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ALUMNI: Riponites Van Groningen, Ferreira garner postseason awards
ALUM Ferreira-Van Groningen

 Braden Van Groningen is playing a big role in The Master’s University men’s volleyball team’s historic run, while Mikaela Ferreira has ended her decorated collegiate softball career at Stanislaus State.

The two former standouts from Ripon high schools have racked up postseason awards in the process.

Van Groningen, a 2021 graduate of Ripon Christian, is one of six TMU players to make the American Volleyball Coaches Association’s National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes All-America Team. The 6-foot-4 junior outside hitter made the second team. Only 40 NAIA student-athletes in all make the list — 12 each for the first and second teams, and 16 honorable mention.

Van Groningen currently leads the nationally top-ranked Mustangs from Santa Clarita with 212 kills (2.65 per set).

TMU is coming off its first-ever Golden State Athletic Conference regular-season championship and second straight GSAC tournament title. The Mustangs are now competing in the NAIA National Championship in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. They take next play Thursday against No. 8 University of Jamestown in their final match of pool play.

Ferreira has had en extended college career because of the coronavirus pandemic. The 2017 Ripon High alumna was twice named Big 8 Conference MVP (2019, 2022) while playing for San Joaquin Delta College and continued to produce at the NCAA Division II level with Stanislaus State (19-28).

On Tuesday, she made the All-California Collegiate Athletic Association first team for the second time. Last year, she was named CCAA Newcomer of the Year and made the National Fastpitch Coaches Association and Division II conference Co missioner's Association all-region second teams.

This season, she produced conference-leading stats in batting average (.455), on-base percentage (.560), OPS (1.227), walks (31) and doubles (16). She Ferreira also totaled 60 hits, four home runs, 30 runs scored and 30 RBIs.

The shortstop also had a .937 fielding percentage.