Student-Athlete Scholarship Recipients

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2016 Student-Athlete Scholarship Recipients 

photo of Khallifah Rosser

Khallifah Rosser - Men's Track & Field 

Khallifah Rosser is a liberal arts major and one of the top hurdlers in the nation. In an extraordinary junior season on Cal State LA’s men’s track and field team, Rosser won the NCAA Division II Championship with a personal best time of 49.04 seconds, which ties the Cal State LA record set by Sam Turner in 1978. With this win, Rosser became the first 400-meter hurdles champion for Cal State LA since 1985 and scored the 29th national championship title in men’s track and field history.

Tied for No. 5 in the U.S. and No. 12 worldwide, Rosser automatically qualified for the U.S. Olympic Trials in Eugene, Oregon. Rosser won the first round in the 400-meter hurdles with a time of 49.89 seconds and advanced to the semi-finals, narrowly missing the finals by two-hundredths of a second.

Earlier in the season, Rosser won the CCAA Championship in the 400-meter hurdles and was part of the team that placed first in the 4x100 relay. Rosser was named CCAA Male Track Athlete of the Year and NCAA Division II West Region Athlete of the Year.

His achievements were also honored at Cal State LA’s Student-Athletes Award Banquet with the Frank J. Candida Award for Male Athlete of the Year. Following the Olympic Trials, Rosser went on to compete on an international level. Rosser represented Team USA in the 2016 North American Central American Caribbean U-23 Championships, winning gold medals in the 400-meter hurdles and 4x400 relay.

Rosser came to Cal State LA from Chaffey College and Summit High School and is honored to represent the University.

Temporary imageIris Raileanu - Women's Tennis 

Iris Raileanu is a psychology major and joined the Cal State LA women’s tennis program mid-season as a sophomore. In her junior season, Raileanu posted one of the conference’s best singles records with a 15-5 overall mark. Raileanu was 14-4 in dual matches at No. 4 singles and picked up 12 victories in doubles. With impressive wins from Raileanu, the women’s tennis program finished the season ranked 23rd in the nation.

Leading her team in an outstanding season, Raileanu was named Cal State LA’s Exceptional Female Student-Athlete. She earned Academic All-PacWest recognition for the second time and was honored with the ITA Scholar-Athlete Award.

In her first season at Cal State LA, Raileanu recorded a 6-9 record in singles playing at the No. 3 and No. 4 positions. She earned five points in doubles playing at the No. 2 position and earned Academic All-PacWest recognition for her academic achievements.

Raileanu transferred to Cal State LA after attending the University of Massachusetts for a year and a half. At the University of Massachusetts, Raileanu played in three tournament matches in singles and split four doubles matches in tournaments.

Born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden, Raileanu ranked in the top 10 as a junior player at Stockholm’s Idrottsgymnasium. Raileanu proudly lists representing Stockholm in a series of tournaments in the summer of 2009 and playing for Cal State LA as her most exciting athletic experiences.

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2015 Student-Athlete Scholarship Recipients

photo of Iona Lofrano

Iona Lofrano - Women's Vollyball 

The results of senior outside hitter Iona Lofrano’s dedication and hard work can be seen on the court where she has transformed herself from a freshman who rarely played into a senior who currently leads the California Collegiate Athletic Association in kills and kills per set.

Lofrano, an exercise science major, is receiving this year’s Billie Jean King Scholarship which is given each year to the Cal State LA student-athlete who best represents the courage, determination and competitive spirit of Billie Jean King.

After coming to Cal State LA from Colfax High School in Meadow Vista, CA, Lofrano played sparingly in her first season on the women’s volleyball team. Undeterred, she embarked on an off-season of hard work and a complete overhaul of her game, to return as an entirely different player.

Less than one month into her sophomore season, Lofrano was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association National Player of the Week, becoming just the fourth player in the program’s history – and the first since 2003 - to earn that honor. She went on to lead the CCAA in kills that season with 513, and a star was born.

She earned Cal State LA’s Billie Jean King Award as the university’s Female Athlete of the Year in 2013-14 and she was the department’s Exceptional Female Student-Athlete of the Year in 2014-15.

Lofrano is already one of only three two-time All-Americans in the program’s history and she has the opportunity to become the program’s first-ever three-time All-American this year.

So far this season, Lofrano has led the team to its first national top-25 ranking since 2010 and a start that was the program’s best since 2005. She is currently among the national leaders in kills and kills per set. She has already moved into the top-five on Cal State LA’s career kills list and has a shot at moving as high as number two.

She has developed into an excellent team leader as well. Lofrano is the only senior on a young Cal State LA volleyball team that is competing for a spot in the CCAA Championship Tournament.

Lofrano is also an outstanding student and has earned CCAA All-Academic honors in each of her three years at Cal State LA while holding a 3.64 grade point average.

photo of Nozomi Matsuoka

Nozomi Matsuoka - Women's Tennis 

When Nozomi Matsuoka returned to her native Saitama, Japan this past summer, she had her sights set on making a big showing at this month’s USTA/ITA West Region Championships hosted by Cal State LA.

She went back to the club where she learned to play tennis as a child and practiced four days a week with some top Japanese juniors.

With a better understanding of how tough the competition would be at the West Region tournament after being knocked out in the Round of 16 last year, Matsuoka turned in a memorable performance her second time around. She won four matches to reach the regional championship match, where she fell in straight sets. Her road to the finals was an exceptional one that included a hard-fought victory in the quarterfinals. Matsuoka, despite severe cramps in both legs, closed out the match in a second-set tiebreaker to win, 6-3, 7-6 (10-8).

Matsuoka also had a long three-set battle in the semi-finals and impressed many with her courageous performances during the tournament.

Matsuoka is this year’s recipient of the Joe Shapiro Scholarship, which is presented to a member of the Cal State LA tennis team who best exemplifies Shapiro’s unique qualities and spirit.

Matsuoka transferred to Cal State LA from Arkansas Tech after one season because she wanted to play with and against better competition. Cal State LA, which has been ranked in the national top-25 for four consecutive years, including a ranking of 17 in 2014-15, was a desired destination.

As a freshman at Arkansas Tech, Matsuoka was the Great American Conference’s Freshman of the Year and had a 20-7 record in singles.

She then had a very successful first season at Cal State LA and was ranked 39th in the nation and seventh in the West Region by the ITA. Matsuoka earned first-team All-PacWest Conference honors in singles and second-team honors in doubles and was the Golden Eagles’ number one singles player.

She was also named the ITA West Region Player to Watch. This award goes to second or third-year players who had outstanding seasons but have not yet reached the finals of an ITA National event or won a regional championship.

Matsuoka is an international business major.

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2014 Student-Athlete Scholarship Recipients

photo of Heather Williams

Heather Williams - Women's Soccer


Heather is a Kinesiology major and is in her third season with the Cal State L.A. women’s soccer program. She is a senior starting midfielder for the Golden Eagles and one of the top players in the California Collegiate Athletic Association and NCAA Division II West Region. In her first two years with the program, Williams has earned All-CCAA and All-West Region honors.

Williams was outstanding for Cal State L.A. as a junior in 2013 and was named the team’s Most Valuable Player. She finished second in the conference in assists with nine and spearheaded a late-season charge that helped the Golden Eagles qualify for the four-team CCAA Championship Tournament. Williams appeared in all 19 games for the Golden Eagles and was fourth on the team in minutes played with 1,545.

She set up two critical goals with assists in an important 3-2 win at Sonoma State on Oct. 4 that started Cal State L.A. on a season-saving seven match unbeaten streak. She also had assists on the only goals in 1-0 victories over Chico State and Cal Poly Pomona.

Williams earned first-team All-CCAA honors in 2013 and earned second-team All-West Region honors as well by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America and Daktronics.

As a sophomore in 2012, Williams earned second-team All-CCAA and third-team All-West Region honors in her first year with the Golden Eagles. She was named the team’s Attacking Player of the Year after recording two goals and two assists despite battling injuries during the season. She appeared in 14 games and started 12 times.

Williams came to Cal State L.A. from the University of New Mexico, where she appeared in seven games for the NCAA Division I Lobos.

She has also been an outstanding student during her collegiate career. She was a scholar-athlete and a member of the Dean’s List at the University of New Mexico and she has continued that success at Cal State L.A.

Williams earned a CCAA All-Academic Award in 2013 and has a cumulative grade point average of 3.53.


photo of Dean Nielsen

Dane Nielsen - Men's Soccer


Dane is a biochemistry major and has developed into a top defender on one of the best defenses in the nation. After redshirting in his first year, Nielsen has been a steady and outstanding performer in the Golden Eagles’ backline.

As a junior in 2013, Nielsen earned Daktronics All-America honorable mention after starting all 21 games for the CCAA champions and one of the top-ranked defenses in the nation. He also earned Daktronics first-team All-West Region and National Soccer Coaches Association of America second-team All-West Region honors. He was third on the team in minutes played and was instrumental in a defensive effort that helped the Golden Eagles set a new program record for fewest goals allowed in a season, tie a mark for most shutouts and rank fifth nationally in goals against average. He also scored his first career goal when he headed in a cross for the game-winner in the 57th minute of a 2-1 win over Cal State San Bernardino.

Nielsen was also named to the CCAA Championships All-Tournament Team after helping the Golden Eagles beat Sonoma State and UC San Diego to win the conference title.

He also continued his outstanding academic success in 2013. Nielsen earned the CSULA Division of Intercollegiate Athletics’ Exceptional Male Student-Athlete of the Year award. He also picked up Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 honors for a second straight year, becoming only the second student-athlete at Cal State L.A. to earn those honors in back-to-back years.

Nielsen had to battle through a serious injury in 2012 that forced him to miss six games. He returned in time, though, to play every minute of Cal State L.A.’s two NCAA playoff games and he had a successful shootout try in the final round to send the Golden Eagles past Seattle Pacific in a first-round NCAA playoff game after the contest ended in a 1-1 tie. Nielsen also had an outstanding year academically and earned Capital One/CoSIDA Academic All-District 8 honors and a CCAA All-Academic Award.

He saw his first action on the field for Cal State L.A. in 2011 and started 20 games for the Golden Eagles and solidified a defense that was one of the best in the nation. Cal State L.A. captured the CCAA and NCAA West Region championships in 2011 and advanced to the national quarter-finals.

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2013 Student-Athlete Scholarship Recipients

photo of Juan Ochoa

Juan Ochoa - Men's Soccer

Juan is a liberal studies major and one of the best soccer players in the NCAA Division II West Region. He has been a leader so far this season for the Cal State L.A. men’s soccer program, which earned a national top-10 ranking last month for the seventh consecutive season. Juan has been a major part of the team’s early success and scored both goals in a big 2-0 win over Chico State in a showdown between last year’s two conference division winners. His first goal came early in the second half and was a beautiful strike from long distance on a free kick. His second goal came two minutes later when he accepted a pass in the center of the field from distance and drilled another strike into the goal.

Juan also scored the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over Cal Poly Pomona that opened California Collegiate Athletic Association play. The goal was a spectacular shot in the first half of a scoreless game where each side was having difficulty generating scoring chances. Juan took a throw-in from about 35 yards out and drilled a left-footed shot that nestled into the upper far corner of the net to give the Golden Eagles the lead.

He has also been outstanding getting at other teammates involved in the Golden Eagles attack, relentlessly pursuing loose balls and directing them to open teammates. He had a pair of assists in an early-season 6-1 win over Saint Martin’s and he had a nice assist on Sigifredo Torres’ goal in the third minute of a 1-1 tie against No. 25 Cal State Monterey Bay.

Through the Golden Eagles’ first several games, Juan has led the team in goals and assists and been among the conference’s best midfielders.

Last season, Juan earned first-team All-CCAA honors and also received second-team Daktronics All-West Region honors after helping the Golden Eagles to a 11-4-5 overall record and a second straight CCAA South Division crown. Cal State L.A. reached the second round of the NCAA Tournament and finished the season with a national ranking of 23.

Juan started all 20 games in the midfield for the Golden Eagles and was third on the team in minutes played. He had a pair of assists in games against Cal State Stanislaus. He assisted on a goal by Rosario Bras in a 3-0 conference win in Turlock on Sept. 9 and the other on a goal by Bras against the Warriors in the CCAA Championship Tournament on Nov. 2.

Juan came to Cal State L.A. from Cerritos College, where he earned second-team All-South Coast Conference honors as a sophomore after scoring four goals with eight assists. He also played in all 18 games as a freshman and recorded one assist.

Juan was the CIF Division III Player of the Year at Paramount High School as a senior after scoring 27 goals with 16 assists. His team won the CIF Division III and State Regional Division I titles. His team also won four consecutive league titles. He was the league’s Most Valuable Player as a junior after scoring 22 goals with 15 assists.

photo of Leora Hemmerich

Leora Hemmerich - Women's Tennis

Leora is a communications major and is in her third season with the Cal State L.A. women’s tennis program. She got her season off to a strong start last month in the annual ITA Fall Regionals championships and advanced to the quarterfinals for the second time in her Golden Eagle career. She will be the Golden Eagles’ No. 1 singles player this year.


Leora had a tremendous second season for the Golden Eagles in 2012-13 and competed at the No. 2 singles spot. She compiled a 17-7 record overall record in singles and was 12-5 in dual matches. She also teamed up at No. 1 doubles with Christie Lau and had an 11-9 overall record, including a 10-8 record in dual matches. 

She started the year by reaching the Round of 16 in the ITA Fall Regionals at Cal State L.A. last September. She also teamed with Christie Lau in doubles to split a pair of matches.

Then, competing against NCAA Division I competition at the Cal State Fullerton Fall Invitational in October, Leora advanced all the way to the “A” Flight semi-finals, where she dropped a tight three-set match, 6-1, 6-7 (7-9), 6-3 to the eventual champion from Loyola Marymount. The champion won in the finals in straight sets.  Along the way, Leora beat players from Cal State Northridge, Southern Utah and UC Santa Barbara. Two of her three wins came in straight sets.

During the spring season, Leora won three-set matches against players from nationally-ranked Grand Canyon, Rollins College and UC San Diego in dual matches. In fact, seven of Leora’s 24 singles matches went three sets.

Leora received a major award at the end of the season when she was named the recipient of the West Region Arthur Ashe Leadership and Sportsmanship Award by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association.

An outstanding student as well, Leora also earned ITA Scholar-Athlete honors.

She had an outstanding freshman season and was 18-6 overall, including a 13-3 mark at No. 3 singles. She paired with Jill Sangria at No. 2 doubles and the duo went 13-8 overall, including a 12-5 mark in doubles. She won three matches and reached the quarterfinals of the ITA Fall Regionals at Cal State L.A.

She came to Cal State L.A. from Frankfurt, Germany, and Schillerschule High School, where she competed in tennis and hockey. She won a regional championship in hockey and came in eighth in the German championships. She also won a regional singles championship with 18s and won a regional championship with her German team.

Leora has also been involved with student-athlete leadership and is a member of Cal State L.A.’s Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.

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2012 Student-Athlete Scholarship Recipients

photo of Matthew Harmon

Matthew Harmon - Men's Track & Field


Matthew is a business major and one of the top hurdlers in the country. He had a tremendous first season with the Golden Eagles last year as a junior. He won a total of three California Collegiate Athletic Association championships and was named the CCAA Newcomer of the Year. He qualified for the NCAA Championships in the 400 hurdles and ran in a preliminary heat. 

He was also one of 164 student-athletes, representing 64 institutions, to earn a spot on the United States Track and Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Men’s 2012 All-Academic team. He was one of only seven student-athletes from the CCAA to make the national All-Academic team.

Matthew won conference titles in the 110 hurdles and 400 hurdles and also ran a key leg on the Golden Eagles’ conference-champion 4x400 relay team. He earned All-West Region honors in all three events.

He had best times of 14.36 in the 110 hurdles and 53.76 in the 400 hurdles. He posted both best marks while winning the conference championships at Cal State L.A.’s Jesse Owens Track. Both races were won in dramatic fashion. He won the 110 hurdles by just .06 seconds and took a decision in the 400 hurdles by an even narrower margin, edging the runner-up by just .03 seconds.

He ran the third leg of the 4x400 relay race and handed the baton to the anchor runner with the lead. Cal State L.A. won that event by a little more than one second.

Matthew also excels in the classroom and posted a 3.53 grade point average in his first year at Cal State L.A. Thanks to his lofty GPA and success on the track, he was one of the recipients of the USTFCCCA’s All-Academic honors. To qualify for the USTFCCCA All-Academic team, the student-athlete must have compiled a grade point average of 3.25 and reached a provisional or automatic qualifying mark for the NCAA Championships. Harmon posted provisional marks in both hurdles events as well as the relay and made the championships field in the 400 hurdles.

Matthew came to Cal State L.A. from College of the Canyons, where he had best times of 14.52 in the 110 hurdles and 53.76 in the 400 hurdles. He also ran a 51.51 time in the 400 meters. He also ran track and field at West Ranch High School, where he won the Foothill League 300 hurdles championship.

photo of Marquis Mora

Marquis Mora - Women's Volleyball


Marquis is a political science major and one of the top volleyball players in the nation. Earlier this season, she became the program’s all-time leader in total blocks and block assists, breaking marks that had stood since 2001 and she is closing in on the single season blocking records as well. She leads the Golden Eagles in kills, blocks, service aces and total points this season and is the conference leader in blocks per set, hitting percentage, and aces.

Marquis earned CCAA Player of the Week honors for the third time in her career in September after leading Cal State L.A. to its first win over Cal State San Bernardino in San Bernardino since 1999. The Golden Eagles also snapped Cal State San Bernardino’s home conference win streak at 44 matches.

Last season, as a junior, she was named to the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s All-America Team, becoming the first Cal State L.A. volleyball player to earn that honor since 2008. She also received first-team All-West Region honors from the AVCA for the first time and received first-team All-California Collegiate Athletic Association honors for the second year in a row. 

Marquis had an outstanding year, leading the Golden Eagles in points for the second straight season with 342 and in total blocks with 115 for a third straight season. She was also second on the team in kills with 247 and second in service aces with 26. She earned CCAA Player of the Week honors after recording a career-high 28 kills with a hitting percentage of .765 in a four-set win over Cal State Monterey Bay. The kills were eighth all-time in a match for Cal State L.A. and the hitting percentage was second all-time.

Marquis enjoyed a sensational sophomore season and earned first-team All-CCAA honors for the first time. She also received AVCA All-West Region honorable mention. She led the Golden Eagles with 110 blocks and her 1.06 blocks per set were second in the conference. Marquis was third on the team in kills with 270. She also earned weekly conference honors for the first time after leading the Golden Eagles to victories over Cal State Dominguez Hills, Cal State East Bay and UC San Diego.

She was one of the top freshmen in the conference in 2009 and earned second-team All-CCAA honors. She was named the program’s Most Improved Player and led the Golden Eagles with 112 total blocks. She was also third on the team in kills with 239. 

Marquis came to Cal State L.A. from Etiwanda High School, where she was a three-time team Most Valuable Player and earned first-team All-League honors twice.

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2011 Student-Athlete Scholarship Recipients

photo of David Arrendondo

David Arredondo - Baseball


David is a psychology major and was a big boost to Cal State L.A.’s baseball program last season as a junior. He solidified one of the top spots in the Golden Eagle starting rotation and he was an outstanding student as well.

He compiled a 5-3 record with a 3.47 earned run average and was near the top of nearly every statistical category. He shared the team lead by making 12 starts, he was second in innings pitched with 80 1/3, he was second in earned run average among starters and he was third on the team in strikeouts with 42.

David also excelled in the classroom and earned High Honors (grade point average above a 3.50) in the spring quarter at Cal State L.A.

He picked up his first victory as a Golden Eagle on Feb. 12 when he allowed just an unearned run and four hits over six innings of an 8-2 win over Grand Canyon. He walked three and struck out a season-high eight in the victory. David picked up a win in his next start as well, blanking San Francisco State on four hits over five innings of a 7-3 victory.

In his longest outing of the season, David got the win against conference champion UC San Diego by working 8 2/3 innings and giving up just three earned runs. He didn’t walk a batter and struck out four. He followed that up by going 8 1/3 innings and allowing just two runs against Cal State Monterey Bay and he then allowed only four hits and one run while picking up the victory in a 5-1 win at Chico State. 

David was one of the team’s most consistent starters and went five innings or more in 10 of his 12 starts. He allowed three or fewer earned runs in nine of those outings.

David came to Cal State L.A. from East Los Angeles Junior College, where he was the Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2010. He compiled a 4-3 record with a 3.82 earned run average and made 11 starts with two complete games. He walked only 15 and struck out 53 in 75 1/3 innings pitched.

In his first year with the program, he made 14 appearances, mostly in relief. He walked six and struck out 22 in 34 innings pitched. 

He also pitched for Arcadia High School.

David’s mother, Gabriela, was a runner on Cal State L.A.’s cross country team that qualified for the NCAA Championships in 2006. She helped the Golden Eagles to a West Region championship and a fourth-place national finish.

photo of Christie Lau

Christie Lau - Women's Tennis


Christie is a Kinesiology-Exercise Science major and one of the top NCAA Division II women’s tennis players in the country. Last season, as a sophomore, she was ranked 24th in the nation in singles and 23rd in the country in doubles with playing partner Larn McShane.

She recorded 20 singles victories and posted the most wins for a Cal State L.A. player since 2004. She had a 20-8 overall record that included a 15-6 mark at No. 1 singles. Christie also added another 17 wins in doubles, including a 12-9 mark at No. 1 doubles. Christie was ranked sixth in the West Region in singles and fifth in doubles at the conclusion of the season.

Christie reached the semi-finals of the ITA Fall West Region Championships that were held at Cal State L.A and she also reached the quarterfinals at the annual Ojai Valley Tournament.

She played exceptionally well at the end of the season, winning 13 of her final 16 singles matches, including victories at No. 1 singles over players from UC San Diego, Sonoma State and Azusa Pacific. It was a key three-set victory at Azusa Pacific that helped the Golden Eagles post a 5-4 win over the No. 5-ranked NAIA team in the country, one of Cal State L.A.’s most impressive team wins in several years. 

She had a tremendous year academically as well. Christie received a Scholar-Athlete Award from the Intercollegiate Tennis Association and received a Division II Athletic Directors Association Academic Achievement Award as well. She earned High Honors (grade point average above a 3.50) at Cal State L.A. in the spring quarter and was honored as the team’s Most Outstanding Player.

Christie came to Cal State L.A. after attending Cal Poly Pomona for one year. She had a tremendous first season and was named the California Collegiate Athletic Association Freshman of the Year. She also picked up the award as the ITA’s Rookie Player of the Year. She played No. 1 singles for the Broncos and had a 13-3 singles mark. Christie also had a 13-5 record in doubles. She also earned a CCAA All-Academic Award. Cal Poly Pomona dropped its tennis program after the season and Christie transferred to Cal State L.A.

Christie also had an outstanding high-school tennis career. She was the Sierra League individual champion and Most Valuable Player and helped her team win a pair of league championships. She was also an Honors student.

She has already gotten her junior season off to a promising start. Christie advanced to the semi-finals of the ITA Fall West Region Championships for a second straight year. She beat players from Sonoma State, Cal State Stanislaus and Dominican before falling to a player from BYU-Hawaii. She also won a pair of doubles matches in the season-opening tournament.

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2010 Student-Athlete Scholarship Recipients

photo of Zuzana Cizova

Zuzana Cizova - Women's Volleyball


Zuzana is a psychology major and one of the best volleyball players in the California Collegiate Athletic Association.

She had a sensational first season for the Golden Eagles in 2009 and was named the CCAA Newcomer of the Year. Zuzana also came up big for Cal State L.A. during the NCAA Division II playoffs, helping the team reach the regional championship match for the first time since 2005. She was named to the West Regional All-Tournament team for her efforts. Zuzana played a pivotal role in the Golden Eagles’ semi-final win over UC San Diego, contributing 12 kills, 13 digs and four blocks in a 25-21, 25-21, 25-22 win over the No. 2-seeded Tritons.

Zuzana was second on the team in kills with 283 and third in digs with 286. She was named to the All-CCAA second team in voting done by the conference coaches.

She had a sensational match in the Golden Eagles’ regular-season finale against Chico State. Zuzana recorded a season-high 20 digs with a hitting percentage of .645 in a 21-25, 25-23, 25-23, 25-12 win over Chico State in the Eagles Nest.  She served for the final point in the second set and had the kill to finish out the third set and send the Golden Eagles to a victory that secured their spot in the NCAA playoffs.

Cal State L.A. then rode that momentum as a No. 6 seed in the NCAA West Regional to wins over No. 3 Sonoma State and No. 2 UC San Diego.

Zuzana had her best matches last season against top competition. She had 17 kills in the Golden Eagles’ four-set win at Chico State on Oct. 9 and she had 16 kills in a match at Sonoma State on Sept. 12. She recorded double-figures in kills 13 times and had 10 matches with double-doubles in kills and digs. She had a season-high 17 digs to go along with 12 kills against Cal State San Bernardino on Nov. 7.

She came to Cal State L.A. from San Jacinto College (TX). She was fifth in the nation in kills and earned first-team All-America honors there. She was the Region XIV Conference Player of the Year. Her team won the conference title and finished fifth in the country. She averaged 4.36 kills and 4.13 digs per set. She also played for a year at St. Petersburg College in Florida, where she was fifth in the nation in kills with 5.1 per set. She posted double-digit kills in all but one match.

Zuzana also was a three-time member of the Czech National Junior team.

photo of Liz Franco

Liz Franco - Women's Soccer

Liz is a communications major and one of the top NCAA Division II women’s soccer players in the nation. She already holds a number of Cal State L.A. records and also set a California Collegiate Athletic Association mark for most assists in a season.

She became Cal State L.A.’s first All-American in women’s soccer in 2009 after a record-setting season for the Golden Eagles. She was named the Daktronics West Region Player of the Year and also became the first Cal State L.A. women’s soccer player to be named the CCAA Most Valuable Offensive Player of the Year.

Liz helped Cal State L.A. to its first-ever conference championship in women’s soccer and a No. 1-seed in the NCAA West Region. She was at her best in the CCAA Championship Tournament, scoring four goals and adding an assist in tournament wins over Chico State and Cal State Dominguez Hills. In the tournament championship game, Liz scored three goals and had an assist in a 4-0 win over CS Dominguez Hills.

Liz shattered several Cal State L.A. records last year in her third season with the program. She set new program single-season records for total points (43) and assists (17) and tied the single-season mark for goals (13). She is also the career record-holder for assists (30) and entered her senior season fourth all-time in goals and second all-time in total points.

She also is the new single-season record holder for assists in the CCAA and is poised to rewrite the conference record for career assists. Liz entered her senior season just two assists short of the record of 32.

She began her career at Cal State L.A. in 2007 and helped the Golden Eagles reach the CCAA Championship Tournament and the NCAA Division II playoffs for the first time in the program’s history. She had the deciding penalty kick to lift Cal State L.A. past Seattle University and into the regional championship match.

In 2008, she earned all-conference honorable mention and led the team in scoring with four goals and nine assists for 17 total points. She was tremendous for the Golden Eagles down the stretch, accumulating eight points with two goals and four assists in the final four games of the season. She helped the Golden Eagles to a 5-1-2 record in their final eight conference matches.

Liz then turned in the best single-season performance in the program’s history in 2009. The Golden Eagles achieved their highest-ever national regular-season ranking of No. 6 and finished the year ranked No. 14 in the country. She earned the department’s Billie Jean King Award as Cal State L.A.’s top female athlete. 

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