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September 5, 2013

FIU Sports Headlines

125 FIU Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-Conference Honors

In its final season in the Sun Belt Conference, 125 FIU student-athletes have been honored by the league for achieving grade point averages of 3.0 or better during the 2012-2013 academic year.

Fifty-eight FIU Panthers were named to the Sun Belt Commissioner's List (20 more than the previous season), which honors all student-athletes recording a 3.5 GPA or better during the 2012-13 academic year. Leading the way was women's track & field/cross country with 11 honorees, while swimming & diving totaled nine members and baseball had seven student-athletes earn a 3.5 GPA or higher.

Sixty-seven FIU student-athletes were named to the Sun Belt Conference Academic Honor Roll, which honors those maintaining a 3.0-3.49 GPA. Football led all sports with 11 student-athletes earning honor roll recognition, while swimming & diving placed 10 Panthers and women's soccer and women's track & field/cross country both notched 9 honorees apiece.

In total, women's track & field/cross country led all FIU squads with 20 honorees, while swimming & diving produced 19 academic award winners. Also reaching double-digits in academic honorees were baseball (13), women's soccer (13), men's track & field/cross country (12) and football (11).

College Football Performance Awards Honors FIU Defensive End Michael Wakefield

FIU sophomore defensive end Michael Wakefield has earned National honorable mention honors for defensive linemen from College Football Performance Awards.

Wakefield had a career-high effort at Maryland last Saturday, leading the defensive line with seven tackles, three tackles for loss, one sack and a fumble recovery.

After making the switch to linebacker during the spring, Wakefield moved back to his natural defensive end position at the start of fall training camp. As a freshman in 2012, he played mostly on special teams and appeared in 10 games.

Coming out of Valdosta High School in 2011, he was a Georgia Sportswriters Association Class 5A All-State Football Team Second Team and two-times Valdosta Daily Times South Georgia Player of the Week as a senior. As a high school junior, he was the Valdosta Defensive Player of the Year and Defensive Lineman of the Year. He was rated as one of the top 100 defensive ends in the country by recruiting analyst Tom Lemming.

Wakefield is the third current FIU defensive lineman to earn recognition from College Football Performance Awards, as senior tackles Greg Hickman and Isame Faciane have each earned player of the week honors over the past two seasons.

Sukhareva Named to Gamecock Invitational All-Tournament Team
Following a stellar performance on opening weekend, redshirt junior Ksenia Sukhareva was named to the Gamecock Invitational All-Tournament Team.

Sukhareva led FIU to a 1-2 weekend at the Gamecock Invitational, as the Panthers dropped a hard-fought, five-set loss to High Point and fell to host South Carolina, 3-0, before sweeping South Carolina State in straight sets.

Competing in her first season of indoor volleyball at FIU, Sukhareva totaled 37 kills across 11 sets of action (3.36 kps), registering a career-high 16 kills against HPU, seven kills versus USC, and 14 kills against SCSU. In addition, the outside hitter notched a career-best two service aces versus the Bulldogs to put her weekend total at four winners.

Sukhareva was also active on the defensive side of the net, posting career bests of six digs and three blocks, including her first-career solo stop, against HPU. For the weekend, the Moscow, Russia, native recorded 4.0 total blocks to go along with 13 digs.

Joining Sukhareva on the 2013 Gamecock Invitational All-Tournament Team were: Juliette Thévenin, South Carolina (MVP); Kellie McNeil, South Carolina; Kristin Heldt, High Point; and Desire Waller, South Carolina State.

FIU returns to Miami this coming weekend to host the FIU Classic, held Sept. 5-7 at U.S. Century Bank Arena. The Panthers will take on Houston Baptist in the 2013 home opener on Thursday, Sept. 5, at 5 p.m., before facing Alabama on Friday, Sept. 6 (3 p.m.), and UNCW on Saturday, Sept. 7 (6 p.m.). Tickets can be purchased by calling 305-FIUGAME or by logging on to FIUSports.com.

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