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Curley named 'Woman of the Year' nominee

By: Michael MacEachern

Assistant Director of Athletics for Sports Communications

From a pool of 577 school nominees, Young Harris College softball player Morgan Curley is now one of 151 college athletes have been named conference-level nominees for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

Curley was selected as the NCAA Woman of Year for the Peach Belt Conference. Curley is the second YHC student-athlete to have been selected as the conference nominee for the award. Women's golfer Hannah Walker was selected as the 2020 PBC nominee for the award.

The nominees represent student-athletes from 17 different sports spanning all three NCAA divisions. Of those nominated, 53 nominees competed in Division I, 39 in Division II and 59 in Division III.

Established in 1991, the NCAA Woman of the Year award, which is in its 32nd year, is rooted in Title IX and recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their NCAA eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their collegiate careers.

The NCAA encourages member schools to honor their top graduating female college athletes by nominating them for the Woman of the Year award. Schools can recognize two nominees if at least one is a woman of color or international student-athlete.

The Woman of the Year Selection Committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose 10 nominees from each division to make up the national Top 30 honorees. The Top 30 honorees will be announced in October. From there, the selection committee will narrow the pool to three finalists from each division. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics will select the 2022 Woman of the Year from the nine finalists.

At January's NCAA Convention in San Antonio, the national Top 30 honorees will be celebrated, and the NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced.

To learn more about the award program and previous winners, visit ncaa.org/woty. MORGAN CURLEY

  • Curley is a catcher from Flatwoods, Kentucky.

  • In 43 games (42 starts), Curley batted .350 (41-of-117), 34 runs scored, 14 doubles, three triples, seven home runs and 39 RBI. She recorded a .701 slugging percentage and a .500 on-base percentage.

  • She led the Mountain Lions in doubles, triples, walks (30) and RBI, while second in batting average, hits, runs and home runs.

  • The two-time PBC Player of the Week selection led the league in doubles per game (0.33), second in slugging percentage, third in on-base percentage and walks per game (0.70), and fourth in RBI per game (0.70).

  • Curley finished ranked 22nd in NCAA Division II in walks per game and 45th in on-base percentage.

  • Curley was named to the All-PBC team for the third in her career, including being named to the first team for a second consecutive season.

  • Curley graduated from Young Harris with her bachelor's degree in biology and minor in psychology. Curley finished with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.80.

  • Curley presented at Young Harris College's Undergraduate Research Day last spring. She was able to examine the physiological and psychological impact of crowd noise on reaction time in collegiate athletes at Young Harris, seeing both the positive and negative impacts on well-being. This allowed insight into how athletes' mental health can be impacted with simple tasks and how this can impact their overall performance.

  • Curley has served as a volunteer during her time in a YHC uniform. She has volunteered at the Hayesville Pet Celebration, at a local soup kitchen, Let's Move Day, the Crane Creek 5K race, and with the Fannin County Special Olympics. She also volunteered at her hometown church's Feed My Sheep Program.

  • As a player, Curley was a part of the Mountain Lions' Mental Health Awareness and the Austism Awareness games this spring.

  • Curley was named to the PBC Softball Team of Academic Distinction for the third time in 2022.

  • Curley, who was a honors student for four years, was named to the Dean's List seven times and to the President's List once.

  • She was named to the CoSIDA NCAA Division II Softball Academic All-District III first team in 2020 and named to the Division II Conference Commissioners Associationn All-Southeast Region second team in 2021.

  • Curley was a three-time PBC Player of the Week in her career as well as being named to the preseason All-PBC team twice. She was also named to the All-PBC Tournament team and PBC Freshman of the Week once her in career.

  • She also recieved the Academic Achievement Award from the D2 Athletics Directors Association.

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