NCAA Woman of the Year nominee Mariana Alvarado.
June 22, 2015

View the complete list of nominees here.

INDIANAPOLIS - The University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Mariana Alvarado was announced recently as one of 480 student-athletes from all NCAA schools of all divisions as a nominee for the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Alvarado, who graduated in May with honors and a degree in Mechanical Engineering, was a four-year member of the women's bowling program, a two-time National Champion and three-time All-American.

The NCAA Woman of the Year program is in its 25th year and awards `graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service and leadership.'

Alvarado (Leon, Mexico) finished the season averaging a 207.27, in a tie for second-place in team game average in the nation according to Alvarado earned a pair of ECAC Bowler of the Week honors, three MEAC Bowler of the Week accolades, the MVP award at the Kutztown Invitational, and three All-Tournament Team honors (Mid-Winter Classic, Kutztown Invitational, ECAC Championships). Alvarado was also part of the lineup that bowled a perfect 300 Baker game this season, also at Kutztown. It was the second time in her career she reached that feat.

Alvarado was named a First-Team All-MEAC player this season, her third straight conference honor, as well as garnering pre-season All-MEAC honors. This season she matched a career high with a 279 game tossed at Kutztown. She helped guide UMES to their third straight MEAC Championship in mid-March and earned All-MEAC academic honors and a spot on the Commissioner's All-Academic Team. She was a finalist for the MEAC Bowler of the Year and was the team's Most Valuable Player.

The National Tenpins Coaches Association (NTCA) named her a second-team All-America selection this season, her third straight All-American distinction.

"As a women's bowling student-athlete at UMES, I have learned a lot from my professors, coaches and teammates," Alvarado said in a statement. "I have grown to understand that passion, responsibility and hard work are necessary to succeed and contribute in the classroom, on the lanes and in my community. Without UMES, I wouldn't be who I am today."



Alvarado will begin graduate school in the fall at Oakland University in Detroit. "In the classroom, I've tried to be an example to my teammates, holding myself to high academic standards," she added. "I've dedicated myself to learning the material while using my passion for the field to achieve success. I start graduate school for mechanical engineering, feeling prepared. I know that is because I learned that there is no substitute for hard work and no stronger motivator than being there for your teammates while I was competing. I also gained a valuable sense of how important it is to give back. I was told to whom much is given, much is expected."

Alvarado volunteered with several charities and events during her time at UMES, including Relay for Life, Street Sweep, youth camps, and various women's shelters and even served as a tutor on campus.

Of the 480 nominees, 207 were Division I athletes, including Alvarado, while 93 were form DII and 180 from DIII. Alvarado is the only NCAA bowler on the list and one of four student-athletes from the MEAC which includes Deidra Jordan (outdoor track & field) of Bethune-Cookman, Ariel Richard (volleyball) from Coppin State and Jennifer Tracy (softball) of North Carolina Central.

The NCAA stated in their release that they encourage `member schools to honor its top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.

Then, conferences assess each nominee's eligibility and select up to two conference nominees. All conference nominees are forwarded to the Woman of the Year selection committee, which chooses the top 30 honorees - 10 from each division.'

Last season, another UMES bowler Megan Buja (Rockford, Ill.) made the final 30 while her former teammate Kristina Frahm (Oswego, Ill.) made the top 30 in 2011.

From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three nominees from each division and announces the top nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics then chooses from among those nine to determine the 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year.

The 2015 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced, and the Top 30 honorees celebrated, at the annual award ceremony Oct. 18 in Indianapolis.'

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