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UNC boasts at the least two Honda Sport Award winners in Matson and Daavettila

For simply the fourth time within the college’s historical past, North Carolina can have at the least two recipients of the Honda Sport Award.

On Thursday, fifth-year senior Sara Daavettila was introduced as this yr’s recipient of the Honda Sport Award for Tennis. Daavettila joins fellow Tar Heel Erin Matson, who was named the winner of the sphere hockey award on June 2.

What’s the Honda Sport Award?

The awards – which have been round since 1976 – are given yearly to the highest ladies athletes in twelve NCAA-sanctioned sports activities. The winners are decided by a voting panel of roughly 1,000 directors from NCAA member faculties.

The twelve recipients of the award turn into finalists for Collegiate Lady Athlete of the 12 months, the winner of which will probably be introduced with the 2021 Honda Cup.

UNC’s historical past with the awards

The Tar Heels boast previous Honda Award winners from a wide selection of sports activities, from cross nation to lacrosse to soccer.

For a college to have multiple winner in a yr is a uncommon accomplishment. The one different instances Carolina Athletics has claimed a number of winners was in 1990 with Leslie Lyness for area hockey and Shannon Higgins for soccer, 2004 with Shalane Flanagan for cross nation and Catherine Reddick for soccer, and in 2013 with Kara Cannizzaro for lacrosse and Crystal Dunn for soccer.

By no means earlier than has UNC had three winners in a yr, however that has the potential to alter as senior goalkeeper Taylor Moreno was named as a finalist for the lacrosse award on Monday. The winner of the lacrosse award will probably be introduced subsequent week.

UNC ladies’s tennis will get first Honda Award winner

Daavettila will probably be breaking floor as the primary UNC athlete to win the award for tennis. After dropping out on final yr’s match due to COVID-19, the senior determined to make use of her further yr of eligibility and return for her fifth season at UNC.

Daavettila’s 149 profession singles wins are tied for second-most in program historical past. Final season, she was ranked as excessive as No. 1 within the ITA nationwide rankings, whereas successful Most Excellent Participant within the ITA indoor match and ACC Participant of the 12 months.

Daavettila earned the highest seed within the NCAA Singles Championship the place she made the semifinals, and she or he has probably the most profession quarterfinals appearances in program historical past with three.

Matson continues her dominance

Few Tar Heels have ever received the Honda Award back-to-back, however that’s simply what Matson did after main UNC area hockey to one more championship.

It’s arduous to overstate simply how unbelievable the junior attacker’s run has been at UNC. She has received three championships in three years with this system and has solely misplaced a sport as soon as in her school profession.

Final season, Matson led the nation in objectives per sport with 1.45. She scored 29 objectives final season, which accounted for almost 45 % of the crew’s 65 objectives. The following-highest scoring gamers have been in a three-way tie with six objectives every.

Contemplating Matson’s awe-inspiring numbers this previous season, she needs to be in severe rivalry to be named the Collegiate Lady Athlete of the 12 months.

Soccer legend Mia Hamm is the one UNC athlete to have ever hoisted the Honda Cup. Like Matson, Hamm received consecutive Honda Awards in 1993 and 1994, the latter yr being the one through which she received the cup.

This yr’s awards ceremony will probably be broadcast on the CBS Sports activities Community on June 28 at 9 p.m. Whether or not or not UNC will come away with the cup, one factor is for sure: the Tar Heels will probably be nicely represented as their ladies’s sports activities applications make historical past as soon as once more.

@LucasThomae

@dthsports | sports activities@dailytarheel.com

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