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Jan. 21, 2009
University Park, Pa. - Penn State women's volleyball senior outside hitter Nicole Fawcett (Zanesfield, Ohio) has been chosen as the Honda Award winner, given to the nation's top collegiate female volleyball player. The honor was based on results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 33rd year.
By earning the Honda Award for volleyball, Fawcett is now automatically nominated as one of 12 student-athletes for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year honor. She earned the volleyball honor over three other nominees, including fellow Nittany Lion senior Christa Harmotto (Aliquippa, Pa.), Stanford senior Foluke Akinradewo and Texas junior Destinee Hooker.
"This award is something I never dreamed of receiving because it means so much more than just playing a sport," said Fawcett. "To be included with so many previous winners, women I've looked up to not just as role models in athletes but in many aspects of my life, is one of the greatest honors a student-athlete can receive."
Fawcett, the 2008 AVCA National and Big Ten Player of the Year, helped the Nittany Lions to an undefeated record (38-0) and their second straight NCAA title and sixth consecutive Big Ten crown. She averaged 3.78 kills per game on .358 hitting for the year, with her kills per game average ranking second on the team. Fawcett, a Human Development and Family Studies major, led the Penn State squad with 40 service aces and also added in 219 total blocks for the year.
The Honda Award is the second for a Nittany Lion women's volleyball player in program history, as she joins Lauren Cacciamani, who earned the accolade in 1999. Fawcett also becomes only the sixth Penn State female athlete to capture the honor. Along with Cacciamani, 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, 1981; lacrosse 1981, 1982).
Previously announced 2008-2009 Honda Sports Award recipients are Texas Tech's Sally Kipyego for cross country, Maryland's Susie Rowe for field hockey and North Carolina's Casey Nogueira for women's soccer. The Honda Sports 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 at a ceremony in New York in June 2009.
For more information on the Penn State women's volleyball team, please visit www.GoPSUsports.com. The Penn State women's volleyball 2008 season is presented by Rockvale Outlets and The Outlets At Hershey.