Stanford University’s Jenna Gray, Yossiana Pressley of Baylor University, Dana Rettke from the University of Wisconsin and Jordan Thompson of the University of Cincinnati are the four finalists for the Class of 2020 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 44 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 2020 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on Monday, June 22, 2020, 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 next week after voting by administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Each NCAA member institution has a vote.
Gray, a senior setter from Shawnee, Kan., is a three-time Pac-12 Setter of the Year and led her team to its third straight Pac-12 Championship. The two-time AVCA first-team All-American is also a 2019 Senior CLASS Award finalist and was honored by the Kansas City Sports Commission as the 2019 Co-Sportswoman of the Year. She led the team with 10 double-doubles and paced the Pac-12 and ranks eighth nationally in assists per set (11.43).
Pressley, a junior outside hitter from Cypress, Tex., helped her team to its first-ever NCAA Semifinal appearance and was named the Big 12 and Southwest Region Player of the Year. She set a program record as a 15-time Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week and is a two-time AVCA All-American. She led her conference in kills per set (5.52) and ranks in the top five nationally in kills per sets and points per set (5.79).
A junior middle blocker from Riverside, Ill., Rettke was named the Big Ten and Northeast Region Player of the Year and is a three-time All-Big Ten first-team and AVCA All-American honoree. She led her team to a NCAA Semifinal appearance and is an eight-time Big Ten Player of the Week. She ranks 7th nationally and led the Big 10 in blocks per set (1.47), ranked 16th in hitting percentage (.401) and 82nd in kills per set (3.76).
Thompson, a redshirt-senior right side hitter from Edina, Minn., was named the American Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the third year and is the 2019 North Region Player of the Year. A three-time All-AAC first-team honoree and three-time AVCA All-American, she leads the country in kills (651), kills per set (6.32), points (716) and points per set (6.95) for the second-straight season.
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 2020 Honda Cup award presented in June.
The CWSA, celebrating its 44th year, has honored the nation’s top NCAA women athletes for their superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.4 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs.
Honda also is committed to making positive contributions to the communities where it does business, conducting socially responsible business practices and promoting diversity in its workforce. From Honda's involvement in STEM education and Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) to its support of pediatric brain tumor research and volunteer efforts by Honda associates, including environmental clean-up activities, Honda believes in giving back to the communities where its associates live and work. Learn more at http://csr.honda.com/.