Hawaii's Spieler Named Semifinalist For NCAA Award
Courtesy of Hawai‘i Athletics
INDIANAPOLIS – The NCAA announced the 30 semifinalists for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award on Wednesday, with former University of Hawai'i beach volleyball player Katie Spieler among the honorees.
A record 517 school nominees were submitted this year, which was whittled down to 142 conference nominees. The committee selected 30 women from that pool – 10 from each of the three NCAA divisions, who represent 13 sports and a host of diverse majors.
"This year's top 30 honorees have achieved remarkable things during their time in college," said Sarah Hebberd, chair of the Woman of the Year selection committee and director of compliance at the University of Georgia. "They are model student-athletes for generations of young women to come, and we are immeasurably proud of their accomplishments."
The top 30 honorees have demonstrated excellence in academics, athletics, community service and leadership. Throughout her career at UH, Spieler has consistently personified all of those traits as a Rainbow Wahine.
Spieler has been a staple of the UH Rainbow Wahine program over the past three seasons, and was instrumental in leading UH to the inaugural Big West Conference Championship. The two-time AVCA All-American and 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-American also proved to be a leader in the classroom. She completed two degrees in accounting at UH, including an accelerated master's degree, concluding her education with a complete 4.0 grade point average. Spieler was a member of three national tournament teams, was selected to the Dean's List seven times and was a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).
"Katie is a remarkable young woman and very deserving of consideration for this prestigious NCAA award," beach volleyball coach Jeff Hall said. "Her on-court contributions to our program are rivaled only by her tremendous academic accomplishments and outstanding character in the community. We wish her best luck in winning Woman of the Year and knowing Katie, we wouldn't be surprised if she did. She's worthy of the honor."
Aiding the Rainbow Wahine to an NCAA Final Four appearance in last year's inaugural tournament, Spieler finished her career with a program-best 102 career victories and was the recipient of the beach volleyball NCAA Elite 90 Award. Spieler earned UH's Jack Bonham Award, presented to the school's top senior female student-athlete, and was part of the Big West's Pairs Team of the Year along with then-freshman Emily Maglio.
For the NCAA Woman of the Year Award nomination, Spieler joined track and field's Alex Porlier Langlois as representatives of the Big West.
The NCAA will salute the achievements and accomplishments of all Top 30 honorees and announce the 2016 Woman of the Year at an awards dinner Sunday, October 16, at the Westin Indianapolis. In determining the Woman of the Year winner, the selection committee will name nine finalists – three women from each division – in late September.