By RICK PETERSON
Former Shawnee Heights and Washburn University volleyball star Faith Rottinghaus is one of the MIAA's two nominees for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Rogers State softball pitcher Andrea Morales was also nominated by the MIAA for the NCAA Woman of the Year award.
Rottinghaus, the MIAA's 2021-22 Female Student-Athlete of the Year, is one of 151 total student-athletes combined between NCAA Division I, II, and III and one of 39 from the Division II ranks to be nominated by conference offices for the prestigious award.
Rottinghaus will now move forward and be considered for Top 30 honors, which will be released in October and consist of 10 nominees from each of the three NCAA divisions.
From there, the selection committee will narrow the pool to three finalists from each division.
The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2022 Woman of the Year from the nine finalists.
At January's NCAA Convention in San Antonio, the national Top 30 honorees will be celebrated, and the NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced.
Rottinghaus, a libero from Berryton, closed out her volleyball career with her name etched all over Washburn's record books as she is the all-time career leader in digs with 2,676 and is second in digs per set at 5.49 digs/set.
This past fall, she helped lead the Ichabods to a 31-6 record, an NCAA Central Region championship title and the program's first-ever appearance NCAA National Championship match.
Rottinghaus played in all 127 sets while leading the nation with 833 total digs and was third in Division II with 6.56 digs per set.
On Sept. 25 she scooped up 51 digs in a 3-1 victory at then-ranked No. 7 Central Missouri, tying Washburn's single-match record and setting the program record for most digs in a four-set match. She had 24 matches with 20 or more digs and successfully received 394 service attempts that came her way, committing just eight errors for a .980 reception percentage. Additionally, she led the team with 33 service aces and tallied 88 assists.
She garnered many postseason awards in 2021 and was named a D2CCA All-American first-team selection, AVCA All-American second-team selection and also earned her third straight All-MIAA first-team honors. She was voted to the all-tournament team in all five tournaments Washburn competed in during the fall, including the All-Central Region and All-National Tournament teams. Rottinghaus was voted the Ichabods' team MVP and also earned that honor her freshman season.
Rottinghaus excelled in the classroom as well and completed her bachelor's degree in kinesiology with a perfect 4.0 GPA.
She was named to the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, MIAA Scholar Athlete and MIAA Academic Excellence lists all five years.
At the NCAA National Tournament, she received the NCAA Elite 90 Award, becoming the first Washburn student-athlete and first MIAA volleyball player to earn the prestigious honor.
She was also named the CoSIDA Academic All-American Volleyball Team Member of the Year and received her third consecutive Academic All-American first team honors. Rottinghaus is continuing her education and began the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at Kansas University Medical Center this summer.
Off the court, Rottinghaus was involved in Washburn's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and the Exercise Science and Rehab Club while also volunteering her time serving the community.
Established in 1991 and in its 32nd year, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their NCAA eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
Rottinghaus' Honors & Awards:
• Finished career as a five-time All-American and Washburn's all-time digs leader with 2,676 career digs
• 2021-22 Ken B. Jones award winner
• NCAA Elite 90 award winner (2021)
• AVCA All-American Second Team (2021)
• AVCA All-Region First Team (2021)
• D2CCA All-American First Team (2021)
• D2CCA All-Region First Team (2021)
• NCAA National Championship, NCAA Central Region, and MIAA All-Tournament team selection (2021)
• Washburn Invitational and Colorado Springs-Colorado Mountain Lion Invitational All-Tournament team selection (2021)
• CoSIDA Academic All-American Volleyball Team Member of the Year (2021)
• CoSIDA Academic All-American First Team (2019, 2020, 2021)
• CoSIDA Academic All-District Team (2019, 2020, 2021)
• All-MIAA First Team (2018, 2019, 2021)
• All-MIAA Honorable Mention (2017)
• MIAA Academic Excellence (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
• MIAA Scholar Athlete (2017, 2018, 2019, spring 2021, 2021)
• MIAA Academic Honor Roll (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021)
• Ichabod Team MVP (2017, 2021)
• MIAA Specialist of the Week (Oct. 21, 2019)
• Four-time MIAA Defensive Athlete of the Week (Sept. 13, 2021; Sept. 20, 2021; Sept. 27, 2021; Oct. 4, 2021)