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Brandeis rakes in the honors from the fall season

On Thursday Nov. 11, Lara Verstovsek ’25, the first-year right-side hitter, on the volleyball team was named second-team All-Association selection by the University Athletic Association (UAA). The best offensive player on the team, Verstovsek averaged 2.72 kills per set (the most on Brandeis’ team), placing seventh in the conference, but ranked fifth for her 275 total kills. Verstovsek also ranked among the top five in the UAA in service aces, with 45 total. This put her in third place in the UAA while she also ranked fifth in the UAA for her average of 0.45 per set. Third and fourth in the UAA respectively, she led the team with 346.5 points and 3.4 points per set. On Brandeis’ team alone, Verstovsek finished third with 51 blocks; two of which being solo blocks.

With double-digit kills in 15 matches and 10 or more digs in nine matches, Verstovsek finished with six double-doubles on the season. With a 3-2 victory over Emerson on Sep. 9 Verstovsek had her season high of kills, when she had 19 kills to bring the Judges to victory from behind. In that match, Verstovsek’s top performance in the UAA was when she had 13 kills, 22 digs and a season-high seven blocks. However, that match was a 3-2 loss to Carnegie Mellon.

Volleyball head coach Alesia Bennett said of Verstovsek, “She is a fierce competitor which is a great recipe for improvement, every time she steps on the court. She played six rotations as a first-year, and has proven she can handle a lot. I am excited to see her growth in the off-season and I hope to see her come back even stronger next year.”

The honors continue to roll in for the Judges this week as five members from both the women’s and men’s soccer team were all awarded with ALL-UAA honors. On the men’s side, all five honors were the first given to the players. Michael Burch ’22 was a second-team ALL-UAA selection for his strength as one of the top defensive midfielders in the conference this season. Even assisting two crucial game-winning goals for the Judges in tight matches against Emory and Clark University.

Andres Gonzalez ’25, Aiden Guthro ’23, Max Horowitz ’24 and Isaac Mukala ’22 were all honorable mention selections. Gonzalez and Mukala were the iron-curtain of Brandeis’ defense with 12 out of 16 games with one or less goals allowed. Both defenders also scored this season in conference play.

Guthro was a leader in the UAA for total saves with 79 saves during the season. Coming in at third and sixth respectively in the UAA Guthro had a 0.832 save percentage and a 0.94 goals-against average. With at least seven saves in a game four times, Guthro let nothing in the net with a career-high 14 saves in the team’s win over Emory on Oct. 29. Horowitz led Brandeis’ offensive this season with six points from his two goals (both goals being game-winners and both goals making him the top scorer for the Judges) and two assists.

On the women’s side, Juliette Carreiro ’22 and Caroline Swan ’23 were ALL-UAA first-team selections. Carreiro led the Judges with seven goals and eight assists for 22 points by the end of the season. Carreiro tied for the regular-season UAA lead in assists, placing sixth in points. Her four regular-season game-winning goals also tied for the UAA lead as well as being the highest for the Judges.

This is Swan’s second season in a row where she has been a first-team ALL-UAA selection. Ending the season with two goals and six assists Swan had 10 points. She finished second for the Judges in assists and fifth in points. With two goals and two assists in UAA contests, Swan had a game-winning goal against Emory on Oct. 29 and was the game-tying score against Chicago on Oct. 15.

Daria Bakhtiari ’22, was a second-team ALL-UAA selection. Tying Carreiro with seven goals, two of which from UAA play, Bakhtiari led the Judges in goals. Bakhtiari was an offensive presence scoring the game-winning goal to upset Chicago, and to score first goal in the 2-1 win over Rochester. Bakhtiari was also highly noted for her capabilities as one of the league’s best defensive midfielders.

Sophomore forwards Sydney Lenhart ’24 and Yasla Ngoma ’24 received honorable mentions, their first postseason honors. Ngoma scored six goals and had five assists for 17 points, coming in second for the team in scoring, while Lenhart scored four goals and three assists for 11 points.

Carreiro was also selected to the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) Division III Academic All-District Soccer team. This is Carreiro’s second Academic All-District selection in a row, making her eligible for CoSIDA Academic All-America honors.

This honor recognizes the nation’s top student-athletes based on their participation and success on the field and in the classroom. Criteria for this honor are that the student-athlete must have at least a 3.30 grade-point average and be a significant contributor to their team.

As the Judges’ leading scorer this season Carreiro was not only a significant contributor to the team but also a leader. Carreiro has fought to bring the Judges to an 11-4-2 record and into the NCAA Division III tournament, which they have not qualified for in the past two years.

When not on the pitch, Carreiro holds a perfect 4.0 grade-point average while navigating her double major in psychology and biology. Elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a junior, Carreiro has made the Dean’s List every semester here at Brandeis. Outside of the classroom Carreiro volunteers in the Waltham Group with the Companions to Elder Care program and researched at University of Massachusetts Medical Center last summer.

 

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