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Jan. 12, 2011
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior Penn State women's volleyball player Blair Brown (Purcellville, Va.) has won the 2011 Honda Sports Award in volleyball, designating her as the nation's top collegiate female athlete in that sport. The honor was based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 36th year. This is the third year in a row that a Penn State University women's volleyball player has been honored with the award. Nicole Fawcett won the award in 2009 and Megan Hodge picked up the honor in 2010.
The Honda Sports Award is given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic eligibility to become a "Top Three" finalist for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. Brown was voted over three other nominees for the 2011 award, including Juliann Faucette of Texas, USC's Alex Jupiter and Cal's Carli Lloyd. All four nominees were selected by the AVCA All-America Selection Committee.
"Winning the Honda Sports Award is such an honor," said Brown. "But for me it is not an individual honor. My teammates, coaches, the Penn State family and university all play a huge part in me winning this award. I am so appreciative to be in the company of such talented athletes and those who came before us. It is even more special for me to be the fourth Penn Stater to represent my school in this award, as it is a tribute to the entire program and those who support it.
The 2011 Honda Award is the fourth for a Nittany Lion women's volleyball player in program history. In addition to Fawcett and Hodge, Brown joins 1999 award winner Lauren Cacciamani. Brown is also only the eighth Penn State female athlete to capture the honor. Along with Fawcett, Cacciamani and Hodge, Penn State's other Broderick Award winners are Ann Carr (gymnastics, 1977, 1978), Kathy Mills Parker (cross country, 1977; cross country and track & field, 1978), Jeannie Fissinger (field hockey, 1980) and Candy Finn Rocha (field hockey, 19811; lacrosse, 1981, 1982).
Brown, who became the sixth straight Nittany Lion to be named the Big Ten Player of the Year earlier this season, is a three-time AVCA All-American. A three-time All-Big Ten selection, Brown earned Second Team laurels in 2008 and First Team honors in 2009 and 2010. Brown started all 37 matches in 2010 and led the Nittany Lions with 521 kills, averaging 4.24 kills per set on .320 hitting. She was second on the team with 281 digs (2.28 digs per set) and 113 total blocks (0.92 blocks per set). Her 4.24 kills per set ranked second in the Big Ten and 21st nationally, while her .323 attack percentage ranked ninth in the league. Also, her 4.72 points per set ranked 18th in the nation. In 2010, Brown was a Unanimous Preseason All-Big Ten pick and earned conference player of the week laurels three times. She surpassed the 1,000 career kills milestone in 2010 and closed out her career with 1,295 kills.
Previously announced Honda Sports Award recipients include Notre Dame's Melissa Henderson for soccer, Katie O'Donnell of the University of Maryland for field hockey and Sheila Reid of Villanova for cross country. Honda Award winners in basketball, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, swimming & diving, tennis and track & field will be announced in the coming months. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions and the winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup in June 2011.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2010 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets at Hershey