Wright Lays Claim to 2011 Emtman Award

After being named Most Improved Player by teammates, sophomore recognized for continued progress in weight room

Sophomore Ashley Wright of the Eastern Washington University volleyball team was selected as the 2011 recipient of the Emtman award - an honor bestowed to one volleyball student-athlete who exhibits a strong work ethic, perseverance, character and a team-first attitude during the spring season. The award is administered by EWU head strength and conditioning coach, Nate Brookreson.

"Ashley is the epitome of what I want to see in an athlete: hard working, positive, and energetic," commended Brookreson. "She acknowledges her weaknesses and has worked hard to make them her strengths. I have witnessed tremendous growth this year and expect big things from her in the upcoming season."

Wright, a 2009 graduate of Cascade High School in Leavenworth, Wash., played in 26 of Eastern's 27 matches during the 2010 campaign, including 15 starts as a redshirt-freshman. She averaged 1.37 kills and 0.52 blocks per set. She also registered three double-doubles throughout the year, all of which came in Big Sky Conference play.

At the end of the volleyball season, Wright was selected as the Most Improved Player by her teammates. She is the third recipient of the Emtman Award, which was introduced in Miles Kydd's first season as head coach. Jacque Brown received the award in 2009, and Shelby Puckett was the recipient in the 2010 spring season.

The Emtman award is named after Steve Emtman, a Cheney native who was selected first in the 1992 NFL draft by the Indianapolis Colts. He had a six-year career in the NFL with the Colts, Miami Dolphins and Washington Redskins.

Before going pro, Emtman played three years at the University of Washington, where he was an essential part of the 1991 national championship team. He finished fourth in the Heisman Trophy voting and won the Outland Trophy, Lombardi Award and Bill Willis Award. At UW, he earned a reputation as one of the strongest and fastest defensive linemen to ever play college football.

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