Springfield, Ohio — Junior right-side hitter Kara Seidenstricker (London, Ohio/Jonathan Alder) has been breaking new ground throughout her collegiate career. That trend continued with Tuesday’s announcement that she had been named first-team Capital One Academic All-America Division III All-America honors.
Seidenstricker is the fourth Tiger women’s volleyball player to earn Academic All-America honors, but she is the first to be recognized twice in her career. In addition, she is the first Tiger women’s volleyball player to gain a coveted spot on the first team, and she is the first Tiger student-athlete in any sport to make the first team since Skip Ivery in men’s track & field in 2004.
The College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) has presented the Academic All-America program since the 1950s, and Seidenstricker is among 38 Tiger student-athletes to earn the honor since Gene Miller in football in 1963. Wittenberg has 47 all-time Academic All-America awards as Seidenstricker becomes the eighth Tiger with multiple years of recognition.
To be nominated for Capital One Academic All-America honors, a student-athlete must be a starter or important reserve with at least a 3.30 cumulative grade point average (on a 4.0 scale) through at least one full calendar year at his/her current institution. Nominees must compete in at least half of his/her team’s games during the season.
Seidenstricker led the Tigers with 383 kills and 55 service aces, in addition to 382 digs and 71 blocks, which ranked second and third, respectively, on the team. The 2012 NCAA Division III Freshman of the Year, Seidenstricker was charged with just 15 reception errors in 436 attempts in the 2014 season. She has earned first-team All-North Coast Athletic Conference (NCAC) honors three times in her career, in addition to the league’s Player of the Year award in 2012 and 2014.
Seidenstricker started her career by earning an unprecedented series of awards, including NCAC Newcomer of the Year, NCAC Player of the Year, Great Lakes Region Player of the Year, Great Lakes Region Freshman of the Year, first-team NCAA Division III All-America and NCAA Division III Freshman of the Year. She followed that with first-team All-NCAC, first-team All-Great Lakes Region, second-team All-America and third-team Academic All-America honors a year ago, and in 2014 she has added NCAC Player of the Year, first-team All-NCAC, NCAC Tournament MVP, first-team All-Great Lakes Region, first-team All-America and first-team Academic All-America.
Her excellence on the court has been matched by her work in the classroom. Seidenstricker owns a 3.9 grade point average toward a major in education and a minor in psychology.
The Tigers finished the 2014 season with records of 29-4 overall and a perfect 8-0 in the conference en route to their 20th NCAC regular season and tournament championships. Wittenberg finished the campaign ranked fifth in the nation after appearing in it 19th straight NCAA Division III Tournament (20th overall), which ended in the Round of 16 with a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to eventual national champion Hope.
Written By: Ryan Maurer