Katie Bender Named 2017 DII Women's Volleyball GP4L Character Award Recipient
GREENVILLE, S.C. (Courtesy of the NCCAA) -- The NCCAA is pleased to announce Katie Bender of Maranatha Baptist University as the 2017 GP4L Character Award Recipient for Division II Women’s Volleyball.
Katie is a senior from Green Bay, Wisconsin, and is earning her degree in elementary education with a minor in learning disabilities.
Katie has had a standout two-year career with the Sabercats. She has been named as the NCCAA North Region Libero of the Year and the Association of Division III Independents' Libero of the Year for two consecutive seasons. Bender has also earned subsequent NCCAA All-Region honors and AD3I All-Independent honors both years.
Katie has continued her solid play this year as a team captain. She has earned multiple all-tournament honors and has led the NCCAA DII in digs.
What stands out about this young lady is her dependable leadership skills in a variety of settings. At her church both at home and at MBU, Katie is a sign-language interpreter and participates in music and children’s ministries. At Maranatha, Katie is a three-sport athlete and serves on the dorm leadership team, the Student-Body Council, and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. In the community, Katie participates in local clinics, community improvement activities, and the Big Brother/Big Sister program.
Katie also traveled to the South Pacific on a nine-week ministry trip last summer where she served as a teen camp counselor and elementary school teacher.
One of the MBU volleyball team’s leadership discussions this year focused on standards and what areas of life should not see compromise. Katie contributed to the discussion with a statement that shows her heart for ministry: “I am not willing to compromise on my church attendance. Any time the doors are open, I want to be at church since I believe in the importance of the fellowship of believers, and I don’t want to miss out on any opportunity.”
MBU Athletic Director Rob Thompson comments, “Katie is well-deserving of this honor. She has been a great role-model for MBU women’s athletics. Katie’s presence on the volleyball court as well as the basketball court and softball fields have defined her as a competitor with a solid work and performance ethic. She gives everything she has to her sports and trusts the Lord to use her for His glory. She is so much more than just an athlete, and that stands out in her church, campus, and community engagement.”
Ashley Bearden, Grace Bible College
Marjorie Elliott, Bob Jones University
Tasha Krahn, Calvary University
The purpose of the NCCAA Game Plan 4 LIFE Character Award is to honor, each year, the outstanding Division II women’s volleyball player selected from the NCCAA member institutions. The award recipient must: be a team member of an NCCAA institution in good standing; demonstrate a clear Christian testimony on and off the court; demonstrate Christian service during her student-athlete career; demonstrate excellence in skills and leadership ability; demonstrate excellent academic standing; and be a junior, senior or graduate status.