By Luke Rinne, UMSL Athletics
Former University of Missouri-St. Louis volleyball standout Charlotte Richards has been named a finalist for the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year, as officially announced by the NCAA on Monday afternoon. Richards, who graduated with her’s master’s degree from the College of Business Administration last December, becomes the first Triton in UMSL Athletics history to reach the final nine for the award.
“I want to congratulate Charlotte for this prestigious honor,” Chancellor Kristin Sobolik said. “She has been a tremendous representative of the University of Missouri–St. Louis throughout her career as a student-athlete. Her All-American play on the court helped lead our volleyball program to heights it had not seen before, and she excelled just as much in the classroom, earning both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees with distinction. Our university is incredibly proud of all her accomplishments.”
A native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Richards was a three-time American Volleyball Coaches Association All-American and a two-time Division II Conference Commissioner’s Association All-American, earning three first-team recognitions collectively. She finished the 2022 season in the top 15 in the NCAA Division II volleyball record books in total kills (8th), total attacks (8th), points per set (11th) and kills per set (13th). Richards helped lead the Tritons to the semifinals of the 2022 NCAA Division II Volleyball Championship. The 2022 AVCA Midwest Region Player of the Year was named Great Lakes Valley Conference Player of the Year three times and earned first-team All-GLVC recognition four times. The three-year team captain holds five program records, including career points scored (2,155).
Richards, who majored in supply chain management and went on to pursue a master’s degree in supply chain analytics, earned first-team College Sports Communicators Academic All-America recognition in 2022, following second-team honors in 2021. She earned Academic All-GLVC honors four times and was the Great Lakes Valley Conference Volleyball Scholar-Athlete of the Year in 2021 and 2022. She received the 2023 Richard F. Scharf Paragon Award, given to the conference’s female student-athlete of the year, and twice received the GLVC’s Brother James Gaffney Distinguished Scholar Award for maintaining a 4.0 GPA throughout the academic year.
Richards was a four-year member of UMSL’s Supply Chain and Transportation Club, where she received the Supply Chain and Analytics Outstanding Student Award. She also volunteered with the Special Olympics, Ronald McDonald House and Food Lifeline.
Of 619 student-athletes nominated for this award, 164 student-athletes were selected as conference-level nominees. That pool of student-athletes was narrowed to the national Top 30 honorees. On Jan. 11, the Top 30 honorees will be celebrated during a ceremony at the NCAA Convention in Phoenix. There, the 2023 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named.
Read more about the other finalists on the NCAA website.