In leading up to the official start of the 2018-19 athletics campaign at Irvine Valley, which starts on Aug. 25 with the IVC men's soccer team at Yavapai in Arizona, the Laser athletic department is counting down the top 10 IVC sports stories from the 2017-18 school year.
The No. 5 story on the list recaps the annual Irvine Valley award winners, including athletes of the year Taira Ka'awaloa and Matt August and scholar athletes of the year Megan Ramseyer and Austin McBain. The full list of award winners is also featured below.
The 2017-18 Irvine Valley College Athletics Annual Awards included a host of deserving winners.
Included in the awards were athletes of the year Taira Ka'awaloa and Matt August, scholar-athletes of the year Megan Ramseyer and Austin McBain, Orange Empire Conference Character Champions Kasey Smit and Zane Paddon, IVC's scholar team (baseball) and for Irvine Valley athletic department's Veteran of the Year - Jeff Strickland.
Ka'awaloa and August were named Irvine Valley's female and male 2017-18 athletes of the year, respectfully.
Ka'awaloa shined both indoors and on the beach for the Lasers, while August was one of the top men's indoor volleyball players in the state.
Ka'awaloa actually won state titles in both of her disciplines during the year.
She was part of the women's indoor team last fall that captured the program's second California Community College Athletic Association State Championship.
The Lasers were also perfect on the year with a record of 27-0 overall.
The 5-8 Ka'awaloa was a star outside hitter and two-year starter for Irvine Valley.
She was a first team all-Orange Empire Conference Player on the indoor side the last two years.
This past fall with the indoor team, Ka'awaloa was second in the conference in kills per set at 4.12 per set. She ranked No. 10 in the state in kills per set.
Ka'awaloa was second in total kills in conference at 367. And she ranked fifth in hitting percentage in the conference at .321.
She recorded 15 kills in Irvine Valley's state title 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16 win over San Joaquin Delta in the title match at Solano College on Dec. 23, 2017.
On the season, Ka'awaloa also averaged 2.52 digs and was fourth on the team in aces.
She ended her two-year IVC career with 610 kills (3.72 per set), a .300 hitting percentage, 26 aces and 449 digs.
Ka'awaloa was also a two-year starter and top player on the Laser women's beach volleyball team.
She won the 2018 CCCAA Beach Volleyball Pairs Championship with Ramseyer at West Valley College in Saratoga on May 12.
Ramseyer and Ka'awaloa posted a 22-20, 21-18 victory over Long Beach City's Josannah Vazquez and Sierra Davis, culminating a day that also featured wins over Long Beach City's Jessica Kaeka and Brooklin Mize (22-24, 21-13 18-16), Cabrillo's Hayley Hall and Deirdre Wilson (21-12, 21-19), and MiraCosta's Michelle Mason and Claudia Mathews (23-21, 21-18).
Ka'awaloa was named first team all-conference in beach the past two seasons and also helped the Irvine Valley team win a conference title, as well as make a trip to the state tournament.
Ka'awaloa headed back home to play both indoor and beach volleyball at Hawai'i Hilo.
August, a 6-7 middle blocker, was a force for the Lasers' men's indoor volleyball team for two seasons.
He averaged 3.08 kills and 1.90 blocks per set, while hitting .454 during the spring season in 2018.
August led the state in blocks per set, was second in hitting percentage and ranked 10th in kills per set.
August, who was named first team all-Orange Empire Conference, led the OEC in blocks per set and hitting percentage.
He had 12 matches with double-digit kills, including recording 16 kills in an IVC sweep at Grossmont on Feb. 21. He also hit .565 in that match.
August also had a 15-kill, .737-hitting performance in an Irvine Valley sweep of San Diego Mesa at home on Mar. 2.
He hit .700 or higher in three matches in 2018, with a season-best .786 (12-1-14) in a sweep at Santiago Canyon on Mar. 16.
August helped Irvine Valley to a 16-6 overall record, 5-3 Orange Empire Conference mark and a trip to the semifinals of the California Community College Athletic Association State Championship.
Irvine Valley ended the year ranked No. 4 in the final California Community College Men's Volleyball Coaches Association State Poll, which was released last week.
During his freshman year in 2017, August averaged 3.00 kills and 1.36 blocks per set, while hitting .415. IVC had a record of 15-4 last season and made the playoffs.
August finishes his IVC career with 395 kills, 211 blocks and a .434 hitting percentage.
August signed with the University of Hawai'i.
Irvine Valley's scholar-athletes of the year were awarded to Ramseyer and McBain.
The two setters earned high marks for their work on the court and in the classroom.
The Scholar-Athlete of the Year is the longest standing award presented to IVC student-athletes.
Award winners epitomize achievement in competition and in the classroom, and demonstrate that excellence is possible in all arenas through their dedication and work ethic.
Ramseyer is continuing her athletic and academic career at Butler University and McBain is headed to study at UC Santa Barbara.
Ramseyer definitely made her mark in her one year with the Irvine Valley women's volleyball and women's sand volleyball programs – both on and off the court.
A transfer from the University of Idaho, Ramseyer helped lead the Lasers to an overall record of 27-0, and Orange Empire Conference title and a second CCCAA State Championship in indoor volleyball last fall.
She was named co-Most Valuable Player of the conference and was also selected as an All-American, All-State and All-Region.
Ramseyer ranked first in the state in assists at 11.33 per set. She had a season-best 53 assists in IVC's four-set win at Orange Coast to finish off the regular season.
She dished out 49 assists with 12 digs and two aces in Irvine Valley's 23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-16 state championship win over San Joaquin Delta at Solano College last December. She was named to the all-tournament team.
Ramseyer also averaged 2.09 digs per set and leads the team in services aces with 41 and has contributed 27 blocks on the year.
She was named as an all-conference player in beach volleyball this spring. She helped lead the Irvine Valley women's beach team to a conference title and a trip to the state tournament.
And then in individual state competition with pairs teammate Taira Ka'awaloa, Ramseyer and Ka'awaloa captured the 2018 state pairs championship at West Valley College over a two-day grueling tournament in early May.
Ramseyer and Ka'awaloa posted a 22-20, 21-18 victory during a wind-swept championship match, culminating a day that also featured wins over Long Beach City's Jessica Kaeka and Brooklin Mize (22-24, 21-13 18-16), Cabrillo's Hayley Hall and Deirdre Wilson (21-12, 21-19), and MiraCosta's Michelle Mason and Claudia Mathews (23-21, 21-18).
"I think the last two days we had a hard time starting out strong and the difference today was we started out every match a lot stronger, so it kind of gave us some momentum from the beginning," Ramseyer said. "We were able to finish and just carry it over into the next match. And we definitely took every match very seriously."
Ramseyer carried a 3.67 grade point average during the 2017-18 school year and was a scholar athlete. She earned her AA degree in Social and Behavioral Sciences at IVC and plans to major in Business Administration at Butler.
McBain was a two-year starter and two-time all-Orange Empire Conference player for the Lasers. He was named first team all-conference and setter of the year in 2018 after helping Irvine Valley reach the final four of the CCCAA State Championship tournament.
Irvine Valley ended up with a record of 16-6 overall and was ranked fourth in the state for the year.
McBain ended up ranked second in the state, averaging 10.11 assists per set. He also averaged 1.06 digs per set.
McBain ran the IVC offense, which hit an impressive .288 on the year.
He recorded at least 30 assists in 17 matches this past season, had at least 40 assists in nine contest and topped 50 assists in four matches with season-high of 57 in Irvine Valley's five-set win at Golden West on Apr. 6.
McBain was a two-year scholar athlete at Irvine Valley and finished with a 3.85 grade point average. He is headed to UCSB after getting his AA degree in Economics at IVC.
The full list of award winners for 2017-18 are listed below along with all of Irvine Valley's scholar athletes for this past school year.
Exchange Club of Irvine Scholar-Athletes of the Year (established 2000-01)
Megan Ramseyer, Women's/Beach Volleyball; Austin McBain, Men's Volleyball
IVC Athletes of the Year (established 2000-01)
Taira Ka'awaloa, Women's/Beach Volleyball; Matt August, Men's Volleyball
Orange Empire Conference's Character Champions (established 2009-10)
Kasey Smit, Women's Basketball; Zane Paddon, Men's Basketball
IVC Athletics Community Ambassadors (established 2007-08)
Savanna Hayes, Women's Soccer; Colin Conroy, Men's Baseball
IVC Scholar Team Award (established 2009-10)
(Women's Volleyball 3.36, Women's Beach Volleyball 3.36, Women's Badminton 3.24, Men's Volleyball 3.24, Men's Golf 3.21, Women's Basketball 3.09, Men's Basketball 3.02, Women's Tennis 3.01)
Program-wide GPA – 3.05
IVC Andy Weekes Team of the Year (established 2001-02)
IVC Coaches of the Year (established 2001-02)
Martin McGrogan, Men's Soccer; Tom Pestolesi, Women's/Beach Volleyball
IVC Athletics Alumnus of the Year Award (established 2010-11)
Marisa Doran/Kobi Pekich, Women's/Beach Volleyball, Class of 2015
Orange Empire Conference Veteran Of The Year (established 2018)
Jeff Strickland, Women's/Beach Volleyball Coach (2011-Present), IVC Alum (Class of 2013)
Anna L. McFarlin Sport-For-All Service Award (re-established 2006-07)
Ted Weatherford, Kinesiology & Health; Kaye McDonald, Career Center
CCCAA State Champions
Women's Volleyball (27-0)
Taira Ka'awaloa & Megan Ramseyer, Beach Volleyball
Orange Empire Conference Champions
Women's Beach Volleyball
Pacific Coast Athletic Conference Champions
IVC Scholar-Athlete awards are made to all student-athletes who use a season of eligibility and achieve a 3.0 or better GPA in at least 12 units. First-year student-athletes' (freshmen and transfers) GPAs are calculated on the Fall term grades, while returning student-athletes must achieve the GPA in the previous two full academic terms.
Santa Cruz, Ryan⌂
Holiday, Jacob ~
Volleyball, Women's & Beach
*4.0 GPA – Summa Cum Laude, Dean's List and IVC Scholar-Athlete
^3.75-3.99 GPA – Magna Cum Laude, Dean's List and IVC Scholar-Athlete
~3.50-3.74 GPA – Cum Laude, Dean's List and IVC Scholar-Athlete
⌂3.00-3.49 GPA – IVC Scholar-Athlete
The Irvine Valley College Dean's List recognizes exemplary academic achievement by full-time students who maintain a minimum 3.5 grade point average while enrolled in 12 or more graded units of study each semester.