Photo by Stephanie Carpenter/Nebraska Communications

Hunter Named Senior CLASS Award Candidate

By NU Athletic Communications

Nebraska volleyball senior setter Kelly Hunter was named one of 30 candidates for the 2017 Senior CLASS Award in collegiate volleyball on Tuesday. 

To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. 

On the court, Hunter has established herself as one of the best setters in the nation. She is the only active setter in the nation to have played on both an NCAA Division I National Championship and a conference championship team. Hunter was an AVCA second-team All-American in 2016 and an All-Big Ten selection after leading the Huskers to the Big Ten title and a second-straight NCAA Semifinals appearance. Hunter led the Huskers to the 2015 NCAA Championship and was an all-tournament selection. She is an eight-time Big Ten Setter of the Week and a two-time AVCA All-North Region selection.

Hunter served as the secretary on the student-athlete advisory committee in 2016-17 and has represented the volleyball team on the committee every year since 2013. Hunter was named a team captain as a sophomore and has been a Husker captain for three seasons.

In the community, Hunter helped the volleyball team win Nebraska's Life Skills Award of Excellence in 2016, and she is a two-time member of the Tom Osborne Citizenship Team. The Papillion native has been a motivational speaker at School is Cool Week and the American Education Week during her career. She has also been a group facilitator at the Nebraska Diversity and Inclusion Summit. Hunter has volunteered at numerous events, including for the American Red Cross, Bone Marrow Drive, Uplifting Athletes Road Race, Make-A-Wish, Center for People in Need Christmas Drive, Sportsmanship 4 Life Pep Rally and Husker Heroes Outreach Event for Special Needs Children.

Hunter completed her undergraduate degree in marketing in May of 2017. She is currently pursuing a master's degree in business. Hunter is a three-time academic All-Big Ten selection in volleyball and a two-time honoree in beach volleyball. She has been named to Nebraska's Scholar-Athlete Honor Roll seven times in her career and has achieved Nebraska's High Honors Silver Academic Medallion twice.

The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists midway through the regular season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four Cs of community, classroom, character and competition. The Senior CLASS Award winner will be announced during the 2017 NCAA Division I Women’s Volleyball Championship in December.

For more information on all the candidates, visit seniorCLASSaward.com.

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