Avery Skinner will go down as one of Kentucky’s most dominant volleyball players in program history, and now she’s receiving some recognition for her accomplishments.
Although Skinner is currently a graduate student at Baylor and will play the upcoming season as a member of the Bears’ Volleyball team, she spent four incredible seasons in Lexington, specifically in 2020-21 when she helped lead Kentucky to the program’s first-ever national championship. Now, she’s being honored for her success.
On Monday, administrative representatives from the Southeastern Conference selected Skinner as one of two nominees to represent the conference for the 2020-21 NCAA Woman of the Year award. The former Wildcat is one of 153 conference-level nominees that have made it to this stage of the process.
Georgia Track and Field star Kayla Smith is the other nominee from the SEC.
During her senior season with Kentucky, Skinner was named an AVCA All-American and an All-SEC performer as she was a key component to UK’s 24-1 record and national title run. Over her four-year career in Lexington, she recorded 178 digs, 91 blocks, and 10 service aces. Skinner was also a four-time SEC Champion and a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
Heading into her graduate season with Baylor, the 6-foot-1 outside hitter has been tabbed as a unanimous Preseason All-Big 12 pick. Kentucky was ranked No. 3 in Monday’s preseason AVCA Coaches Poll while Baylor came in at No. 10.
Here’s a little bit more about the NCAA Woman of the Year award, provided by UK Athletics:
The NCAA Woman of the Year program was established in 1991 and honors the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service and leadership of graduating female college athletes from all three divisions. To be eligible, a nominee must have competed and earned a varsity letter in an NCAA-sponsored sport and must have earned her undergraduate degree by Summer 2020 (or demonstrate that she would have earned her degree if not for the COVID-19 pandemic).UK Athletics
Eligible female student-athletes are nominated by their member school. Each conference office then reviews the nominations from its core member schools (and sponsored sports) and submits its conference nominee(s) to the NCAA. All nominees who compete in a sport that is not sponsored by their school’s primary conference, as well as associate conference nominees and independent nominees, will be sent to a separate pool to be considered by a committee. Then, the NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee identifies the Top 30 – 10 from each division – and from there selects three finalists from each division. From the nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then selects the NCAA Woman of the Year, who will be named this fall.
The winner of the 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year award was Kentucky simmer Asia Seidt.