Haley Eckerman of the University of Texas, Kelsey Robinson from University of Nebraska, Krista Vansant of the University of Washington and Carly Wopat from Stanford University are the four nominees for the Honda Sports Award for Volleyball as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sports Award is presented annually by the CWSA to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. The winner of the sport award becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA).
The Honda Sports award winner for volleyball will be announced in the new year after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Eckerman is a two-time first-team All-American after earning second-team honors and AVCA Freshman of the Year as a rookie. The junior outside hitter from Waterloo, Iowa, earned Big 12 Conference Player of the Year honors for the second straight year and is a three-time All-Big 12 first-team honoree. She led the Longhorns with 4.14 kills per set, adding 2.54 digs per set and 511 points.
A native of Bartlett, Ill., Robinson earned first-team AVCA All-American honors this season after having been recognized by the AVCA for the past two years. She was named the 2013 Big Ten Player of the Year and earned All-Big Ten first-team honors. She averaged 4.45 kills and 3.33 digs per set while posting 19 double-doubles. The outside hitter transferred to Nebraska from Tennessee where she was the 2011 SEC Player of the Year and a two-time first-team All-SEC member.
Vansant was recently named the 2013 AVCA National Player of the Year after earning a nod on the AVCA All-America first-team. The junior outside hitter from Redlands, Calif., also earned 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year while leading the Huskies to their first Final Four since 2006. She ranks fifth in career kills at UW after avergaing 4.41 kills per set and hitting .320 on the season.
Wopat, a senior middle blocker from Santa Barbara, Calif., earned first-team AVCA All-American honors for the second straight season. She is a three-time All-Pac-12 Conference selection and led the conference in blocks this season with 1.43 blocks per set. She led her team in hitting percentage (.429) and points (3.92 pps) and became just the third Cardinal ever to register 600 career blocks (614).
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women student-athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. Honda Sports award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sports award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup award presented in June.
Five Honda Sports Awards winners for volleyball have gone on to win the prestigious Honda Cup- Megan Hodge (Penn State, 2010), Sarah Pavan (Nebraska, 2007), Ogonna Nnamani (Stanford, 2005), Misty May (Long Beach State, 1999) and Deitre Collins (Hawaii, 1983).
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 37 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $2.7 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.