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ASC – Sports

Canaba Is ASC Nominee for Woman of the Year

RICHARDSON, Texas – Sul Ross State graduate and volleyball/softball standout Annika Canaba will represent the American Southwest Conference on the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year award ballot.

They nominated a total of 535 women across all three divisions for the award. A total of 177 were from Division III. Canaba is the first student-athlete from Sul Ross State, seventh softball player, and fourth volleyball player from the ASC nominated by the conference.

Also nominated by their campuses for the prestigious award were Marlee Blackwell of Belhaven, Claire Hillyer of McMurry, Kathy Joseph of UT-Dallas, Elisa Kendall of East Texas Baptist, and Alexis Segura of LeTourneau.

Canaba was the 2020-21 ASC West Division Player of the Year in volleyball and was the 2018 Freshman of the Year. She earned All-Conference three times in volleyball and twice in softball. Canaba served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and was Sul Ross’ 2021 ASC Scholar-Athlete Medal of Honor recipient.

Canaba graduated with a GPA of 3.82 in Kinesiology.

“Being a student-athlete on both the volleyball and softball teams at Sul Ross State University has been a critical part of my journey and has helped shape me into the person that I am today,” said Canaba. “I know how privileged I am to have been afforded the opportunity to play sports at the collegiate level, and I never take that for granted. Representing SRSU has provided me a platform to exhibit my leadership skills, strong work habits, and my dedication to inclusivity that sets the example for my fellow athletes. As a student-athlete, campus leader, and active community member, I strive to make lasting contributions to the community that helped raise me. I am active in my church community, and I volunteer my time at sports camps to encourage young female athletes to have confidence and be the best they can be on and off the court/field. I want them to see their reflection in me and to know that they can experience the same successes if they are willing to work hard. 

“My challenges and successes have empowered me to continue to give back to my community by encouraging young male and female athletes to set their goals high and to strive for achievement. I remain humble in my accomplishments and endeavors to make a positive impact on the world, through every situation in life that I encounter. Life challenges do not begin or end on the court/field, but how you approach those challenges says a lot about your character. I want to be known for being a strong and influential woman that will meet any challenge with integrity and compassion.” 

About the NCAA Woman of the Year

Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award has honored the academic achievements, athletics excellence, community service, and leadership of outstanding female college athletes. 

Following university nominations, conference offices will then select their nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year. The NCAA will notify each conference nominee, and all conference-round nominees announced on ncaa.org in August. 

They forward conference nominations to the NCAA Woman of the Year Selection Committee, which identifies the top 10 honorees in each of the three NCAA divisions. From those 30 honorees, the selection committee then determines the three finalists in each division for a total of nine finalists.

The Committee on Women’s Athletics will select the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year from the nine finalists. Then, at an award ceremony on October 17 in Indianapolis, the Top 30 honorees will be celebrated, and they name the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year.