Madison Shields, a standout Pepperdine Waves volleyball player, who graduated in the spring, is a nominee for the 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year award.
The West Coast Conference announced last week that it had nominated Shields for the 31-year-old honor on the heels of Shields completing an impressive indoor volleyball and beach volleyball career at Pepperdine.
The NCAA Woman of the Year award recognizes graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves in academics, athletics, service and leadership throughout their college careers.
Shields and many other college athletes received an extra year of eligibility due to the COVID-19 pandemic hitting the pause button on society, including sports calendars, in spring 2022. Shields is set to compete at University of Southern California as a graduate student this upcoming school year.
She was a libero for the Waves women’s indoor volleyball team for four seasons and played on Pepperdine’s beach volleyball team her senior year. Throughout her Pepperdine volleyball years, Shields was known as a defensive stalwart that hustled all over the court and sand.
After winning the WCC’s Defensive Player of the Week honor for the fifth time in her career last November, Shields, playing for the indoor volleyball squad at the time, told The Malibu Times that after each match, she always discovers a random bruise or bump on her body after running and diving all over the court in pursuit of the volleyball.
“I don’t really give up on any plays,” Shields said. “I pretty much go for anything in my vicinity. Having that mindset has expanded my range on the court. Sacrificing your body for the ball — I love it.”
Shields finished her indoor Waves volleyball career ranked fourth in school history in reception percentage at .959, ninth in digs with 1,152, and 14th in digs per set with 2.87. She played in 109 matches and was a two-time All-WCC selection and the 2020 WCC Libero of the Year.
Shields finished her lone beach volleyball season with AVCA All-American honors and was an All-WCC first-team selection.
The biology major also had a 3.94 GPA and was a two-time WCC All-Academic selection. Additionally, Shields was Pepperdine Athletics’ Female “Wave of Year” because of her contributions in spirit and service to the athletics program and the school’s community.
Conferences such as the WCC selected up to two nominees for the Woman of the Year honor from its pool of universities. The NCAA Woman of the Year selection committee will choose the Top 30 honorees. The committee will then select the top three candidates from each division of the top 30. The nine finalists will be announced in September. The 2022 NCAA Woman of the Year will be named in the fall.
Kendall Cornick, an All-American softball player from Augustana University in South Dakota won the honor last year.
After the Waves beach volleyball team won its senior day contest in April, Shields said she was grateful for her teammates and the chance to compete.
“I have pride in wearing the Pepperdine jersey out on the beach,” she said. “It is something I have always wanted to do.”