Monday, May 7, 2012

Sa Iosia Named Russell Female Athlete of the Year

Posted: Wednesday, April 4, 2012 9:00 pm | Updated: 9:50 pm, Fri Apr 6, 2012.

We told you about the success that Poly graduate Saitaua “Sa” Iosia has been having at the University of Maryland, Eastern Shore in her freshman season. Well, the Long Beach native just capped her first year with the Nighthawks by winning a major national award. Iosia was named the top female athlete in America’s 105 Historically Black Colleges and Universities, winning the Russell HBCU MVP of the Year.

The awards were decided by fans across the country. Iosia earned the most votes in Female MVP category, beating out LaQwesha Gamble of Johnson C. Smith, Victoria Lewis of Chowan, Jamila McKinnis of Stillman and Whiquitta Tobar of Alabama A&M. She was named the recipient at the HBCU Buzz Awards at the Armour J. Blackburn University Center. Iosia received as many votes as the rest of the field put together.

"With gratitude to God and Russell Athletics, I am honored to accept this award as an accomplishment not only for me but for my school, team, and family," said Iosia in a university statement. "We were all in this together and together we won."

This is the first year of the Russell HBCU Awards. The athletics awards are sponsored by Russell Athletic, the official uniform company of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, the Southwestern Athletic Conference and the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association. The awards showcase all HBCUs in the country.

"Sa is the perfect recipient for the first annual HBCU Buzz award for Female MVP sponsored by Russell Athletics," said UMES head coach Don Metil, "She encompasses every word of their 2012 theme, My Life, My Family, My Society."

The freshman outside hitter adds to her trophy case after winning MEAC Rookie of the Year, 1st-Team All-MEAC, MEAC Tournament Most Outstanding Performer, COBRA Magazine Freshman of the Year, COBRA East Region Player of the Year, and COBRA All-National First Team.

She had one of the best seasons ever in UMES history, leading the MEAC in kills and points per game and fourth in aces per game and hitting percentage. She finished the season with 472 kills, averaging over four kills per set, 49 service aces, 268 digs and 54 blocks. She led UMES to its first ever MEAC title, getting a double-double with 25 kills and 11 digs, adding three aces plus getting the winning kill in the fifth set against Florida A&M.

"Iosia is heavily supported by her family, is respected by her peers, valued by the UMES community, and loved by her teammates," Metil says of his outside hitter, "As UMES volleyball continues to make history both on and off the court, it is the hard, persistent work of athletes like Sa that make the coaching profession enjoyable. The HBCU Awards definitely set the bar high with Sa being the first ever award winner."

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