Aug 28, 2013
East Lansing, Mich. - Michigan State senior Lauren Wicinski (Geneva, Ill. ) is among thirty NCAA® women's volleyball student-athletes who were selected today as candidates for the 2013 Senior CLASS Award® in collegiate volleyball. 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 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.
Wicinski transferred to Michigan State from Northern Illinois University prior to her junior season. She has equally impressive academic resumes from both institutions - she was an Academic All-Big Ten pick last fall and has made the Dean's List in each of her three collegiate seasons. She was an Academic All-MAC selection as a freshman and sophomore, and she had a 4.0 semester (Spring 2011) at Northern Illinois University prior to transferring.
On the court, Wicinski has been among the Big Ten's best players. Wicinski was a second-team AVCA All-American as a junior and is a three-time pick overall. The senior as a unanimous first-team All-Big Ten selection after her first season in the Conference, as she ranked fourth nationally in service aces/set (0.63), seventh in points/set (5.33) and 15th kills/set (4.43). She also set the single-season MSU record for service aces (81) and her 571 kills was fourth-most in a single season in the MSU record book. At Northern Illinois, she became the first two-time All-American in MAC history; earning third team AVCA honors as a sophomore, after honorable mention recognition as a freshman. She was also a two-time MAC Player of the Year, first team All-MAC and first team AVCA All-Region pick. As a sophomore, she led the nation in points (6.18) and kills (5.34) per set, and was third in aces (0.57). In addition, she was the fastest in MAC history to 1,000 career kills (54 matches).
For Wicinski, her character traits which make her a relentless competitor also see her as a continual contributor to community outreach activities both in the MSU community and in her hometown. At MSU, Wicinski has participated in campus activities like Chuck A Puck (raising money for children's cancer research), golf outings, Thank-a-thon (calling MSU donors), Volunteered at the EVE (Ending Violent Encounters) events and Fore the Spartans Golf Outings, volunteered as a coach for the YMCA Volleyball Clinic. She has volunteered at Fun Fairs-working with children, volunteered in her hometown as a worker in a local community garden for several weeks, participated in day care work, coached volleyball at a local club and ran free volleyball clinics for children. In addition, was among the volunteer DeKalb, Ill. Festival workers, worked as a Salvation Army Bell ringer, and picked up trash for several Sundays out of the year at a local park.
Spartan coach Cathy George describes her senior as a relentless competitor who plays the game with a tremendous amount of passion. She has emerged as a leader among her teammates, despite just starting her second season in Green & White. George admires Wicinski for her unwillingness to back down from a competitive challenge.
Of the 30 candidates announced on Wednesday, 10 have grade point averages of 3.5 or higher and 19 are American Volleyball Coaches Association All-Americans. The 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 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship in December. For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.
Wicinski and the Spartans open their season on Friday at the Hokie Invitational at Virginia Tech.
2013 Senior Class Award - Volleyball Candidates
Taylor Akana, Siena
Lindsey Butterfield, Bowling Green
Megan Campbell, Dayton
Jennifer Cross, Michigan
Megan Devin, East Tennessee State
Caitlin Dotson, Lipscomb
Chelsey Feekin, Wichita State
Jessi Greenberg, Kentucky
Natalie Hagglund, USC
Kristen Hahn, Iowa State
Emily Hartong, Hawaii
Xitlali Herrera, Texas-El Paso
Stephanie Holthus, Northwestern
Caroline Jarmoc, Kansas
Elizabeth Koberstein, Marquette
Chloe Mann, Florida
Ali McCurdy, Duke
Sallie McLaurin, Oklahoma
Ashley Neff, Florida State Lena Oliver, Western Michigan
Lauren Plum, Oregon
Ashley Potts, Western Kentucky
Kelly Reeves, UCLA
Garyn Schlatter, Portland State
Ariel Scott, Penn State
Dani Shepherd, Pennsylvania
Bailey Webster, Texas
Lauren Wicinski, Michigan State
Ashley Wittman, Minnesota
Carly Wopat, Stanford