Peoples Pfeifer named ESPN Academic All-District

FAYETTEVILLE – For the first time since the Southwest Conference era, the University of Arkansas has players voted to the ESPN Academic All-District VI Women’s Basketball Team. Sophomores Kristin Peoples and Sarah Pfeifer were voted by the membership of the College Sports Information Directors of America in the six-state area to the regional academic team from a total of 27 nominees. “I’m very proud of our player’s hard work in the classroom,” UA head coach Susie Gardner said. “It shows they have a commitment to give their best effort in every part of their life.” A biology major with a pre-med emphasis, Peoples carries a 3.94 cumulative grade point average and was voted to the five player all-district first team, which advances her to the national ballot. Pfeifer, a 3.95 sophomore in industrial engineering, was named to the second team. It marks the first time since 1991 for the Lady Razorbacks to have two players on the all-district team, and to have a player on the national ballot. Current assistant coach Amber Shirey was a two-time ESPN Academic All-American in 1990 and 1991. She and former Lady’Back Sally Moore were on the all-district team in 1991. To qualify for the ESPN Academic All-America team, athletes must have over a 3.20 cumulative GPA, be in their second year of competition at the institution and be a starter or key substitute. Arkansas had three players nominated and four qualified on the 2004-05 team, another milestone in the program’s 29-year history. Junior Rochelle Vaughn, a 3.40 student in communications, was also nominated while back-up senior guard April Seggebruch qualified. While sophomores, both Peoples and Pfeifer are ahead of the curve for graduation, with almost 70% of their respective degree programs completed. Each has made one “B” in their course work at Arkansas. Both have been Arkansas’ leading scorer this season. Peoples (9.5 ppg) was the top scorer in January when nominations were made. Pfeifer (10.5 ppg) has come on in February to become the team’s top point producer heading into today’s game at #22 Vanderbilt. Peoples’ name is now on the 40-player national ballot for the three five-player teams for the ESPN Academic All-America team. Covering the states of New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Louisiana and Arkansas, the 2005 District VI team has a distinct northwest Arkansas flavor. Along with the two Lady’Backs in the 10 players selected were two players from the University of Tulsa from the region, senior Sarah Lundberg-Newby of Prairie Grove and Kara Pongonis of Springdale. Lundberg-Newby began her college career at UA before transferring to Oklahoma State then on to Tulsa. Peoples, Pongonis and Lundberg-Newby were joined by Baylor’s Steffanie Blackmon and Texas’ Jamie Carey on the first team. The CoSIDA administered academic all-America program is longest running and most prestigious academic honor team in the nation. Previous known as the GTE or Verizon teams, ESPN became the title sponsor of the program for the 2004-05 academic year. Since 1990, a total of 29 Lady Razorbacks have been voted by the national membership of CoSIDA to the various academic all-America teams.