Three Nittany Lion Student-Athletes Earn ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District Honors
May 22, 2008
University Park, Pa. - Three Penn State student-athletes have been named ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District 2, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced today. Sophomore men's volleyball middle hitter Max Lipsitz (Williamsville, N.Y.) and senior women's swimmer Molly Crispell (Boalsburg, Pa.) were named to the first team while junior women's swimmer Kelly Nelson (West Chester, Pa.) picked up second team recognition. Lipsitz and Crispell are now eligible for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors, to be released at the beginning of June.
Lipsitz, who holds a 3.51 grade point average in finance, was also an Academic All-East selection. A member of the national-champion men's volleyball squad that finished the season with a 31-1 overall record, Lipsitz was named a Second Team AVCA All-American and was also picked for the NCAA Championship All-Tournament Team. He finished third in the nation with a .499 hitting percentage while averaging 2.45 kills per game and 1.17 blocks per game. Lipsitz started every match for the Nittany Lions at middle hitter and recorded a career-high 17 kills on .500 hitting in the National Championship match against Pepperdine. He posted a career-high 12 blocks in the NCAA National Semifinal win over Ohio State on May 1, also boasting 10 double-digit kill matches for the year and having at least one block in 30 of 31 matches. It is the first career ESPN The Magazine honor for Lipsitz.
Crispell earns her second straight selection to the Academic All-District first team after completing her college career this spring with a perfect 4.0 grade point average while majoring in bio-behavioral health. She is an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship recipient and was also the recipient of the Wayne Duke Postgraduate Award given out by the Big Ten Conference. A four-time CSCAA All-Academic selection, she was also the recipient of the Ernest B. McCoy Memorial Award, which is given to the top senior student-athlete, one male and one female, at Penn State. A three-time academic All-Big Ten selection, she was a second team Academic All-American last year and with her selection to the All-District first team this year, will once again be on the ballot for the Academic All-American teams. In the pool, Crispell was a four-time scorer at the Big Ten Championships and a two-time qualifier for the NCAA Championships during her career. She was also a two-time honorable mention All-American as a part of the 800 freestyle relay team. She ended her career ranked sixth all-time at Penn State in the 200 freestyle. This year, the 800 free relay team, which she was a part of, ranked in the top 16 in the country. Crispell, who graduated from Penn State last weekend, has already begun graduate school at Arcadia University in suburban Philadelphia to pursue her physician's assistant degree.
Nelson earns her first career selection to the Academic All-District team as she was named to the second team after another outstanding season in the pool, this one perhaps the most outstanding yet. The junior qualified for NCAA Championships for the third straight season and became an All-American for the first time in her career with a sixth place finish in the 200 butterfly at NCAAs. Nelson, who broke the school record in the 200 fly with a second place finish in that event at Big Ten Championships, rebroke that record and also broke the Big Ten record with her swim in the 200 fly at NCAAs. She also broke her own school record in the 200 freestyle at Big Ten's. Also an honorable mention All-American in a pair of relays this year, she is a six-time honorable mention All-American in her career. The West Chester, Pa. native is also a two-time second team All-Big Ten pick. She has scored points at Big Ten's in all three of her years at Penn State and is also a two-time Academic All-Big Ten pick. One of the most versatile swimmers on the team, Nelson placed first in 40 percent of her individuals swims this year and was on 17 first place relay teams as she is also a fixture on most of Penn State's relays. Nelson currently has a 3.71 grade point average while majoring in health and human development.
To be nominated for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District consideration, a student-athlete must be a starter or key reserve with at least a 3.20 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale), and must be a sophomore in both athletic and academic standing. All First Team Academic All-District honorees from each of the eight districts advance to the national ballot and are eligible for ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America honors.
For more information on Penn State Intercollegiate Athletics, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com.