Aug. 26, 2010
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. – Georgia Tech setter Mary Ashley Tippins has been named one of 30 candidates for the 2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award. This is the first year of the award for volleyball, which recognizes student-athletes’ on and off the court accomplishments.
To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
The 2010 candidate class includes eight American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Americans from last season. Twenty of the 30 have maintained a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or better. Two of the candidates were recognized by the College Sports Information Directors of America as 2009 Academic All-Americans, and 12 are members of teams ranked in the AVCA’s preseason top 25 poll. Lowe’s, an official Corporate Partner of the NCAA, will announce the Senior CLASS Award® winners during the 2010 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.
The candidate class will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one finalist who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition.
As a junior, Tippins was a 2009 AVCA honorable mention All-American, 2009 AVCA All-Region and 2009 All-ACC. She started all 31 matches and played in every set on the season. She led the team and ACC and was 20th in the nation averaging 11.27 assists per set. Her 36 service aces (0.31/set) were also first on the team and seventh in the ACC.
Tippins has helped out in the community by working at soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity and playing with under-privileged kids since high school. When she came to Georgia Tech, she got involved with some more service and her particular favorite one is working the Special Olympics. She helps out with the opening ceremonies and the people she meets are so incredible and have such positive and optimistic attitudes. It truly inspires her to appreciate all aspects in life and to enjoy every moment. She has also been greatly involved with the volleyball community in Atlanta. She has helped out her old club in coaching the 16-year-old age group the past three years. She also helps with another program called Volley Performance which is run by Bob Westbrook. Helping girls improve their volleyball game is a true passion of hers and she hopes to continue that for many years.
“We are excited to add women’s volleyball to the award program and are encouraged by the strong group of women who make up our first class of candidates,” said Tom Lamb, Lowe’s senior vice president of marketing. “These student-athletes are outstanding leaders and have contributed many hours to make their universities and communities better places.”
2010 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award Volleyball Candidates
Name, Position, School
Sydney Anderson, Setter, Nebraska
Jennifer Berwanger, Outside Hitter, Southern Illinois
Ellie Blankenship, Libero, Northern Iowa
Nina Camaioni, Outside Hitter, Loyola (Maryland)
Laura DeBruler, Outside Hitter, Illinois
Allyson Doyle, Outside Hitter, Western Michigan
Francie Ekwerekwu, Middle Blocker, Oklahoma
Nikki Fowler, Outside/Right Side Hitter, Tennessee
Lauren Gibbemeyer, Middle Blocker, Minnesota
Amanda Graham, Middle Blocker, Robert Morris
Jenna Hagglund, Setter, Washington
Christy Hudson, Right Side/Middle Blocker, TCU
JennaRae Jester, Middle Blocker, Wyoming
Alex Kelly, Middle Blocker, Lipscomb
Chelsy Kimes, Outside Hitter, Coastal Carolina
Alix Klineman, Outside Hitter, Stanford
Lauren Krupsky, Outside Hitter, Central Michigan
Tracey Lam, Libero, Rice
Carli Lloyd, Setter, California
Jamie Mellies, Setter, Seattle
Jade Michaelsen, Setter, New Mexico
Sabel Moffett, Middle Blocker, Northwestern
Stephanie Niemer, Outside Hitter, Cincinnati
Becky Novacek, Middle Blocker, Dayton
Lauren Rapp, Right Side/Middle Blocker, Kentucky
Chloe Smith, Right Side Hitter, Central Arkansas
Mary Ashley Tippins, Setter, Georgia Tech
Dana Vargas, Setter, UC Santa Barbara
Arielle Wilson, Middle Hitter, Penn State
Lexi Zimmerman, Setter, Michigan