MOREHEAD, Ky. – After being nominated for the honor in late June, Morehead State volleyball's Jessie Wachtman has been named one of two conference honorees from the Ohio Valley Conference for the prestigious National Collegiate Athletic Association's Woman of the Year award.
The Pickerington, Ohio native adds another impressive accomplishment to a resume that includes twice being named the Morehead State Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year winner, being named All-OVC during her redshirt senior season, and garnering College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Academic All-District honors.
With her nomination by the OVC, Wachtman—along with Lidia Yanes Garcia of Austin Peay—become one of 148 student-athletes in the NCAA to advance for further consideration for the award. The league's two nominees were whittled down from a list of nine OVC student-athletes which comprised a larger group of 585 nominees. Wachtman also stands as one of 64 nominees to come from an NCAA Division I institution while being one of 22 athletes that compete in indoor volleyball and one of three to compete in beach volleyball.
Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service, and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.
This season, a record 585 student-athletes competing across 23 sports across all three NCAA divisions have been nominated. Of the 585 nominees, 282 hail from NCAA Division I institutions.
Graduating this past May, Wachtman completed a dual degree in Strategic Communication and Social Work. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communication in May 2018, obtaining the degree with a perfect 4.0-grade point average while obtaining her Bachelor of Social Work in May 2019 with a 3.98 GPA.
Last November, she became the first Morehead State volleyball student-athlete to be named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team, being named to the seven-member team for District II.
For her hard work in the classroom, Wachtman has earned numerous additional accolades. She has twice been named Morehead State's Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, garnering the honor for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 academic years. Wachtman has also captured four consecutive OVC Commissioner's Honor Roll and Academic Medal of Honors while helping Morehead State volleyball to APR Public Recognition and AVCA Team Academic Awards during each of her seasons of competition.
Off the court, she has also held numerous leadership and volunteer roles within the Morehead State, Morehead, Ky., and Columbus, Ohio communities. Roles include serving as the Vice President for the Morehead State Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, leading the Morehead State Volleyball Leadership Team, serving as a Strategic Communication Student Ambassador in addition to numerous other volunteering opportunities, totaling over 500 hours of service.
On the court, Wachtman was a standout middle blocker for the Eagles, earning First Team All-OVC honors as a redshirt senior. One of the most efficient attackers in Morehead State history, she wrapped her career ranked ninth in program history with a .292 career attack efficiency, producing 616 kills in 350 career sets. Wachtman also helped the Eagles manufacture one of the best blocks in the OVC, turning away 223 attacks in her career, including a staggering 35 solo blocks.
Additionally, Wachtman was a member of Morehead State's inaugural beach volleyball teams, competing in both 2017 and 2018.
The Top 30 honorees, comprising 10 women from each division, will be named by the Woman of the Year selection committee in September. The selection committee will then narrow the pool to nine finalists — with three from each division — in early October. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2019 Woman of the Year.
The 2019 Woman of the Year will be named, and the Top 30 honorees will be celebrated, at the annual banquet Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.