The American Athletic Conference announced the American’s Scholar-Athlete Sport Excellence Awards on Wednesday, which recognizes student-athletes who excel on and off the field, court or water.

Senior softball pitcher Mackenzie Audas and junior rower Olivia Staples each earned the honor in their respective sport. Student-athletes are recognized for their athletic accomplishments as well as their academia and volunteerism for the community.

In addition to becoming softball’s first College Sports Information Directors of America Academic All-America and 2015 Unanimous All-American Athletic Conference First Team, among other on-field awards, Audas holds records as the Knights’ career leader in appearances, starts, wins, strikeouts and no hitters as a pitcher. She helped her team to three consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances.

According to a press release, the early childhood development and education major maintained a 3.936 GPA and was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll and Dean’s List all four years at UCF.

Audas has also volunteered her time with UCF’s Pack to Attack Hunger, Florida Children’s Hospital, Miracle League, Safe House of Seminole County and Race for the Cure, among others, according to the release.

Staples was in the fourth seat in the Varsity Eight boat that won the AAC Championships. She was also in the same seat of the boat that finished in 18th place at the NCAA Championships.

Aside from being named to the All-America Athletic Conference Second Team during the 2014-15 season, Staples volunteered her time with UCF’s Pack to Attack Hunger the past two years.


Jarrod Heil is the Sports Editor for the Central Florida Future. Follow him on Twitter at @JHeil11 or email him at