07/11/08 — Sam Mitchell nominated for NCAA award

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Sam Mitchell nominated for NCAA award

By MOC Sports Information
Published in Sports on July 11, 2008 1:50 PM

MOUNT OLIVE, N.C. - Mount Olive College volleyball and track and field student-athlete Samantha Mitchell has been selected as the Conference Carolinas' nominee for the 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year Award, as selected by conference officials.

Mitchell's selection marks the third time in as many years that Trojan student-athletes have represented Conference Carolinas in the NCAA Woman of the Year program, which recognizes excellence in athletics, academics and service and leadership.

Mitchell became the first student-athlete in conference history to win both the Conference Carolinas Female Athlete of the Year Award and the Murphy Osborne Award. Like the Woman of the Year Award, the Murphy Osborne Award recognizes athletics and academics excellence, along with service and leadership.

"We are so proud of Sam and all of her accomplishments, in competition, in the community, and in the classroom," said Mount Olive Director of Athletics Jeff Eisen. "She is truly deserving of this special honor and we are pleased that the conference has recognized her as its nominee for NCAA Woman of the Year."

The volleyball standout earned AVCA All-America honorable mention and was named Conference Carolinas Volleyball Player of the Year. She ranked 15th in the nation in kills per game during her senior year and was also among the nation's hitting percentage leaders.

Mitchell finished her career as the Trojans' all-time career digs leader with 1,503 and ranked second in career kills with 1,909. A three-time All-Atlantic Region selection, Mitchell was named to the All-Conference first team in each of her final three years.

During her senior year, Mitchell was a member of Mount Olive's first-ever track and field team. In the year-end Tri-Conference Championship, she placed third among Conference Carolinas competitors in the 400-meter dash and the javelin.

Mitchell graduated in May with a 3.82 grade point average. She was among only 29 fall sports female student-athletes nationwide (all three NCAA Divisions) to receive an NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship.

A two-time CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District selection for volleyball, she was also named to the Academic All-District First Team for track and field and is eligible for All-America Consideration. At this year's graduation ceremonies, Mitchell won the Mount Olive College Thomas R. Morris Award for Academic Excellence.

Mitchell also represented Mount Olive and Conference Carolinas on the NCAA Division II National Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She spearheaded fund-raisers totaling nearly $10,000 for the Make A Wish Foundation, official charity of the Division II SAAC.

Later this summer, a 'top 10' from each of the three NCAA Divisions will be announced and the 30 honorees will be invited to an awards dinner in Indianapolis, Ind., on October 19. Three finalists from each division will be selected and the 2008 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the dinner.

"Sam Mitchell epitomizes student-athletes throughout Conference Carolinas and NCAA Division II," said Conference Carolinas Commissioner Dr. Alan Patterson. "Her academic record and commitment to education are among the elite of all students. Sam has given selflessly as the Mount Olive student advisor to Conference Carolinas and as the conference representative to the NCAA. It is thus even more meaningful that Sam competed at a level deserving of regional and national recognition."