Former Shippensburg University two-sport athlete, Gabriella Johnson is the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference’s (PSAC) nominee for the 2020 NCAA Female of the Year Award.
Johnson is one of 161 women across the United States up for the nomination and is just one of 39 NCAA Division II athletes officials announced.
In her four-year tenure at SU, Johnson flourished in both swimming and volleyball. However, swimming was Johnson’s calling as she holds two school records in the 200 and 400 medley relays and boasts the second-best times in school history for the 100 and 200 breaststrokes.
Additionally, she is a two-time PSAC champion, nine-time PSAC place-winner and six-time All-PSAC award winner in individual competition. Her PSAC relay awards are just as impressive as she is a 10-time PSAC place-winner and a four-time All-PSAC award winner.
When it comes to volleyball, Johnson was a reliable six-rotation player. Over her career, Johnson compiled a noteworthy stat-line which includes 1,570 digs, 1,139 kills and 1,363.5 points. Johnson’s 195 career blocks also cemented her as a defensive staple for the Raiders.
Despite the bevy of awards and jaw-dropping career numbers, Johnson said she is surprised and honored to be nominated.
“It means a lot to me that not only the administration at Shippensburg thinks I am worthy of this award, but the PSAC staff as well,” Johnson said. “I am amongst many other great student athletes and am honored to represent Shippensburg and the entire conference.”
While Johnson credits her hard work ethic and dedication to much of her success, she said that the people that surrounded her at SU played a major role in shaping her exceptional career.
“I could not have done it without my teammates, staff, and coaches throughout the years,” she said. “I am truly grateful for all that they have done and owe a lot of my success to them.”
In the end, Johnson said she misses being a student athlete but has a lot of memories she can hold on to for years to come. She also said that she will miss the tight-knit community that SU has to offer the most.
“What I miss the most about Ship is the family atmosphere that it provides,” Johnson said. “Everyone genuinely wants to see each other succeed and works hard to create the best environment possible.”
The next step in Johnson’s path to the NCAA Woman of the Year Award is all conference-level nominees will be forwarded to Woman of the Year committee, according to ncaa.org. From there, the selection committee will choose the Top 10 honorees from each division, which will eventually be slimmed down to three selections, leaving nine total finalists.
The recipient of the award will be decided this fall, with an exact date to be announced in the coming days.