ACC Volleyball: Four Named Candidates for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award

Four ACC volleyball seniors selected among 30 candidates 

GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) – Duke outside hitter Emily Sklar, Florida State outside hitter Nicole Walch, Pitt middle hitter Amanda Orchard and North Carolina middle blocker/opposite hitter Paige Neuenfeldt were selected as volleyball candidates for the 2015 Senior CLASS Award, announced Wednesday.

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.

Sklar is a two-time AVCA All-American and was named the 2013 ACC Player of the year. She is also a two-time All-ACC first team and All-East Coast Region first team honoree. Sklar currently ranks 13th all-time at Duke with 1,187 kills, and needs just 63 more kills to enter the program’s top 10. 

A psychology major and English minor, Sklar has registered a GPA over 3.0 for her career while earning All-ACC Academic Team and ACC Academic Honor Roll accolades. She has also been instrumental in Duke’s community service efforts, helping the Blue Devils garner the ACC’s Top 6 for Service award in 2013.

Walch has also earned AVCA All-American honors twice and was named to the All-ACC first team as a junior and second team as a sophomore. She led the Seminoles with 487 kills and 35 service aces in 2014 and has 88 kills this season, averaging 3.67 per set for a career total of 1,095.

Walch is a sport management major and a two-time ACC All-Academic team honoree. She also volunteers with the Seminole Boosters and is heavily involved in community service, acting as a guest presenter at a local elementary school athletic banquet and working with the Soles4Souls Shoe organization that collects shoes for those in need.

Orchard received AVCA All-America, AVCA First Team All-Region and All-ACC honors in 2014. As a junior, she set a school record with a .431 kill percentage, which also ranked her first in the ACC and sixth nationally. During her career, Orchard has produced a .347 career hitting percentage, ranking her third all-time in Pitt history.

In the classroom, Orchard is currently pursuing a degree in anthropology and a minor in history. She was named to the 2014-15 ACC Academic Honor Roll and also completed the Rising Leaders program with Pitt’s Life Skills department. Orchard will spend her final year at Pitt as a Veteran Leader in the Panther Leadership Academy. 

Neuenfeldt is a three-time AVCA All-America honoree and was named to the AVCA All-East Coast Region team as a sophomore and junior. She also earned All-ACC first team honors in 2014 and second team honors in 2013. Neuenfeldt finished her junior season ranked 11th nationally with 1.44 blocks per set.

A two-time ACC Honor Roll member, Neuenfeldt is enrolled in the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School and is a Spanish for professions minor. She also serves as Co-President of the Student Athlete Advisory Council at North Carolina and is a member of the Carolina Honors Program.

The 30 candidates 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 candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.

For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

-ACC-