National champion volleyball player Jenna Grasmeyer is receiving the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association's top female scholar-athlete honor for the impact she made on and off the volleyball court.
The recent Hope College graduate and native of Jenison, Michigan, has been named the 2015 winner of the Sheila Wallace Kovalchik Scholar-Athlete Award, the MIAA announced today.
The Kovalchik 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.
Co-Athletic Director Melinda Larson said Hope Athletics is thrilled to see Grasmeyer recognized.
"Jenna was not only outstanding on the volleyball court," Larson said, "but she was excellent in the classroom and made positive contributions to the Hope and Holland communities."
Grasmeyer is Hope's second Kovalchik award recipient. She follows track and field's Nora Kuiper, who won in 2009.
"The MIAA had many outstanding student-athletes this year, and the choice for this award was a difficult one," MIAA Commissioner Penny Allen-Cook said. "Jenna Grasmeyer's accomplishments on the volleyball court, in the classroom and in the community set her apart from the other nominees."
Grasmeyer was a standout performer in volleyball throughout her four years at Hope College.
An outside hitter for the Flying Dutch, Grasmeyer was a four-time All-MIAA first team selection and was selected a first team All-American three times by the American Volleyball Coaches Association. She led Hope to a 58-6 record in MIAA play and a 120-17 overall mark during her four years. She served as team captain in her junior and senior years. Grasmeyer capped off her career last fall by leading the Flying Dutch to their first NCAA Division III national championship, earning Most Outstanding Player honors for the tournament.
Grasmeyer set numerous school records during her career, including kills (1,839), attack attempts (4,641), service attempts (1,666) and matches played (137). She also tied a school single-match record for kills with 28 and set the single-match record for attack attempts with 75.
An exercise science major at Hope, Grasmeyer graduated in May with a 3.79 grade point average. She was a three-time member of the MIAA Academic Honor Roll, and over the winter was named to the Capital One Academic All-America second team in volleyball by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Grasmeyer was heavily involved in campus and community activities during her career at Hope.
As a member of Hope's Student-Athlete Advisory Council (SAAC), she planned and coordinated a campus and athlete-wide food drive that contributed 2,000 items to a local food bank. She also served as a mentor to a young child struggling with obesity, helping her with exercises and healthy food choices, worked individually with a special needs child in a therapy pool and volunteered to help third-graders with their reading skills. She also volunteered at Helen DeVos Children's Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and at Harbor House in Jenison.
Jenna Grasmeyer is the daughter of Mark and Karla Grasmeyer. She is a graduate of Hudsonville Unity Christian High School.
Other nominees for the Kovalchik Award were Rebecca Reynolds of Adrian, Ashley Glenn of Albion, Breanna Verkaik of Calvin, Emily Lindsay of Kalamazoo, Carli Reid of Olivet and Kati Schneider of Saint Mary's.