EUGENE – University of Oregon redshirt senior Alaina Bergsma received another of the nation’s most prestigious honors as the winner of the Honda Sports Award for volleyball.
The outside hitter from Chandler, Ariz., was selected in a vote by college athletic directors and administrators, and the last of four fall sport winners announced by The Collegiate Women Sports Awards committee.
Bergsma was among four finalists for the volleyball category with junior teammate Lauren Plum, Haley Eckerman of Texas, and Ariel Scott of Penn State.
The third-year Duck now becomes a finalist for the 2013 Honda Cup - given to the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year. The latter honor will be announced in June and selected from the 2012-13 season's 12 individual sport winners.
“We’re so happy for Alaina,” Oregon athletics director Rob Mullens said. “She is a shining example of what a student-athlete should be and is very deserving of this tremendous honor. Her commitment to each endeavor in the classroom and on the court is one of a kind, and her volunteer work shows that she is a model citizen, too.”
Two weeks ago, Bergsma won Oregon’s first AVCA National Player of the Year award after she led the No. 2-ranked Ducks to their greatest season ever. The Pac-12 Player of the Year and First-Team All-American ranked fifth nationally in kills (4.85 per set) and points (5.35 p/s), and also topped the conference in both categories and stood 10th in hitting (.325).
“It’s an honor well deserved,” Oregon head coach Jim Moore said. “The Honda Cup is one of the highest honors a female athlete can receive. She is a special person who has always been a true ambassador for the University. Her drive to be her best makes her a perfect role model for what other girls aspire to be.”
Off the court, she has served more than 100 community hours the past year with a host of local organizations. Besides helping with fund-raising for the Children's Miracle Network in Oregon, KIDSPORTS, Oregon Medical Group and Homeless Connect, she has made numerous appearances at local junior and high schools.
“To receive this award is amazing,” Bergsma said, “Our team had such a great season, and this award reflects so much hard work by our players and coaches. I’m so fortunate to have played volleyball for the Ducks, and have learned so many important life lessons through the sport. To be recognized with such a legendary award is a special way to end my collegiate career.”
In prior postseason contests, UO blanked Northern Colorado and Dayton the opening weekend in Eugene, then topped #12 BYU and #4 Nebraska in the third and fourth rounds in Omaha. UO (30-5, 16-4) also staked a best-ever second-place finish in the Pac-12 and school record for wins.
Among all Oregon sports, Bergsma joins former track and field great Leann Warren (1980-81) as the second Duck winner all-time.
Another Duck volleyball assistant coach - Stacy Metro - won similar Division II Honda Award status her junior and senior years at Northern Michigan in 1993 and '94.
In its 37th year, the national award is given to female student-athletes in volleyball, soccer, cross country, field hockey, gymnastics, basketball, swimming and diving, lacrosse, softball, golf, tennis and track and field.
Honda has served as the award sponsor since 1986 and has provided more than $2.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women’s athletics programs.
Legendary previous Honda Cup winners include Brittney Griner, Ann Meyers Drysdale, Lisa Fernandez, Misty May-Treanor, Maya Moore and Candace Parker.
- www.GoDucks.com -