Courtney Thompson Wins Honda Award For Volleyball

Jan. 18, 2006

SEATTLE-- Washington setter Courtney Thompson has been voted the nation's top college female volleyball player. 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 30th year. She is the firs-ever Husky to receive the Honda Award in any sport.

Thompson's victory will earn her the Honda Award, given annually to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports as well as an automatic nomination for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. She was voted over three other nominees including Melissa Elmer and Christina Houghtelling, both from the University of Nebraska, as well as Sam Tortorello from Penn State University. All four nominees were selected by the AVCA All-American Selection Committee.

Thompson, a 5'8' junior from Kent, Wash., led the nation with 14.89 assists per game and directed UW to the best hitting percentage in the country (.338) en route to Washington's first-ever NCAA volleyball championship. Thompson was a two-time first team All-American and second team Academic All-American as well as a member of the NCAA Championship All-Tournament team, All-Pac-10 and Pac-10 All-Academic teams.

Thompson started all 108 games and 33 matches last season and averaged 2.46 digs and 0.59 blocks per game. She was third on the team with 28 aces and set a NCAA record when she served 18 consecutive points in a match earlier this season. Thompson became the school all-time leader for career assists with 4,841, and is fifth on the Pac-10 all time list.

'It's a tremendous honor for Courtney and it's a reflection of a lot of hard work over the past three years,' said head coach Jim McLaughlin. 'Clearly that work has distinguished her as an elite setter in our country. What impressed me most was the way she went about it and the consistency in her approach day-to-day. I'm proud of her in every way, shape and form, but I was proud of her before she won this award. This award is a distinction that very few people in their careers obtain and she'll appreciate this at an even greater level in time once she understands what she has accomplished as a junior. She has set the standard pretty high for herself for her senior year, but knowing Courtney, she'll be even better next year.'

Previously announced Honda Award recipients include: Christine Sinclair of The University of Portland for soccer; Caroline Bierbaum of Columbia University for cross-country; and Paula Infante of The University of Maryland for field hockey.

Honda Award winners in basketball, golf, gymnastics, lacrosse, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, and track & field will be announced in the coming months.

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 in New York in late June 2006.

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.

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