Rebecca Frick had quite a haul of postseason awards during the last month, but none may be more special than being bestowed the NAIA Academic All-American team member of the year.

Aside from friends and family, Frick’s identity has revolved around volleyball for most of her life, and certainly during her four years at Dakota Wesleyan University.

But after completing the requirements for her bachelor’s degree in biology earlier this month, Frick is no longer a volleyball player, no longer a college student and her future is dependent on her 4.0 grade point average in the classroom rather than her Great Plains Athletic Conference-best 540 kills on the court.

“It’s not like I’m going to be playing professional volleyball,” Frick said. “I went to school so I could get a job in the future. Getting this award really solidifies the hard work I put in to give me the best chance to get a job or get into a grad (school) program in the future.”

A little more than a month removed from a four-year career that saw her finish second all-time in kills (1,750) and eighth in digs (1,465) at DWU, Frick has returned to her hometown of Yankton. There, she is working as an EMT and waiting to learn her fate from prospective graduate school programs during the summer as she eyes a career as a physician’s assistant.

Without her success on the volleyball court, Frick would not have earned Academic All-American team member of the year — voted by the College Sports Information Directors of America — and all of her athletic accolades are resume boosters, but the award also highlights her well-rounded college career.

Frick was able to balance her coursework with volleyball, while also serving as a tutor at DWU. None of her responsibilities negatively impacted another as she graduated in less than four years. She has also been an all-GPAC performer three times, as well as an honorable mention All-American this season after finishing seventh in the nation in kills.

“This award shows that I was decent volleyball player, but I also focused a lot on academics,” Frick said. “A lot of people have reached out to me and told me how special this honor is. I think it will help me get into grad schools, because they’ll see this honor and they’ll know how dedicated I was not only to volleyball, but to my academics as well.”

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