Wingate's Grace Krauser Wins Elite 88™ Award

Wingate, N.C.----Wingate University sophomore middle blocker Grace Krauser (Louisville, Ky./Presentation Academy) is the recipient of the Elite 88 award for the 2010 NCAA Division II women’s volleyball championship. A Sociology major (with minors in Spanish and philosophy), Krauser was presented with the award prior to number 25 Wingate’s Elite Eight match versus number nine University of Central Missouri Thursday night in Louisville.

An award founded by the NCAA, the Elite 88 recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers. The Elite 88 is presented to the student-athlete with the highest cumulative grade point average participating at the finals site for each of the NCAA’s 88 championships. The awards were first presented in the fall of 2009.

Krauser possesses a 4.00 GPA. On the court, she has started 31 of Wingate’s 32 matches this season. She has a .252 hitting percentage.

The Bulldogs are 31-1 overall, good for a .969 winning percentage which leads NCAA Division II. Wingate’s current 29-match winning streak is the longest in Division II. The 2010 season marks the fourth consecutive year Wingate has finished in the top three in the nation in winning percentage, making the Bulldogs the only team to accomplish this feat.

“What a great honor for Grace,” Wingate head coach Shelton Collier says. “There are so many exceptional student-athletes across the country, so for a Wingate player to have been selected for such a prestigious award is very special.”

Collier believes Krauser has a tremendous drive to succeed. “Grace is a person who is internally driven to do well in a wide range of things in her life,” Collier says. “There is no doubt academics is one of these areas. For her to receive this award at the Elite Eight…in front of her family and friends in her hometown…makes it even more special for her and for our team.”

Eligible student-athletes are sophomores or above who have participated in their sport for at least two years with their school.
They must be an active member of the team, traveling and a designated member of the squad size at the championship site. All ties are broken by the number of credits completed. University of Indianapolis senior libero Kyleigh Turner (Muncie, Ind.) won the first Elite 88 award for Division II women’s volleyball in December, 2009. For more information on the Elite 88 award winners, log on to


Founded in 1896, Wingate University is a private comprehensive university with more than 2,300 students on two campuses in Wingate and Matthews, North Carolina. The university offers 32 undergraduate majors, 36 minors and career concentrations, numerous pre-professional programs, graduate degrees in business, accounting, physician assistant studies and sports administration and doctorates in pharmacy and education.

Wingate students gain the tools and support they need to excel in academics and apply that learning toward an extraordinary career and life. The campus community offers in-class learning, out-of-class experiences, strong mentors, a competitive yet caring environment and rewarding community service opportunities for a complete educational experience.

Bulldog student-athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports. Wingate University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past four years.

Wingate University is ranked number three among NCAA Division II Academic All-America® producing schools in the 2000’s with
38 honorees during this millennium. Only Pittsburg State (Kan.) University and Truman State (Mo.) University have produced more Academic All-America® honorees during this time period. Wingate’s 47 Academic All-America® honorees (lifetime) is tops among all SAC schools.

(Wingate University assistant sports information director Hugh Patton contributed information to this article. Patton is a 2006 Wingate graduate with a B.A. degree in Communication Studies.)