SMITHFIELD, R.I. – After another year filled with successes on and off the court, volleyball standout and 2016 graduate Debora Magalhaes (Belo Horizonte, Brazil) has been honored as Bryant University's NCAA Woman of the Year nominee.
Through her two seasons with the Bulldogs, Magalhaes was instrumental in the program's rise up the Northeast Conference ladder. A two-time all-conference second teamer and five-time NEC Defensive Player of the Week, Magalhaes was the starting libero for every match of her Bryant career, leading the NEC in total digs and digs per set as both a junior and a senior. In 2015, those numbers, respectively, stood fifth and eighth on the national leaderboard, as the senior captain hit the 30-dig mark on four occasions, including setting a Division I program record with 38 against Central Connecticut Nov. 6.
A leader on the court, Magalhaes guided the Bulldogs to their best season yet at the Division I level, as the team went 19-14 with a 10-4 conference record and a perfect 14-0 mark at home en route to its first-ever postseason berth. She leaves the program as the Division I leader in digs (12th all-time) and digs per set.
Her leadership extended off the court and beyond her teammates, as well. In the classroom, Magalhaes graduated with a degree in applied mathematics and statistics and a 3.91 GPA that earned her a pair of NEC Commissioner's Honor Roll recognitions, a CoSIDA Capital One Academic All-District selection, and membership into the Phi Eta Sigma Honors Society. A member of SAAC and the Bryant Senior Advisory Committee, she also served as a math and economics peer tutor, a Chaffee Center market research assistant and a Special Olympics volunteer.
Magalhaes was honored with a pair of awards from Bryant's Intercultural Center as well, named the 2016 ICC Jim Thorpe Athletics Award recipient and the winner of the Benjamin Banneker Award for Academic Excellence.
Magalhaes is one of 511 honorees from across the NCAA ranks, including 225 from the Division I level. The four pillars of the NCAA Woman of the Year award are strength in academics, athletics, service and leadership, and 2016 marks the 26th year of this award.