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Two York County athletes nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year honor

STEVE HEISER
717-505-5446/@ydsports
Brooke Firestone
  • Two York County women are up for NCAA Woman of the Year honors.
  • Dover grad Brooke Firestone was a standout soccer player at Messiah.
  • Kennard-Dale grad Brittany Ebaugh was a star volleyball player at Penn State Harrisburg.

Two York County women have been nominated for one of the NCAA’s most prestigious awards.

Dover High School graduate Brooke Firestone and Kennard-Dale grad Brittany Ebaugh are among the 605 athletes nominated across the nation for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year honor.

They were among 220 nominees from Division III.

Firestone was an NCAA D-III national women’s soccer champion and a three-time All-American for Messiah College. Ebaugh enjoyed a stellar D-III women’s volleyball career at Penn State Harrisburg.

Brittany Ebaugh

The nominations are the first step in a multi-step process to decide the NCAA Woman of the Year. Each conference will now name its finalists before the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee will narrow the field down to 10 nominees from each division. From there, the nominees will be whittled down to three from each division for the nine finalists before the 2020 Woman of the Year will be selected.

Rooted in Title IX, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award was established in 1991 to recognize graduating female student-athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

HEISER: During five days in December, Dover grad Brooke Firestone enjoys smashing success

Firestone: Firestone capped off her stellar career on the pitch this past fall, helping Messiah to the 2019 national title, the sixth in program history. She finished her Messiah career with 51 goals, 29 assists and 20 game-winning goals.

Firestone was also named the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth Offensive Player of the Year in both 2018 and 2019. She earned Academic All-America honors in her final two seasons, picking up first-team accolades after the 2019 season.

She finished with a 3.85 cumulative grade-point average as a math major at Messiah with a teaching certification. She was celebrated as the MAC Senior Scholar Athlete for women's soccer this year.

Kennard-Dale High School graduate is Female Athlete of Year at Penn State Harrisburg

Ebaugh: Ebaugh, meanwhile, was named the North Eastern Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year last season, while also picking up an ECAC Division III First-Team All-Conference accolade and earning NEAC First-Team All-Conference recognition.

In addition to leading all of NCAA D-III in block solos (70), Ebaugh also ranked fifth in the nation in total blocks (145) and blocks per set (1.25). The team captain led the NEAC with a .364 hitting percentage, ranked sixth among conference players with 416.5 total points and finished seventh in the league with 305 kills.

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The middle blocker is the program's all-time leader in kills and blocks. She became the first player in school history to surpass 1,000 points for her career. She was a three-year team captain.

Academically, Ebaugh was named an NEAC Scholar-Athlete following her senior season after being selected to the Capital Athletic Conference All-Academic Team three times. A member of the Capital College Honors Program, she recently graduated early with a communications degree after achieving a 3.89 cumulative GPA.

OTHER 

COLLEGE NOTE

York basketball team honored: The York College men's basketball program has received the National Association of Basketball Coaches Team Academic Excellence Award.

In addition, five Spartans earned a spot on the NABC Honors Court team. Graduated seniors Jared Wagner, Darin Gordon and Joe Polczynski joined rising juniors David Giuliani and Chris Tracy as individual honorees. Wagner, Gordon and Polczynski are all making their second appearance on the Honors Court team. Wagner is a Central York grad and Gordon is a Spring Grove grad.

In order to receive the Team Academic Excellence Award, a program must achieve a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better for the previous season. To make the Honors Court, junior or seniors must have at least a 3.2 GPA. The Spartan men finished with a team GPA 3.36. The individual GPAs for the York honorees were: Wagner (3.56), Gordon (3.47), Giuliani (3.87), Polczynski (3.52) and Tracy (3.63).

Reach Steve Heiser at sheiser@yorkdispatch.com.