Volleyball's Paige Benjamin Named NCAA Women of the Year For Washington State

Sept. 12, 2003

SEATTLE - Washington volleyball standout Paige Benjamin (Redmond, Wash.) has been selected as the NCAA Woman of the Year state winner. This prestigious award honors outstanding female student-athletes who have excelled in academic, athletics and community leadership, and have completed their collegiate eligibility.

Benjamin, who graduated in May with a 3.84 grade point average in Accounting, led the Huskies to their best finish since 1997 with a 20-11 record en route to a fifth place finish in the Pac-10 (9-9) and a second round appearance in the NCAA Tournament. A first team All-American, second team Academic All-American and first team Pac-10 All-Conference selection, Benjamin became the school's all-time leader in season kills this year with 573 and ranks fourth on the career chart with 1,287 kills. Her 5.31 kills per game average was 14th nationally and second in the Pac-10.

Benjamin concluded her career ranking among the school's top 10 in numerous categories including first in career hitting percentage (.307), sixth in total attacks (3,096), eighth in block assists (266) and ninth in total blocks (292).

Benjamin also was active in the Seattle community, volunteering at children's hospitals and at the Union Gospel Mission from 1999-2002. She also participated in youth volleyball clinics and coaches clinics, and served as a team captain for the Huskies in 2002 and 2003.

In March, Benjamin was honored with a NCAA postgraduate scholarship award in the amount of $6,900. The NCAA provided awards to 29 men and 29 women who competed in fall sports in all divisions, which included men's and women's cross country, women's field hockey, football, men's and women's soccer, women's volleyball and men's water polo.

In May, Benjamin received the 2003 John McLeandon Memorial Minority Postgraduate Scholarship in the amount of $10,000 to put toward postgraduate studies in athletic administration.

The national winner of the NCAA Woman of the Year award will be selected by the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics from among 10 finalists. The finalists will be announced in late September with the Woman of the Year being named on Nov. 1, 2003.

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