UC Irvine honors scholar-athletes

Tillie earns Lauds & Laurels award to top more than 100 recognized for work in classroom.

August 20, 2013

UC Irvine men's volleyball All-American Kevin Tillie was named Lauds & Laurels Outstanding Student-Athlete at the school's Salute to Scholar-Athletes banquet at the Bren Events Center to close out the school year.

The award is the most prestigious given by the UCI Alumni Assn. Tillie was a member of UCI's back-to-back NCAA champions, earning first team All-American accolades each year. Tillie was also named first team All-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation and All-NCAA Tournament twice.

Senior tennis player Kristina Smith earned UCI Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors, while senior baseball player Ronnie Shaeffer was named the school's Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.


Earlier this year, women's volleyball player Kristin Winkler and men's distance runner Sam Hyams were honored as UCI's Big West Female and Male Scholar-Athletes of the Year, respectively, and they were also recognized at the banquet.

Smith was named the 2013 Big West Conference Player of the Year after posting a record of 20-3 at No. 1 singles in dual matches. She won the Arthur Ashe Leadership & Sportsmanship Award for the Southwest Region and competed at the NCAA Singles Championship in late May.

An English major, Smith was selected to the Big West Conference Fall All-Academic team and is a three-time scholar-athlete as well as an eight-time Dean's Honor List honoree. She ranks second all-time at UCI with 97 total singles wins, including tournaments, and passed her mother Maria for most career dual-match wins (75) which ranks third all-time.

Shaeffer, a double major in anthropology and business economics, is a semifinalist for the prestigious Johnny Bench Award that recognizes the nation's top collegiate catcher. He is a two-time first-team All-Big West selection. Shaeffer was named Most Outstanding Player at the 2011 Los Angeles Regional, where he hit .600 and drove in the game-winning run against UCLA to clinch the regional title for the Anteaters. He was named the 2011 Rawlings Gold Glove winner by the American Baseball Coaches Assn. and is a three-time scholar-athlete and has made the Dean's Honor List four times.

Winkler ended her career as the Big West and UCI career leader in digs with 2,260. She also set the UCI single-season record with 676 digs in 2012. She received honorable mention in the American Volleyball Coaches Assn. All-American voting and was named All-West Region and first-team All-Big West.

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