LARAMIE – Former University of Wyoming student-athletes Reed Copeland and Clara Tapia will represent UW as the 2019 nominees for NCAA Woman of the Year. They are two of a record 585 nominees, representing multiple sports across NCAA Division I, II and III.
Copeland wrapped up her volleyball career in the fall of 2018, and left UW second in total blocks (658), tied for fifth in school history in career hitting percentage (.290) and seventh for most sets played in a career (445).
In 2018, Copeland set new career highs in kills (240), attacks (515), blocks (195) and points (349.0). She finished her career with 793 kills, 658 blocks (87 solo) and 1,165.5 points. The Federal Way, Washington, product finished in the top five nationally in both blocks per set and total blocks in 2015 and 2018.
Copeland helped lead the Cowgirls to a 78-45 overall record and a 48-24 conference record during her career. From 2015-18, UW never finished outside the top four in the MW, recording conference finishes of third (2015), fourth (2016), second (2017) and third (2018).
Tapia, a senior guard from Barcelona, Spain, helped guide the Cowgirls to their first Mountain West Championship game appearance. The Cowgirls won 25 game in 2018-19, which tied for the second-most in school history. The Cowgirls advanced to the quarterfinals of the Women’s National Invitation Tournament for the second time in program history.
Tapia was on teams that won at least 20 games in every season she she was on the team.
Tapia started all 34 games for the Cowgirls last season. She averaged 3.9 points, 3.1 assists and 2.0 rebounds per game in 26.9 minutes per contest. One the nation’s best decision-makers with the ball, she finished second in the Mountain West and 23rd in the NCAA in assist-to-turnover ratio at 2.5. She finished her career fifth in career assists with 394 in just three seasons.
Off the court Tapia earned her second-consecutive CoSIDA Academic All-America honor, as she made the second team. She is the only UW women’s basketball player with two such honors in the program’s history. Additionally, she was a finalist for the Rosemarie Martha Spitaleri award as UW’s top undergraduate student. Tapia carried a 4.0 grade point average in molecular biology and chemistry.
The Mountain West will announce its two finalists. The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will choose the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division. The selection committee will determine the top three honorees from each division and announce the nine finalists in September. From those nine finalists, the NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then will choose the 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The 2019 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named at an award ceremony Oct. 20 in Indianapolis.