Co-Woman of the Year, Competes for National Title
PC Tennis standout is co-Woman of the Year.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. --- Recently graduated Presbyterian College women's tennis player Katie Thompson has been named the Big South Conference's co-woman of the year for 2018-19, the league announced on Monday. Thompson shares the honor with USC Upstate women's basketball player Riley Popplewell.
This honor comes just a few weeks after Thompson was named as PC's nominee for the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Thompson is the first honoree in the school's Big South history and it marks the first time in league history since 2013-14 that multiple student-athletes have earned the honor in the same year.
Thompson was a four-year starter for the Blue Hose and finished her career with 55 combined wins -- which included 33 singles victories throughout her time at PC. She sits third in career singles win percentage at 56.9 (33-25) and holds the Blue Hose standard in doubles win percentage at 68.8 (22-10). Thompson appeared in 12 matches during the abbreviated 2020 spring season (five singles, seven doubles). Her 6-1, 6-4 singles victory against Winthrop on March 12 tied the PC Division I program record for career wins in Big South matches (14). She earned Second-Team All-Conference honors in 2019 for doubles, helped the Blue Hose to its best season in program history with a second-place finish that season.
Off the court, she volunteered with the Laurens County school district and Thornwell Home for Children, participated in Rise Against Hunger, Operation Christmas Child, Special Olympics and Hospice of Laurens County, was a member of Presbyterian's SAAC, and participated in the Presbyterian College Palmetto State Teacher's Association and Teacher Education Advisory Board.
In the classroom, Thompson was a four-time Big South Presidential Honor Roll member and three-time ITA Scholar-Athlete honoree, and graduated as Presbyterian College's Valedictorian with a 4.0 in early childhood education. She was voted the Big South Women's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year as a junior and senior, and also earned the Big South's prestigious Christenberry Award for Academic Excellence this past spring. Thompson was also awarded the Presbyterian College Outstanding Senior Award in Education in 2020, the Presbyterian College Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year for 2020, and PC's Jane Hammett Award in 2020, which honors a female athlete for outstanding athletic and academic achievement in women's sports She was also selected to present educational research on Minorities in Gifted Education at the South Carolina Educators for the Practical Use of Research Conference in Columbia this past year -- one of just two undergraduates to receive this distinction. Thompson was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Education Honor Society and Sigma Kappa Alpha Honor Society while at PC.
Also nominated for the Big South and NCAA Woman of the Year award were Campbell soccer and lacrosse player Rosie O'Neal, Charleston Southern track & field athlete Caroline Edmondson, Hampton golfer Jakari Harris, High Point basketball player Camryn Brown, Longwood lacrosse player Dana Joss, Radford softball player Hunter Mundy, UNC Asheville basketball player Brooke Jordan-Brown, and Winthrop tennis player Alisa Soloveva.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee will determine the top 10 honorees in each division by considering specific guidelines based on the four pillars of the award: academics, athletics, service and leadership. From among those 30 candidates, the selection committee will determine the top three in each division. Finally, the members of the Committee on Women's Athletics will vote from among the top nine finalists to determine the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.
Popplewell and Thompson are among a record 605 overall nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year, which is now in its 30th year. All school and conference honorees receive an NCAA certificate and will be recognized on www.ncaa.org. The top 10 honorees from Divisions I, II and III, including the nine overall finalists, will be honored, with the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year winner announced this fall. The Big South had its first national finalist in 2005 when Big South Hall of Famer Janiva Willis of Winthrop was named one of the 10 finalists.