UF’s Alhassan named Volleyball’s Honda Award winner

Florida middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan (1) goes up for a kill during an NCAA Division I volleyball semifinal game against Stanford, Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Special to Gatorsports.com

Four-time All-American middle blocker Rhamat Alhassan was named the Honda Sport Award winner for volleyball Wednesday evening, announced Chris Voelz, executive director of The College Women Sports Awards.

This marks the 23rd time in school history a Gator earned a Honda Sport Award, and Alhassan is the first in school history to earn volleyball’s award.

“I was definitely surprised when (head coach) Mary (Wise) called to inform me that I received the award,” Alhassan said. “I might be the person being recognized, but it speaks volumes about my coaches, support staff, my teammates, and Gator Nation. No part of this award was achieved individually. It took a family to get this accomplishment.”

Alhassan helped the Gators return to the NCAA Championship match for the first time since 2003, earning her second AVCA All-America accolade and the 2017 SEC Player of the Year honor in the process. The Glenarden, Md., product joined Olympian Kelly Murphy (2008-11) as the only other Gator in history to earn a spot on one of the three AVCA All-America teams four times.

Most notably, Alhassan became the first player in Southeastern Conference history to lead the nation in blocks per set (1.70) since the NCAA began tracking the statistic in 1994. It was also the second-highest season average in school history.

“Few players leave a mark on a program or a school like Rhamat has at Florida,” UF coach Mary Wise said. “The commitment shown to her education, her teammates, and her volleyball is unparalleled. She is the ideal role model for every young girl who aspires to compete in college.”

The Honda Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 42 years to the top collegiate female athlete in 12 different sports each season. The award signifies “the best of the best in collegiate athletics.”

The 2018 Honda Cup is presented via live telecast on CBS Sports Network. The ceremony, held in downtown Los Angeles, is scheduled for June 27.

Alhassan’s 2017 Notables

  • Alhassan’s 1.70 blocks per set was the ninth-highest season average by a Division I player since 25-point scoring format was adopted in 2008
  • Alhassan finished her career with a .423 hitting percentage, tying the seventh-highest average in Division I history
  • Alhassan joined BYU’s Haley Warner (2012) as the only other Division I player since 2010 to finish a season with at least 1.70 blocks per set and a .355 hitting percentage
  • Alhassan finished her career with 1,278 kills, 674 blocks and a .423 hitting percentage—which made her the second player in Division I history to tally at least 1,250 kills, 605 blocks and a .420 clip
  • Alhassan also finished her career with 1.52 blocks per set, the second-highest average in program history
  • Alhassan was the 13th Gator to earn SEC Player of the Year honors, and it was the 19th time a Gator won the award
  • Alhassan and the Gators reached the program’s eighth NCAA Semifinals, marking the first time since 2003 they advanced that far
  • Alhassan also helped Florida win its 23rd SEC title