MSU's Kayla Woodard Tabbed For Academic All-America Team Honors
The three six-player All-America volleyball teams were announced Tuesday.
Woodard, MSU’s starting libero the past three seasons, concluded her final collegiate season last week with a career-best 507 digs, four shy of the MSU single-season record, the third-highest total in 36 seasons of MSU volleyball and the third-highest regular-season total in the SEC this season. She piled up 1,433 digs in 121 career matches, ranking third among State’s all-time career digs leaders.
Earlier this season she became the first Mississippi State volleyball player to earn SEC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
"I can't say enough about Kayla's accomplishments both in the classroom and on the court throughout her career at Mississippi State,” said MSU head coach Jenny Hazelwood. “She is truly the kind of student-athlete that every coach hopes to have the opportunity to work with. Her hard work and dedication are attributes that will propel her to much success as she moves into life beyond college."
The former walk-on also starred in the classroom, where in three years she earned her undergraduate degree in elementary education, graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. A three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection and two-time recipient of the Newsom Award as MSU volleyball’s top student-athlete, Woodard is completing graduate degree work at State.
She becomes the third Mississippi State volleyball player to receive academic all-America status. Outside hitter Aimee York was a first-team selection in 1992 and Jill Ferguson was a second-team pick in 1998. Woodard was a member of two of the four Mississippi State volleyball teams that have won AVCA Team Academic All-American Awards (2007 and 2009).
Woodard was among 50 volleyball players representing eight districts nationwide and two from the Southeastern Conference that earned first-team academic all-district distinction to advance to consideration for academic all-America honors. Tennessee’s Nikki Fowler, a first-team selection, joined Woodard on the honor team.