Graphic highlighting UMSL volleyball standout Charlotte Richards, who was named a Top 30 honoree for NCAA Woman of the Year

UMSL volleyball standout Charlotte Richards was named a Top 30 honoree for NCAA Woman of the Year. (NCAA graphic)

Charlotte Richards wrapped up her collegiate volleyball career last fall as one of the most decorated athletes in University of Missouri–St. Louis history. But the awards and accolades haven’t ceased since then.

Richards, a three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American and three-time Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year who propelled the Tritons to the national semifinals for the first time in school history last December, has been named a Top 30 honoree for NCAA Woman of the Year. The NCAA announced the 30 honorees – 10 from each division of the NCAA – on Monday.

Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year Award is rooted in Title IX and recognizes female student-athletes who have completed their undergraduate studies and distinguished themselves in their community, in athletics and in academics throughout their college careers. The NCAA announcement said this year’s 30 honorees were selected from among 619 nominations submitted by member schools, and they competed in 15 sports.

Richards is the first UMSL student-athlete named a Top 30 honoree. She finished last season ranked in the top 15 in the NCAA Division II volleyball record books in total kills (eighth), total attacks (eighth), points per set (11th) and kills per set (13th). The three-year team captain holds five UMSL program records, including career points scored (2,155).

“Charlotte was the epitome of what a student-athlete represents,” Coach Ryan Young said. “She was a hard worker, great teammate, role model, and more importantly just an amazing person. She led our team by example and vocally during her time here at UMSL, graduating with her undergraduate and master’s degrees in 4.5 years while competing at the highest level of Division II athletics. What an honor to be in consideration for such a prestigious award. She is well-deserving of all the accolades she collected during her college career.”

The Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native earned both her bachelor’s degree in supply chain management and a master’s degree in supply chain analytics during her time at UMSL. She received first-team College Sports Communicators Academic All-America recognition in 2022, following second-team honors in 2021, and was a four-time Academic All-GLVC honoree and the GLVC Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year winner in 2021 and 2022.

Richards was also honored with the 2023 Richard F. Scharf Paragon Award, given to the conference’s female student-athlete of the year, and twice received a Great Lakes Valley Brother James Gaffney Distinguished Scholar Award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout the academic year.

In addition to excelling on the court and in the classroom, Richards volunteered with the Special Olympics, Ronald McDonald House and Food Lifeline.

The selection committee will determine three honorees from each NCAA division, for a total of nine finalists. From those finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics will choose the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year. The NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced at the NCAA Convention in January, and the Top 30 honorees will also be celebrated during that event.

Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik