Junior Krista Vansant (Redlands, Calif.) of the University of Washington was named the Honda Sports Award winner 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”. With this honor, Vansant becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2014 Honda Cup. Vansant was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Haley Eckerman (Texas), Kelsey Robinson (Nebraska) and Carly Wopat (Stanford).
“Winning the Honda Award is a tremendous honor, and a testament to all the days working together with my teammates and coaches over the past year, “ said Vansant. “They put me in a position to succeed. I play for my teammates and couldn’t ask for a better volleyball family. I also have to thank my parents who got me started in volleyball and made me who I am today. Seattle is becoming a great volleyball city and hopefully awards like this will continue to grow the sport. We have great fans here at UW and I’m going to do everything I can to bring them a national championship next season.”
Named the 2013 AVCA National Player of the Year, Vansant also earned a nod on the AVCA All-America first-team. The junior outside hitter from Redlands, Calif., was named the 2013 Pac-12 Player of the Year while leading the Huskies to their first Final Four since 2006. Washington finished the season with a 30-3 record, winning the Pac-12 Conference for the first time since 2005 with an 18-2 league record.
Vansant finished the season with 511 kills, fifth-most in single season school history, and most in the 25-point scoring era. She averaged 4.41 per set while hitting .320. She had career-highs with 33 aces and averaged 0.70 blocks and a career-best 2.82 digs per set. Vansant climbed up to fifth in career kills at Washington this season, now with 1,328.
“Her improvement has been continual, with more out there for her to achieve, “ stated head coach Jim McLaughlin. “What has separated her, in my opinion, is not just her great improvement individually, but how she’s had a positive effect on the people around her. She sets an example with her work ethic and her commitment to excellence in all areas of her life, and this award is a big return on that investment. The type of people we have in our program, everything is important to them, and they don’t compartmentalize their commitment. I think the commitment level is what separates people. I admire the way that Krista and all our student-athletes commit to the process.”
"Krista embodies all the qualities our student-athletes strive for both in her athletic and academic pursuits, and we are extremely proud of her," UW athletics director Scott Woodward said. "It would be hard to find a more fitting recipient of this award."
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.