Hana Cutura Named Honda Sports Award Nominee
Dec. 18, 2009
BERKELEY - California volleyball senior outside hitter Hana Cutura was selected as a nominee for the 2009-10 Honda Sports Award, earlier this week. Cutura is the first Golden Bear volleyball player to be nominated for the prestigious award in its 34-year history. The Zagreb, Croatia native is also Cal's first Pac-10 Volleyball Player of the Year and became Cal's first three-time AVCA All-American with her selection to the first team earlier this week. Cutura joins Alisha Glass and Megan Hodge of Penn State and Destinee Hooker of Texas as the four finalists for the award. The winner will be named the volleyball nominee for the Honda-Broderick Cup awarded to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
Sponsored by Honda, the Collegiate Women Sports Awards program recognizes the top woman collegiate athlete in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports, each of whom will receive the Honda Sports Award. In addition, the program honors the top women collegiate athletes representing NCAA Division II and Division III schools each year. The program also bestows the Honda Inspiration Award and has awarded the Irv Grossman Award of Merit as a special award for groups as well as individuals.
Each year, a single athlete from the group of 12 Honda Sports Award winners is chosen as the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and is presented with the Honda-Broderick Cup. American Honda Motor Co., Inc., sponsors the program and celebrates each nominee by donating $5,000 to each Honda Sports Award recipient school and $1,000 to each nominee school. A press conference announcing the winner of the 2009-10 Honda-Broderick Cup will be held at the Low Library, Columbia University, in New York on June 21, 2010. For more information on the Collegiate Women Sports Awards, please visit http://awards.honda.com
Also a three-time AVCA All-Pacific Region selection, Cutura became Cal's first Pac-10 Player of the Year and made her third consecutive appearance on the All-Pac-10 team as a senior. The Zagreb, Croatia native also received conference all-academic honorable mention and was named Sports Imports/AVCA Division I National Player of the Week, Oct. 27. She was selected to all-tournament teams in all three of Cal's pre-conference tournaments and reached double digits in kills in all 32 matches. This season, she set new career highs in kills (33) and attacks (77) in a five-set upset victory at Washington, Nov. 7. The match was her third with at least 30 kills this season. She logged 30 kills in a five-set win at Hawai'i, Sept. 6, to become first Bear to reach the 30-kill mark since 2002. Over the course of her illustrious four-year career, Cutura re-wrote the Cal record books as she became the first Bear to cross the 2,000-kill mark in her career. She is just one of five players to reach that milestone in Pac-10 history. As a senior, she led the team in kills (5.15 kps, third nationally) and points (5.65 pps, fourth nationally) and was second in attack percentage (.317).
The Bears (21-11, 11-7 Pac-10) finished fourth in the conference and earned their school-record eighth consecutive bid to the NCAA championship tournament. As the ninth-seeded team, Cal advanced to the Gainesville Regional final where it fell in three sets to two-time defending NCAA champion Penn State. The Bears moved into the NCAA regional final for the third time in three years; making them just one of four teams to accomplish the feat (Nebraska, Texas and Penn State being the others). Cal's fourth straight appearance in the regional semifinal was also a new school record.