcliff. She always went out of her way to help her younger teammates when they needed help in their classes. But it didn’t stop there, even in the gym she always was looking out for her teammates and helping them when they needed it. She was competitive on the court just as much in the class. She was always finding new ways to push herself mentally and physically to help her team.
She also was a part of our SAAC program and was heavily involved in the group and helping with all the fundraisers. She was always one of the first to volunteer herself to help out with the other teams when we needed people to help work games or just to be a fan in the crowd cheering on the Warriors. She is a true 5 C’s Warrior by having great character and being fully committed to be the best for her team and the Warrior program.
Ronnie Davis (Men’s Basketball) - Davis always showed the character of a Warrior in everything he did. He cares very deeply for his family at home and his Warrior family. He is an excellent choice for this award, as he will be a lifelong 5C’s Warrior. He will truly make a difference in any community he is in.
Mary Dishoian (Women’s Basketball) - Mary is the epitome of what it means to be a warrior with the 5 C's mentality. She didn't take the role of being one of the team captains lightly and was consistently a leader on and off the floor, even in the times she was injured and couldn't play. Any fan could figure out by watching one of our games that she was the captain. Mary also has helped represent and change our culture in the last year and is committed to doing this in the long run as she will now be one of our assistant coaches and GA's for the upcoming season.
Mark Daza (Men’s Volleyball) - Daza was nominated for the Warrior of the Year Award for his unbelievable commitment to the men’s volleyball program. He is a member of SAAC where he contributed a lot of his time and effort to help bring the voice of the student-athletes. Daza would always put his teammates' needs before himself. He is a 5C’s Warrior, showing his strong character to help out his teammates with anything they need. He shows how committed he is by always putting the team needs first so that they can be, as a team, the best possible and he always found a way to be involved in the other sports and cheer them on.
PJ Gordan (Baseball) - Gordan was always a consummate teammate during the shortened 2020 season. Gordan gives everything he has and wants to be the best that he can be. He is also mentoring the younger players by setting a great example for them both on and off the field. While he works hard during practice and games, he also excels in the classroom and maintains good grades. His easy-going demeanor helps him get along well with everyone. He is very well respected by his teammates, coaches and other athletes.
Eddie Miranda (Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field) - From day one Miranda showed poise, grace and unwavering commitment to his growth both in the classroom and on the track. He always supported his teammates in any way he could from driving them to practice, recommending them for jobs, and being a tutor. Miranda was a team captain for the cross country and Track & Field season as a freshman. He is an integral part of building a dependable and ambitious culture as he sets the example.
Mikaiella Vargas (Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field) - Vargas began the cross country season with a mission to prepare for an event shift. In her preparation she kept a positive attitude daily at practice and encouraged her teammates to be the best they could be. She was one of the SAAC representatives, encouraging the team to be a part of school-wide events. She assisted teammates getting to and from practice. As well as being a listening ear when someone was down. She assists in building a supportive and fun culture as she sets the example.
Female Athlete of the Year
Rebecca Gonzales (Women’s Soccer) - The award for Female Athlete of the Year was given to Rebecca Gonzales of women’s soccer for her unbelievable season on the pitch in 2019. Gonzales was the team’s top defender while adding six goals and two assists to rack up 14 points on the season which ranked third on the team.
Female Athlete of the Year Nominees
Lauren Davis (Women’s Basketball) - Davis had an outstanding season, leading the team in points (459), rebounds (234) and assists (65) to go along with 80 steals and 18 blocked shots. Davis averaged 15.1 points per game while pulling down 8.1 boards a game.
Nora Lavik (Women’s Beach Volleyball) - Lavik had an impressive pair record of 4-1 last season with key victories over the No. 1 pair from national champion OUAZ as well as runner up national champion, Vanguard.
Sara Roach (Women’s Volleyball) - Roach dominated the court during the 2019 season, leading her team in kills with 186 while adding 62 digs and 19 blocks. Roach is the all-time leader at Westcliff in attack attempts (543) and her 186 kills is also the best in program history.
Jaslynne Aldridge (Cross Country/Track & Field) - Aldridge put on a show on the track and in the cross country meets. She is the cross country school record holder, running a 5k in 22:28 and has the second best time in the 600m at 1:48.
Male Athlete of the Year
Wyatt Baptiste (Baseball) - The award for Male Athlete of the Year was given to Wyatt Baptiste of baseball. Baptiste helped propel the team to a 19-8 record in the shortened season while recording 23 RBI and 29 runs with an impressive .456 batting average. In centerfield, Baptiste was nothing short of spectacular, finishing the year with 39 putouts and a 1.000 fielding percentage.
Male Athlete of the Year Nominees
Josh Glover (Men’s Soccer) - Glover started 15 games in goal for the Warriors in 2019, allowing just 23 goals for 1.49 goals per game average while recording 38 saves on the year to go along with one goal which is almost unheard of for a goalkeeper.
Jacob Knox (Men’s Basketball) - Knox showed his talent as a freshman for the Warriors, leading the team with 451 points and 217 rebounds while adding 29 steals and 14 blocked shots. Knox averaged 18 points per game with 8.7 rebounds.
Jacob Vander Beek (Men’s Volleyball) - Vander Beek was a dominant force for the men’s volleyball team all season. He led the team with 181 kills on the year to go along with 84 digs, 16 assists and 21 blocks.
Eddie Miranda (Men’s Cross Country/Track & Field) - Miranda holds the school record in the triple jump at 12.46m and has the second best record in school history in the long jump at 5.81m.
Best Team Performance Overall
Women’s Soccer was voted to have the best team performance throughout the 2019-20 season, finishing the year with a record of 9-1-1. Sandra Nantumbwe had an unbelievable year for the Warriors, scoring a season-high goals in just 11 games. Blair Gunderson had an impressive season as well, scoring 14 goals. The Warriors had an amazing goals difference throughout the year, outscoring their opponents 55 to 9.
The team had some remarkable victories of the course of the season, including a 22-0 blowout against Cal Miramar. They went 2-0 against GSAC opponents and finished with a 5-1-1 record in the CALPAC.
Best Team Performance Nominees
Women’s Volleyball - The team went 15-9 on the year with key victories over USK on three separate occasions along with Marymount, OUAZ and San Diego Christian.
Men’s Soccer - Had a successful season with a 10-5-2 record with key victories over USK, Park-Gilbert, The Master’s and Providence.
Women’s Basketball - Finished the year with a 12-17 record with key victories over USK twice, UC Merced, Park-Gilbert and Cal Maritime.
Men’s Basketball - Posted a 4-24 record during the 2019-20 season but finished with a few massive victories including two wins over Life Pacific and a win over #19 Northwestern.
Men’s Volleyball - The team finished the year with a 7-9 record and had key victories over Arizona Christian, Hope, Park-Gilbert and The Master’s.
Baseball - In the shortened 2020 season, the baseball team posted a record of 19-8 with big wins over Providence, La Sierra, Chapman and Concordia.
Beach Volleyball - Finished the season with a 2-3 record with key wins over Marymount and USK.
Game of the Year
Baseball’s 9-8 victory over Concordia - Westcliff hit a walk-off in the bottom of the 13th innings against a NCAA DII opponent, making them the only team in Westcliff history to beat a NCAA team.
Game of the Year Nominees
Women’s Soccer-22 vs. Cal Miramar-0 - Women’s soccer defeated Cal Miramar by a final score of 22-0 for their largest margin of victory during the season. Three players scored hat tricks in the game; Sandra Nantumbwe, Rebecca Gonzales and Blair Gunderson. Women’s soccer being a first year program, established the most goals in a game in program history in only their third game.
Men’s Soccer-2 vs. The Master’s-1 (2OT) - Nick Frost and Danny Abrego each had a goal in the game. It was the team's toughest matchup of the year as Westcliff came into the game as the underdog. The team was outshot 12-5 but still managed a way to come up with the victory. It was their first win in program history against a GSAC school.
Women’s Volleyball-3 vs. USK-2 - It was the team’s second game of the year against USK and it was a hard fought battle down to the very end. Westcliff lost the first set and then rallied to go up 2-1 before ultimately winning the match in the 5th and final set by a score of 15-8.
Men’s Basketball-62 vs. #19 Northwestern-57 - Jacob Knox led the team with a double-double on 15 points and 12 rebounds. Westcliff’s defense was relentless, recording five blocks and forcing Northwestern to 23 turnover to knockoff nationally ranked NAIA DII Northwestern of Iowa.
Women’s Basketball-67 vs. UC Merced-62 - After losing to UC Merced by 20 points in their first matchup of the season. Westcliff traveled to Merced looking for revenge and got just what they wanted with an upset win over the Bobcats. Mammusu Secka led the team with a double-double on 19 points and 13 rebounds.
Men’s Volleyball-3 vs. Hope-2 - Westcliff battled back after trailing two sets to one to eventually send the match to a fifth set. The two teams battled down to the wire before the Warriors came up with a big victory in the final set, winning 16-14. Dale Irvin finished the game with 21 kills while Sean Collins recorded 49 assists.
Women’s Beach Volleyball-4 vs. USK-1 - This was the team’s second win of the season, winning in decisive fashion. All pairs dominated with one pair battling all the way through three sets before ultimately dropping the match.
Coach of the Year
Joey O’Keefe (Men’s & Women’s Soccer) - O’Keefe led the men’s team to a 10-5-2 record while leading the women’s team to an impressive 9-1-1 season.
Coach of the Year Nominees
Latroya Franklin (Track & Field)
James Larson (Men’s Basketball)- 4-24 record
Kenny Ma (Beach Volleyball)- 2-3 record
Pam Marshall (Track & Field)
Kyle Rouse (Women’s Basketball)- 12-17 record
David Shermet (Baseball)- 19-8 record
Alaine Tate (Cross Country/Track & Field)
Derrick Trent (Women’s Volleyball)- 15-9
Chelsea Taylor (Track & Field)
Highest Team GPA
Women’s Volleyball - 3.45 overall team GPA