Audas, Staples Honored

AAC Team Academic Award

July 29, 2015 Mackenzie Audas, Olivia Staples<" style="width: 100%; height: auto;" class="imported"> Mackenzie Audas, Olivia Staples ORLANDO, Fla. ( -- Two UCF student-athletes were honored Wednesday by the American Athletic Conference for their excellence on and off the field.

Senior softball player Mackenzie Audas and junior rower Olivia Staples earned The American's Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards. These honors are given to a student-athlete in each AAC-sponsored sport, based on academic credentials, athletic accolades and accomplishments, as well as volunteer service to the community. To be eligible student-athletes must have a 3.0 cumulative grade-point average and have attained junior academic standing.

Audas recently became UCF Softball's first-ever CoSIDA Academic All-America. The Plant City, Fla., native holds a 3.936 grade-point average and is pursuing a degree in Early Childhood Development and Education. She has been on the UCF Dean's List and Athletic Director's Honor Roll for four consecutive years.

On the field, she ranked No. 2 in the nation in earned-run average for the 2015 season. Audas led the Knights to NCAA Tournament appearances in 2012, 2014 and 2015. She was a 2015 NFCA Second-Team All-Region performer. She was also a unanimous selection to the 2015 all-conference team in The American. She holds UCF records for strikeouts and victories in a career. She also holds Knight records for most no-hitters (5) and for games started and appearances.

In the community, Audas has volunteered with numerous events and organizations including Miracle League, Race for the Cure, UCF's Pack to Attack Hunger, Florida Children's Hospital, Safe House of Seminole County, Friends of Jaclyn and many others.

Staples, a native of Grimsby, Ontario, holds a 3.717 grade-point average and is pursuing a degree in Sport and Exercise Science. She has been on the UCF Dean's List and Athletic Director's Honor Roll for three consecutive years. She has also been on the conference all-academic team for the past two years.

Staples was a key member of the UCF Varsity Eight boat, which won American Athletic Conference Boat of the Year honors. She was a member of the Varsity Eight boat that won an American Athletic Conference title and advanced to the NCAA Championships, where the boat took 18th place. Staples was a second-team All-AAC selection. Her boat earned three American Athletic Conference Boat of the Week awards.

In the community, Staples has taken part in the Knights Welcome Program and has been part of UCF's Pack to Attack Hunger in each of the past two years. Story by Andy Seeley