Washington University volleyball student-athlete Allison Zastrow and Carnegie Mellon University soccer student-athlete Carson Quiros have been selected as the UAA representatives for NCAA Woman of the Year.
Zastrow, who finished with a 3.63 grade point average majoring in Physics, was named 2015 UAA Most Valuable Player and American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Player of the Year. She received UAA All-Academic honors each of the three years she was eligible and earned a spot on the 2015-16 UAA Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete Team.
“I couldn't think of anyone more deserving than Allison Zastrow," said Bears' volleyball coach Vanessa Walby. "She is exactly what every coach wants as a player. She comes into the gym everyday with an amazing attitude and work ethic, and is a fantastic example and leader to the rest of her teammates. Not to mention she is one of the most humble athletes I have ever coached."
Zastrow was always very active in community service, even taking an alternate spring break service trip to build a porch for an elderly man and learn about the struggle facing Appalachians in Johnson City, TN. She led discussions, sponsored a talk, and wrote a paper on the connection between faith and science as part of the "Young Catholic Scholars Faith and Science Program." She volunteered at Karen House, a Catholic worker house, planning and making dinner for the residents.
"Allison was recognized by her peers, staff, and faculty as a leader on and off the volleyball court," commented Justin Carroll, Washington interim Director of Athletics. "She was the quintessential student-athlete; excelling in the classroom and in her sport. Washington University is very proud of all of her accomplishments."
"I have been truly blessed to have the opportunity to coach Allison," Walby added. "I love that I have been able to learn from her on a daily basis. She has made me a better coach every day and I couldn't be more appreciative.“
Quiros finished with a 3.97 grade point average while majoring in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She was named a CoSIDA Academic All-America honoree and was selected to the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society. Quiros, a three-time All-UAA midifielder, garnered UAA All-Academic honors each of the three years she was eligible and earned a spot on the 2015-16 UAA Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete Team.
“Carson has been a leader on and off the field for the past four years," said Tartan women's soccer coach Yon Struble. "She played a significant factor in our team's success as a starter, captain, and dominant force on the field. Carson’s acumen in the classroom is a testament to her commitment to being successful in all endeavors she takes on. She will be very difficult to replace, but without question she paved the way for the program's current and future success.”
Quiros also worked as an editorial intern at Paste Magazine, an online arts and lifestyle magazine. She took the position to fulfill a lifelong dream to write professionally about art, while also writing about soccer.
“Carson was an exceptional student-athlete and had a remarkable academic and athletic career at Carnegie Mellon," stated Josh Centor, Carnegie Mellon Director of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation. "She was a leader in the middle of the soccer field for four years, all while being nearly perfect in a rigorous course of study. She led our women’s soccer program to the first four NCAA championship appearances in school history, and demonstrated to current and future Tartans that excellence in every domain is possible.”
The NCAA Woman of the Year award honors graduating female college athletes who have exhausted their eligibility and distinguished themselves throughout their collegiate careers in academics, athletics, service, and leadership.
The NCAA encourages member schools to honor their top graduating female student-athletes each year by submitting their names for consideration for the Woman of the Year award.
Next, conferences assess their member school nominees and select up to two conference nominees. Conferences may recognize two nominees if at least one of the nominees is a woman of color or international student-athlete.
The Woman of the Year selection committee, made up of representatives from the NCAA membership, will then choose the top 30 honorees – 10 from each division.
From the top 30, the selection committee determines the top three honorees from each division and announces the nine finalists in September. The NCAA Committee on Women’s Athletics then chooses from among those nine to determine the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year.
The top 30 honorees will be celebrated and the 2016 NCAA Woman of the Year winner will be announced at the annual award ceremony Oct. 16 in Indianapolis.
Zastrow and Quiros earned the UAA Woman of the Year selection amongst an impressive list of nominees:
Mathilde Robinson, Brandeis University: The two-time All-UAA Women's Soccer selection earned UAA All-Academic honors each of the three years she was eligible and two UAA Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete accolades. She graduated with a 3.50 grade point average in Business and Psychology and served as head legal intern as part of an internship with the Massachusetts Senate.
Megan Dawe, New York University: The four-time All-UAA Women's Basketball forward posted a 3.61 grade point average in Media, Culture, and Communication. She garnered UAA All-Academic honors each of the three years she was eligible and added two UAA Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete awards. She served as team captain for "Relay for Life" and volunteered with her teammates in Italy at Camp Dynamo, a free-of-charge, week-long haven for children suffering from serious illnesses.
Maren Loe, University of Chicago: The 2014 UAA Volleyball Most Valuable Player recorded a 3.72 grade point average in Computational and Applied Mathematics. She finished her career as the program's all-time leader in kills (1,960), earning UAA All-Academic honors each of the three years she was eligible and being named a two-time UAA Presidents Council Scholar-Athlete honoree. She served as a research assistant at the Brain Sciences Center in the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and at the Bensmaia (Neuroscience) Lab at University of Chicago.