Photo by: Andy Wilhelm
From left, Milosh Stojcic, Nathan Thalken and Alec Flowers were three of the seven Tritons recognized Tuesday.

Seven Tritons Earn Big West All-Academic Honors


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IRVINE, Calif. - Seven University of California San Diego men's volleyball players have qualified for 2018 Big West Conference All-Academic distinction, as announced Tuesday by the league. A total of 30 student-athletes were recognized.

The Tritons making the list were Alec Flowers, Xander Jimenez, Ryan Lew, Luke McDonald, Milosh Stojcic, Nathan Thalken and Bryan Zhu.

UC San Diego's seven honorees were second-most among the six programs that make up Big West Men's Volleyball, only behind the eight for Hawai'i.

Zhu is now a four-time conference all-academic honoree, with Mountain Pacific Sports Federation (MPSF) All-Academic selections the past three years before UC San Diego moved over to the Big West, which just began sponsoring men's volleyball in 2018. This is a third academic recognition for Flowers, McDonald and Stojcic, second for Jimenez and Thalken, and first for Lew.

Student-athletes are required to maintain a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average, complete one full year at the member institution prior to the season for which the award is being received (at least a sophomore academically), and have completed in at least 50 percent of their team's contests.

This is the seventh straight year in which head coach Kevin Ring's program has had at least six recognized at the conference level for their classroom achievements, after six in 2012, seven in 2013, eight in 2014, six in 2015, seven in 2016, and a high of nine in 2017.

For the third year in a row, Flowers, a tri-captain, had the team's top GPA at 3.69.

2018 Big West All-Academic Selections
Name Pos. Year GPA Major College Hometown/Last School
Alec Flowers MB/OH Sr. 3.69 Management Science Marshall Mountain View/Mountain View HS
Xander Jimenez OH RSo. 3.62 International Business Roosevelt San Jose/Saint Francis HS
Ryan Lew L So. 3.44 Human Biology Warren San Marino/San Marino HS
Luke McDonald OPP Sr. 3.38 Economics Roosevelt Sacramento/Rio Americano HS
Milosh Stojcic S Sr. 3.44 Chemical Engineering Roosevelt Redondo Beach/South HS
Nathan Thalken OH/OPP Jr. 3.33 International Business Roosevelt Sacramento/Rio Americano HS
Bryan Zhu MB Sr. 3.48 Bioengineering Marshall San Diego/Rancho Bernardo HS


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