Armstrong's tennis standout Alida Muller-Wehlau has reached yet another milestone. The three-time NCAA Division II national champion for the Lady Pirates has been selected as one of the Top 30 honorees for the 2011 NCAA Woman of the Year award. Alida is the first nominee from Armstrong as well as the Peach Belt Conference to gain this distinction.
The NCAA Woman of the Year Award, now in its 21st year, honors female student-athletes who have distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academic achievement, athletic excellence, community service and leadership.
"Alida Mueller-Wehlau embodies the essence of what is best among student-athletes," Armstrong President Linda Bleicken said. "She is a gifted individual, both on the court and in the classroom. She approaches all that she does with a focus on excellence, and she inspires excellence in those around her. With Alida, individual achievement is never enough; she pursues accomplishment on behalf of her entire team. What an honor it is to recognize her as the first female athlete from both Armstrong and the Peach Belt Conference to win recognition among the Top 30 NCAA Woman of the Year honorees, and what a pleasure it is to know her as a human being."
A Hamburg, Germany native, Alida is a four-time Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American in both singles and doubles and the 2011 Peach Belt Conference Player of the Year, as well as the 2010-11 Armstrong Female Student-Athlete of the Year. She capped her stellar career at Armstrong with her graduation in May with a degree in economics, but not before compiling a historic 130-21 overall singles and 156-19 overall doubles record.
In 2008, she delivered the match-clinching point in Armstrong's NCAA Division II Championship match, earning PBC Freshman of the Year honors that season. As a sophomore, she was the top-ranked Division II doubles player in the country and pushed Armstrong to a second consecutive national title in 2009. As the ITA's "Player To Watch" in 2010, Alida again led Armstrong to a national title, helping the Pirates become just the second team in DII history to win three consecutive women's tennis championships.
Off the court, Alida was active in the Armstrong Student-Athlete Advisory Council all four years, served as a German tutor to Armstrong students and participated in community outreach with the Make-A-Wish foundation, the Second Harvest Food Bank in Savannah, as well as Armstrong's "Treasure Savannah" Day of Service. A four-time PBC Presidential Honor Roll honoree, Alida was a two-time PBC All-Academic Team honoree as well as a 2011 CoSIDA (College Sports Information Directors of America) Academic All-District III At-Large honoree.
"It's hard to be surprised when Alida receives any recognition, but in this case, given the circumstances, it is certainly a tremendous honor for her to be included in such illustrious company," Armstrong head tennis coach Simon Earnshaw said. "We've made an effort to try and have some outreach with our program and be involved beyond just what is regularly expected by a student-athlete on our women's tennis team. This shows the value of that and what can be accomplished if someone goes the extra yard to be selfless and give so much of their time to others."