(Posted December 8, 2008)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Juniata College senior Amber Thomas (Ephrata, Pa./Conestoga Valley), an outside hitter on the women's volleyball team, has been named a finalist for the Collegiate Women Sports Awards' 2008-09 Division III Woman Athlete of the Year, sponsored by Honda.

This is Thomas' second consecutive year as one of 11 finalists for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year award, which will be presented on June 22, 2009, at Columbia University in New York City.

The accolade is the most recent in a string of well-deserved honors for Thomas. Earlier this fall, she was named the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III National Player of the Year for the second consecutive year, as well as a First team All-America â?" becoming only the second four-time All-American in Juniata College history.

She was also named an ESPN The Magazine First team Academic All-America and the Collegiate Division Women's Volleyball Academic All-America of the Year, as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).

Thomas finished the season with 385 kills (3.81/set) to go with 218 digs (2.16/set) and 43 total blocks (0.43/set). She also tallied 17 service aces during the season, and accounted for nearly a fifth of Juniata's points this season. For her career, Thomas ranks fourth among Juniata's all-time kills leaders with 1,734.

Thomas helped lead the Eagles to an overall mark of 35-5, reaching the national semifinals of the Division III Women's Volleyball Championship for the 23rd time. Juniata also won its 28th straight conference championship, defeating Susquehanna University, 3-0, for the 2008 Landmark Conference Championship.

The Collegiate Women Sports Awards program, now in its 33rd year, is sponsored by the American Honda Motor Co., Inc., which will donate $1,000 toward women's athletics at Juniata College.

Other 2008-09 finalists announced by the Board of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards were Bowdoin College's Lindsey McNamara (field hockey) and Bethel University's Marie Borner (cross country). This marks the third consecutive year that a Juniata College student-athlete has been a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year award; in addition to Thomas' two years as a finalist, former Juniata College women's volleyball standout Stephanie Kines was a finalist for the 2006-07 award.


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Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.