Haley Carter from the University of North Carolina, University of Virginia’s Danielle Collins, Francesca Di Lorenzo of the Ohio State University and Pepperdine University’s Luisa Stefani are the four nominees for the Honda Sport Award for tennis 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”. The winner of the sport award 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 CBS Sports Network 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.
The nominees were chosen by a combination of NCAA finish and rankings. The Honda Sport award winner for tennis will be announced next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Carter, a junior from Hilton Head, S.C., was the top-seed in the 2016 NCAA Singles and Doubles draw. She finished runner-up in singles and reached the semifinals in doubles. She closed the season ranked No. 2 and 3 in the nation in singles and doubles, respectively, posting a 49-5 mark in singles and a 36-7 ledger in doubles. She was the 2016 ACC Player of the Year and the ACC Championship MVP and earned her third ITA All-America honor.
Collins is a senior from St. Petersburg, Fla., and was the 2016 NCAA Singles champion earning her second NCAA singles title in three years. She is the seventh woman all-time to win two NCAA single titles and the first from the ACC. A three-time ITA All-American, she was named the 2016 ITA Senior Player of the Year and set a program record for singles wins by a senior with 38 this season, including a 29-4 mark versus ranked opponents. She is a two-time Honda Award nominee and closed her career with a No. 1 national ranking.
A freshman from New Albany, Ohio, Di Lorenzo was the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Singles championship and her loss in the Round of 16 ended a 16-match winning streak. She finished her rookie season with a 37-5 mark setting a program record for single-season wins. She earned the program’s first national title after winning the ITA National Indoor Championship in the fall and was named the 2016 Big Ten Player and Freshman of the Year, along with first-team All-Big Ten honors.
Hailing from Sao Paulo, Brazil, Stefani was named the 2016 ITA National Rookie of the Year and an ITA All-American. She lost to the eventual NCAA Singles champion in the semifinals ending her rookie campaign at 40-6 in singles and was the program’s first player to reach the semifinals since 1989. The ITA Southwest Region Rookie of the Year, she also earned WCC Player and Freshman of the Year and All-WCC first-team honors in singles and doubles.
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 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.