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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – The College Sports Information Directors of America announced the 2017 women’s volleyball Academic All-America Teams on Monday afternoon, and Penn State women’s volleyball senior Haleigh Washington found herself on the list of honorees for the third-straight year.
With the honor, Penn State now has received 200 Academic All-American honors. Penn State ranks fourth among all Division I institutions in all-time selections.
“I am so excited and honored to be the 200th selection,” Washington said. “You come to this program and everyone says ‘Oh you're here for the volleyball,’ but then you realize what a great academic program Penn State is, that’s awesome. And the fact we have that kind of representation from the entire community of athletes we have here at Penn State representing the academic side of the student-athlete is awesome.”
Washington, who earned Second Team honors as a sophomore and Second Team honors as a junior, moved her way back up to Second Team honors in her senior season. She is the only student-athlete in the history of the Penn State women’s volleyball program to be selected as a three-time honoree.
“Haleigh came into college with a great thirst for knowledge in both academics and expanding her athletic component,” Penn State women’s volleyball head coach Russ Rose stated of his senior middle blocker. “She never missed a beat and has continued to strive to be the best in both areas. I know it’s a challenge to balance all those things and her recognition is well-deserved. Her family and her Penn State family take great pride in her being recognized.”
The two-time American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American has maintained a 3.79-grade point average while majoring in philosophy. She has also earned three Academic All-Big Ten honorees.
On the court this season, Washington has put together one of the most efficient seasons in NCAA history. She is averaging 3.03 kills per set as a middle blocker on a nation-leading .503 hitting percentage. Her clip is the second-best in Penn State program history, and it stands as the third-best season hitting percentage in the NCAA since switching over to the 25-point scoring format.
Washington was named the 2017 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and earned five Big Ten Player of the Week honors this season. She became the seventh athlete in Penn State volleyball lore to reach 1,000 kills and 500 blocks on Oct. 25. She was the first in seven seasons to reach 500 blocks, as the last to achieve this feat was Arielle Wilson (2007-10).
Washington was one of four Big Ten women’s volleyball student-athletes honored. She joins Purdue’s Ashley Evans as the first three-time Academic All-Americans since 2007, and first two three-time academic All-Americans from the Big Ten.
Washington and Penn State are gearing up to take on Nebraska in the NCAA Semifinal match on Thursday, December 14 at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.