Senior Vanessa DiBernardo, who was the only player honored from the Big Ten, earned a spot on an Academic All-America Team for the first time in her career.
Nov. 26, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - University of Illinois senior midfielder Vanessa DiBernardo was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Second Team, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) announced on Tuesday. DiBernardo, who was the only player honored from the Big Ten, earned a spot on an Academic All-America Team for the first time in her career.
A recreation, sport and tourism major with a sport management concentration, DiBernardo boasts a 3.70 GPA and has been named Academic All-District three times, including her first first-team nod in 2013. 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.
In her final season, she ranked second on the Illini with seven goals while helping Illinois reach the Sweet Sixteen in the NCAA Tournament. She also tallied seven assists, giving her the most career assists (22) in school history, and tied Tara Hurless for the most career shots by an Illini with 325. 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, and wrapped up her career third on the all-time list with 43 goals.
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.
The Capital One Academic Academic All-America program 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.