Dani Drews To Receive 2020-21 Occie Evans Award
SALT LAKE CITY - University of Utah women's volleyball standout Dani Drews has been selected as the 2020-21 Occie Evans Award recipient for her efforts last spring, which included AVCA First Team All-American honors for a second time and the program's first-ever selection as the Pac-12 Player of the Year. The award will be presented to Drews this Saturday, Nov. 20 at the Utah football game during halftime.
Drews earns the award after becoming the first Ute in program history to become a two-time first team All-American, the first Pac-12 Player of the Year in the program's history and the first to be named the Pacific South Region Player of the Year for a second time in 2020-21. It was the third time Drews has earned All-American honors during her career.
Drews, who elected to come back for her super senior season in 2021, ranked first in the nation with 5.21 kills per set and led Utah in kills in every single match last spring. In the 18 matches, Drews had eight matches with at least 20 kills and two with 30 kills. She hit .341 with 20 kills in the Utes' NCAA Tournament match against Pittsburgh.
The Sandy, Utah native is continuing momentum into this fall season as she currently leads the Pac-12 with 5.10 kills per set and is fourth nationally. She has earned two Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week honors this year and was named the AVCA/Sports Impact Player of the Week on Sept. 14.
Fans will see Drews be recognized at the start of halftime at the Utah vs. Oregon football game this Saturday. Drews and the rest of the No. 17-ranked Utah volleyball team will be back in action Thursday, Nov. 18 against California at 5 p.m. MT, while hosting No. 19 Stanford this Sunday, Nov. 21 at 12 p.m. MT.
The Occie Evans Award is presented annually to the outstanding senior female athlete in a team sport. The award is based upon qualities of athletic ability, leadership and scholastic achievement, and was established by Evans and the Utah Athletics Department in 1978. Evans was born in 1907 attended LDS High School, where he was all-state in football, basketball and baseball and an All-American in basketball. He played freshman football and basketball at the University of Utah, but left to play professional baseball. Evans was selected as one of the top 50 Utah athletes of the Century by Sports Illustrated and was elected to the Utah Sports Hall of Fame before he passed away in 1996.