St. Louis, Mo., Nov. 7, 2018 – The No. 13-ranked Washington University in St. Louis volleyball team had five individuals selected to All-University Athletic Association (UAA) accolades Wednesday afternoon, as announced by the association.
Of the five honorees, three were selected to the All-UAA First Team including junior libero Zoe Baxter, senior middle hitter Julianne Malek and senior outside hitter Ifeoma Ufondu. Junior middle hitter Leila King was chosen for the All-UAA Second Team, while sophomore setter Kirby Knapp garnered honorable mention status.
Baxter earned all-UAA First Team honors for the first time in her career after receiving second team accolades a season ago. The Los Angeles, Calif.-native was named to two all-tournament rosters including the Bear Invite (9/8) and the Baden Invite (10/27) while also garnering UAA Athlete of the Week honors following the invitationals. Currently on the season Baxter has recorded 529 digs, 80 assists and 26 service aces. Her 5.09 digs per set average is a career best and she has risen up WashU's all-time career digs list to fourth with 1,678. Baxter is 20 digs shy of tying Amy Bommarito (2003-06) for third place.
Malek is Division III's leader in hitting percentage with a .438 figure and was named all-UAA for the third straight time including second straight first team honors after earning UAA Most Valuable Player honors a year ago. This season, Malek has earned four all-tournament honors: Bear Invite (9/8), East-West Challenge (9/18), WashU Invite (10/6) and Baden Invite (10/27) which included Co-MVP honors at the East-West Challenge. She has received three UAA Volleyball Offensive Athlete of the Week honors and was recognized as the Sports Imports/American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) Division III Player of the Week on Oct. 9. Malek has totaled 331 kills, 103 blocks (16 solo), 88 digs and 49 aces while surpassing the 1,000 kills to become the 29th player in school history to do so. She currently has 1,005.
Ufondu earned all-UAA First Team honors for the first time in her career after being named to the second team in 2017 and 2016. She has a personal-best 3.42 kills per set and leads the Bears with 356 kills while sporting a .254 hitting percentage. Ufondu has also tallied 130 digs, 59 blocks (nine solo) and 12 aces while being named to three all-tournament teams this season: Bear Invite (9/8), East-West Challenge (9/18) and WashU Invite (10/6). The Lancaster, Calif.-native also became the 28th player in program history to reach 1,000 kills in her career with a career-best 27 kills against Carnegie Mellon on Oct. 13. Ufondu currently ranks 21st all-time in career kills with 1,122, just one shy of tying Jackie Nelligan (2012-15) for 20th place.
King was named to the all-UAA Second Team in back-to-back seasons. This season the Atlanta, Ga.-native was named to the WashU Invite All-Tournament Team (10/6) and the UAA Defensive Athlete of the Week on Oct. 8. King totaled a career-high 12 blocks in a 3-2 win over then No. 2-ranked Colorado College on Oct. 6. In 2018, she has 167 kills, 92 blocks (22 solo) and 17 digs.
Knapp was an all-UAA honorable mention in 2018 and currently leads the Bears with 1,004 assists, nearly doubling her freshman season total of 549. She is the first Bear to reach 1,000 assists in a season since junior teammate Chloe Stile did so in 2016. Knapp has also accumulated 244 digs, 35 kills, 15 aces and 12 blocks. She was named to the WashU Invite All-Tournament Team (10/6) after averaging 9.28 assists per set as the Bears went 3-0.
WashU travels to Chicago for the NCAA Division III Regionals and will open the tournament against Cornell (Iowa) College on Friday, Nov. 9 at 12:30 p.m. Be sure to stay up to date on all your Bears scores and awards by following @WashUBears on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.