San Antonio – Kori McCarver is your 2011 Heartland Conference Scholar-Athlete Award winner.

The league announced this week that McCarver, the former St. Mary’s volleyball standout who graduated in May with a degree in marketing, won the prestigious award following a vote of the league’s athletics directors and faculty athletics representatives.

The award is presented annually to a male and female student-athlete in the Heartland Conference who excels in both athletics and academics, while also demonstrating leadership and a commitment to service.

McCarver, who was also named last year’s Heartland Conference Player of the Year in volleyball, graduated with a 3.63 cumulative grade-point average after helping lead the St. Mary’s volleyball program to countless successes on and off the court.

“Kori is a model Division II student-athlete,” St. Mary’s Athletics Director Charlie Migl said. “Besides being a go-to player, she was a model for other student-athletes and a great example of what St. Mary’s looks for in a student. Personal accolades have never been part of her goals, yet she was named Heartland Conference Player of the Year.”

McCarver is the first St. Mary’s student-athlete to be named Heartland Conference Scholar-Athlete of the Year since former cross country runner Tara Wicketts received the honor in 2008.

McCarver, a San Antonio native from Churchill High School, played a starring role in helping the program return to prominence last fall, playing in all 33 matches as the Lady Rattlers went on to win the Heartland Conference Tournament championship for the first time since 2000 and advance to the NCAA Division II South Central Region tournament for the first time in school history.

McCarver led the conference with 1,016 assists (8.13 per set), and also ranked among the team leaders with 208 kills (1.66 per set), an attack percentage of .241, 281 digs (2.25 per set) and 64 total blocks.

In the classroom, she helped the Rattlers maintain a team GPA of 3.44, good enough to allow them to qualify for the AVCA Team Academic Award. McCarver was also a Heartland Conference All-Academic honoree.

She will be the conference’s nominee for the NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association Scholar-Athlete of the Year award.

McCarver joins former St. Mary’s standouts Kelly Baker and Matt Vela as recent Heartland Conference award winners. Baker, a former softball player, was named the conference’s Woman of the Year, while Vela, a former golfer, was given the Heartland Conference Sportsmanship Male Athlete of the Year Award over the summer.

A celebration to commend McCarver and the rest of the volleyball team’s academic honors is tentatively scheduled for Sept. 22, when the Rattlers take on the University of Texas-Permian Basin at 7 p.m. at Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center, Bill Greehey Arena.

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