Former Sonoma State University volleyball student-athlete Keala Peterson has been named the 2011-2012 California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, it was announced on Thursday morning at the CCAA Executive Council Meetings in Chico.
Peterson, of nearby Sebastopol, Calif. and Analy High School, becomes the first female student-athlete in SSU's history to earn the conference's top academic award that is presented to one male and one female each year.
Elias Tuma, a member of the UC San Diego baseball team, was selected as this year's CCAA Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year. The award is voted on and selected by the Faculty Athletic Representatives (FAR's) from each of the conference's 12 institutions.
Last December, Peterson was also tabbed as the Capital One Division II Academic All-America of the Year for NCAA Division II volleyball, which is the nation's top scholastic honor, voted on by the nation's sports information directors.
She joined five other Division II volleyball student-athletes on the Capital One Academic All-America First Team, sporting a 3.96 grade point average as a double major in Anthropology and Psychology.
On the court, Peterson earned AVCA All-American honors for the third straight season after leading the Seawolves to a program-best 23-7 record, a second-place finish in the CCAA standings and an appearance in the NCAA Division II West Region final for the first time in school history.
Smashing a CCAA-best 380 kills to the hardwood as a senior this past season, the senior outside hitter was selected to the 2011 All-American Honorable Mention squad, adding to an already impressive collegiate resume. She was a Third Team All-American performer as a sophomore in 2009 and an Honorable Mention All-American honoree as a junior in 2010.
Peterson added 249 digs and 51 blocks last fall, securing spots on the CCAA All-Conference and AVCA All-West Region teams, also for the third consecutive year. She wrapped up her three-year career in the Seawolf uniform as the school's all-time leader in kills per set with 3.72, accumulating 1,089 total kills, a mark that is good for fifth on SSU's all-time kills list.
This is the second such award for a student-athete in the history of Sonoma State. Former men's soccer student-athlete Christopher Ziemer earned the CCAA Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year award in 1998-99.
To be nominated for the CCAA Male and Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award, student-athletes must have a 3.5 grade point average at a conference institution, completed their final season of eligibility and participated in a CCAA-sponsored sport.