Washington University Volleyball 2015 season
The 2015 season was a great one for the Lady Bears. Although we did not win the National Championship, it was nonetheless a very outstanding season. There were a number of major career milestones met by individuals. Jackie, Caroline and Rexy surpassed the 1000 career kill milestone. Allison, Jackie, Ru, Caroline and Rexy were named to the All UAA team with Allison named the UAA Most Valuable Player as well as AVCA D-III National Player of the Year. A number of underclassman made significant contributions to the success of the team.
The future of Bears volleyball looks bright
I personally feel that the Lady Bears played some of the best volleyball I have been privileged to watch over the years I have been a fan of the team. The things that set this team apart from others in the past, in no order of priority: everyone on the court played outstanding defense, our serving was a strong suit and we had a large number of players who were capable of scoring at any time... even those defenders in the back-court.
I feel our coaching staff did a remarkable job this season to return the Lady Bears volleyball program to one of the top programs in Division III. This was no mean task as Division III volleyball talent has gotten deeper and deeper over the years. Witness that four squads who were not even ranked in the final Top 25 poll made it to the Final Eight at Calvin College.
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Many new faces on the Lady Bears squad this season. With the exception of Natalie, the freshman only saw spot duty this season but were able to learn a lot in practice and while observing the upper class-men playing in matches. They provided much vocal support for their teammates from the bench during matches.
#3 Loren Shin
Natalie had three roles this season. She was a defensive specialist in our rotation, for a portion of the season our Libero and a serving specialist.
#6 Savannah Zhang
#14 Lauren Martin
#15 Ifeoma Ufondu
#18 Julianne Malek
Rexi post season awards: All-Central Region First Team, All-UAA Second Team, AVCA All- American Honorable Mention
Caroline post season awards: All-UAA Second Team, All-Central Region First Team, AVCA All-American Second Team, Academic All-District Five and CoSIDA Academic All-America Division III Volleyball Second Team.
#25 Corey Salzer
After three years of playing whatever position she was needed to play, her senior year Allison was able to play her "natural" position as setter.
Allison's post season awards: UAA First Team, UAA Most Valuable Player, All-Central Region First Team, AVCA All-American First Team, AVCA D-III National Player of the Year and Academic All-District Five.
Jackie (or as I like to call her "The Blocking Machine") surpassed the 1000 kill mark. Additionally, her blocking statistics established her as one of the greatest blockers in Washington University volleyball history.
Jackie's post season honor: All-Central Region Honorable Mention
Ru probably improved more in her four years than any player I have ever watched. By her senior year she became an all-around player with outstanding skills in all aspects of the game.
Nkrui post season awards: All-UAA First Team, All-Central First Team, AVCA All American Honorable Mention
We have four great seniors on the squad this season. They have contributed greatly to the program over their four years on the team. This season they provided great leadership for the younger players and have made this team "stronger than the sum of its parts".
We wish them well as they start the next (and most important) phase of their lives in May 2016. Knock 'em dead Seniors!
Always a special evening
We thank you and will miss you guys going forward. See you at future reunions and alumni matches!
The families of the Lady Bears are very supportive of the Lady Bears. They travel from all over the country to attend home and away matches. I know the players are so appreciative of all of the support they provide.
A very important part of Washington University volleyball