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ACC duo among top 10 Division I; finalists to be announced later this month
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) –Atlantic Coast Conference nominees Colleen Quigley of Florida State (cross country/track and field) and Savanah Leaf of Miami (volleyball) have been selected as NCAA 2015 Woman of the Year Top 30 Honorees.
Now in its 25th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year program honors graduating female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
Nominations from conferences in each of the NCAA’s three divisions were submitted in July, and Quigley and Leaf are among 10 Division I student-athletes that remain in contention. The selection committee will now determine the top three from each division to make up the nine overall finalists. Those finalists will be revealed September 25, and the national winner will be announced during the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year awards event on Sunday, October 18 in Indianapolis.
Quigley is a two-time winner of Florida State’s Golden Nole Award, which recognizes comprehensive excellence athletically and academically, as well as leadership and community service. The St. Louis native was recently named the USTFCCCA Women’s Outdoor Track Division I Scholar Athlete of the Year and earned ACC Scholar Athlete of the Year honors in both indoor and outdoor track & field for the 2014-15 academic year. She became just the second student-athlete in ACC history to be recognized as the Scholar Athlete of the Year in three sports, having also been honored following the 2013 cross country season.
Quigley, who graduated last May with a degree in dietetics, earned Capital One Academic All-America honors each of the past two years. She has been named All-ACC Academic 12 times – four each in cross country, indoor and outdoor track & field.
Her athletic accomplishments have been equally impressive. She placed third at last month’s USA Track & Field Championships in Eugene, Oregon, where she lowered her ACC record in the 3000-meter steeplechase for the third time this season with a third-place finish of 9:24.92. That feat came two weeks after she delivered the Seminoles’ first NCAA title in the event, posting the third-fastest time in collegiate history (9:29.32).
Quigley also won the ACC 1500-meter title and posted the third-fastest time collegiately in that event (4:11.61) during the regular season. She was named 2015 ACC Outdoor Women’s Track Performer of the Year in a vote of the league’s head coaches.
A standout on and off the volleyball court, the Hurricanes’ Leaf joined Quigley as a Capital One Academic All-American. While pursuing a double major in psychology and human development at Miami, she earned distinction on the President’s Honor Roll, the Provost’s Honor Roll, Dean’s List Honor Roll, Athletic Director Honor Roll and UM’s Book Buster Club. She also earned membership in Omicron Delta Kappa, a national leadership honor society, and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars.
Leaf twice earned All-ACC Academic Volleyball Team recognition and is a three-time ACC Honor Roll student-athlete.
Leaf was named a second-team AVCA All-American and earned a spot on the AVCA East Coast All-Region team after an outstanding senior season in which she was also named the ACC Player of the Year and All-ACC First Team. The San Anselmo, California native finished the season with 4.65 kills/game, ranking 12th in the nation and atop the ACC. The talented outside hitter led the Hurricanes in kills (502) and in points (5.33).
Leaf earned ACC Player of the Week honors three times during the 2014 season. She joined an elite club at Miami, surpassing 1,000 kills for her career. Leaf, who ranks fifth in program history with 1,194 kills, also set the program record for kills in a match a when she recorded 31 in a five-set victory over UCF in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament.
Quigley and Leaf emerged as the ACC’s 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year candidates following a vote of the league’s 15 member schools. The strong list of ACC nominees also included Duke’s Elizabeth Williams (basketball), North Carolina’s Courtney Waite (lacrosse), NC State’s Emily Weiman (softball), Notre Dame’s Anna Kottkamp (rowing), Pitt’s Brianna Kiesel (basketball) and Lauren Mills (swimming and diving), Syracuse’s Komal Safdar (tennis) and Virginia’s Courtney Swan (lacrosse). In addition, ACC member Boston College’s Emily Pfalzer (ice hockey) was recognized by the Hockey East Conference.
NCAA member colleges and universities nominated a record 480 female student-athletes – the most ever in the history of the program – for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Of the nominees, 207 competed in Division I, 93 competed in Division II and 180 competed in Division III athletics.
“These women continue the tradition of being the best and brightest in college sports,” said Shantey Hill, chair of the selection committee and assistant vice president and senior director of athletics of St. Joseph’s College (Long Island). “This year’s top 30 honorees are outstanding examples for women competing in sports at any level, and we are confident that they will continue to make a difference in the world for many years to come.”
Former Notre Dame soccer standout Elizabeth Tucker was named the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year. Virginia’s Peggy Boutilier received the honor in 1998, and Wake Forest’s Annie Bersagel was recognized in 2006.
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