30 women’s Division I volleyball players have been nominated for the 2016 Senior CLASS Award, which is given to one senior each season who “excels both on and off the court.”
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.
Last week, 30 nominees for this year’s award were named, including players from two of the top 5 teams in the country. Nebraska’s Kadie Rolfzen, and then the Minnesota Golden Gophers are represented by a pair of nominees: twin sisters Paige and Hannah Tapp.
Minnesota is one of three schools with two nominees. Creighton (Jess Bird and Lauren Smith) and New Hampshire (Demi Muses and Keelin Severtson) also have two seniors on the list.
Last year’s winner was Cassie Strickland from the University of Washington.
Full List of 2016 Nominees
|Inky Ajanaku||Middle Blocker||Stanford University|
|Jazzmin Babers||Middle Blocker||Texas A&M|
|Abbey Bessler||Outside Hitter||Xavier University|
|Jess Bird||Outside Hitter||Creighton|
|Amy Boswell||Middle blocker||BYU|
|Katie Brand||Setter||Kansas State University|
|Hayley Farrer||Setter||Idaho State University|
|Claire Felix||Middle Blocker||UCLA|
|Tessa Fournier||Libero||Seton Hall University|
|Janey Goodman||Right Side Hitter||James Madison|
|Carly Kan||Outside Hitter||University of Missouri|
|Grace Kauth||Outside Hitter||Cleveland State University|
|Hannah Klemm||Setter||Hofstra University|
|Laini Leindecker||Outside Hitter||University at Albany|
|Valeria León||Libero||Ohio State University|
|Dani Mostrom||Libero||Wichita State|
|Demi Muses||Middle Blocker||University of New Hampshire|
|Meghan Niemann||Middle Blocker||Marquette University|
|Megan O’Sullivan||Middle Blocker||Fairfield University|
|Kayla Ostrom||Setter||Lipscomb University|
|Chloe Reinig||Outside Hitter||Michigan State University|
|Kadie Rolfzen||Outside Hitter||Nebraska|
|Keelin Severtson||Setter||University of New Hampshire|
|Ashley Smith||Outside Hitter||TCU|
|Lauren Smith||Middle Blocker||Creighton|
|Hannah Tapp||Right Side Hitter/ Middle Blocker||University of Minnesota|
|Paige Tapp||Middle Blocker||University of Minnesota|
|Teegan Van Gunst||Outside Hitter||Georgia Tech|
|Cassie Wait||Libero||University of Kansas|
|Taylor Whittingham||Libero||University of Southern California|