Biola finishes fall sports seasons with eight All-Americans

Eight All-Americans come from Biola’s fall sports teams.


Junior Amy Weststeyn hits through Westmont’s blog during the game on November 9. The women’s team defeated Westmont in three quick games. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Tyler Gunhus, Writer

Biola officially wrapped the fall season with volleyball’s 3-0 loss in the NAIA title game this past Saturday, and while the absence of a national championship may come as a disappointment for all the teams, the Eagles finished with a total of eight All-American awards across all three fall sports.

Volleyball led the way for Biola with four All-Americans, three of them being first team honors.


Junior Amy Weststeyn hits through Westmont's blog during the game on Nov. 9. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES [file photo]

Junior middle blocker Amy Weststeyn earned her third-straight All-American nod, with 2013 being the second year she was named to the first team. After receiving NAIA freshman of the year in 2011, Weststeyn has continually improved her game and developed into one of the most dynamic collegiate volleyball players in the nation. Weststeyn led the team in kills with 318, and finished with a .408 hitting percentage, which was fourth best in the nation. She was also 10th in the nation with 1.2 blocks per set.


Senior Gracee Gallarda sets it up for the kill against UC San Marcos during the Vanguard tournament at the beginning of the season. | Rachelle Cihonski/THE CHIMES [file photo]


Senior setter Gracee Gallarda and senior middle blocker Chelsea Arnitz both earned first team honors along with Weststeyn. Gallarda was third in the nation with 11.5 assists per set and was second on the team in digs with 219. This was Gallarda’s second All-American season, making the second team last season. Arnitz had a .378 hit percentage, with 267 kills and 63 blocks.


Sophomore outside hitter Joclyn Kirton goes up for a kill during the game versus San Diego Christian on October 10.| Tomber Su/THE CHIMES [file photo]


One of the biggest surprises of 2013 was the emergence of sophomore outside hitter Joclyn Kirton, who earned third team All-American honors. After a solid freshman year, Kirton came out swinging and racked up some serious stats. She finished this season with 310 kills, just eight off Weststeyn’s team leading 318.


This is the second-straight year volleyball had four All-Americans, and the three first team honors are a first in program history.

Senior forward Daniel Chew battles Concordia senior Max McCrink for the ball during the game vs. Concordia on October 5. | Karin Jensen/THE CHIMES [file photo]


Men’s soccer landed their first All-American since 2011 when Aaron Fenlason was in goal for the Eagles. Senior Daniel Chew was named to the NAIA All-American third team after finishing off his final season at Biola in style. Chew netted 18 goals to lead the team in scoring, twice as many as he scored in 2012. He finished inside the top-10 on the national level in goals scored and proved to be a nightmare for opponents to cover.

Senior defender Kevin Kiser received an honorable mention for his contribution to a solid defensive back line. Biola’s defense helped secure 10 shutouts and a .722 goals allowed average. Kiser logged 1,718 minutes this season, second only to goalkeeper JT Addington, and played 90 minutes or more in 17 out of his 19 games.

Both Chew and Kiser had never been named All-American, so it seems only fitting that the award comes as both finished out extremely successful collegiate careers.

Junior Carrie Soholt and sophomore Kellian Hunt run side by side on the final stretch during the GSAC Championships in Costa Mesa. | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES [file photo]


Cross-country also scored All-American finishers on the women’s side as both junior Carrie Soholt and sophomore Kellian Hunt finished in the top-30 at nationals.

Soholt had a time of 18:18.32 and finished 14th overall to lead the Eagles. Hunt finished a little over four seconds after Soholt at 18:22.90 at 24th place. This was Hunt’s second All-American honor in two years with the Eagles.

While the fall of 2013 season ended up being a trophy-less on the national level, the success of volleyball reaching the NAIA finals, the turn-around of the men’s soccer under new coach Todd Elkins, and the second-straight GSAC title for women’s cross-country, Biola had a fair of bright spots over the past few months. With multiple All-American awards, several of them going to athletes who still have one or more seasons of eligibility left, the future looks bright for Biola athletics and their fall participants.

0 0 votes
Article Rating