Ashley Rininger is Liberty's first Big South Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year since 2009.
Liberty women's basketball redshirt senior post player Ashley Rininger has been named the 2015-16 Big South Conference Female Scholar-Athlete of the Year, as voted upon by the Big South sports information directors.
Rininger became the third Liberty female athlete to be honored in the award's 20-year history, following Danielle McNaney (track & field) in 2005 and fellow women's basketball standout Megan Frazee in 2009. With 52 points, Rininger outdistanced High Point javelin thrower Christine Rickert (38 points) for the honor. High Point distance runner Paul O'Donoghue was the Big South Male Scholar-Athlete of the Year.
After just three years on campus, Rininger graduated with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice in May 2014, maintaining a 4.0 GPA. The Canton, Ohio native then completed a master's degree in human services counseling with a focus in crisis response and trauma in May 2015 with a 4.0 GPA.
Rininger, who aspires to be an FBI agent, is currently wrapping up a second master's degree, in criminal justice. Again, her GPA stands at 4.0.
Rininger has garnered a significant amount of academic recognition, including back-to-back first team CoSIDA Academic All-America® honors (2015, 2016). She became the first-ever three-time Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year for women's basketball (2014, 2015, 2016) and made three straight appearances on the VaSID Academic All-State team (2014, 2015, 2016).
Rininger earned the 2016 Rock Royer/Mac Rivera Award, honoring Liberty's top graduating senior student-athlete. She is also Liberty's nominee for 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year.
On the court, Rininger was a first team All-Big South performer in both 2014 and 2015, while earning MVP honors at the 2015 Big South Championship. She graduated as the seventh-leading scorer (1,380 points) and fourth-leading rebounder (952 boards) in program history.
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