Nov. 30, 2010
By Cameron Harris, Assistant Media Relations Director
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - Adding to her already seemingly endless list of accomplishments, University of Tennessee senior Nikki Fowler was named to the 2010 ESPN Academic All-America First Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Tuesday.
Tabbed the SEC Co-Scholar Athlete of the Year on Monday, Fowler is the third student-athlete in Lady Vol volleyball history to earn academic All-America honors and the first to claim first-team accolades since Bonnie Kenny did so in 1983. Kelsey Fautsch also picked up third-team laurels in 2006.
Fowler, who sports a sparkling 3.80 GPA, is set to graduate this spring with a degree in marketing with a collateral in international business. Prior to Tuesday's award, she was already the only player in school history to claim academic all-district distinction three times in her career.
"It is an incredible honor to be selected as an academic All-American," Fowler said. "My parents have always stressed the importance of academics and I am a very competitive person, so I am never satisfied if I do less than I am capable of. It is very gratifying to see that hard work in the classroom pays off. The primary reason for coming to college is to earn a degree and to have had the opportunity to do so as a student-athlete at the University of Tennessee has been a blessing."
Arguably the best all-around player in UT volleyball history, Fowler is a two-time AVCA Honorable Mention All-American and three-time All-SEC First Team member. She ranks in the top 10 in seven career categories, including total attacks, kills, digs and blocks, is seventh all-time on the SEC career attacks chart and has won more SEC Player of the Week awards than any other player in league history with eight to her name.
Over the course of her four-year career at Rocky Top, Fowler has notched a double-double in 41.5 percent of her collegiate contests, with 51 in 123 career matches. In 2010, the Dallas, Texas, native leads the Lady Vols with 366 kills (3.52/set) and 883 attacks (8.49/set), ranks second with 308 digs (2.96/set), fourth with a career-best .301 hitting percentage and fifth with 56 blocks (0.54/set). She finished the regular season ranked sixth in the SEC in kills/set.
To be eligible for the ESPN Academic All-District or All-America honors a student-athlete must be a varsity starter or key reserve, maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.30 on a scale of 4.00, have reached sophomore athletic and academic standing at her current institution and be nominated by her sports information director.
Fowler and the 19th-ranked Lady Vols will enter the 2010 NCAA Tournament this week with the highest national seed in school history at No. 11. The Big Orange will travel to Bloomington, Ind., for the first and second rounds of the tournament which will be held at University Gymnasium, Dec. 3-4.
Tennessee (24-6) will open the tournament against Alabama A&M (16-10) on Friday before Miami (Fla.) (23-8) squares off against Indiana (21-11). The winner of both contests will advance to a second-round showdown on Saturday night for the right to move on to the NCAA Regional in Dayton, Ohio, Dec. 10-11.
|2010 ESPN/CoSIDA Academic All-America|
University Division - First Team
|Johannah Bangert||Illinois||Sr.||Washington, Mo.||3.72||Mathematics|
|Allyson Doyle||Western Michigan||Sr.||Battle Creek, Mich.||4.00||Speech Pathology & Audiology|
|Nikki Fowler||Tennessee||Sr.||Dallas, Texas||3.80||Marketing|
|Alix Klineman||Stanford||Sr.||Manhattan Beach, Calif.||3.53||Art|
|Cassidy Lichtman||Stanford||Sr.||Poway, Calif.||3.63||Political Science|
|Caitlin Saxton||Rutgers||Sr.||Encinitas, Calif.||4.00||Journalism & Media Studies|