ASHLAND, Va. – The 2017-18 Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Academic All-State Team was released and four Virginia Wesleyan University student athletes were recognized. Hanna Hull of the softball team, Zoe Traficante of women's soccer, Emilee Pierson of volleyball and Jayla Harris of women's basketball were all named to the All-Academic Team based on their performances in the classroom and in their respective sports.
To be eligible, a student-athlete must have at least a 3.25 cumulative grade point average, and be a sophomore or higher. In all, there were 217 student-athletes from 37 colleges and universities across the Commonwealth recognized.
Hull had another outstanding year in the circle as her 376 strikeouts not only eclipsed her freshman year mark, but also led all players in Division III. Her ability to limit her opponents was unparalleled, throwing 11 one hitters, a no-hitter against Ithaca College in the National Championship and a Perfect Game against Salem College. The lefty hurler tore through the record books as well this season. Hull earned 40 wins in the circle tying a Division III record and smashing the ODAC record. Five of those wins came in the NCAA Championship as well, where she went a perfect 5-0. She also tossed 279.1 innings which eclipsed both the ODAC and Virginia Wesleyan record. Career-wise, the Chesterfield, Va. native toppled the conference record for strikeouts (738) and wins (72). At the year's end, the mathematics major was named the NFCA DIII Player of the Year as well as a First Team All-American to go along with a slew of other accolades.
Traficante has been a force both on the field and the classroom this year, adding this accolade to her long list over the 2017-18 year. This is the third-straight year that Traficante has been an all-region honoree, earning third-team accolades as a sophomore before receiving a second-team pick last year. Traficante is one of just five Marlins to earn three all-region nods, starting all 23 matches in the central midfield for the Marlins. Traficante scored the game winner against Bridgewater on October 18 and assisted on scores against Methodist, Lynchburg, and Sweet Briar. At the conclusion of this season, the business major was also named an Academic All-America Second Team member.
Pierson rounded out her career as a Marlin with a terrific season on the court. The setter led the squad, and was ranked fourth in the ODAC, with 611. She also pitched in on the service line as she pegged teas for 29 aces, which ranked third on the Marlin squad. The political science major has received a number of awards as well, earning a spot on the All-ODAC Second Team, the All-Tournament Team at the ODAC Championship as well as a spot on the ODAC's All-Academic List.
Harris has been tremendous for the Marlins in every aspect of the game. Excelling on both offense and defense, she helped the Marlins earn 14 wins on the season as well as a trip to the ODAC-Championship semi-final. Starting in all 28 of the team's games this season, the business has reached double-digit points in all but five of them. She finished the year averaging 16.8 points per game which led the squad and ranked second in the conference only to Randolph-Macon's Kelly Williams, who led the entire country. Harris had a multifaceted game as well, shooting 33.3% (52-156) from beyond the arc and a team-leading 82.3% (102-124) from the charity stripe. This season, the junior finished with 470 total points, giving her 1382 career points which places her third in VWU history.