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Arizona State's Plaster named Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year

May 1, 2021


LOS ANGELES - ARIZONA STATE’S Samantha Plaster has been named the Pac-12 Beach Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year for the 2021 season, the conference announced today. The award is presented in each of the 24 sports sponsored by the Pac-12 and was established to honor collegiate student-athletes that are standouts both academically and in their sports discipline.

A kinesiology major with a 4.00 grade-point average, Plaster is currently in the top five for individual career wins at Arizona State, ranking fourth with 57 wins. The senior also holds ASU’s record for most career wins by a pair with 44 alongside Kate Baldwin, with whom she was named to the Pac-12 All-Tournament Team as a sophomore in 2019. She was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic First Team in 2019, as well as making the 2020 Spring Academic Honor Roll. 

Plaster has twice been selected as the winner of the Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Award for NCAA Beach Volleyball, receiving the honor in both 2019 and 2021. The Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar Awards are sponsored by the NCAA to honor students of color who have excelled in the classroom as well as on the athletic field. U.S. colleges and universities are invited to participate in this annual awards program by nominating their outstanding sports scholars. In addition to their athletic ability and academic performance, Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholars demonstrate a commitment to community service and student leadership.

Plaster is the first to earn Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year in Arizona State Beach Volleyball history and the 37th recipient in Sun Devil Athletics history, the second-highest total in the Conference trailing only Stanford.

In order to be eligible for the Pac-12 Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, student-athletes must be a senior (in athletics eligibility), on track to receive a degree, have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or higher, participate in at least 50 percent of the scheduled contests in the sport and have a minimum one year in residence at the institution. Each Pac-12 institution may nominate one individual per sport, and the winners are selected by a committee of Pac-12 staff members at the conclusion of each sport’s regular season. The athletics accomplishments of the nominees are a consideration in voting for the award.

A Scholar-Athlete of the Year is named in each of the Pac-12’s 24 sponsored sports: baseball, men’s basketball, women’s basketball, beach volleyball, men’s cross country, women’s cross country, football, men’s golf, women’s golf, women’s gymnastics, women’s lacrosse, men’s rowing, women’s rowing, men’s soccer, women’s soccer, softball, men’s swimming & diving, women’s swimming & diving, men’s tennis, women’s tennis, men’s track & field, women’s track & field, women’s volleyball, and wrestling. The award was first established during the 2008-09 academic year.

ALSO NOMINATED: Natalie Anselmo, ARIZ; Mima Mirkovic, CAL; Savannah Siegrist, ORE; Amelia Smith, STAN; Savvy Simo, UCLA; Haley Hallgren, USC; Shayne McPherson, WASH.