Rigdon accepts 2017-18 Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award
LAWRENCE, Kan. – Kansas volleyball senior All-American Madison Rigdon was recognized on Sunday for her well-rounded excellence on the court, in the classroom and in the community as the 2017-18 recipient of the Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award.
The award is presented by Kansas Athletics to one senior female student-athlete each year who played an integral role on her respective team and demonstrated strong character and leadership qualities, while also being a strong competitor in the classroom and in the field of play. Rigdon received the award from Dr. Marlene Mawson inside Allen Fieldhouse during a break in the action of the KU women’s basketball Dillons Sunflower Showdown game on Sunday.
“I feel incredibly honored to be recognized at this level of distinction at a place like KU Athletics where there are so many elite student-athletes,” Rigdon said. “Any of my success is all thanks to my coaches, teammates, and trailblazers like Marlene. Marlene is the one who started providing so many women at KU with opportunities in athletics 50 years ago — we wouldn’t be where we are today without her. My coaches continually put me in the best possible situation to be successful on and off the court. My teammates have made my four years here filled with lifelong memories.”
Rigdon is the third KU volleyball student-athlete to win the award, joining Tayler Soucie (2016-17) and Karina Garlington (2010-11).
Nicknamed the “Mother of Kansas Athletics,” Dr. Mawson was appointed to a full-time physical education faculty position with the added responsibility of initiating an intercollegiate women’s sports program in 1968. In addition to directing the program, Dr. Mawson coached women’s basketball, volleyball, softball and field hockey during her first three years at KU. For 22 years, Dr. Mawson was a professor and administrator at the University of Kansas.
Rigdon is a three-time Academic All-Big 12 honoree and a regular on the Big 12 Commissioner’s Honor Roll during her All-American career as a student-athlete. She was part of an unprecedented era of success for Kansas volleyball that included an appearance in the 2015 NCAA Final Four and the program’s first-ever Big 12 Conference title in 2016.
“I approached my time at KU by trying to work hard every day, be coachable and be the best teammate I could possibly be,” Rigdon continued. “I hope I leave a legacy and a good example for future players to stand on my shoulders, just as I stood on the shoulders of those who came before me.”
The Pflugerville, Texas, native is a two-time AVCA All-America Honorable Mention recipient and a three-time All-Big 12 selection, including back-to-back first-team nods in 2016 and 2017. In the KU record books, Rigdon ranks second career aces, ninth in career kills, second in career attack attempts and fifth in career total points.
One of the most memorable moments in Kansas Athletics history was Rigdon’s match-point kill to defeat No. 1 USC to win the NCAA Championship San Diego Regional Final and send Kansas to its first-ever Final Four appearance in 2015.
During her four-year career, Kansas won 101 total matches and extended program-record streaks for consecutive NCAA Tournament appearances (six), 20-win seasons (six) and top-20 finishes in the NCAA RPI (six).
Rigdon’s numerous extracurricular activities included volunteering at the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence and coaching a club team for the Landsharks Volleyball Club.
During the 2018-19 academic year, Rigdon will play one year of collegiate sand volleyball while pursuing a post-graduate degree at the University of Arizona.
|Marlene Mawson Exemplary Student-Athlete Award Winners|
|2008-09||Sha’Ray Butler||Track & Field|
|2009-10||Lauren Bonds||Cross Country/Track & Field|
|2011-12||Rebeka Stowe||Cross Country/Track & Field|
— Kansas Volleyball (@KUVolleyball) January 28, 2018
Honored to receive the Marlene Mawson Female Student Athlete Award. Thank you so much for everything you have done for Women’s Athletics! Rock Chalk pic.twitter.com/uR1Col5new
— • maddawg • (@14_maddawg) January 28, 2018
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