Former UWSP volleyball star Gehl nominated for NCAA Woman of the Year Award
STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) -April Gehl’s volleyball career at UWSP was nothing short of spectacular. Now, she hopes to add one more accolade to a resume that will never be forgotten in Stevens Point.
"As an individual, that's super cool to be nominated for that."
UW-Stevens Point hadn’t nominated any student-athletes for the Woman of the Year award in at least four years, but Gehl was a no-brainer.
“When she wants something, she’s going to go get it,” said Lyndsay Kooi, head volleyball coach at UWSP. “And that’s exactly what she did in her career to excel to be a first-team All-American player, WIAC offensive player of the year, and now to be a nominee (for the Woman of the Year award).”
“I just think I have such a passion for volleyball,” said Gehl. “and UW-Stevens Point itself.”
The award honors graduating student-athletes who have distinguished themselves in athletics, academics, service, and leadership.
“I would love to kind of be that person to represent Stevens Point athletics,” said Gehl.
While being nominated as an individual is big for Gehl, it doesn't compare to what she helped lead her team to last season: An NCAA Tournament appearance.
“Yeah I definitely cried,” said Gehl. “It was the best thing ever honestly.”
The Sweet 16 run the Pointers went on was fueled by the disappointment Gehl felt when the team barely missed the tournament her freshman year.
“At that moment I knew that I didn’t want to feel that way,” Gehl said. “So, me and the other seniors kind of sat down before the season and said, ‘that’s not happening to us this year.’”
For someone who says she hates to lose, whether she wins this competition or not, her legacy in UWSP athletics is indisputable.
Kooi: “We will be talking about her, and this team especially, for years to come,” Kooi said. “She’s left her mark.”
"Choosing Point was like the best decision I could've ever made," Gehl said.
The next step towards the award is for the WIAC to pick their nominee from all the candidates within their member schools.
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