Dirks-Ham and Michnowicz Earn MSU Outstanding Female Athlete Award
SPRINGFIELD - Missouri State's final set of year-end honors were announced Friday (June 10) with the awarding of the 2010-11 Outstanding Female Athlete Award and the Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Senior Female Scholar-Athlete Award.
Volleyball standout Kelley Michnowicz (Sr., Belleville, Ill.) and swimmer Chelsea Dirks-Ham (Sr., Lawrence, Kan.) were awarded the Outstanding Female Athlete Award, as voted on by Missouri State's nine women's head coaches. Michnowicz is the fourth volleyball player and first since 1990 to win the award, while Dirks-Ham is the third swimmer to receive the honor, on a list of award winners that dates back to 1981 (see complete list below).
Dirks-Ham is the second swimmer in a row to receive the laurels as Missouri State's top individual female performer after Jordan Hawkins was given the distinction a year ago.
Michnowicz was honored by the American Volleyball Coaches Association with a spot on the organization's All-American squad as an honorable mention pick, becoming the fourth MSU All-America player. She was a first-team All-Missouri Valley Conference selection for the second year in a row, leading the league with a .367 hitting percentage for the season, a figure that ranks second in school history. She also was a two-time MVC Player of the Week and AVCA All-Central Region first-team member. She averaged 2.32 kills, 0.61 blocks and 2.67 points per set for the Melissa Stokes' Bears in leading them to a 21-10 overall record and a trip to the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
Dirks-Ham was an essential cog in helping Jack Steck's swimming and diving squad to a fourth straight MVC title in 2011. She earned All-Missouri Valley Conference first-team honors four times and won six conference individual titles and eight relay titles during her career. She finished her career by rewriting MVC records in the 100-yard butterfly and 200-yard medley relay. She was named MSU Freshman of the Year in 2007-08 and owns all of the Bears' school butterfly records and four of the program's five relay records. She is also in the MSU career top five in both backstroke events. She also served as the president of the Missouri State Student-Athlete Advisory Council for the 2010-11 school year.
Other finalists for the 2010-11 award were field hockey standout Casey Bayliss (Jr., Bathurst, New South Wales, Australia); basketball sensation Casey Garrison (Jr., Bolivar, Mo.); NCAA triple jump qualifier Kimsue Grant (So., Arlington, Va.); soccer sensation Jordan Reppell (Sr., St. Louis, Mo.); softball hurler Natalie Rose (Jr., Henryetta, Okla.); and highly-touted golfer Kelsey Welber (Jr., Plano, Texas).
Katharina Voelkel (Sr., Hanover, Germany), is the winner of the 2011 Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Senior Female Scholar-Athlete Award. The award is presented annually to the graduating female student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade-point average.
Voelkel, a standout distance swimmer, was a four-time all-MVC performer and three-time All-MVC Scholar-Athlete. She graduated in May with a perfect 4.0 GPA in her double major of Mathematics and Biology. In the pool, she is fourth all-time at MSU in the 1000-yard freestyle, fifth all-time in the 500-yard freestyle and fourth all-time in the 1650-yard freestyle. She is the third straight recipient of the Wynn Award, which dates back to 1981, from the swimming and diving squad.
Missouri State Outstanding Female Athlete Award
Dr. Mary Jo Wynn Senior Female Scholar-Athlete