30 Women’s NCAA Division I volleyball players have been announced as candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award.
The award, available only to seniors, are for players who excel “both on and off the court.”
This year’s list includes 14 outside hitters, 7 middle blockers/hitters, 5 setters, 3 opposites, and just 1 libero. That’s a very different mix from last year, where there were 10 middles, 9 outside hitters, 5 setters, and 5 liberos, and just 1 opposite.
4 teams have multiple nominees: the #2 team in the nation Penn State, Washington, and mid-major powers Wichita State and Western Kentucky each have multiple players named to the list.
Among the biggest names on the list are 2016 VolleyMob First Team All-American Ebony Nwanebu of Texas, September 12th National Player of the Week Lily Johnson from Missouri State, and defending Pac-12 Player of the Year Kelsie Payne.
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 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.
The Full List of Nominees. Click each player’s name to see their resume.
|Rhamat Alhassan||Middle Blocker||Florida|
|Haley Barnes||Outside Hitter||High Point|
|Kelsey Bittinger||Outside Hitter||Kent State|
|Julia Brown||Outside Hitter||NC State|
|Alyssa Cavanaugh||Outside Hitter||Western Kentucky|
|Alexis Conaway||Middle Blocker||Iowa State|
|Sammy Condon||Middle Hitter||Oakland|
|Melanie Crow||Outside Hitter||Missouri|
|Emily Hiebert||Setter||Wichita State|
|Brittany Jessen||Setter||South Dakota|
|Lily Johnson||Outside Hitter||Missouri State|
|Crissy Jones||Outside Hitter||Washington|
|Jaelyn Keene||Middle Blocker||Illinois State|
|Sydney LeMay||Middle Blocker||Western Michigan|
|Simone Lee||Outside Hitter||Penn State|
|Abbie Lehman||Middle Blocker||Wichita State|
|Jessica Lucas||Setter||Western Kentucky|
|Mary-Kate Marshall||Outside Hitter||Oregon State|
|Ebony Nwanebu||Outside Hitter||Texas|
|Maddie Palmer||Outside Hitter||Radford|
|Kelsie Payne||Right Side Hitter||Kansas|
|Courtney Schwan||Outside Hitter||Washington|
|Katie Staiger||Outside Hitter||Baylor|
|Megan Theiller||Outside Hitter||Fairfield|
|Kori Waelbroeck||Right Side||IUPUI|
|Haleigh Washington||Middle Blocker||Penn State|