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Aug. 26, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. – South Carolina senior defender Blakely Mattern has been selected as one of 30 candidates for the 2009 Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award for women’s soccer, presented annually in eight NCAA Division 1 Sports to a senior student-athlete who excels both on and off the field. Candidates are chosen based on their dedication and achievement in four areas: Classroom, Character, Community and Competition.

An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities.

From the list of 30 candidates, 10 finalists will be selected midway through the regular season and placed on the official ballot for a nationwide vote. Fan balloting will be coupled with votes from coaches and media to determine the recipient of the award. Winners will be announced during the 2009 NCAA Division I Women’s College Cup in College Station, Texas.

A Preseason All-SEC selection for the third consecutive year, Mattern has been the consummate student-athlete since stepping onto campus. In 2007, she became the first All-American in South Carolina history in addition to being the first sophomore in Southeastern Conference (SEC) history to be named SEC Defensive Player of the Year. A three-time All-SEC and Soccer Buzz All-Region selection, Mattern has started every game of her career at centerback and has been the team leader for the first back-to-back NCAA Tournament bids in program history.

Mattern was named a First Team CoSIDA/ESPN The Magazine Academic All-American in 2008 and is a three-time SEC Academic Honor Roll selection. She plans to graduate in May 2010 with a double-major in international business and global supply chain and operations management.

Click here to read Mattern’s complete bio as a Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award candidate.