Senior Rachel Batalden, a two-time MIAC All-Conference selection at setter for the Gustavus women’s volleyball team, has been selected as one of 56 student-athletes from across the country to receive an NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship. The MIAC led the nation with seven student-athletes receiving the $7,500 award in a fall sport. Other conferences receiving multiple awards were the Big 12 (five), University Athletic Association (three), and the Pac-10 (three).
Batalden has excelled on the volleyball court, setting the second-highest mark for career assists in school history. Her 4,012 assists in her four-year career rank her statistically in the top one percent of setters ever to play Division III volleyball. Batalden posted over 1,000 assists in each of the past two seasons, and was named to the All-Conference team each year as a result. Batalden was also given honorable mention on the All-Region team following the 2004 season. The Gustavus volleyball team has improved each year she has been on the team, and this year posted an 8-3 conference record and 19-7 overall record, its’ best overall winning percentage since 1985.
Off the court, Batalden boasts a 3.898 grade point average with a double major in mathematics and secondary education. She is a member of the Student Education Association and was inducted into Kappa Delta Pi, an honor society for those in the education field. Outside of her athletic and academic accomplishments, Batalden serves as the Vice President of the Student Athletic Advisory Board and is a Peer Assistant and Student Faith Advocate. This past fall, Batalden was also honored by her peers by being named Gustavus’ 2004 Homecoming Queen. After graduation, Batalden plans to begin work as a secondary school teacher and utilize her NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship by pursuing her master’s degree in Education at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities.
Joining Batalden as the MIAC’s award winners are Concordia’s Nick Myran (cross country), Jessica Walden (volleyball) and Jordan Talge (football), Bethel’s Matt Wassink (football), Carleton’s Katie Freeman (volleyball), and St. Thomas’s Brigid Power (cross country).
The NCAA has awarded 56 postgraduate scholarships of $7,500 each to 28 male student-athletes and 28 female student-athletes who participated in fall sports, which included women’s badminton (emerging sport), men’s and women’s cross country, women’s field hockey, football, women’s rugby (emerging sport), men’s and women’s soccer, women’s volleyball and men’s water polo. In addition to the fall sport honorees, the NCAA also awards 116 postgraduate scholarships to student-athletes participating in winter and spring sports in which the NCAA conducts championships or participates in as an emerging sport, for a total of 174 postgraduate scholarships annually.
To qualify for an NCAA postgraduate scholarship, a student-athlete must have an overall grade-point average of 3.200 (on a 4.000 scale) or its equivalent and must have performed with distinction as a member of the varsity team in the sport in which the student-athlete was nominated. The student-athlete also must intend to continue academic work beyond the baccalaureate degree as a graduate student.