Although the month of April did not constitute a typical spring for GCU students, two student-athletes have found ways to stand out among the rest.
For their excellence and leadership – both on and off the field – Paige Loeffler of Grand Canyon University Women’s Lacrosse and Reid Magnaghi of Grand Canyon University Club Baseballhave been selected as the April GCU Club Sports Student-Athletes of the Month.
Paige Loeffler: Women’s Lacrosse
“Paige’s work ethic, dedication, love for the team and her teammates, and attitude really stood out and is worth recognition,” said GCU Women’s Lacrosse Head Coach Tracy Gallihugh.
Loeffler is a sophomore at Grand Canyon University, and hails from Carlsbad, California. She is not only active on the lacrosse field as a captain and leader in almost every statistic, but she also stays involved in the GCU and its spiritual mission.
“GCU has given me the ideal outlet for connecting with Jesus and the Christian community,” said Loeffler. “I love being able to combine lacrosse and my faith in such a way that challenges me and makes me grow everyday as a follower of Christ.”
Loeffler began her lacrosse career in fourth grade, playing under her aunt for a youth club team in San Diego. She then continued to play on competitive teams throughout high school before coming to GCU. In the 2019-20 season, Loeffler led the Lopes’ Women’s Lacrosse team in goals, groundballs, caused turnovers, and draw controls.
“Paige was a great asset to our team this year,” said Gallihugh. “She really stepped up as a leader and a player. She put in the work every single day, and you could see her passion and hard work shine in her performance in every single game.”
“Being a part of the GCU Women’s Lacrosse team has connected me with lifelong friendships, and has taught me more about lacrosse in my two years than all of my years of experience before GCU,” said Loeffler. “Coach Gallihugh truly has helped me grow so much as a player and a person.”
Off the field, Loeffler works on campus with the GCU Event Services team, helping coordinate events like the Canyon Night Show. On the weekends, she likes to volunteer at the New City Church. In the upcoming academic year, she will also partake in a student leadership position in Outdoor Recreation as a Media Team trainee guide.
“She works in events at GCU, and her love for the job and school brings such a strong and necessary school spirit to our team,” said Gallihugh. “She is an exceptional student-athlete, and I cannot wait to see what she can accomplish. This is just the beginning for her.”
Loeffler is studying business management at GCU with a minor in digital design. After she graduates, she hopes to travel and enter a career as a design editor or project manager for an environmentally aware company, as well as continue her involvement in lacrosse by coaching youth teams.
Reid Magnaghi – Baseball
Excelling on and off the field is something many of the Grand Canyon University Club Sports athletes strive for, but one baseball player has been a poster child for that title since he walked on campus in 2017.
GCU senior Reid Magnaghi transferred to GCU in the fall of 2017 after a two-year stint at Walla Walla Community College (in Washington), where he hit .292 in his sophomore campaign, including seven runs batted in. In his first season with the Lopes, the leftfielder earned 2nd Team NCBA All-American honors after he finished third on the team with a .452 batting average, and second on the team with nine doubles.
His on-field accomplishments did not stop there. 2019 garnered similar results as Magnaghi posted another astronomical batting average (.405), and helped the Lopes to a runner-up finish at the 2019 National Club Baseball Association World Series.
“Reid’s energy on the field was what helped us,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Rich Warnol. “Even cheering in the dugout during our offensive plate appearances, he always brought it. We are very proud of [him].”
Magnaghi’s energy and focus was apparent outside of the diamond as well. The biology major just completed his bachelor’s degree at GCU with an emphasis in physical therapy, in hopes of pursuing a career in that field. Reid is also a part of the Research and Design Program, a team on campus that is building the first-ever human anatomy atlas designed for GCU students.
Magnaghi completed his senior campaign, albeit a condensed one, as the Lopes’ leader in hits. Reid’s shining moment this season came against University of California-San Diego on February 15 when he was 4-for-4 with a double, while knocking in the Lopes’ two RBI of the game.
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