Rhamat Alhassan from the University of Florida, Penn State University teammates Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington and Kathryn Plummer of Stanford University are the four nominees for the Class of 2018 Honda Sport Award for Volleyball as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 42 years 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 2018 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 25, 2018, in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a panel of coaches representing the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The Honda Sport award winner for Volleyball will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Alhassan, a senior middle blocker from Glenarden, Md., is the 2017 SEC Player of the Year and a two-time first-team AVCA All-American. She joins Olympian Kelly Murphy (2008-11) as the only other Gator in history to earn a spot on one of the AVCA All-America teams all four years of her career. She led the nation in blocks per set (1.70) and is one of two Division I players since 2010 to average at least 1.70 blocks per set and hit above .355.
Hailing from Menomonee Falls, Wis., Lee was the Big 10 Player of the Year and named a first-team Senior CLASS Award All-American. The outside hitter is a two-time AVCA All-American and the 2017 University Park NCAA Regional Most Outstanding Player. She averaged a team-best 3.89 kills per set this season while tallying a career-best average of 2.30 digs per set.
Plummer was the TeamSnap/AVCA Division I Player of the Year and is the first player in AVCA history to earn Player of the Year award after being named the National Freshman of the Year the previous season. The outside hitter from Aliso Viejo, Calif., was the Pac-12 and ESPNw Player of the Year and is a two-time AVCA All-American. She led the Pac-12 and ranked sixth nationally with 5.40 points per set.
Washington, from Colorado Springs, Colo., is the 2017 Senior CLASS Award winner for volleyball and a three-time first-team AVCA All-American. The 2017 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year, she averaged 3.01 kills per set as a middle blocker on a nation-leading .492 hitting percentage. Her .492 hitting percentage is the second-best percentage in program history and third-best in NCAA season records since a 25-point scoring format.
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sport Award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Cup award presented in June.
The CWSA, celebrating its 42nd year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for their superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs.