Samantha Bricio from the University of Southern California, University of Wisconsin’s Lauren Carlini, Daly Santana of the University of Minnesota and Penn State University’s Haleigh Washington are the four nominees for the 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 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 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 panel of coaches representing the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA). The Honda Sport award winner for volleyball will be announced in 2016 after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Bricio, a senior outside hitter hailing from Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico, 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 after leading the nation in points (803.0), points per set (6.18), service aces (89), and aces per set (0.68). She holds four career records at USC and is the Pac-12 record holder for service aces.
Carlini is a junior setter from Aurora, Ill., and is nominated for the Honda Sport Award for volleyball for the second straight year. She is a three-time AVCA All-American including back-to-back first-team honors. The two-time Big Ten Setter of the Year, she led the Big Ten and ranked in the top ten nationally with 11.91 assists per set. She is the Wisconsin season record holder for assists (1,472) and assists per set (11.91).
Santana, a senior outside hitter from Corozal, Puerto Rico, is the 2015 Big Ten Player of the Year and a 2015 AVCA first-team All-American. She led the Big Ten in kills per set (4.53) and led the nation in kills in a single match with 39. She had a team-best 20 double-doubles this year leading the Gophers in kills 28 times and hit over .300 in 13 matches. She had 584 kills this season and her 1,644 career kills ranks 13th among active players.
Washington hails from Colorado Springs, Colo. The senior middle blocker led the team with 1.38 blocks per set, which ranked 23rd in the nation. She was named first-team AVCA All-America and is a two-time All-Big Ten selection. She recorded at least two blocks in all but one of 34 matches and had a .442 hitting percentage which closed out the year ranked third nationally. Her .451 career hitting clip is second all-time at Penn State.
Krista Vansant of the University of Washington has won the last two Honda Sport Awards for Volleyball. 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 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.