July 24, 2014
Taylor Akana is a Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference nominee for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year Award. The NCAA made the announcement today as it reduced its pool of 205 institutional nominees to 52 student athletes who represent the 31 Division I conferences. Akana and Manhattan Softball's Kate Bowen were the only two MAAC nominees.
It's the second straight year the MAAC nominee has been a Siena volleyball student athlete. Lesli Akeo '13 was the 2013 MAAC nominee.
The Woman of the Year award honors graduating female student athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in the areas of academic achievement, athletics excellence, service and leadership.
A consummate student athlete, Akana was one of 30 national Senior CLASS Award candidates in volleyball as a senior, and one of just two in the Northeast. She finished her career ranked second all-time at Siena with 1,700 kills and fourth with 1,370 digs.
Akana was a MAAC First Team selection as a junior and senior, and, in 2012, she was an ECAC All-Star. As a sophomore in 2011, she was named the MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and MAAC First Team, and in 2010 she was honored as MAAC Rookie of the Year. In 2012, Akana became the fastest player in conference history to reach both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs - doing so in just 55 career matches played.
For her career, Akana averaged 3.9 kills and 3.1 digs per set. As a freshman, she ranked 12th nationally in kills per set, and she led the MAAC in that category in each of her first three seasons, and in kills per set in conference matches all four years.
Akana's success on the court is matched only by her triumphs in the classroom. She graduated a semester early from Siena (in December of 2013) with a 3.82 GPA in marketing and repeated as a CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District selection in 2013, distinguishing herself among the top student athletes in the Northeast.
Akana is pursuing her graduate degree at Loyola Marymount University where she enjoyed a strong spring as a member of the Lions' sand volleyball team.
To be eligible for the NCAA Woman of the Year award nominee must have completed intercollegiate eligibility in her primary sport by the end of the 2013-14 competitive season and received her undergraduate degree prior to the conclusion of the summer 2014 term. Nominees must also have a minimum cumulative grade-point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale.
The top 30 honorees (10 from each division) will be honored, and the 2014 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced, at the annual ceremony in Indianapolis on Sunday, Oct. 19.