Samantha Bricio, a senior outside hitter from the University of Southern California, was named the Honda Sport Award winner for volleyball today 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 40 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA- sanctioned sports and signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics”. With this honor, Bricio becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2016 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on June 27, 2016, in the Founders’ Room at the Galen Center on the campus of the University of Southern California in downtown Los, Angeles.
Bricio was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists included Lauren Carlini (Wisconsin), Daly Santana (Minnesota) and Haleigh Washington (Penn State).
“This is such a huge honor, and I am so thankful for it, especially because there are so many other amazing players out there, “stated Bricio. “It means a lot to be chosen from among so many great athletes. I am especially grateful to my amazing teammates and coaching staff. I could not have done it without them.”
Hailing from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, Bricio was the 2015 AVCA Player of the Year and a three-time AVCA All-American after winning first-team honors in 2015. She was also named the Pac-12 Player of the Year and the espnW and Volleyball Magazine National Player of the Year.
She led the nation in points (803.0), points per set (6.18), service aces (89), and aces per set (0.68) and holds four career records at USC while being the Pac-12 record holder for service aces. She set a league-record with six Pac-12 Player of the Week awards. She is USC’s third Honda Award winner for volleyball in 12 years (April Ross, 2004; Alex Jupiter, 2011).
“We are extremely proud of Samantha and we think this is truly well-deserved,” said head coach Mick Haley. “Sam is an example of what happens to young athletes that come to USC, buy into the system, and put in the hard work it takes to become great at her sport. Her journey has been long and arduous but it certainly has been both fun and exciting to watch her grow. For Samantha to arrive here, and hardly speak English, and then to become our team captain, the national Player of the Year, and now the Honda Award winner is a testament to her hard work, focus on the game, and the strength of her team.”
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year. Five Honda Sport Award 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 CWSA, celebrating its 40th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship thirty years ago in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.0 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.