GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Belinda Woolcock, a senior from the University of Florida, was named the Honda Sport Award winner for Tennis as announced by Chris Voelz, Executive Director of THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards (CWSA) today.
The Honda Sport Award has been presented annually by the CWSA for the past 41 years to the top women athletes in 12 NCAA-sanctioned sports and signifies "the best of the best in collegiate athletics".
With this honor, Woolcock becomes a finalist for the Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year and the prestigious 2017 Honda Cup which will be presented on a live telecast on CBS Sports Network on June 26, 2017, in downtown Los Angeles.
Woolcock was chosen by a vote of administrators from over 1,000 NCAA member schools. Finalists Francesca Di Lorenzo (Ohio State), Brienne Minor (Michigan) and Astra Sharma (Vanderbilt).
"I couldn't be more thrilled to have been honored with this prestigious award," Woolcock said. "I am extremely proud to continue to represent the University of Florida and my team who have been my family for the past four years."
Hailing from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, Woolcock helped Florida to its seventh NCAA Championship in program history and was the 2017 NCAA DI Singles Championship runner-up. She was named the 2017 NCAA Championship Most Outstanding Player and earned NCAA Championship All-Tournament team honors for both singles and doubles competitions. She was the 2017 Regional Senior Player of the year and finished with a season-high ITA ranking of fifth.
Woolcock played No. 1 singles in every dual match after having played the top spot only once in her career prior to this year and season and posted an overall season record of 23-11 in singles (7-2 SEC singles record) and 29-7 in doubles. She finished 16-8 vs. ranked opponents this year en route to capturing her 100th career singles win as the 29th Gator to do so. She finished her Gator career 107-39 in singles and 90-37 in doubles.
"This is a huge - it's the Heisman Trophy for our sport," UF head coach Roland Thornqvist said. "Belinda is only the fourth Gator to win the award in the history of our storied program. That shows you just how big this award is and what an incredible season Belinda had. I can't overstate the significance of this. Belinda's leadership over the last four years has been exemplary. She joined our program playing the number six position in our dual match lineup and finished her senior season at the number one spot. It shows what you can do with hard work and a great attitude every day. Belinda holds that 'never-say-die' attitude and showed from her first year that she was an amazing competitor. Her work ethic not only made her game better, but was also one of the main reasons we were able to win a team national championship this season."
Woolcock is the second Gator this season to be honored with the Honda Award, as she joins gymnast Alex McMurty.
Woolcock becomes the fourth different Gator to receive the Honda Award for Tennis, with Shaun Stafford (1988), Lisa Raymond (1992, 1993) and Jill Craybas (1996) also honored.
Honda Sport Award winners will be presented with the honor during on-campus presentations throughout the year.
The CWSA, in its 41st year, honors the nation's top NCAA women athletes recognizing superior athletic skills, leadership, academic excellence and eagerness to participate in community service. Since commencing its sponsorship in 1986, Honda has provided more than $3.5 million in institutional grants to the universities of the award winners and nominees to support women's athletics programs at the institutions.