Most years, you can probably spend a lot of time trying to figure out which athletes were the best male and female competitors at Penn State. That wasn't the case in 2015, as wrestler Matt Brown and women's volleyball ace Micha Hancock were pretty clearly the best Nittany Lion athletes.
That claim was backed up today, when the two were named Penn State's Male and Female Student-Athletes of the Year for 2014-15. This is the second straight year that a wrestler and a women's volleyball player received the honors, as David Taylor and Deja McClendon won the awards in 2013-14.
Hancock was the team captain and starting setter on the women's volleyball team that won the seventh national championship in program history. Her list of accolades is seemingly endless, as won multiple national titles, was a three-time All-American and was named the 2014 AVCA DI National Player of the Year. Her 126 aces last year were a Penn State and Big Ten record, as are her 380 career aces. In the classroom, Hancock graduated with a degree in communication arts and sciences. She also gave us the best photo of all time.
Brown was the only Nittany Lion wrestler to win a national championship this year, as he won the 174-pound national title en route to being named an All-American for the third time in his career. While his career as a wrestler was spectacular – he compiled a 118-16 career record – Brown was even better in the classroom. I'll let GoPSUSports handle this one, because I don't want to mess anything up while paraphrasing:
Brown was recently named the CoSIDA Men's At-Large Academic All-American of the Year after earning his second first-team CoSIDA Academic All-America honor. A criminology and international studies major, he was also recently honored with a prestigious NCAA Post-Graduate Scholarship and was Penn State's male recipient of this year's Big Ten Post-Graduate Scholarship. He was one of four Nittany Lion wrestlers to earn first team NWCA National All-Academic laurels as well (the third time he has been honored as such). He was also recently named Penn State's male recipient of the McCoy Award and was also a 2013 first-team CoSIDA Academic All-American. The 2013 Elite 89 Award Winner as the nation's top wrestling student-athlete, Brown was a three-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree as well.
The two are also on the ballot for the Big Ten Male and Female Athletes of the Year. I'm biased, obviously, but they should win. By a lot.
Congratulations, Matt and Micha!