Hancock named AAU Sullivan Award semifinalist

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- The AAU organization has announced that Penn State women's volleyball's Micha Hancock has been selected as a semifinalist for the 85th James E. Sullivan Award. AAU President/CEO Dr. Roger Goudy and AAU Sullivan Award Chair Melissa Willis announced all 14 nominees this afternoon, when voting officially opened.

Fans, members of the media, coaches, family and friends have the opportunity to vote Hancock to the final round of the competition by casting their votes here.

Hancock most recently led the Penn State women's volleyball team to its second consecutive NCAA national championship with a straight set victory against BYU in the 2014 national finals. With the team's seventh NCAA crown, PSU has claimed the title in six of the last eight years with more national championships than any other women's volleyball program in history. Prior to the win against BYU, Hancock guided the fifth-seeded Penn State to a 3-1 win against top-seeded Stanford in the NCAA national semifinals.

She picked up numerous awards in 2014, including five Big Ten Setter of the Week honors (9/15, 9/22, 9/29, 10/27, 11/17) ESPNW Volleyball Player of the Week honors (12/1) and her second AVCA DI National Player of the Week award (9/30). Her AVCA National Player of the Week honor came after she helped PSU to back-to-back wins against a pair of top-20 teams on the road at No. 5 Wisconsin and No. 17 Minnesota.

Other accolades include a unanimous selection to the 2014 All Big Ten team, AVCA All-Northeast Region honors and her third consecutive AVCA All-America first team award. Hancock was also a 2014 ESPN ESPY nominee for "Best Female Collegiate Athlete." She capped off the collection of awards with one of the most prestigious honors in collegiate volleyball, as she was selected as the 2014 AVCA National Player of the Year.

Aside from an impressive resume that features prestigious honors, all-time records and NCAA championship titles, it is Hancock's personal attributes that shine just as bright. Known by her teammates and coaches as a relentless competitor, Hancock has been praised by both for her ability to lead the team both physical and emotionally, while maintaining a humble attitude. She was an active participant in Penn State women's volleyball's annual involvement with the Special Olympics, while also serving as a coach at various Nittany Lion youth summer camps throughout her career at Penn State.

Known as the "Oscar" of sports awards, and older than The Heisman, the AAU Sullivan Award honors the outstanding amateur athlete in the United States. It has been presented annually by the AAU since 1930 as a salute to founder, past president of the AAU, and a pioneer in amateur sports, James E. Sullivan. Besides athletic achievement, the AAU Sullivan Award also looks for leadership, character and sportsmanship. Past recipients of the award include: Bruce Jenner (1976), Peyton Manning (1997), Michael Phelps (2003), J.J. Redick (2005), Tim Tebow (2007), Shawn Johnson (2008), and Missy Franklin (2012).

Hancock is one of 14 nominees selected as a semifinalist for this year's award. Other nominees include nominees include Ohio State Buckeye running back Ezekiel Elliot and Olympic Figure Skating Gold Medalists, Meryl Davis & Charlie White, who are all among the AAU Sullivan hopefuls.

Last year, Penn State football's John Urschel was the recipient of the 84th AAU Sullivan Award. Prior to Urschel, former Penn State All-American Megan Hodge was Penn State's most recent Sullivan Award finalist, after helping the Nittany Lions capture an unprecedented four consecutive NCAA championships from 2007-10.   

Last Updated March 12, 2015