Gina Schmidt Named NCAA Woman of the Year For Oregon

Sept. 5, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS - Oregon State volleyball standout Gina Schmidt has been named the 2002 NCAA Woman of the Year for the state of Oregon, the NCAA has announced.

The annual award honors an outstanding senior female student-athlete from each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia for excellence in academics, athletics and community leadership.

As a senior last year, Schmidt led the Beavers to a berth in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1983. She finished her career with 1,366 kills and 1,142 digs, making her one of only five Beavers to reach the 1,000 mark in both categories. She graduated with a 4.00 grade point average as a business major and was a two-time first team Verizon Academic All-American.

'This is a very well-deserved award. Gina was a leader in so many areas - on the court, in the classroom and in the community. You just look at Gina and say, 'That's how it's done if you want to be successful,'' said coach Nancy Somera. 'Even though she's no longer here, you really see how great of an impact she had. I watch the returning players and see them doing things that Gina taught them how to do.'

The state winners will be recognized at an awards banquet in Indianapolis on November 2, when the national winner of the NCAA Woman of the Year award will be announced. The 10 finalists for the national award will be announced later this month.

Schmidt, who is currently playing overseas for VBC Biel-Bienne in Switzerland, is unsure if she will be able to return to the United States to attend the ceremony.

'Considering all the strong competition I was up against in Oregon, it is definitely an honor to win this award. I would love to go to Indianapolis and meet the other state winners, but, considering my current location and situation, I don't know if it's going to be possible,' she said. 'That's disappointing not only because I will miss out on meeting an extraordinary group of people but also because I will miss the opportunity to represent the state of Oregon, where I was lucky enough to spend four great years during my college career.'

In 2000, Schmidt became the fourth Beaver to be named to the All-Pacific-10 Team, and she followed that up with honorable mention recognition in 2001, when the Beavers finished 17-12 to advance to postseason competition.

Schmidt graduated with a degree in business in June, 2002, and was awarded postgraduate scholarships from both the NCAA and the Pacific-10 Conference. She was also a three-time Pac-10 All-Academic Team member.

She spent two years coaching a youth volleyball team in Corvallis, including one year as the team's head coach. She participated in Read Across America activities at local elementary schools, and she served as an athletic department tutor as well.

'Gina exemplifies one of the best and brightest at Oregon State University, academically, athletically and in the community. We are all very proud of her accomplishments,' said senior women's administrator Marianne Vydra.

Schmidt is the fifth Beaver to receive the NCAA Woman of the Year award at the state level in the 12-year history of the program. Gymnast Joy Selig was honored in 1991, the inaugural year for the award. Golfer/basketball player Margo Evashevski (1994), gymnast Deanne Droegemueller(1998) and softball player Tarrah Beyster (2000) have also received the award. Selig also was among the 10 finalists for the national award in 1991.

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