Lauren Battista, a senior forward from Bentley University, was named the 2014 Honda DII Athlete of the Year as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.
Battista will be presented with the award at the live telecast of the 2014 Collegiate Women Sports Awards show presented by Honda on Monday, June 30th, at the USC Galen Center Founders Room in Los Angeles, Calif.
The honor was voted on by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 38th year. Finalists for the award included Jennifer Agnew (Univ. of Mary- Cross Country), Jessica Bradley (Lynn- Golf), Valentine Confalonieri (Lynn- Tennis), Karenee Demery (Cal State Stanislaus- Soccer), Kitty Fischer (West Chester- Swimming & Diving), Katie Lange (MN-Duluth- Volleyball), Kelsi Lykens (West Chester- Field Hockey), Jackie Sileo (LIU Post- Lacrosse), Morgan Spearman (Angelo State- Softball) and Danielle Williams (Johnson C. Smith- Track & Field).
A native of North Easton, Mass., Battista was recognized in her senior season as the Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) Division II Player of the Year, the Capital One NCAA Division II Academic All-America of the Year, the NE-10 Conference Woman of the Year and the NE-10 Most Outstanding Female Scholar-Athlete.
The three-time WBCA All-America totaled a school-record 2,112 points while leading the Falcons to a four-year record of 124-11, including a remarkable 96-6 over the last three seasons and 93-6 in conference play (regular season and tournament). She earned All-Conference recognition four times, including three straight first-team nods, and was the conference's Player of the Year in both 2012 and 2014. Her four straight NE-10 Championship Most Outstanding Player awards is unprecedented in conference history, in any sport.
While leading her team to an undefeated 35-0 mark and the 2014 Division II national championship, her success carried over into the classroom with Battista graduating with a 3.96 GPA while majoring in both marketing and liberal studies. She earned Capital One Academic All-America honors three times, including first team recognition the last two years, and was the NE-10 Sport Excellence Scholar-Athlete for women's basketball three times.
"It is such an honor to receive the Honda Division II Athlete of the Year Award,“ stated Battista. “To be selected for this award from among the best Division II female athletes in the country is truly humbling. I am extremely proud to represent Bentley University, the Northeast-10 Conference and Division II women’s basketball on this national stage. I accept this award on behalf of all of my teammates and coaches who played such an important role in helping me become the player and person that I am."
"What an incredible honor for Lauren! As recognized as she has been throughout her career for her athletic and academic accomplishments, Lauren’s selection as the Honda Division II Athlete of the Year is a supreme achievement,” said head coach Barbara Stevens. “Winning the Honda Award caps off a storybook season and phenomenal career for Lauren. Her teammates and coaches are so proud of her and are thrilled to have Lauren represent Bentley University and our Women’s Basketball Program as she receives this prestigious award.“
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.