December 10, 2010

Kaufman and Cook Selected as November Scholar-Athletes of the Month

Two All-Big Sky selections recognized for academic and athletic achievements

Sophomore Brandon Kaufman of the Eastern Washington University football team and senior Alysha Cook from the volleyball squad have been recognized by the EWU athletic department as Scholar-Athlete Award recipients for the month of November.

Kauffman, a native of Denver, Colo., holds a 3.57 cumulative grade point average in Sociology/Criminal Justice. Cook, a 2007 graduate of Kennewick (Wash.) High School, is an Exercise Science major with a 3.73 GPA. Cook is on track to graduate from Eastern in May 2011.

More on Kaufman

Kaufman, who was recently honored on the esteemed All-Big Sky First Team, has proved to be Eastern's go-to receiver during this magical season, which continues Saturday (Dec. 11) when EWU hosts North Dakota State in the quarterfinals of the FCS playoffs at 12:35 p.m. on Roos Field.

The sophomore has caught a team-leading 59 passes for 959 yards and 12 touchdowns thus far in 2010. He played a pivotal role in securing EWU's postseason position, as he caught at least one touchdown pass in each of the last seven-regular season games, including two fourth-quarter game winners.  

He ranks 25th in FCS in receiving yards per game (79.9), is 52nd in receptions per game (4.92) and his 12 touchdown catches are the fourth-most in the FCS. He has had 100-yard receiving performances on four different occasions in 2010, including a career-high nine passes for 129 yards against Southern Utah on Nov. 13.

Kaufman will be named to the Big Sky Conference All-Academic team for the second time in his career.

More on Cook

Cook earned the third All-Big Sky honor of her career this season as a member of the honorable mention squad. She was a second-team selection in 2007, and earned honorable mention accolades in 2008. The senior right-side hitter averaged 0.90 blocks per set in league-only statistics, which was just outside the top 10 in the Big Sky.

She had 147 total kills during the conference season, including a career-high 29 against Montana on Sept. 17, which was the third-best offensive performance of the year for all players in the Big Sky.

Despite battling with injuries through much of her junior and senior years, Cook tallied 772 kills, 242 blocks and 119 digs in her Eastern career. Even after sitting the first seven matches of this season, she was second on the team in blocks with 0.78 per set, and third in attack percentage (.224), kills (2.40 per set) and points (2.83 per set).

She will also be named to the Big Sky All-Academic team for the fourth-consecutive year. 

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