May 20, 2014 - by
Walch Earns Muscle Milk Athlete of the Year

May 20, 2014

Walch’s Loss is FSU’s GainLayne Herdt, Sept.10, 2013 

TALLAHASSEE, Fla.  ( – Former FSU indoor volleyball standout Elise Walch was named as the Muscle Milk “Female Athlete of the Year” for the 2013-14 season. The awards will be handed out by the Collegiate and Professional Sports Dietitians Association (CPSDA) in Scottsdale, Ariz. on Wednesday.

Walch was given the award after she worked intensely with former FSU Dietitian Kristen Gravani and strength coach Caitlin Quinn in order to trim down for her senior season.

“Elise arrived in 2011 about 30 pounds overweight, and she did not quite believe in the nutrition process yet,” Gravani said. “A month into her junior season, Elise had injury issues that sidelined her, and she became frustrated. She walked back into my office was ready to dedicate herself to improve both for herself and her teammates. She promised to steer clear of fad diets and do things the Sports RD way: more fruit, less soda, smarter food choices for recovery, and extra workouts.”

“I think the toughest part about any person’s individual goals is they’ve got to buy in and be really excited and disciplined in it,” Quinn said. “Until that happens I can show them what to do, but until they’re ready to take it on themselves, it doesn’t work. Elise did it and it’s very inspiring. “

The Stuart, Fla. native’s hard work saw a 50 pound drop prior to her final season. She competed through an injury-free 2013 senior season that helped her achieve an All-America Honorable Mention status on top of being named to the All-ACC Second Team.  She also was a vital part in the Seminoles’ success, contributing 330 kills as a right-side hitter while aiding in the run to the NCAA Regional Semifinal.

“I never really believed in myself that I could do it and honestly I still can’t believe that I did,” Walch said. “I see pictures from earlier this year (2013) and last year (2012) and sometimes I still feel like that’s what I look like so it’s hard to even realize that it happened. I really can’t believe it and I’m really proud of myself because I never thought I could do it.”

Following her senior season, Walch plans to continue volleyball professionally overseas.

Walch will be recognized along with eight other award recipients on Wednesday. For more information on FSU volleyball visit Twitter and Facebook.


  • CPSDA Trailblazer Award: Dave Ellis, RD, CPSDA’s first President (2010-12)
  • CPSDA Excellence Award: Victoria Rosenfeld, RD, Princeton University
  • CPSDA Service Award:  Caroline Mandel, RD, University of Michigan
  • Tom Osborne Award (for a coach or athletic administrator committed to nutrition excellence): Mark Verstegen, Founder/President, EXOS (formerly Athletes Performance)
  • EAS Academy Scholarship Award: Elizabeth “Beth” Miller, Florida State University
  • DuPont Nutrition & Health Scholarship Award: Robert J. Leonard, West Chester University
  • Muscle Milk Female Athlete of the Year: Elise Walch, Florida State University (volleyball)
  • Muscle Milk Male Athlete of the Year: Connor Barwin, professional football playaer
  • CPSDA Lifetime Member Award: Keith B. Wheeler, PhD., Abbott Labs/EAS Academy
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