AMHERST, Mass. – John Ballard '20 of the Amherst College football team and women's volleyball player Sophie Launsbach '22 have been selected to the College Sports Information Directors Association (CoSIDA) Academic All-District teams, announced on Thursday by the organization.
This is the first selection for both players to the teams that are voted on by sports information directors from across the region and require excellence on the fields or courts of play, in the classroom, and in the campus community.
Launsbach, a middle hitter from Los Angeles, California, boasted the highest GPA on the team that represents District 1, including schools from Massachusetts and Maine. Launsbach holds a 3.96 grade point average with a major in mathematics, and was one of three players from NESCAC member schools to be selected this year.
This week, Launsbach was also named to the NESCAC All-Conference team for the first time in her career. She was on a scorching pace to lead the country in hitting percentage before an injury kept her out of the lineup for several weeks and made her ineligible for national recognition.
Her .419 hitting percentage was far and away the most prolific attacking rate in the NESCAC, and her 3.27 kills per set was third best in the league. Launsbach posted double-digit kills on nine occasions, including a season-best 18 kills in the NESCAC quarterfinals matchup against Middlebury. Launsbach averaged nearly half a block per set and had a hitting percentage better than .500 in seven different games this year.
Ballard currently holds a 3.71 grade point average and will graduate this spring with a degree in Economics.
The defensive back from Houston, Texas was second on the team with 54 tackles this season and led the Mammoths with seven pass breakups in nine games.
Ballard had interceptions in two straight games – one in a 26-16 win over Tufts and another in a double overtime loss against Middlebury.
He recorded a season-high 11 tackles on October 26th in a homecoming game against Wesleyan, and broke up three passes on October 12th when the Mammoths beat Bowdoin 36-14.
Ballard will graduate with 114 total tackles, six interceptions and 13 passes defended in his career, in wich he appeared in 28 games for the Mammoths, including all but one contest over the last three years.
The 2019 Academic All-District® Football and Volleyball Teams, selected by CoSIDA, recognize the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the field and in the classroom. The CoSIDA Academic All-America® program separately recognizes football and volleyball honorees in four divisions — NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II, NCAA Division III and NAIA.
First Team Academic All-District® honorees advance to the CoSIDA Academic All-America® ballot. First- and second-team Academic All-America® honorees will be announced December 9-12.
The CoSIDA Academic All-District® teams include the student-athletes listed in links provided above and are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada.
The Division II and III CoSIDA Academic All-America® programs are partially financially supported by the NCAA Division II and III national governance structures to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2019-20 Divisions II and III Academic All-America® programs. The NAIA CoSIDA Academic All-America® program is partially financially supported through the NAIA national office.