April Ross Wins 2003-04 Volleyball Honda Award

Jan. 20, 2004

New York -- USC women's volleyball standout April Ross, a senior outside hitter who led the Women of Troy to a 35-0 record and its second-straight NCAA title in the fall, has been named the nation's most outstanding collegiate woman athlete in her sport, according to results of national balloting among NCAA member schools.

For winning, Ross will receive the Honda Award, given annually to the top woman student athlete in 12 sports. Ross also is automatically nominated for Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year honors along with athletes voted the most outstanding in cross-country, field hockey, soccer, swimming/diving, basketball, gymnastics, golf, tennis, softball, lacrosse and track & field. The Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year will be determined in June by separate balloting involving all NCAA-member institutions. The winner will receive the Honda-Broderick Cup.

USC has enjoyed its share of athletes honored by the Honda Awards program. Mikaela Parmlid, who helped lead USC to the 2003 NCAA Golf Championship, won the golf Honda Award last season. In 2002, USC track & field standout Angela Williams was named the Collegiate Woman Student-Athlete of the Year, becoming the Women of Troy's second-ever Honda-Broderick Cup winner. Women's basketball's Cheryl Miller was awarded USC's first Broderick Cup in 1984 after leading the Trojans to two NCAA titles.

Ross, who hails from Newport Beach, Calif., was voted the honor over Kele Eveland of Georgia Tech; Ogonna Nnamani of Stanford, and Kim Willoughby of Hawai'i.

As a team co-captain, Ross averaged a team-best 3.65 kills per game, 4.64 points and 0.52 aces for the season. She also averaged 3.15 digs and 0.70 blocks per game. During the Trojans' run through the NCAA tournament, Ross registered 3.7 kills, 3.5 digs and 4.4 points per game and was named to the NCAA Championship all-tournament team.

Ross started every match throughout her four year career, leading her teams to an 120-8 overall record, three Pac-10 Conference titles and the two NCAA crowns. Ross finished her career among USC's top five in eight statistical categories. This year, she was voted Pac-10 Player of the Year and earned her second-straight selection to the AVCA All-America first team. She was also named honorable mention Pac-10 All-Academic with a 3.15 cumulative grade point average and even compiled a 3.85 GPA during the fall competition season.

Previous winners of the volleyball award include Deitre Collins of Hawaii (1982-83 and 1983-84); Natalie Williams of UCLA (1991-92 and 1992-93) and Logan Tom of Stanford (2001-02 and 2002-03).

American Honda Motor Co., Inc. sponsors the Awards Program.

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