It is now down to the final 10 NCAA Division I volleyball players that have been nominated for the 2017 Senior CLASS award. At the start, there were a total of 30 nominees across a wide variety of schools.
The award is only available to seniors sets apart players who work hard both on and off the court. The finalist consists of five outside hitters, three middle blockers, one setter and one libero.
Penn State is the only team that has two players nominated in the final 10 with Simone Lee and Haleigh Washington on the list. Other big names on the list this year are Baylor’s Katie Staiger, WKU’s Jessica Lucas, Kentucky’s Ashley Dusek and Missouri State’s Lily Johnson.
Fan voting for the next Senior CLASS recipient will continue until December 4 with those votes being combined with media and Division I head coaches’ votes to determine the winner. The winner will be announced during the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championships in mid-December. 2016’s winner was Minnesota’s Paige Tapp, who became the first-ever recipient of the award for the program.
From the official Senior CLASS Awards website:
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
Of the 30 candidates, 27 have grade-point averages of 3.0 or higher, including 14 who maintain above a 3.5. Fifteen are returning American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Americans, and nine are members of teams ranked in the AVCA Top 25 Coaches Poll. Outside of academics and athletics, all candidates also have been consistently involved in community service on their campus or in their communities.
The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.
List of 10 Volleyball Finalists. Click each player’s name to see their resume.
|Kelsey Bittinger||Outside Hitter||Kent State|
|Lily Johnson||Outside Hitter||Missouri State|
|Jaelyn Keene||Middle Blocker||Illinois State|
|Simone Lee||Outside Hitter||Penn State|
|Abbie Lehman||Middle Blocker||Wichita State|
|Jessica Lucas||Setter||Western Kentucky|
|Mary-Kate Marshall||Outside Hitter||Oregon State|
|Katie Staiger||Outside Hitter||Baylor|
|Haleigh Washington||Middle Blocker||Penn State|