Whaley of Tampa Named DII Athlete of the Year Nominee for Volleyball

Whaley of Tampa Named DII Athlete of the Year Nominee for Volleyball

Berkley Whaley, a junior outside hitter from the University of Tampa, was named the 2014-15 DII Athlete of the Year nominee for volleyball as announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.

She is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Athlete of the Year honor. This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of THE CWSA program, now in its 38th year.

"I believe being named a finalist for the Honda DII Athlete of the Year is one of the greatest honors a collegiate student could receive, " stated Whaley. "An honor I could never receive without the hardworking efforts of my teammates and the unconditional support from the coaching staff. I have had the pleasure of being coached by what I truly believe are the best coaches in the country, who have helped me mold into the volleyball player I am today and even more important, the person I want to be in the future. I am overjoyed and so gracious for this prestigious honor."

Whaley, a native of St. Petersburg, Fla., was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division II National Player of the Year and is a two-time AVCA DII first-team All-American. The outside hitter is a two-time Sunshine State Conference (SSC) Player of the Year and has been named to the All-SSC first-team in both of her seasons at Tampa.

Whaley led her 2014 national championship team to a 34-1 overall record. She was the team leader in kills (453), digs (316), service aces (22) and points (508) while posting an impressive .365 hitting percentage.

"Berkley is one of the finest student athletes I have had the pleasure of coaching in my 31 years,” said head coach Chris Catanach. “She is a rare combination of exceptional athlete, exceptional student, and effective leader.  I think Berkley embodies everything that is good about women in sports and she would be an outstanding choice for Division II Athlete of the year.“

All sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2015 Honda Collegiate Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in June. The sports nominees are recognized in 11 DII and DIII NCAA-sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, volleyball, and track & field.

THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 38 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 $2.8 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.