What an experience for the ETBU family back in 2010 when the Lady Tigers won the NCAA Division III National Softball Championship in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. One of the players on the national championship team was freshman catcher Lya Swaner from Wylie, Texas. Lya was behind the plate every game for the Tigers that year. In her four years of playing softball at ETBU, it was hard not to find a game that she was not behind the plate.
Fast forward to May 2013, Spring Commencement in Baker Auditorium of the Ornelas Spiritual Life Center, Lya walks across the stage to graduate with honors with a double major in Biology and Chemistry. She is not only an All-American National Champion softball player, but a very bright, smart young lady.
If you recall back on August 21, Tiger Pride reported that Lya had been named as one of the Top 30 Women in the NCAA. The NCAA has announced the Top Nine Finalist for the Woman of the Year Award and Lya is one of the top nine. The nine finalists were selected in recognition of their accomplishments in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
Here is the release from the NCAA about one of the best student/athletes to ever walk the ETBU campus:
Lya was a campus leader at East Texas Baptist University, where she was a three-year member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and president in her senior year. She also held a work-study job on campus while volunteering for the Dallas Fire Department, Habitat for Humanity and Special Olympics.
Double-majoring in biology and chemistry and graduating with honors, Lya earned multiple academic scholarships, was inducted into the National Honor Society and made the Dean’s List each semester on campus, and was voted a Capital One Academic All-American. She was also recognized with the American Southwest Conference Scholar-Medal of Honor, which is awarded to one graduating male and female student-athlete at each member university for most outstanding academic, athletic and leadership records and awarded the Distinguished Scholar-Athlete award given to one American Southwest Conference softball player.
The two-year team captain and four-year starter led the East Texas Baptist University softball team to three NCAA tournament appearances in four years, including winning the NCAA National Championship in 2010. She also won two American Southwest Conference Tournament championships and was named the tournament MVP in 2013. She was given the Top Tiger Award, which recognizes the top overall female athlete at East Texas Baptist.
The NCAA Woman of the Year will be announced on October 20th during a ceremony in Indianapolis. The nine finalists were selected from more than 450 nominees.
Congratulations Lya! Your ETBU family is cheering for you to be named the NCAA Top Woman of the Year.