File Photo | Robbie Gantt
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Wittenberg University volleyball standout Emily Bell, class of 2008 from Fort Wayne, Ind., has been recognized for the combination of her athletic and academic accomplishments with second-team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-America College Division honors.
Bell becomes just the second Wittenberg volleyball student-athlete to earn Academic All-America honors, following in the footsteps of Dawn Reinhardt, who was a third-team selection in 1998. After making third-team academic all-district a year ago, Bell moved up to the first team in 2007, making her eligible for consideration on a national level.
A four-year starting outside hitter, Bell was a model of consistency in her collegiate career, both on and off the court. While carrying a 3.7 grade point average, the education major has been active around campus in Athletes for Christ and intramurals, and she also works as a tutor.
A three-time first-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference and All-Great Lakes Region honoree, Bell was a key part of the another outstanding season for the Tigers, who finished the season ranked No. 3 in the nation with a 38-1 overall record. Bell, who also was an American Volleyball Coaches Association honorable mention All-America selection in 2005 and 2006 and a second-team choice in 2007, ranked among the team leaders in kills, digs and service aces in each of her collegiate seasons. She finished her career among the top five in school history in all three categories.
In 2007, Wittenberg won the NCAC regular season title for the 12th time in the last 13 years and added a 12th NCAC Tournament title in the last 13 years a week later. The Tigers participated in their 13th NCAA Division III Tournament, including 12 in a row, and advanced all the way to the national semifinals for a third consecutive season.
Their path to the program's first-ever national title was blocked by Washington University, which handed the Tigers a 3-1 loss on Nov. 16. Washington University went on to win the 2007 national title, marking the second straight year that Wittenberg lost to the eventual champion in the NCAA Division III Tournament semifinals.