Francesca Di Lorenzo from Ohio State University, University of Michigan’s Brienne Minor, Astra Sharma of Vanderbilt University and Belinda Woolcock from the University of Florida 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 41 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 2017 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 26, 2017, in downtown Los, Angeles.
The nominees were chosen by a combination of NCAA finish and ITA 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.
Di Lorenzo, a sophomore from New Albany, Ohio, finished ranked No. 1 in the ITA rankings and was the top-seed in the NCAA DI Singles Championship and went on to capture the 2017 NCAA DI Doubles title with her partner. The two-time Big Ten Player of the Year, helped capture the program’s first national title. She finished 37-2 in singles on the season and 27-1 at No. 1 in dual matches.
Minor defeated three top-16 seeds en route to winning the 2017 NCAA DI Singles Championship for the program’s first national championship. The sophomore from Mundelein, Ill., ended her season on a nine-match winning streak and was 32-6 overall. She is a two-time ITA All-American and two-time All-Big Ten honoree.
Hailing from Perth, Australia, Sharma is the 2017 ITA Player to Watch and the 2017 SEC Player of the Year. She was the top-seed in the NCAA Doubles Championship and was ranked 4th in Singles before missing competition due to illness. She finished the season ranked No. 2 in the ITA rankings and was 32-8 overall and 24-6 versus ranked opponents.
Woolcock, a senior from Melbourne, Australia, helped lead her Florida team to its seventh NCAA Championship and was the 2017 NCAA Singles runner-up. She finished the year with a final ITA season-high ranking of No. 5. She became the 29th Gator to record her 100th career win finishing her career at 107-39 overall in singles and 90-37 in doubles. She is a two-time first-team All-SEC honoree and a 2017 ITA Regional Senior Player of the Year.
Honda Sport award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year and all Honda Sport award winners become a finalist for the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup award presented in June.
THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for 41 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 $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs at the institutions.