WIU's Kappel Named a NCAA Postgraduate Scholar
March 14, 2016
Courtesy of WIU Athletics
INDIANAPOLIS, IN/MACOMB, IL — Western Illinois University women's soccer student-athlete Victoria Kappel (Orland Park, IL) joins elite company in Western Illinois Athletics' history by becoming just the seventh student-athlete in WIU history to receive a NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship.
Kappel, who becomes the first Western Illinois female to receive the prestigious national academic award, joins former Leatherneck recipients Todd Hutcheson (men's basketball), Jeff McKinney (football), Ken Dugans (men's soccer), Paul Singer (football), Justin Langan (men's soccer/football) and, most recently in 2014, Jimmy Holtschlag (football).
"I am extremely humbled and honored to have received this award. It is a direct reflection upon Western Illinois University and the success rate the University has to propel a student through academics, athletics and their interests in philanthropy," Kappel said. "I have been extremely blessed by this University. I would like to give an abundance of gratitude to my family, the WIU Athletics Department and administration, the WIU Honors College, WIU faculty, and my inspirational coaches and teammates."
Currently with a 3.724 cumulative GPA, Kappel is a double major in communication science and disorders and Spanish. She plans on pursing a master's degree in speech language pathology.
"Victoria is a most deserving recipient of this prestigious award. She's proven herself as a leader in the classroom, on the field, and in the community," said Western Illinois Athletics Director Matt Tanney. "Victoria has a tireless work ethic, superb communication skills and a contagious level of energy and enthusiasm. The entire athletics department is proud of her accomplishments. She will serve as a great ambassador for Western Illinois University well beyond her time in Macomb."
Kappel was a four-time Summit League Academic All-League selection and four-time Distinguished Scholar. She played in 63 career games, including starting in all 17 last fall, and posted a career 1.82 goals against average in 5,146 minutes. She recorded 270 saves all-time and 10 career shutouts. Kappel twice earned the Summit League 'Defensive Player of the Week' award.
Among the WIU all-time leaders, Kappel ranks second in wins, third in shutouts, minutes and saves.
Off the field, Kappel came up with the idea for CONNECKS, a program for WIU student-athletes to interact with students with disabilities. In a partnership with McDonough County Special Recreation Association, MOSAIC, and Special Olympics Illinois-Area 4, Western student-athletes instructed and interacted with the special education community by having a field day and playing games to impact the participant with special needs by combining motor skills and social interaction to promote the learning of sports.