Alabama Athletics

Krystal Rivers was Alabama star in volleyball and in the classroom

Krystal Rivers set Alabama records in volleyball

Krystal Rivers built an impressive resume in her four years as an All-America volleyball player for Alabama, including being the first woman in Southeastern Conference history to earn both SEC Player of the Year and SEC Scholar-Athlete of the Year in volleyball.

Now she has been nominated by Alabama as the Crimson Tide’s 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year Award nominee.

Next, conferences will select up to two conference nominees each from the pool of school nominees. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will then choose the top 30 honorees - 10 from each division. From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and announces the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year from those nine. The top 30 honorees will be recognized and the 2017 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 22 in Indianapolis.

The NCAA Woman of the Year Award, now in its 27th year, honors graduating college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their college careers. There are 543 nominees this year, representing all three NCAA divisions and 21 different women’s sports.

Rivers graduated with dual degrees in biology and Spanish with a 3.65 grade point average. She is a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, making her just the second two-time winner in program history. She is also the first Alabama volleyball player to be named the SEC Player of the Year.

A four-year AVCA All-American, she is the first Alabama player to earn four such honors. She is also a four-time AVCA All-South Region and four-time All-SEC honoree. The Birmingham (Ramsay High School) native is the Alabama career record holder for kills (2,148) and points (2,506) and is the single season record-holder for hitting percentage (.404). She also ranks in the top five at Alabama in seven other career stats.

Rivers’ ascent to the top of the Alabama record books came amidst a battle with cancer. She was diagnosed following her redshirt freshman year and underwent chemotherapy while tackling a full class load and spring practice schedule. At the end of the semester, the cancer was in full remission.

Alabama student-athletes over the past six years who went on to be an SEC’s nominee include softball player Haylie McCleney (2016), gymnasts Kim Jacob (2015) and Ashley Priess (2013) and golfer Brooke Pancake (2012). McCleney, Jacob and Priess were top-30 honorees while Rogers and Pancake made the cut as top-nine finalists.

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