FREELAND, Mich. -- Commissioner Penny Allen-Cook announced today that Calvin University's Sarah DeVries has been named the recipient of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's 2020 Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Female Scholar-Athlete Award.
Deemed the highest honor for an MIAA female student-athlete, the Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Female Scholar-Athlete Award recognizes graduating female seniors who have excelled in academics and athletics, as well as displayed outstanding leadership in their respective communities. The award honors former MIAA Commissioner Sheila Wallace Kovalchik, who served the conference as commissioner from 1991 to 2002.
"Eight MIAA member institutions nominated their top female scholar-athletes for the honor of being selected for this honor. Sarah DeVries has achieved greatness in the classroom, in her service to the Calvin and Grand Rapids communities, and as a volleyball player. She is an outstanding representative for this award," said Allen-Cook
Sarah Devries is from Grand Rapids. She is a graduate of Grand Rapids Northpointe Christian High School. She is the daughter of Mike and Betsy DeVries.
At Calvin, Sarah DeVries recently completed a standout four-year career with the Calvin women's volleyball team. During her tenure with the Knights, she helped the Calvin women's volleyball program post an overall won-loss record of 123-10 that included four MIAA regular-season championships, three MIAA Tournament titles, three trips to the national semifinals two trips to the national final and one national championship.
A middle hitter and setter in Calvin's 6-2 attack, DeVries completed her career with 1,493 kills, ranking eighth on the Calvin career list. She also amassed 463 career blocks which ranks sixth on the all-time Calvin list. In addition, she accumulated 1278 assists which rests eighth on the Calvin career list.
DeVries was a three-time First Team All-MIAA selection and the MIAA's Most Valuable Player in 2019 and the MIAA's Defensive Player of the Year in 2018. In 2018 and 2019 she was named the AVCA Division III National Player of the Year and to the AVCA Division III All-America First Team. In 2017, she was named to the AVCA Division III All-America Second Team.
As a freshman in 2016, she was named to the NCAA III Finals All-Tournament Team after helping Calvin capture its third national championship in women's volleyball. She sparked Calvin to four consecutive NCAA III Regional crowns and was named the NCAA III Regional Tournament Most Outstanding Player in both 2018 and 2019. In the 2019 NCAA III Regional Finals, she produced an incredible quadruple-double (20 kills, 16 assists, 12 digs, 10 blocks) in a four-set win over Hope. She concluded her career with a triple-double (25 kills, 28 assists, 12 digs) in a national quarterfinal loss to Trinity (Tx.) this past November.
In the classroom, DeVries recently graduated with a degree in nursing where she carried a 3.84 grade point average. This past December, she was named the CoSIDA Division III All-American of the Year in women's volleyball. She was named a First Team CoSIDA Academic All-America selection in 2018 and 2019. She was an eight-time member of the Calvin Dean's List student as well as a regular member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll.
DeVries has been a member of Calvin's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC). She has also volunteered as a youth volleyball coach in Grand Rapids. In addition, she has served as an athlete chaperone with Special Olympics and as a nursery volunteer at Ada Bible Church.
Also nominated for the award were:
Megan Bigelow, Hope College
Nicole Deweyert, Olivet College
Caroline Fleming, Adrian College
Katie Glen, Saint Mary's College
Makenna Hartline, Trine University
Libby Munoz, Kalamazoo College
Madyson Piche, Alma College