INDIANAPOLIS – Gallaudet University senior Elena Ciccarelli (Whitesboro, N.Y.) is one of 480 nominees for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Now in its 25th year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.
Ciccarelli, who graduated May 15, became the first four-year Gallaudet student-athlete to play three different sports (softball, women’s basketball, women’s soccer) in her career. Ciccarelli was a true leader and role model and a person that embodied the NCAA Division III philosophy of student-athlete. She never received an all-conference award but her leadership and her willingness to do whatever helped the team out more, she did. The social work major excelled in the classroom and was a three-time North Eastern Athletic Conference Scholar-Athlete selection.
In women's soccer, she played in 65 games (60 starts) where she was a standout defender. On the basketball court, she played in 101 games (98 starts) and finished with 521 points, 686 rebounds, 116 steals and 96 assists. On the softball diamond, she played in 130 games (120 starts) and batted .216, 67 hits, 55 runs, 33 RBI, 13 doubles, four triples and one home run plus a .939 fielding percentage in the outfield.
Ciccarelli was featured in Sports Illustrated’s weekly “Faces in the Crowd” section in the June 1 edition.
The 480 nominees – the most ever in the history of the program – contains 180 from Division III, 93 from Division II and 207 from Division I. Ciccarelli is one of 55 student-athletes that competed in three or more sports. Of the 480 nominees, 83 played basketball, 73 played soccer and 67 played softball.
Then, conferences assess each nominee’s eligibility and select up to two conference nominees. All conference nominees are forwarded to the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee, which chooses the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division.
From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three nominees from each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then chooses from among those nine to determine the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced, and the Top 30 honorees celebrated, at the annual award ceremony Oct. 18 in Indianapolis.
Ciccarelli was nominated for the NCAA Woman of the Year by Assistant Athletic Director for Communications Sam Atkinson
2015 NCAA Woman of the Year Timeline
June 19 – School Nominees released
July – Conference honorees announced
Early September – Top 30 announced
Late September – Nine finalists announced
Oct. 18 – 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year announced