For the second straight year, Stanford junior Nicole Gibbs has been named the recipient of the Honda Sports Award for tennis. Her selection by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) program recognizes Gibbs as the country's top female player in her sport.
The CWSA presents the Honda Sports Award annually to top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports. With this honor, Gibbs becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the 2013 Honda Cup, which will be presented live on June 24 (ESPNU) at USC's Galen Center Founders Room in Los Angeles.
Gibbs was chosen for the Honda Sports Award by a vote among more than 1,000 institutions based on NCAA finish and ITA overall ranking.
An All-American in singles during each of her first three seasons, Gibbs collected her fourth career singles title when she became the NCAA's first repeat champion since former Cardinal standout Amber Liu (2003-04) and Stanford's 16th all-time collegiate singles winner (14 NCAA, 2 AIAW) overall.
Gibbs, who also joined Linda Gates as only Cardinal players to claim an NCAA team, singles and doubles crown in career, is the fifth Stanford netter to win multiple NCAA singles titles, joining Patty Fendick-McCain (1986, 87), Sandra Birch (1989, 91), Laura Granville (2000, 01) and Amber Liu (2003, 04).
The first player to capture NCAA team and singles titles in the same year since Duke's Mallory Cecil (2009), Gibbs finished 24-4 overall and 17-4 in duals, playing all of her matches at the No. 1 position. In addition to closing out the year on a 14-match winning streak, Gibbs was 17-4 against nationally-ranked opponents and improved her career record in May to 30-1 (includes NCAA team and individual competition).
A native of Santa Monica, Gibbs earned all-conference recognition for the third consecutive year and was tabbed an NCAA All-Tournament Team selection (No. 1 singles). She was equally impressive in the classroom, receiving Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention accolades while sporting a 3.44 GPA as an economics major.
Gibbs, who earlier this spring publicly voiced her decision to turn pro and forego her senior year, is joined by an impressive roster of 2013 Honda Cup finalists: Iowa State's Betsy Saina (cross country), Princeton's Katie Reinprecht (field hockey), North Carolina's Crystal Dunn (soccer), Oregon's Alaina Bergsma (volleyball), Georgia's Allison Schmitt (swimming & diving), Delaware's Elena Delle Donne (basketball), Florida's Bridget Sloan (gymnastics), USC's Annie Park (golf), Purdue's Andrea "Drey" Mingo (2013 Honda Inspiration Winner), and winners yet to be named in lacrosse, track and field, and softball.