ROCK HILL, S.C. (TheSAC.com) – The South Atlantic Conference announced it's 2018-19 Women and Man of the Year Awards on Monday (July 15). Wingate volleyball player Anna Holmquist was named SAC Woman of the Year, while Tusculum cross country, track and field, and women's soccer athlete Nicole McMillen was named the SAC International Woman of the Year. In addition, Wingate men's tennis player Daniel Belsito was named the SAC Man of the Year.
Holmquist, a senior volleyball player from Lincoln, Neb., adds to her impressive resume as the SAC Woman of the Year. She was named the 2018-19 SAC Presidents Award winner, was the 2018 SAC Scholar-Athlete for volleyball and received Academic All-American Honors. She led the Bulldogs to three SAC regular season championships, two SAC tournament championships and an NCAA Southeast Region title during her career, while earning All-SAC, All-Region, and All-American honors. Holmquist led the conference in hitting percentage and was also ranked in the top-5 in the nation in the same category.
The recipient of the first-ever SAC Bob McCloskey Insurance Postgraduate Scholarship in 2019, Holmquist earned the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship in February and was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Brazil in 2020. She boasts a 3.94 GPA in Political Science, with minors in Spanish and International Studies. She will attend the University of Pittsburgh for graduate school, where she will pursue a master's degree in international development.
Holmquist's service has not only included the surrounding community of Wingate, but also her hometown of Lincoln. While a Bulldog, she has been an academic tutor in Spanish, political science, English, and history. She also participated in, and directed, volleyball's involvement in Wingate's United Way Day of Caring, while serving as a research assistant to a political science professor and co-authoring of a paper on international women's rights. She was an undergraduate presenter at the North Carolina Political Science Association Annual Conference, and she was a peer mentor for Gateway 101, a freshman course that helps new students develop academic and leadership skills. Holmquist published a paper in the Wingate Research Review in the fall of 2018, entitled "Analyzing HPV Vaccination Policy".
Every summer in Nebraska, Holmquist has been busy interning and volunteering her time, in addition to coaching middle and high school girls' volleyball at a local club. She interned with a national non-profit (American Civil Liberties Union of Nebraska), where she has been involved with a Nebraska health/civic awareness festival, aided the Inspector General of Child Welfare and assisted with a state legislative campaign. She served as an ELL volunteer and trainee at Lincoln Literacy, non-profit that connects non-English speakers with tutors to help them learn the language, and worked with Lincoln Lighthouse, an after-school non-profit that helps at-risk youth graduate from high school and gives them a safe and engaging place.
McMillen, a senior from Pickering, Ontario, Canada, was named the SAC Women's Track & Field Scholar-Athlete of the Year with a 3.921 GPA in business administration. The distance runner has been a member of the Dean's List every year, as well as the Charles Oliver Gray Honors List, South Atlantic Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll, the President's List, and the Tusculum Athletic Director's Honor Roll. McMillen has also been inducted into the Alpha Chi Honors Society and was a Google Cloud Academic All-District and All-American selection for 2018-19.
The multi-sport athlete has competed in track & field for two seasons, while also being a member of the Tusculum women's soccer and women's cross country teams. McMillen was named the 2019 SAC Women's Outdoor Track Athlete of the Meet after earning gold in three events: 3,000 meter steeplechase, 1,500 meter, and 5,000 meter runs. Her first place mark in the steeplechase was the first time a Tusculum student-athlete garnered a gold medal finish at the SAC Outdoor Championship. She was also the top finisher in the mile at the SAC Indoor Championship. She earned USTFCCCA All-Region honors the steeplechase, 1,500 meter and 5,000 meter runs, and she will compete in the 2019 NCAA Division II Women's Outdoor Track & Field National Championship in the steeplechase on May 23-25 in Kingsville, Texas.
Every year, McMillen has been involved in the Tusculum University Nettie Day of Service and the Make-A-Wish 5K Run/Walk. She has also served on the Pioneer Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) as the team representative for the past two seasons. In the last three years, McMillen has been a youth soccer camp counselor.
Belsito, a senior from Charlotte, N.C., holds a 3.76 GPA as a sport management major and was the 2019 SAC Men's Tennis Scholar-Athlete of the Year. A two-time member of the South Atlantic Conference Commissioner's Honor Roll, Belsito has also seen his name on the Wingate President's and Dean's List, as well as an ITA Scholar-Athlete twice. He was also named to Third Team Academic All-America and Academic All-District.
The two-time Wingate co-captain has been a member of three first team all-conference doubles pairings and has twice been named first team all-conference in singles action. Belsito has been a top-20 nationally ranked singles and doubles player for the last two seasons, and he has helped lead the Bulldogs to three straight SAC regular season championships and back-to-back conference tournament tiles. Belsito was the 2019 SAC Men's Tennis Championship tournament MVP.
In every season as a Bulldog, Belsito has participated in the annual "Day of Caring" Service Projects, annual weekend junior tennis clinics at Providence Country Club, participated in sports management experiential learning projects, and led tennis clinics for the Wingate community. He has also spent the last two summers as an intern at Carolina Courts and has served at the First Presbyterian Church Sandwich Kitchen to support Charlotte Men's Shelter.
Holmquist and McMillen will move forward as the Conference's nominees for the NCAA Woman of the Year Award.