Ashley Armstrong is the first Notre Dame golfer to earn an NCAA postgraduate scholarship and one of three Fighting Irish student-athlete to collect the prestigious honor during the 2014-15 academic year.

Five Notre Dame Student-Athletes Earn Academic All-America Accolades

June 11, 2015

NOTRE DAME, Ind. — Anna Kottkamp, the 2015 University of Notre Dame valedictorian and a member of the rowing team, and three-time NCAA foil champion fencer Lee Kiefer, headline five Fighting Irish student-athletes named to the 2015 Capital One Academic All-America® Division I Men’s and Women’s At-Large teams as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America. Both Kottkamp and Kiefer were first-team honorees while golfer Ashley Armstrong and 2014 NCAA champion and American record-holding swimmer Emma Reaney earned second-team honors. Assistant hockey captain Peter Schneider copped third-team accolades.

The five selections brings the school’s total of Academic All-Americans for the 2014-15 school year to eight and to 246 overall since the program’s inception in 1952-53. Notre Dame ranks second all-time (behind the University of Nebraska) in the number of Academic All-Americans that it has produced. Over the past three years, 23 Fighting Irish student-athletes have earned Academic All-America distinction.

The Capital One Academic All-America program for the men’s at-large program includes the sports of fencing, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis, water polo and wrestling, while the women’s at-large program includes the sports of bowling, crew, fencing, field hockey, golf, gymnastics, ice hockey, lacrosse, rifle, skiing, swimming and diving, tennis and water polo.

Kottkamp (Wenatchee, Washington) became the first student-athlete at the University to be named valedictorian after graduating with a perfect 4.00 grade-point average. She is just the third Notre Dame rower to earn Academic All-America honors and the first to earn first-team accolades. Kottkamp received her degree in environmental sciences from the College of Science with a minor in international studies.

She received one of the University’s most prestigious honors awarded to a graduating Notre Dame student-athlete when she was presented with the Byron V. Kanaley Award in late April and also was the recipient of the Top Gun Award (highest grade-point average among graduating senior student-athletes).

A two-time winner of the NCAA Elite 89 Award in both 2015 and 2014, Kottkamp participated with her team in four straight NCAA Championships (2012-15) and rowed exclusively with Notre Dame’s varsity eight boat each of the past three seasons. In 2014, she helped her squad to a ninth-place finish (matching a program-best) at the NCAA Championship and earned Atlantic Coast Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors. Kottkamp guided the Irish to runner-up finishes at the ACC Championship each of the last two years and to two BIG EAST team titles in 2012 and 2013, rowing on crews that won two gold medals.

A member of the Glynn Family Honors Program, Kottkamp is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society, volunteers extensively in the community and participates with Notre Dame’s Voices of Faith Gospel Choir. Three years ago, she traveled to Honduras to participate in a Global Health Seminar.

Kiefer (Versailles, Kentucky) becomes the first Notre Dame women’s fencer to earn first-team Academic All-America accolades and just the fourth individual overall. She posted a 50-8 season record at NCAA events (117-18 career) in 2015 while also competing internationally. Kiefer won her third consecutive individual NCAA women’s foil title and was crowned ACC Women’s Foil Champion at the first-ever ACC Women’s Fencing Championships. She also helped her team clinch the ACC Women’s team title in addition to being named ACC Women’s Team MVP, ACC Women’s Foilist of the Year, and ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year (women’s fencing), not to mention being tabbed ACC Women’s Fencer of the Week on Feb. 4.

She is enrolled in the College of Science as a Science Pre-Professional major with a 3.61 grade-point average, and intends to take the 2015-16 academic year off in order to train for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. A 2012 Olympian, she currently ranks first in the U.S. and third internationally in the women’s senior foil division and routinely travels throughout the year to compete with the fifth-ranked USA senior women’s foil team.

For Armstrong (Flossmoor, Illinois), this year’s honor marks the third consecutive year that she has earned Academic All-America accolades and to become just the 11th three-time Academic All-American across all sports at Notre Dame. She also is the first-ever Academic All-American in Fighting Irish women’s golf after earning third-team honors in 2013 and second-team accolades in 2014.

Armstrong completed her Notre Dame career with a 74.98 stroke average, the third-lowest all-time mark in the program’s 27-year history. She carded a career-low 74.10 season stroke average (fourth in the school’s record book) in 2014-15 and posted four top-10 finishes while tying for team-high honors with seven rounds under par, including a team-best four rounds in the 60s. In addition, the two-time Irish captain received an ACC Postgraduate Scholarship and Notre Dame’s Byron V. Kanaley Award (the University’s most prestigious honor awarded to a graduating student-athlete) in 2015, the first women’s golfer to receive the ACC scholarship and the second Kanaley award winner in program history. She was named to the ACC All-Academic Team and the Women’s Golf Coaches Association Scholar All-America Team as a junior. She graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering from the College of Engineering and boasted a 3.90 grade-point average.

A three-time medalist during her career, Armstrong won the BIG EAST Championship as a freshman in 2012 and then was victorious in back-to-back tournaments during the spring of her sophomore year in 2013 with wins at the Insperity Lady Jaguar Intercollegiate and the Briar’s Creek Invitational. She was recognized in spring of 2013 as Golfweek’s Women’s National Player of the Week (March 25-31) and the BIG EAST Women’s Golf Player of the Week (March 17-23). In addition, Armstrong was selected to the All-BIG EAST Team for the second straight season after finishing fifth at the conference tournament. Armstrong led her team to the ’13 BIG EAST crown, following a runner-up finish in ’12. In each of her four seasons at Notre Dame, she and her Irish teammates earned a berth into the NCAA regional, hosting the event in 2015 at the Warren Golf Course.

Reaney (Lawrence, Kansas) is a repeat Academic All-America selection after garnering first-team honors in 2014. She becomes the school’s 43rd two-time Academic All-America honoree. She enjoyed one of the finest careers in recent memory for any Notre Dame student-athlete, and stands as the most decorated swimmer or diver in the history of the Fighting Irish swimming and diving programs. An American record holder in the 200-yard breaststroke and the 4x50m medley relay, she became the first Fighting Irish swimmer or diver to win a national title, claiming first in the 200-yard breaststroke and setting the American record (2:04.06). An eight-time All-American (three of which came in 2015) and five-time honorable mention honoree, she is currently in her second year as a member of the United States National Team.

Reaney was honored with the Byron V. Kanaley Award and the Francis Patrick O’Connor Award (awarded to student-athletes who best display the total embodiment of the true spirit of Notre Dame, as exemplified by their contribution to their team). She was one of 27 Irish student-athletes named to winter Olympic sports ACC All-Academic teams in 2015, and one of three women’s swimmers named to their sport’s All-Academic team. Named the ACC Swimmer of the Year and the ACC Women’s Swimming & Diving Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2014, Reaney won 14 conference titles (10 BIG EAST, four ACC) during her career and earned all-conference honors on 18 occasions. She graduated from Notre Dame with a degree in design with a concentration in visual communications from the College of Arts and Letters, while holding a 3.65 grade-point average.

Schneider (Vienna, Austria) become the sixth Fighting Irish hockey player and first since 2009 to garner Academic All-America recognition. He joined Kottkamp, Armstrong and Reaney as one of five student-athletes who received the Byron V. Kanaley Award. Schneider also was named the recipient of the Notre Dame Club of St. Joseph Valley Rockne Student-Athlete Award for the third time in his career, becoming the fourth three-time winner in program history. A nominee for the Senior CLASS Award, Schneider has made all-academic teams for both Hockey East and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association during his career.

He skated in 41 of Notre Dame’s 42 games in the 2014-15 season, scoring seven times with nine assists totaling 16 points. An alternate captain, he was at his best in the 2015 Hockey East playoffs, notching eight of his 16 points during the postseason. He tallied a career-high three assists in Notre Dame’s March 8 win over Massachusetts in the decisive Game 3 of a grueling first round series which featured the longest game in college hockey history. Providing needed depth in Notre Dame’s offensive lineup, the Irish were 7-2-2 in the 11 games where Schneider recorded at least one point, including each of the team’s three postseason victories.

He played in 138 career games, scored 22 goals and dished off 25 assists (47 points). He graduated with a 3.91 grade-point average as a double major, with degrees in economics and finance and a minor in actuary from the Mendoza College of Business.

About The Capital One Academic All-America Program

Capital One has been the entitlement rights holder to CoSIDA’s Academic All-America teams programs since 2011.

The Academic All-District ® teams are divided into eight geographic districts across the United States and Canada. This is the third year of the expanded Academic All-America® program as CoSIDA moved from recognizing a University Division (Division I) and a College Division (all non Division I) and has doubled the number of scholar-athletes honored. The expanded teams include NCAA Division I, NCAA Division II and NCAA Division III participants, while the College Division team combines NAIA, Canadian and two-year schools.

The Capital One Division II and III Academic All-America® program is being financially supported by the NCAA Division II and III national governance structures, to assist CoSIDA with handling the awards fulfillment aspects for the 2014-15 DII and DIII Academic All-America® teams program.