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Dec. 12, 2013
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Senior women's volleyball student-athlete Katie Slay has earned the 2013 Capital One Academic All-America of the year award, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Slay was selected from a group of more than 40 student-athletes who earned academic all-district honors earlier this season.
Slay is the fourth different Nittany Lion to garner the prestigious award and the first PSU women's volleyball Academic All-America of the year since Megan Hodge in 2009. Former Penn State standout Bonnie Bremner won the award in 1998 and 1999, while Christa Harmotto was honored in 2008.
"This is a tremendous honor for Katie and Penn State as she is one of the leaders on our team who takes her academics and athletics very seriously," head coach Russ Rose said. "We are very proud to see her earn this recognition as she represents the complete best in the term student-athlete."
The middle blocker helped Penn State to its 16th Big Ten title in program history, picking up 2013 AVCA All-Northeast Region honors as well as a unanimous spot on the All-Big Ten team. The 2011 Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year was also a member of the 2012 All-Big Ten team and earned two consecutive AVCA Second Team All-America honors. She was named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Week twice this season, while also picking up one Big Ten Player of the Week accolade.
She's amassed 235 kills on the year, posting a team-best .404 hitting percentage, which ranks second in the Big Ten and 22nd nationally. Slay is also at the helm of the Nittany Lion blocking unit with 182 total blocks on the year. Her 1.64 blocks per frame leads the conference and ranks third among all individuals in the nation. Earlier this season, Slay reach ed the 500 career blocks mark and has totaled 602 blocks in her career, which is good for sixth on the Penn State all-time list.
Off the court, Slay has been actively involved as a volunteer for the Special Olympics and the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON), since her sophomore season. In addition to serving as a member of the Student- Athlete Advisory Board, Slay spends her summers coaching and mentoring young students who attend Penn State volleyball camps. Slay is majoring in communication sciences and disorders and minoring in human development and family studies.
To be eligible for Academic All-America® consideration, a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative G.P.A. of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standings at his/her current institution and be nominated by his/her sports information director. Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 20,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
Penn State will travel to Lexington, Ky. this weekend to take on unseeded Big Ten foe Michigan State in the NCAA Regional Semifinals. First serve is slated for Friday, Dec. 13 at 5 p.m. on ESPN3.