Walsh becomes the first Blue Hen volleyball player to earn the coveted award since Emily Rome in 1996. She was one of several student-athletes honored at the annual season-ending banquet, including each team's Alumni Association Most Valuable Player recipient.
Few women in University of Delaware history have combined the athletic skills, academic accomplishments, and concern for the community that Walsh has.
She was named the CAA Player of the Year for volleyball and CAA Scholar-Athlete of the Year during the 2007 season when she led the Blue Hens, under the direction of Head Coach Bonnie Kenny, to their finest season in school history. Delaware posted a record of 31-5, captured the CAA regular season and tournament team titles, and advanced to the NCAA tournament for the first time in school history, advancing to the second round.
A two-time member of the College Sports Information Directors of America District 2 All-Academic team as an honor student in economics and finance with a 3.76 grade point index, Walsh was also recognized for her outstanding play on the court by earning American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-East Region honors. She also was a three-time All-CAA selection and was the league Rookie of the Year in 2004.
A dean's list student, two-time team captain, and perennial selection to the CAA Academic Honor Roll, Walsh has served as the vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council during the past two years. Over that time, she has helped the group raise thousands of dollars for charity including the Delaware Special Olympics. She also was a member of Delaware Christian Athletes, serving as president for two years, was a H.E.N.S. peer mentor, traveled to Trinidad & Tobago, rural Kentucky, and inner city Philadelphia to take part in public service projects, and took part in fundraising for Hurricane Katrina relief. She is Delaware's nominee for the prestigious NCAA Woman of the Year program.
During the 2007 season, she recorded a conference-best 564 kills, her 4.34 kills-per-game average was second in the conference, and her .267 hitting percentage was third on the team and sixth in the league. Among her school records were most career kills (1,553) and most career kills per game (3.85).
In addition to being named the Outstanding Senior Female Athlete of the Year, Walsh was also the recipient of three other major honors as she earned the ECAC Medal of Merit Award, the Mary Ann Hitchens Award, and the Student Services for Athletes Outstanding Contributor Award. The ECAC Medal of Merit goes to the senior female student-athlete at Delaware with the highest grade point average and the Hitchens Award is named in honor of Delaware's long-time senior associate director of athletics who retired in 2006 and is presented to a UD senior who exemplifies the characteristics of hard work, dedication, fairness, and striving for excellence that was Hitchens' hallmark.
The following student-athletes were named UD Alumni Association Team Most Valuable Players:
BASKETBALL: Kyle DeHaven, a senior criminal justice major, did it all for the Blue Hens during the 2007-08 season, earning third team All-CAA honors and being selected as the CAA Defensive Player of the Year for the second time in her career. The second-year transfer from William and Mary led the Blue Hens with 10.6 points per game, 105 assists and 133 steals during the past season. She led all NCAA Division I players with 4.6 steals per game and also shot a team-best 82.6 percent from the free throw line. She set school records for steals in a season (133) and steals per game for a career (3.8) and her 232 career steals ranks her No. 5 all-time at UD in just two seasons of play.
CROSS COUNTRY: Sophomore Christina Antonopoulos led the Blue Hen women harriers in six of eight meets this past season and earned first team All-CAA honors after placing eighth at the CAA championships in October. She placed second among all runners at both the Monmouth Invitational and Delaware Invitational 2 meets and placed 23rd overall at the ECAC Championships and 38th at the NCAA District 2 meet. A CoSIDA Academic All-American nominee as a biochemistry major, she also was a standout for the UD indoor and outdoor track and field teams and placed ninth in the 1,500 meters at the CAA outdoor championships in April.
FIELD HOCKEY: Junior forward Casey Howard was named the field hockey team MVP for the second straight year after another standout season as the team's top goal-producer. She earned first team All-CAA honors and secured a spot on the NFHCA All-Mid Atlantic team for the second straight year after leading the team and ranking among the league leaders with 13 goals and three assists for 16 points. A three-year starter, she has scored 29 goals during her career. She is an elementary education major.
TRACK AND FIELD: Senior sprinter and jumper Asha Quant was a double winner as she was named team Most Valuable Player in both indoor and outdoor track and field. She earned the outdoor honor for the second straight year. During the indoor season, the chemical engineering major captured six meet titles in the long jump, 60 meters, 200 meters, and 4x400-meter relay and placed ninth in the 4x400-meter relay and 26th in the 60 meters at the ECAC championships. During the outdoor season, she captured 10 individual titles and placed third in the 4x400-meter relay, sixth in the 4x100-meter relay, and seventh in the long jump at the CAA outdoor championships in April. She earned All-East honors with a fourth place finish in the long jump at the ECAC championships, a meet in which she also placed 10th in the 4x100-meter relay, and 27th in the 4x400-meter relay. She has qualified for the NCAA East Regionals in the long jump and will compete May 30-31 at Florida State. She owns five school records, including four outdoor marks.
LACROSSE: Sophomore defender Angela Gaeta, Delaware's top defender, she started all 17 games this past fall and led the Blue Hens to an 11-6 record and a berth in the CAA tournament semifinals where the Hens fell to top seed William and Mary 15-14. She earned second team All-CAA honors as she tied for the team lead with 19 caused turnovers, scooped up 23 groundballs, and won eight draw controls. She led a defense that allowed just 10.82 goals per game to rank third in the CAA. A second-year transfer from Johns Hopkins, she is a health and exercise science major.
ROWING: Freshman Clare Wardwell was a key member of the team's Second Varsity Eights crew all season and competed in all seven events. The Second Varsity Eights boat finished second at the Lake Wheeler Invitational, third at the CAA Kerr Cup Championships, third in the George Mason Bucknell tri-meet, and fourth in the St. Joseph's Quad Meet. The crew also placed fifth in the petite finals at the ECAC Metro Championships and finished fifth in their heat at the Dad Vail Regatta to close out the season. She is a mechanical engineering major.
SOCCER: Senior midfielder and co-captain Emily Sammis was the team MVP for women's soccer after earning third team All-CAA honors during the 2007 season for the Blue Hens. She led the team with four assists and ranked third on the squad with six goals and 16 points overall. A starter in all 18 games, she also was third on the team with 33 shots on goal and earned CAA Player of the Week honors Sept. 10 when she scored a goal in three straight games. She is an honor student as a finance major.
SOFTBALL: Senior outfielder Katie Lee earned the top honor for the UD softball team after posting an impressive senior season that saw her earn second team All-CAA honors. A four-year letter winner, the marketing major started all but one game in centerfield for the Blue Hens this season, led the team with a .365 batting average, 46 hits, 22 walks and 19 stolen bases while tying for the team lead with 32 runs scored and eight doubles. Her 19 stolen bases tied for second in the CAA, while her .365 batting average ranked second in the league. Lee's 17 runs scored in conference only games led all players in the CAA. She appeared in 200 career games and is No. 2 all-time at Delaware in runs scored (105) and stolen bases (51).
SWIMMING: Freshman Cortney Barry made an instant impact for the Blue Hen swimming and diving team and was named the team MVP. The team's top distance freestyler, she earned honorable mention Mid-Major All-American honors by CollegeSwimming.com and was an All-CAA selection. She became just the second female swimmer in UD history to reach the NCAA “B” standard as her time of 16:46.33 in the 1,650 freestyle helped her place third at the CAA championships in February. She also finished seventh in the 800 freestyle relay, 11th in the 500 freestyle, and 13th in the 200 freestyle. She led the Blue Hens to 12 dual meet wins -- just one shy of the school record -- and a sixth place finish at the CAA meet. She is a marketing major.
TENNIS: Sophomore Elena Berry was the women's' tennis MVP Award winner after leading a squad to a dual record of 12-3 (5-0 in the CAA) and an all-time high No. 5 seed in the CAA tournament. She tied for the team lead in singles victories with a mark of 21-4, including a 14-1 record at the No. 3 spot, and was 17-7 in doubles competition. She was the runner-up in the Flight C doubles competition at the Old Dominion Tournament in the fall. She is a human services major.
VOLLEYBALL: Senior Colleen Walsh was honored.
In addition to the Outstanding Contributor Award, the University of Delaware Student Services for Athletes office also honored softball player Katie Lee with the Dr. Janice Jordan Award. The Jordan Award is awarded to a student-athlete who has made outstanding progress academically while at Delaware. The senior All-CAA outfielder is a marketing major.
Also presented at the dinner was the annual ECAC Appreciation Award, which was presented to Sue Bogan, director of dining services at the University. The award is presented each year by the UD athletics department for overall contributions to the program.