Taylor Reiss. Photo, Story courtesy SMSU Media Department.

Reiss a Honda Sports finalist

Taylor Reiss, a junior outside hitter from Southwest Minnesota State University, and a graduate of Minneota High School, was named the DII Honda Athlete of the Year nominee for volleyball. The award was announced by Executive Director Chris Voelz of The Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) presented by Honda.

Reiss is now designated one of 11 finalists for the prestigious DII Honda Woman Athlete of the Year.

This will be voted on at the end of the academic year by national balloting among 1,000 NCAA member schools as part of The CWSA program, now in its 42nd year.

"I’m incredibly honored to be nominated for such a prestigious award," said Reiss. "I’m grateful for my teammates and all of the success that we have had throughout my career here at SMSU. I cannot wait for my senior year and to have another chance to play as a Mustang in front of our home crowd."

Reiss, a native of Taunton, was named the program's first-ever American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) DII National Player of the Year earlier this season after earning back-to-back NSIC Conference Player of the Year honors.

She’s a two-time first-team AVCA All-American and earned DII National Player of the Week accolades twice this season along with three Tournament MVP honors. She finished the season ranked second in the nation in total kills (605) and third in the country in kills per set (5.13).

The outside hitter posted 16 double-doubles on the season, 12 matches with at least 20 kills, seven with at least 20 digs and six different matches with at least 20 kills and 20 digs.

"Taylor is an unbelievable student-athlete for our team," stated SMSU head coach Terry Culhane.

"She is extremely competitive and enjoys playing the game especially when the game is on the line. She has really worked hard at developing as an all-around skilled player and we are looking forward to having her in our program for another year."

All Honda Sports nominees from DII and DIII become a finalist for the prestigious 2018 Honda Woman Athlete of the Year in their respective divisions, presented in a live telecast on CBS Sports on June 27, 2018, in downtown Los Angeles.

The Honda Sports nominees are recognized in 11 DII and DIII NCAA sanctioned sports; cross country, basketball, field hockey, golf, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming and diving, tennis, volleyball, and track and field.

The Collegiate Women Sports Awards has honored the nation's top NCAA women athletes for 42 years, recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service.

Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.1 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions.

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