ACC Announces 2015-16 Sportsmanship Award Winner

Virginia field hockey's Rebecca Holden recognized after aiding injured opponent

GREENSBORO, N.C. ( – The Atlantic Coast Conference recognized Virginia field hockey student-athlete Rebecca Holden as the ACC Sportsmanship Award winner for the 2015-16 academic year. 

Holden, the goalkeeper for the Cavaliers, left her post during overtime of last November’s ACC Championship semifinal game to protect Syracuse opponent Laura Huff, who had suffered an injury and was down in front of the cage. Though Holden’s action left the net momentarily unprotected and the Orange registered a game-winning goal during the sequence of events, her show of concern and act of sportsmanship garnered national media attention. 

The ACC continues to implement various sportsmanship initiatives, including an emphasis on the importance of integrity between student-athletes, coaches, officials, administrators, alumni, and fans.

Throughout the year, ACC Sportsmanship Weeks recognize and promote sportsmanship as it relates to ACC teams, the conference and fans during the fall, winter and spring seasons. At all ACC home competitions during each season’s Sportsmanship Week, every league team showcased its continued dedication to sportsmanship by participating in a pregame handshake. 

ACC Sportsmanship Weeks were established in 2010, and during the 2015-16 academic year, three specific weeks were tabbed as ACC Sportsmanship Weeks: October 19-25 (Fall), January 18-24 (Winter) and April 4-10 (Spring).

ACC Sportsmanship Award winners are selected from institutional nominees submitted by each school's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and their advisors. To be considered, nominees must consistently demonstrate good sportsmanship and ethical behavior in his/her participation in intercollegiate athletics as well is in the community, and be in good academic standing.