This is one dynamic duo that is unstoppable on and off the court. Jessi Lumsden and Sophie Srivastava, both seniors on the volleyball team, are two of the most decorated Panthers to take the court for the Panthers. They are also leaders outside the gym as Co-Presidents of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, or SAAC. SAAC is a national committee made up of student-athletes across all three divisions that gives a voice to these athletes on the campus, conference and national level.
As SAAC Co-Presidents, Jessi and Sophie lead the advisory board and hold monthly meetings with Chapman student-athletes to discuss NCAA laws as well as events on campus. The two have had a huge hand in planning the Welcome Back BBQ, the Student-Athlete Awards ceremony and countless other activities that help Chapman student-athletes get more involved with athletes from sports other than their own.
“Being involved in SAAC has made my time as a Chapman student-athlete much more valuable,” Jessi said. “It has allowed me to not only get heavily involved with our athletics department and community, but has allowed me to build relationships with Chapman student-athletes, coaches, and athletics staff.”
Sophie expressed the same sentiments. “Being SAAC Co-President has been such an amazing opportunity! Through SAAC, I’ve been able to organize events and fundraisers, as well as get to know athletes from different sports. I think SAAC creates such a great community of student-athletes that support each other, and that has definitely made my athletic experience more enjoyable.”
The dynamics don’t stop there. Jessi and Sophie are a fierce pair on the court. Jessi, a 2019 All-America Honorable Mention selection, ranks third all-time in program history with 3.70 kills per set. She entered the 1,000 career kills club in just three seasons this past weekend (missed junior season due to COVID), ranking fifth all-time with 1,003 kills. She earned her third consecutive All-SCIAC First Team selection, becoming the first Chapman player to earn the distinction three times.
Sophie is just as impressive. A combination setter and right side hitter, Sophie led all of NCAA Division III in 2019 with 11 triple-doubles (kills, digs, assists) and ranked second across all three divisions. Her 31 career triple-doubles are the most in the nation since the NCAA started tracking the statistic in 2014. She ranks second all time with 176 assisted blocks and fifth all-time with 198 total blocks. She also became the first Chapman volleyball player to earn SCIAC Athlete of the Year after helping the Panthers to a 3rd place finish in the conference. Oh, and she has a perfect 4.0 as a Psychology major.
These two are the definition of “you get out of division III athletics what you put into it”. They have dedicated their four years to every aspect of Chapman University and have had incredibly meaningful experiences in the process.
“Being a student-athlete at Chapman is more than just the title,” said Jessi. “Being a D3 athlete, I have the opportunity to be both a student and an athlete. Playing volleyball for Chapman has allowed me to continue playing the sport that I love, while also getting involved with other organizations on campus, such as SAAC and the Delta Gamma women’s fraternity. I am, and will forever be, grateful for the opportunity and time that I had as a Chapman student-athlete. It has helped shape me into the person that I am today!”
Again, Sophie echoed many of the same thoughts. “To me, being a student-athlete at Chapman means being a part of something that is bigger than myself. I am part of the volleyball team, but I’m also a part of an athletic organization that has consistently created talented and hard-working individuals. I admire and respect my fellow student-athletes, and I’m grateful to be able to compete alongside them. Even after I graduate, I will always consider myself to be a Chapman student-athlete!”