Senior Vanessa DiBernardo was named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team for the first time in her career.
Nov. 1, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois senior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo was named to the Capital One Academic All-District First Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Thursday (Oct. 31). DiBernardo earned Academic All-District honors for the second time in her career and was picked to the First Team for the first time.
The Capital One Academic All-District and Academic All-America programs strive to recognize student-athletes that excel in competition and in the classroom. Nominees must be sophomores and above with a cumulative GPA of 3.30 and higher. Illinois is part of District 5, which includes universities in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio. First-team Academic All-District honorees advance to the Capital One Academic All-America ballot, which will be voted on and announced later this month.
A recreation, sport and tourism major with a sport management concentration, DiBernardo boasts a 3.70 GPA and has twice been named Academic All-District. The Naperville, Ill., native has been recognized with several other academic awards, including an NSCAA Scholar All-American, a two-time Academic All-Big Ten honoree and a Big Ten Distinguished Scholar.
DiBernardo is a two-time All-American, collecting NSCAA second-team honors in 2011 and third-team accolades in 2012, and has been named to the MAC Hermann Trophy Watch List three times. She excelled immediately on the field as an Illini, beginning her career as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 2010. She followed up a stellar rookie season by earning Big Ten Midfielder of the Year honors in 2011 while leading the Illini to its second-ever Big Ten Tournament title.
A three-time first-team All-Big Ten selection, DiBernardo led the Illini in goals in each of the past three years, including a career-high 17 goals as a sophomore. She has scored four goals and tallied six assists, tying her for the most career assists (21) in school history, this season while missing seven games due to a knee injury. DiBernardo returned to action during the season finale at Minnesota, where the Illini clinched a berth into next week's Big Ten Tournament in Champaign.