Liz McMahon of Illinois wins the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® for women’s volleyball

December 18, 2014

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (December 18, 2014) – Illinois opposite hitter Liz McMahon has been selected as the 2014 Senior CLASS Award® winner in NCAA® Division I women’s volleyball.

The award, chosen by a nationwide vote of Division I volleyball coaches, national volleyball media and fans, is given annually to the most outstanding senior student-athlete in Division I volleyball. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence – classroom, community, character and competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

A model student-athlete both on and off the volleyball court, McMahon is a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree who finished her career at Illinois among the school’s top ten in virtually every statistical category – kills, attacks, block assists, points, sets played and matches played.

“I’m blessed to have the opportunity to attend a university that holds athletics to the highest standard,” McMahon said. “One that values sport as a platform to reach community, achieve standards in the classroom, foster self discovery, and compete with pride and passion. I could not have had a more rewarding experience than being part of
this program that is committed to growth in every aspect the Senior CLASS Award represents.”

During her senior season, McMahon earned All-Northeast Region and AVCA All-America Honorable Mention honors while compiling 396 kills, 110 blocks and 456 points. She was named to all four all-tournament teams during preconference play, including MVP of the Illini Classic.

In the classroom, McMahon has accumulated a 3.85 GPA as a recreation, sport and tourism major. She has been named to the Dean’s List three times and has earned two consecutive Big Ten Distinguished Scholar awards.

McMahon has been very involved with children in the community through events with the Boys & Girls Clubs and Big Brothers Big Sisters, making numerous visits to local elementary schools. She has also volunteered each year with the local Daily Bread Soup Kitchen, preparing snacks and sack lunches for those in need within the community.

“Liz is the definition of the Senior CLASS Award,” said Illinois head women’s volleyball coach, Kevin Hambly. “She’s a great student-athlete here at the University of Illinois – a model citizen, a hard worker, a great competitor, a great student and she did a lot in the community. Her dreams keep happening, which is what you want to see.”

“I’m excited for Liz to receive the award, because I think she earned it in the way she operated every day that she was here. You want a kid like this to win an award like the Senior CLASS Award, because it can inspire other kids to operate in that manner.”

McMahon is the second Big Ten Conference student-athlete to capture the Senior CLASS Award during the 2014 fall semester. Ohio State University goalkeeper Alex Ivanov recently was named winner of this year’s men’s soccer award.  She is the first student-athlete representing the University of Illinois to ever win a Senior CLASS Award. 

“On behalf of everyone associated with the Senior CLASS Award, we congratulate Liz on being selected as this year’s winner for women’s volleyball,” said Erik Miner, executive director for the Senior CLASS Award. “She has been a high achiever in every aspect of life as a NCAA student-athlete and has been a wonderful model for others to follow.”

Volleyball 2014 Winner

Name Position School
Liz McMahon Opposite Hitter Illinois

First Team

Name Position School
Haley Eckerman Outside Hitter University of Texas
Casey Hinger Middle Blocker Cal State Northridge
Kori Moster Libero Michigan State University
Chaniel Nelson Opposite Hitter University of North Carolina Chapel Hill

Second Team

Name Position School
Liz Brenner Outside Hitter Oregon
Meredith Hardy Middle Blocker East Tennessee State University
Madi Kingdon Outside Hitter University of Arizona
Savanah Leaf Outside Hitter University of Miami
Katie Mosher Libero Florida State University