Release courtesy of Johns Hopkins Athletic Communications
AUSTIN, Texas – Up until 2018, the Johns Hopkins volleyball program had never landed a student-athlete on the CoSIDA Academic All-America team. Now, with Wednesday's announcement of senior Natalie Aston garnering First Team honors, the Blue Jays have placed a member on the prestigious team each of the last three years, with Aston joining former Hopkins standout Louisa Kishton (Third Team in 2018; First Team in 2019) as the only student-athletes in program history to earn CoSIDA Academic All-America recognition.
One of the top scholastic honors available to Division III student-athletes, the CoSIDA Academic All-American Team is voted on by sports information directors nationwide among the athletes selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Teams. Earlier this spring, Aston and junior Eleni Panagopoulos each earned All-District honors for the first time in their careers.
Aston becomes the 13th Centennial Conference volleyball player to earn Academic All-America honors and the fifth named to the first team.
Aston, a Behavioral Biology and Psychology double-major sporting a 3.77 GPA, was a First Team AVCA All-America selection during the Blue Jays' undefeated 2019 national championship season. In just two full seasons, Aston has compiled 1,809 career assists, which ranks sixth all-time in program history and her 77 aces in 2019 were the fourth most in school history. Away from the court, Aston has been working at Touch of Life Physical Therapy in her hometown of Woodland Hills, California as a physical therapy aid as well as volunteering at LAUSD's Step Up Tutoring.
With Aston's selection, Johns Hopkins is one of only two Division III volleyball programs to have a CoSIDA Academic All-America selection in each of the past three years (Cornell College). Hopkins, along with the College of Saint Benedict, are also the only two programs to have a First Team selection in each of the last two seasons.
Aston and the reigning 2019 National Champion Blue Jays will finally return to action and look to extend their program-record 35-match winning streak on September 1, when they will host cross-town rival Stevenson in the 2021 season opener.