The award is given to the top female student-athlete across all sports at the junior college level.
“It is such a huge honor for me to be named the Betty Jo Graber Female Student-Athlete of the Year,” Evangelista said in a press release from the NJCAA. “I have accomplished so much in these past two years with the help of my teammates at Blinn College and I also want to thank each one of them because they are the ones who have helped me in practice every day to become a better player.
“I am very shocked, surprised and also very excited and thankful for it.”
Evangelista arrives at Alabama following two very successful seasons at Blinn College in Brenham, Texas. She was named the National Championship Tournament MVP in 2013 after leading her team to a NJCAA title, tallying 23 kills it the title match while still recovering from a broken thumb. She earned All-District and All-American honors in both seasons at Blinn, finishing her two-year NJCAA career with 852 kills (3.56/set) and a .383 hitting percentage.
Evangelista will be one of eight newcomers on the 2014 Alabama volleyball squad that will look to maintain the positive momentum gained over the last few seasons. Head Coach Ed Allen, who enters his fourth season at the Capstone, helped guide the Crimson Tide to a 24-10 record last season, marking the most wins at Alabama since 1995. That helped the Tide earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament, its first postseason appearance since 2007.
Alabama also returns all three of its 2013 AVCA All-Region honorees, as junior setter Sierra Wilson, redshirt sophomore middle blocker Krystal Rivers and sophomore outside hitter Brittany Thomas will help anchor an offense that ranked third in the SEC in hitting percentage (.254), assists-per-set (13.28) and fourth in kills-per-set (14.14).