June 10, 2008
ATLANTA – Amanda McDowell, a Georgia Tech sophomore, has been chosen the nation’s top collegiate female tennis player for 2008. The honor was based on the results of national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 32nd year.
McDowell’s victory will earn her the Honda Sports Award, given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, along with automatic nomination for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. She was voted over three other nominees: Ani Mijacika, a sophomore at Clemson University; Aurelija Miseviciute, a junior at the University of Arkansas; and Zuzana Zemenova, a Baylor University senior. The candidates were selected by a combination of their finish at the NCAA Championships and the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) rankings.
“I’m really excited and honored to win the Honda Sports Award,” said McDowell. “It’s such a prestigious award, and I’m especially happy about it because my teammate Kristi Miller won two years ago and I’m thrilled to be able to keep it in the Georgia Tech family. I think it really says a lot about how terrific our tennis program is, and how Coach Shelton has done such a great job building it up. My dream has always been to play professional tennis and right now I feel like I’m playing the best tennis in my life, so I’m really looking forward to the future.”
A native of Atlanta, Ga., this year McDowell became Georgia Tech’s first female tennis player to capture the NCAA singles title, beginning the tournament as the No. 7 seed. On the way to winning her NCAA crown, she won 15 straight matches, with straight-set wins in her final four matches. An All-American, she led the Yellow Jackets to an NCAA Elite Eight finish. McDowell finished her sophomore season with a 45-8 singles record and has notched 84 singles wins through her first two years at Georgia Tech. Her 45 single-season wins this year is a Georgia Tech School record. She was also named to the All-Atlantic Coast Conference team. An outstanding student, McDowell carries a 3.6 GPA.
Previously announced 2008 Honda Sports Award recipients include Duke University’s Amanda Blumenherst for golf, Texas Tech’s Sally Kipyego for cross-country, the University of North Carolina’s Rachel Dawson for field hockey, Texas A&M University’s Ashlee Pistorius for soccer, Stanford University’s Foluke Akinradewo for volleyball, University of Florida’s Caroline Burckle for swimming & diving, the University of Tennessee’s Candace Parker for basketball, the University of Georgia’s Katie Heenan for gymnastics and Northwestern University’s Hannah Nielsen for lacrosse. Honda Sports Award winners in softball and track & field will be announced later this week. 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 Columbia University’s Low Library on Monday, June 23.
American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.