Jenna Taylor selected as a top 10 Divison III NCAA Woman of the Year nominee


Graphic from NCAA Woman of the Year

Taylor was one of the 154 nominees selected by their respective conference office and is now one of 10 nominees from Division III.

by Morgan Flynn, Sports Editor


The NCAA’s Woman of the Year Selection Committee has announced the Top 30 honorees for this year’s award, and among those is Simpson women’s basketball senior Jenna Taylor. 

Taylor was one of the 154 nominees selected by their respective conference office and is now one of 10 nominees from Division III. 

“​​It’s definitely humbling to be nominated,” Taylor said. “I owe so much of the recognition to my teammates and coaches that helped me see success on the court, my professors and classmates that pushed me in the classroom, and the staff that allowed me to be involved in other aspects of campus life such as Residence Life and CARs [Center for Academic Resources].” 

In a press release, John Kietzmann, chair of the selection committee at the Metropolitan State University of Denver, said that the 10 nominees excelled in the classroom and competition despite the pandemic. 

“They represent the thousands of women competing in college sports each year, and we congratulate them for their incredible achievements,” Kietzmann said.

The award was established in 1991 to recognize female athletes who have succeeded in all areas of college life—academics, athletics, service and leadership. 

The selection committee will narrow the honorees down to the top three from each division before choosing the 2021 NCAA Woman of the Year and presenting the award on Nov. 9.   

Academically, Taylor has been named the College Sports Information Directors of America Women’s Basketball Academic All-America Team Member of the Year and CoSIDA Division III Academic All-America of the Year for the 2020-2021 season and a CoSIDA Academic All-America Second Team selection in 2018-19. Additionally, Taylor was named ARC Academic All-Conference four times. Taylor is the first player in the Storm’s program history to earn two Academic All-America awards.

Taylor became the 17th player in Storm women’s basketball history to reach 1,000 career points this past season. 

Taylor ranked second in points per game in the American Rivers Conference with an average of 20.1 and led the league in rebounding and 3-point percentage, leading her to be the ARC MVP in the 2020-2021 season. Additionally, Taylor was named to the and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-America First Teams.

Before this season, Taylor was a Two-Time ARC First-Team All-Conference winner and Two-Time ARC Honorable Mention. Over her career, she has racked up seven ARC Player of the Week awards. 

Taylor has also won two Simpson College awards. In 2019, she won the Robert W. Feyerharm Award, presented to an outstanding junior in the Department of Business Administration and Economics. In 2021, she was awarded the Barborka Award, a Simpson tradition dating back to 1958. The Bardoka Award is given yearly to a senior athlete who achieved outstanding academic accomplishments during the senior athletic season. 

Outside of academics and athletics, Taylor has been a Community Advisor, Peer Academic Leader and Academic Mentor for Women’s Basketball. Other involvement includes Storm Speaks, Fellowship of Chrisitan Athletes and Meals from the Heartland.

“I hope being recognized on a national stage like this showcases how special the people and culture are here at Simpson,” she said.

This season, Taylor will be using her final year of eligibility as the Storm look to repeat last year’s success, returning many key players. Simpson begins the season on Nov. 12 in Cowles Fieldhouse against Gustavus Adolphus College.