Aug 28, 2013
LOUDONVILLE, N.Y. - Siena Volleyball captain Taylor Akana has been selected as one of just 30 Division I candidates nationally for the prestigious Senior CLASS Award. The senior outside hitter from Kaneohe, Hawaii joins former teammate Lesli Akeo '13 as the only student athletes in program history to be named candidates for this award.
Akana becomes Siena College's 12th candidate for the Senior CLASS Award and second this fall, joining men's soccer's James Beeston who was selected last week. All of Siena's 12 candidates have come since 2010 and during the 2013 academic year, the Saints boasted a school record six candidates which was tied for the third most in the nation.
Like Akeo before her, Akana is the only student athlete from the Northeast amongst this year's 30 candidates. The 2011 MAAC Offensive Player of the Year and a two-time First Team All-MAAC selection, Akana enters her senior season fourth amongst all Division I student athletes with 1,361 career kills.
A Preseason All-MAAC selection, she has led the conference in kills per set in each of her first three seasons and last year was one of just six student athletes named an ECAC All-Star after becoming the fastest player in MAAC history to reach both 1,000 kills and 1,000 digs (65 matches).
As impressive as she has been on the court, Akana has been equally remarkable off of it. She carries a 3.76 cumulative GPA in marketing and was one of just six student athletes in District I named to the 2012 CoSIDA Academic All-District Team. At Siena she is a member of the Beta Gamma Sigma and Delta Epsilon Sigma honor societies and was featured on the cover of the summer 2012 issue of the Siena College Business Review.
Akana is a two-time co-captain and an inductee to the 21st Century Business Leaders Society at Siena. She has volunteered for various club teams in her native Hawaii including her alma mater Kamehameha High School girl's volleyball team. She's also played a leadership role in efforts for the restoration of taro patches, preserved faming lands and fish ponds in Hawaii.
To be eligible for Senior CLASS award, a student athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence - community, classroom, character and competition.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.
From the pool of 30 candidates, a list of 10 finalists will be announced midway through the regular season and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2013 NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship in December.
The Senior CLASS Award is presented annually in the sports of men's and women's basketball, men's and women's soccer, baseball, football, hockey, men's lacrosse, softball and volleyball. For more information on Akana's candidacy and all of this year's candidates, visit SeniorCLASSAward.com.
Akana and the Saints open their 2013 season Sunday at the Hofstra Invitational with matches against the host Pride (11 a.m.) and Coppin State (5 p.m.).
ABOUT THE AWARD
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award honors the attributes of senior student athletes in four areas: community, classroom, character and competition. The award program is designed exclusively for college seniors who are utilizing their complete athletic eligibility, remaining committed to their university and pursuing the many rewards a senior season can bring. Premier Sports Management manages the award.