Student-Athlete Honors Dinner Held on Sunday
MALIBU, Calif. – A few hundred student-athletes, coaches and staff members celebrated Pepperdine University’s Second Annual Student-Athlete Honors Dinner on Sunday night in Firestone Fieldhouse.
Awards were given for the Athlete of the Year, the Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the Wave of the Year to both male and female recipients. The Wave of the Year honors student-athletes for outstanding contributions in spirit and service to the athletics program.
Director of Athletics John Watson was the lead speaker, while Colin Rooney, a junior on the baseball team, gave the invocation and Julie Rubenstein, a senior on the women’s volleyball squad, spoke on the student-athlete’s perspective. The head coaches of the award-winners introduced their student-athletes. At the end of the program, baseball coach Steve Rodriguez presented each of the 50-plus senior student-athletes.
The winners of the various awards were as follows:
WAVE OF THE YEAR (Men’s) – Omar Altmann
Omar Altmann (Cairo, Egypt) is a senior captain of the men’s tennis team, which is currently ranked #17 in the nation. He is a supporter of all of Pepperdine’s teams and has been greatly involved with the tennis team’s community service projects, the Safe Passage program and numerous youth tennis clinics for underprivileged children. He served as a SAAC representative for two years. As a freshman, Omar was a key member of Pepperdine’s 2006 national championship team, and he helped the Waves win their fourth WCC title in his four years earlier today. He has earned three All-WCC honors in doubles and two in singles, with more to come. He has been nationally ranked in both singles and doubles this season. Omar is an international business major.
WAVE OF THE YEAR (Women’s) – Kayla Stolte
Kayla Stolte (Santee, Calif./West Hills HS) was a three-year starter at goalkeeper and a four-year member of the women’s soccer squad. One of the most spirited supporters you’ll see at other Pepperdine events, Kayla is also a two-year member of SAAC and this year served as the community service chair. She finished her soccer career by being named to the All-WCC honorable mention squad and is among the school’s all-time leaders in goals-against average, saves and shutouts. Thanks to her work in the classroom, she earned CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District second team accolades and WCC All-Academic first team honors as a senior. Kayla, a senior, is a mathematics major.
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (Men’s) – Shane Mason
Shane Mason (San Diego, Calif./St. Augustine HS) boasts one of the highest GPAs in all of athletics, as the political science major has better than a 3.9 GPA. The junior on the men’s golf team is a standout in many other areas as well. Selected as Pepperdine’s representative to the NCAA National Leadership Conference in 2008, Shane has played a key role in Pepperdine’s SAAC program the past two years. He served as secretary/treasurer this past year and will be the co-president next year. On the links, Shane has been a valued member of the team, having been a regular in the lineup for nearly the entire season and placing in the top 25 six times. At the recent WCC Championships, he tied for 12th place.
SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (Women’s) – Miranda Ayim
Miranda Ayim (London, Ontario, Canada) is one athlete who has balanced quite nicely her on-court success with her studies. The junior on the women’s basketball team has already been named to the WCC All-Academic team twice and was selected to the CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District third team this past season while posting a GPA of nearly 3.7. She’s also been a two-time All-WCC first team honoree and she led the Waves in scoring and rebounding this past season. Miranda is a member of Canada’s national team system as well. She is majoring in public relations.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (Men’s) – Paul Carroll
Paul Carroll (Forster, Australia) has been perhaps the most feared hitter in all of collegiate men’s volleyball the past few years. This past weekend, he became just the fourth player in Pepperdine’s history to record 2,000 career kills. A two-time, and likely three-time, All-American first teamer, Paul led the nation in kills last season and is leading the nation again this season. On the school’s career lists, he ranks third in kills, third in service aces, fourth in points and eighth in digs. He holds many of Pepperdine’s single-season and single-match records from the rally-scoring era. Paul will also earn his fourth All-MPSF selection later this season. He’s been named an AVCA National Player of the Week five times in his career, more than any other player in Pepperdine history, and MPSF Player of the Week awards six times. One of the top young players in the world, Paul was named Volleyball Australia’s Male Player of the Year in 2008. He is a business administration major.
ATHLETE OF THE YEAR (Women’s) – Julie Rubenstein
Julie Rubenstein (Camarillo, Calif./Oaks Christian HS) finished one of the best careers in Pepperdine women’s volleyball history last fall. She was named to the AVCA All-American third team as a senior, becoming Pepperdine’s first AVCA All-American selection since 2003. She earned All-West Coast Conference honors in each of her four seasons, including the last three on the first team. Julie led the WCC in both kills and points per set in 2008. She finished her Pepperdine career third all-time in kills and points and fifth in service aces. Quite impressively, she never missed a set in her four-year career, playing in all 423. Julie, who was also voted Pepperdine’s Female Student-Athlete of the Year for 2007-08, is a three-time WCC All-Academic selection and a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-District honoree. She has been co-president of SAAC the past two years, president of the WCC’s SAAC for two years and was Pepperdine’s first-ever student-athlete selected to serve on the NCAA National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Julie is a liberal arts major.
ALL-TIME LIST OF WINNERS
Athlete of the Year (Men’s)
Athlete of the Year (Women’s)
Wave of the Year (Men’s)
Wave of the Year (Women’s)
Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Men’s)
Scholar-Athlete of the Year (Women’s)
Scholar-Athlete of the Year