Zastrow Named MVP to Lead Five All-UAA Volleyball Honorees

Zastrow Named MVP to Lead Five All-UAA Volleyball Honorees

St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 10, 2015 Washington University in St. Louis senior setter Allison Zastrow was named the 2015 University Athletic Association (UAA) Volleyball Most Valuable Player to lead five WashU selections to the All-UAA Teams, as announced Tuesday by the conference office. In addition, head coach Vanessa Walby and her assistants were tabbed the UAA Coaching Staff of the Year.

Zastrow became the 13th individual in WashU history to receive UAA Most Valuable Player honors, and the first since Lauren Budde earned the honor in 2011. A 2014 All-UAA Second-Team honoree, Zastrow was one of three WashU players to earn First-Team All-UAA accolades this season. She was joined on the All-UAA First Team by senior middle hitter Jackie Nelligan and senior outside hitter Nkiru Udenze.

Junior middle hitter Caroline Dupont and junior outside hitter Rexi Sheredy were both selected to the All-UAA Second Team.

Zastrow leads the UAA and is ranked second in NCAA Division III averaging 11.61 assists per set this season. In her first season as the Bears' lone setter, she has amassed a nation-leading 1,405 assists for the team that ranks first in NCAA Division III with 14.38 kills per set. Zastrow has surpassed the 50-assist mark in nine matches this season, including a career-high 61 in a five-set win over Carthage College Oct. 9. A four-time UAA Setter/Defensive Athlete of the Week selection this season, she has tallied double-doubles of assists and digs in 16 matches. Zastrow was named to the all-tournament team at the North Central College Tiffany Robinson Memorial Tournament, and ranks 10th on WashU's all-time career assists list with 2,504.

Nelligan was named to the All-UAA First Team for the third year in a row, making her the 10th player in school history to earn First Team honors three times. She leads the UAA and ranks 13th in NCAA Division III with 135 blocks this season, for a conference-best 1.11 blocks per set, and also ranks sixth in the conference with a .323 hitting percentage. Nelligan became the 24th player in school history to surpass 1,000 career kills, doing so against Loras College Oct. 9. She ranks second on WashU's all-time career block assists leaderboard with 378, fourth in total career blocks (453) and 19th in career kills (1,100). Nelligan was named to the all-tournament teams at both the ASICS Invite and the Baden Invite.

Udenze earned All-UAA First Team honors for the first time in her career. In her first season playing six rotations, she is leading WashU with 361 digs and is third in kills with 321. Udenze has tallied double-digit kills in 20 matches this season, while reaching double-digit digs 16 times, including a career-high 26 in a five-set win over Hendrix College Sept. 12. A two-time UAA Offensive Athlete of the Week this season, she was named to the all-tournament team at the Baden Invite. 

Dupont picked up All-UAA Second Team accolades after being an All-UAA First-Team honoree each of the past two seasons. She is second in NCAA Division III and in the UAA with a .407 hitting percentage. Dupont leads WashU with 3.52 points per set, and is second on the team with 335 kills, 92 blocks and 33 aces. She joined the 1,000-kill club during WashU's four-set win at Westminster College (Mo.) Oct. 20, and currently ranks 23rd in school history with 1,057 career kills. Dupont was named to the all-tournament teams at the ASICS Invite and the Emory National Invitational, and was the UAA Offensive Athlete of the Week Sept. 21.

Sheredy received All-UAA Second Team honors for the first time in her career, after being an honorable mention all-conference honoree in 2013. She is sixth in the UAA in both kills per set (2.87), and ranks fourth in the conference with 47 aces. Sheredy also joined WashU's 1,000-kill club in the win at Westminster Oct. 20. She surpassed 1,000 career digs in the Bears' win over Case Western Reserve University Oct. 18, making her just the ninth player in school history to reach both milestones. Sheredy currently ranks 22nd on WashU's all-time career kills list with 1,063, and has 1,079 career digs. She was selected as the UAA Offensive Athlete of the Week Oct. 5.

Walby and her assistant coaches, Ashlee Rust, Anna Hunter and Greg Selle, are the 16th coaching staff in WashU history to earn UAA Coaching Staff of the Year honors. They led the Bears to a 6-1 record in the UAA, before defeating then-No. 1 Emory University in five sets for the UAA Championship Saturday. It is the second time in Walby's career that she has received the honor, after also being named UAA Coaching Staff of the Year in 2013 as the head coach of the University of Chicago.

WashU finished the regular season with a 32-2 overall record and is ranked No. 1 in the final regular-season AVCA Division III Coaches Poll. The Bears begin NCAA Regional play by facing University of California Santa Cruz in the opening round at 3 p.m. (PT) Friday in Thousand Oaks, Calif.