The award is rooted in Title IX and was developed in 1991 to recognize graduating female student-athletes who distinguished themselves in the four pillars of the award – academics, athletics, service and leadership. Harrold and Zwiebel both graduated in May with degrees in kinesiology.
Nominees span all three NCAA divisions, including 259 at the Division I level. Most schools are limited to one nominee, but since Harrold is from Bristol, England, her recognition as an international student-athlete allowed LSU to nominate both her and Zwiebel, who is from Louisville, Kentucky.
Harrold was a regular in LSU’s vault, bars and floor lineups during her career in Baton Rouge. The three-time All-American helped lead LSU to one of the best runs in school history with five SEC Championships and a pair of NCAA National runner-up finishes. Harrold was selected to the SEC Community Service Team with nearly 200 hours dedicated in the community while representing the Tigers. She was a four-time SEC Academic Honor Roll member.
“This is such an incredible honor for Ruby,” LSU Gymnastics co-head coach D-D Breaux said. “She gave everything to this university and her teammates for four years. I am proud of all she accomplished at LSU, but I am really looking forward to see what she does in the future”
LSU Gymnastics Volunteer Assistant Coach Ashleigh Clare-Kearney was a finalist for the award in 2009. Standouts Ashleigh Gnat and Sarah Finnegan were also honored as the schools nominee in 2017 and 2019, respectively.
Zwiebel finished as a top-10 setter in LSU volleyball history. Her 2,238 career assists ranks eighth all-time. In a five-set win against High Point in 2017 , Zwiebel recorded a career high 65 assists. She was the first LSU volleyball student-athlete to be recognized as a two-time CoSIDA Academic All-American, earning first team honors in 2018. Her 4.046 GPA is one of the highest the LSU Voleyball program has seen. Zwiebel was heavily involved in the Baton Rouge community too, volunteering numerous organizations around the area. At the conclusion of her LSU undergraduate career, Zwiebel was nominated by LSU for the Southeastern Conference’s 2020 H. Boyd McWhorter Scholar-Athlete Post-Graduate Scholarship.
“Anna is one of the best and brightest student athletes our program has ever seen,” said LSU Volleyball coach Fran Flory. “She made our team better each and every day on the court, and she represented our program away from the court, in the classroom and in the community with the same commitment to excellence. She epitomizes the term student-athlete.”
Conference offices will select up to two nominees from their pool of schools before that list goes to the NCAA’s Woman of the Year selection committee to choose the Top-30 honorees, 10 from each division. The 2020 NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced later this fall.
(Press Release Provided by LSU Athletics)