Lobos Host Boise State & Utah State
CoSIDA Full Release: Capital One Academic All-District Volleyball Teams Released
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- University of New Mexico volleyball's Lena Skipper earned Capital One Academic All-District First Team honors for District VII as announced by the College Sports Information Directors of America on Thursday afternoon. With the District honor, the senior is now eligible for Academic All-America, which will be voted on and announced later this month.
Skipper, a native of Melbourne, Australia, and a Liberal Arts major, boasts a 4.05 GPA -- the highest among all Division I honorees and the second-highest among all honorees. Hannah Brickley, a senior biology major from Division III Trinity College, was the only other volleyball honoree to post a GPA above 4.0 -- she has a 4.13.
"I am very happy for Lena," head coach Jeff Nelson said. "She is an outstanding student that really has added a lot to our program. Her work ethic and focus have factored in to her great classroom success."
Skipper is the 10th Lobo volleyball student-athlete in program history to earn regional academic honors and the fourth student-athlete to do so during Nelson's era, joining Kelly Williamson (First team, 2011 and First team, 2010), Jade Michaelsen (Third team, 2010), and Jeanne Fairchild (Second team, 2008).
Entering the season with a minor knee injury, the outside hitter has since played in 48 sets over 18 matches so far this season, usually coming in to serve and play defense for three rotations in the back row.
To date in 2013, she has 72 digs and four ace serves. She's also recorded five kills, two block assists and one block solo.
It's the first season Skipper was eligible for nomination as she transferred to UNM last season. As a junior, she earned fall Mountain West Academic All-Conference honors and was named a 2012-13 MW Scholar-Athlete.
She credits her Australian education and support from her family in her ability to successfully balance the demands of a Division I student-athlete.
"I'm the type of person who doesn't like wasting time, so if I'm in class, I'm there to learn," Skipper said. "I try to do things as early as possible, familiarize myself with the syllabus, recognize when things are due and stay organized. It's the same kind of concept as organizing meals. You need to plan ahead or else you end up making the wrong choices or more costly ones."
Skipper is one of four MW volleyball student-athletes to earn Academic All-District honors. Marissa Brand (Fresno State, Sr., psychology major); Ayesha Hein (Air Force, Jr., astronautical engineering major) and Medline Westman (UNLV, Sr., communications) were also honored by Capital One/CoSIDA.