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June 25, 2014
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Penn State women's volleyball's Micha Hancock (Edmond, Okla.) and wrestling's David Taylor(St. Paris, Ohio) have both been nominated for 2014 ESPY awards, presented by ESPN. Hancock is on the ballot for Best Female Collegiate Athlete, while Taylor is up for Best Male Collegiate Athlete.
Following a nationwide fan vote, the winners of each category will be revealed at the 2014 ESPYS, which air live on ESPN July 16th. Fans can vote for Hancock and Taylor here.
Hancock played a major role in Penn State's national championship victory against Wisconsin in the 2013 NCAA national finals, pulling the Nittany Lions out of a 23-21 deficit in the fourth set with a clutch performance from the end line. Following a Badger error, she fired two aces in between kills from seniors Katie Slay and Deja McClendon to secure Penn State's fifth national championship title in the last seven years and sixth overall. She earned the NCAA tournament's Most Outstanding Player honor.
She recently wrapped up her junior year at Penn State with her second consecutive All-America honor as well as her third Big Ten Setter of the Year award. The 2013 AVCA All-Northeast Region honoree has also earned 2011 Big Ten Freshman of the Year accolades, as well as the 2011 AVCA Mideast Freshman of the Year award. During the 2013 regular season, the five-time Big Ten Setter of the Week guided the Nittany Lion offense to a .305 hitting percentage, which closed out the year ranked fifth in the nation and first in the Big Ten. She also paced two multi-year All-American attackers to .355 or better hitting on the year.
Further establishing herself as one of the best servers in the nation, she set a new program record with 254 career aces. With 82 aces on the year, her 0.65 aces per frame finished second in the country and first in the league.
Taylor recently wrapped up one of collegiate wrestling's most historic careers. He won the 2014 Hodge Trophy as the nation's top wrestler and was Big Ten Wrestler of the Year for the third time. Taylor became Penn State's first-ever four-time NCAA finalist and won his second NCAA individual title at 165, leading Penn State to its fourth-straight NCAA Championship in Oklahoma City in March.
Taylor's 2014 accolades were stunning: Big Ten Male Athlete of the Year, Penn State Male Athlete of the Year, Hodge Trophy Award (won twice during his career), NCAA National Champion (for the second time), NCAA Finalist (for the fourth time), NCAA All-American (for the fourth time), Big Ten Wrestler of the Year (for the third time), NCAA Most Dominant Wrestler Award, NCAA Championships Outstanding Wrestler, Big Ten Champion (Penn State's first four-time Big Ten Champion, joining Ruth with that honor), three-time Big Ten Wrestler of the Week, Academic All-Big Ten (for the fourth time), NWCA First Team All-Academic (for the fourth time), Capital One First Team Academic All-American.
His career numbers are a testament to Taylor's dominance throughout a landmark collegiate wrestling career. He leaves Penn State as a member of four NCAA Championship teams and four Big Ten Championships teams. Taylor went 34-0 this season to end the year as the nation's lone unbeaten Division I wrestler and closed out his career with a 134-3 record. His 97.8 career win percentage included an all-time Penn State best 53 pins (ties a school record), 42 technical falls and 30 majors, meaning 125 of his 137 career matches were won by a major or better. Taylor never lost in a dual meet and was a perfect 56-0 all-time against Big Ten competition.