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Torero Athletes Honored at Celebration of Excellence

May 13, 2014

SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego honored the athletic and academic accomplishments of its student-athletes Monday night at the "Celebration of Excellence" ceremony at the Prado in Balboa Park. Among the honorees were senior Chloe Ferrari of the volleyball team, who took home “Female Torero of the Year,” and seniors Clarke Spinosa (men’s tennis) and Mason Mills (football), who were co-winners of the “Male Torero of the Year” award.

The night’s festivities kicked off with the release of a Torero-themed parody of Pharrell’s “Happy” music video, which featured members of all 17 of USD’s sports, including athletic director Ky Snyder. The video can be seen below.

Female Torero of the Year Chloe Ferrari

Ferrari, a native of Clovis, Calif., recovered from a season-ending knee injury in 2012 to tally a team-leading 337 kills with an impressive .444 hitting percentage, as well as 100 blocks and 86 digs. Ferrari, was a four-time first team All-WCC selection, the 2013 WCC Player of the Year, and helped guide USD to a program-best 26-4 overall record on the season. Ferrari was also tabbed AVCA Second Team All-American and was selected to the All-Regional team in Lincoln, Neb., after helping lead USD into the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Ferrari completed her impressive Torero career with the best career hitting percentage in program history at .401 and her .444 hitting percentage in 2013 set a new single-season record. Ferrari received an invitation to compete with some of the best players in the world for the USA Volleyball National Team and is currently training, practicing and fighting for a travel roster spot.

Mills (Coronado, Calif.) a four-year starter at quarterback was tabbed the team's Most Valuable Player for the second straight year as he directed USD to an overall record of 8-3. Mills, the Pioneer Football League Offensive Player of the Year was named one of 20 finalists for the Walter Payton Award. Mason had an outstanding season by ranking amongst the nation's best by completing 66 percent (256-of-388) of his passes and totals of 256-for-388 for 3,463 yards and 35 touchdowns, good for third most in the FCS through the end of the regular season. He also ranked amongst the nation's top 15 in passing efficiency (168.1, 5th), passing yards per game (314.8, 7th) and completion percentage (13th). Mills helped the Torero Football team close out the 2013 regular season with a gutsy 23-13 win over Drake to stay atop of the PFL standings for the third straight year. Mills end his career as the Toreros' all-time leader in passing yards with 11,104, which ranks second all-time among PFL passers, while his 95 touchdown passes ranks second at USD. 

Spinosa (Claremont, Calif.), the lone senior on the men’s tennis team, played at No. 1 singles and doubles with freshman partner Filip Vittek, where the duo went 19-6. Individually, Spinosa had a 22-10 overall record in singles and achieved a career-high ITA singles ranking of #27 nationally. Clarke helped the team win a second WCC Championship title in four years and for the fourth year in the row the Torero Tennis team made it to the second round of the NCAAs. Spinosa has the most doubles wins in USD history and has tied the all-time singles record with 100 wins. He has a chance to set the all-time record at the NCAA Singles Tournament Championships next week.

Male Rookie of the Year Filip Vittek

Spinosa’s double partner, Filip Vittek, along with softball’s Olivia Sandusky were named Rookies of the Year. Vittek, a Slovakia native, went 19-6 in doubles with Spinosa, reaching a national ranking of No. 36. The tandem was named to the All-WCC first team after going 8-0 in conference matches; they also defeated three doubles teams in the top-25. Individually, Vittek went 14-11 playing primarily at the No. 3 and 4 spots in singles. He closed out the season strong, winning nine of his last 11 matches.

Sandusky (Huntington Beach, Calif.) led the team in batting average (.322), on-base percentage (.383), and stolen bases (8). She was named the San Diego Hall of Champions Star of the Month for March and at one point she reached base in 25 consecutive games. Sandusky was second in the WCC amongst freshman in batting average, on-base percentage, RBI, and runs scored. 

Athletes were recognized for their work in the classroom as well with the Annual Academic Achievement Award, which are presented to the sophomore, junior, and senior student-athletes with the highest cumulative GPA. Senior Julian Ringhof of the men’s soccer team won the senior award after posting a 3.95 GPA while majoring in mechanical engineering.

The junior class was represented by Ben Wylly, who won the award as a sophomore. Wylly holds a 3.95 overall GPA, majoring in peace and justice studies. Marta Stojanovic of the women’s tennis team took home the honors for the sophomore class. She sports a perfect 4.00 GPA as a behavioral neuroscience major.

This year's Student Athlete Advisory Committee President (SAAC), Brooke Jelniker of the women's basketball team, took home the SAAC Leadership Award. Jelniker is a three-year member of SAAC and has been dedicated and influential in communicating student-athletes’ desires and concerns to Athletics Administration.

Female Rookie of the Year Olivia Sandusky

The "Toreros Linking to the Community" Award (TLC) was presented to Kyle Miller, a senior on the football team. In his time at USD, he has been a part of several Leadership groups on-campus: the Leadership Advisory Board, Student Athlete Advisory Committee, Emerging Leaders Instructor and the Changemaker Summer Fellowship. His summer as a “Changemaker” allowed him to gain exposure for the non-profit organization he developed called “Lace Up Stand Up”. This program focused on conflict resolution and anti-bullying initiatives among middle school and high school students.

The Torero swim and dive team received the "Spirit of the Torero" Award. The “Spirit of the Torero” is a SAAC initiative on Facebook that provides a forum for USD student-athletes and supporters to check out what student-athletes are doing in their sport and in the community.  Teams were given points based on the photos and postings on the web page.

Lastly, the top three moments in Torero athletics were honored. The volleyball team took home the award for their home win over then No. 1 USC. The football team took second for their gritty finale 23-13 win in their season finale against Drake to stay atop the PFL standings for the third year in a row. The men’s team finished third for knocking off Pepperdine in the WCC Championship to stay undefeated against WCC teams.




Video Thumbnail Baseball: Final Series
Toreros end their season against No. 2 Oregon State
Video Thumbnail Celebration of Excellence Recap
Toreros dress to impress for the end of year banquet
Video Thumbnail It's Tricky
San Diego Athletics' staff makes home made version of Run DMC's hit song
Video Thumbnail USD Athletes Lip Sync
12 sports teams show off some skills in a new genre
Video Thumbnail USD Athletics Blooper Reel
What it sometimes takes to get that perfect shot
Video Thumbnail All Sport Highlights 2017-18
17 sports - infinite highlights
Video Thumbnail Baseball: Day in the Life with Jay Schuyler
The real-life baseball experience
Video Thumbnail Golf: WCC's
Inside look at WCC competition
Video Thumbnail Men's Tennis: Sweep
San Diego defeat Pepperdine 4-0
Video Thumbnail Softball: The Win
Toreros defeat Saint Mary's in weekend series
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Tuber
Coach Scholl introduces "Tuber" - the on campus Torero Uber
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Barista Scholl
Coach Scholl gets students ready for class by helping out at Aromas Cafe
Video Thumbnail Football: Pro Day
Toreros submit their resumes to the NFL scouts
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Portland State Win
Toreros move on to next round in CIT
Video Thumbnail Football 2018: Spring Game
Toreros play spring football game for family and friends
Video Thumbnail Baseball: Toreros vs. Aztecs
USD take on cross-town rival SDSU
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Post Season Run
USD vs. Hartford highlights
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Championship Game
Toreros end the 2018 season against Gonzaga in the WCC finals.
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Semifinals
Women's win send them to the championship game
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: WCC Quarterfinals
Toreros close out 2018 season against BYU
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: "Off Day"
Toreros prepare for the WCC quarterfinals against BYU
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Quarterfinal Highlights
USD defeats BYU in quarterfinal of WCC Tournament
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Day in the Life with Myah Pace
Freshman guard knows how to prep for a win
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Vegas Bound
Toreros travel to Vegas for the WCC Tournament
Video Thumbnail Baseball: Defeating No. 4 Arkansas
Toreros edge out top five team
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Rock the House
Toreros played No. 6 Gonzaga in a fight to the last minute
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Day in the Life
Guard Olin Carter III knows the games starts long before tip-off
Video Thumbnail Winter Saturday
Rowing, tennis, basketball and baseball, a winning day in the books
Video Thumbnail Baseball: For the Love of the Game
Baseball celebrates 60 years
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Women in Sports Day
Julie Foudy spoke to student-athletes and guests for National Women in Sports Day
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: At LMU
Men's basketball on the road
Video Thumbnail Women's Rowing: Day in the Life
Senior Lizzie Bader shows how three-a-day practices are done
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Youth Basketball Clinic
Toreros lead clinic in local community
Video Thumbnail Men's Rowing: Winter Camp 2018
There are plenty perks to being the early bird
Video Thumbnail 60 Years of USD Baseball
Milestones on the road to Omaha
Video Thumbnail USD Honors Local Military Members
Toreros showed their support and hosted local military members at the men's basketball game
Video Thumbnail USD Athletes Sing "Santa's Coming to Town"
Toreros show their talent out of uniform
Video Thumbnail Basketball: City Championship
Toreros play SDSU Thursday night at 8
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Fourteen
Football preps for second round of playoffs at NDSU
Video Thumbnail Football: NAU From the Sidelines
Toreros win in first round of playoffs at NAU
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Thirteen
Football travels to NAU for the first round of the FCS Playoffs
Video Thumbnail Torero Tuesday
A day to give to Torero Athletics
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Twelve
Toreros gear up for last game of conference play
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Eleven
Toreros prep for game day
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Summer Mason
USD junior women's soccer player takes a timeout during a study break
Video Thumbnail On Saturday We Dominate
Big wins for both USD Football and USD Volleyball Saturday afternoon
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Henry Lander
Men's soccer sophomore Henry Lander takes a Timeout between classes
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Ten
Toreros gear up for home game against Drake
Video Thumbnail Halloween Hoopla
Men's and women's basketball teamed up to host a Halloween event
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Nine
Big day in the weight room for the Toreros
Video Thumbnail Seamus McFadden's Legacy
39 years in review by former players and coaches
Video Thumbnail Seamus Night
Alumni, staff and the San Diego community gathered to celebrate Men's Soccer Head Coach Seamus McFadden
Video Thumbnail Sixth Man Night: The Event
Recap video of the October 12 fundraiser event
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Hoops Tip-Off
Coach Fisher and Maya Hood attend media day in Las Vegas
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: New Heights
Men's basketball celebrates the third era of the program
Video Thumbnail Homecoming
Alumni and family gathered together for an eventful Homecoming weekend
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Kristen Gengenbacher
Take a Timeout with the senior setter at her house in South Mission Beach
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Seven
Football preps for this Saturday's Homecoming game
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Jonathan Petersen
USD Football's Petersen strolls through Belmont Park during his bye week
Video Thumbnail USD Basketball: Practice No. 1
Check out what practice looks like for the Torero ballers
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Five
Toreros prep for big game against Dayton
Video Thumbnail Football: FaceTime with Lion's Jamal Agnew
USD Head Coach Dale Lindsey congratulates Torero alum Agnew on his first NFL touchdown
Video Thumbnail Football: Brian Fogarty PFL Classic
From tailgates to touchdowns, we got it all
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Four
Hard work follows these Toreros on and off the field
Video Thumbnail Cross Country: USD Invite
Missed Saturday's race? Don't stress, we have it right here
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Three
Sights and sounds of USD Football at work
Video Thumbnail USD Invite: Take a Lap
Men's and women's cross country host the USD Invite: the only home race for the Toreros
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Two
Football hard at work for their first away game at UC Davis
Video Thumbnail Three Games - One Day
Ole Weekend was one to remember for USD Athletics
Video Thumbnail Football: Week One
Toreros preps for their home opener against Western New Mexico
Video Thumbnail 2017 Football Season Preview
Head Coach Dale Lindsey and Senior Ray Clark discuss upcoming season
Video Thumbnail USD Athletics Highlight Video 2016-17
Don't miss the best highlights from this past year in USD Athletics


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