(TOWSON, Md.) Park University senior middle blocker Lauren Purdy (Arlington, Texas) earned the Capital One Academic All-America award Monday (Dec. 9), taking a spot on the second team to add to her collection of postseason awards.
Purdy was an All-American in the classroom and on the court in 2013, leaving Park as its most efficient hitter in school history by hitting .359 for the season, upping her career percentage to .349. Purdy's 3.83 grade point average in communications earned a spot on the Daktronics-NAIA Scholar-Athlete team, last week, and she ended her playing career with 856 kills at Park and 1,200 in her two school career, adding numbers from West Texas A&M University. She is also an AVCA All-American and an AVAC All-Region honoree in the Midwest Region.
A transfer from the University of Texas at Arlington, where she did not play volleyball, Purdy had 439 kills in 2013, second only to Siqueira in the single-season record book during the 25-point era. She also became Park's top career blocker from the 25-point era, finishing 2013 with 118 blocks and her Park career with 232, 33 blocks better than Ashley Robinson's previous record of 199.
"It was an absolute blast getting as far as we did this year," Purdy said. "No one thought this program could accomplish what we did this year. We gave it everything we had and I wouldn't have wanted to do this with anyone else. I love my teammates and my team. The award is an honor, but the experience I had with this team was the best part of this ride. I am blessed beyond belief to have had this opportunity."
Purdy was a First-Team All-Conference honoree in 2013 and an NAIA Honorable Mention All-American as a junior in 2012.
For Capital One Academic All-America consideration, student-athletes must be at least a sophomore, academically and athletically, and be a starter or key reserve with a 3.3 cumulative grade point average on a 4.0 scale. The Capital One Academic All-America program is coordinated by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA), with nominations and selections made by sports information directors at member institutions.
"Lauren has been a pleasure to work with in the last two years," said Park University's SID, Assistant Athletic Director for Sports Communications Steve Wilson. "She's talented beyond the volleyball court, and she's a better person than she is a volleyball player. That's a tough combination to come by, and I can't wait to follow her path in life. I will always be a Lauren Purdy fan."
Since the program's inception in 1952, CoSIDA has bestowed Academic All-America honors on more than 20,000 student-athletes in Divisions I, II, III and NAIA, covering all NCAA championship sports.
For more information about the Academic All-America Teams program, please visit www.cosida.com
Purdy helped lead Park to a 35-7 record, a regular-season co-championship in the American Midwest Conference (10-1), and the school's first-ever appearance in the NAIA Volleyball National Championship. The Pirates earned a spot in the pool-play round, in Sioux City, Iowa, by beating Asbury University in three sets on Nov. 23, before dropping two pool-play matches Dec. 3 and 4 in Sioux City. The season ended Dec. 5 in five sets, when Park came from behind to beat Trinity Christian in the 2013 season finale.
Capital One Volleyball Academic All-America Team