Three from Brandeis earn UAA Athlete of the Week honors

WALTHAM, Mass. – A trio of Brandeis University seniors have earned University Athletic Association (UAA) Athlete of the Week honors for the week ending October 10. Grayce Selig of Narberth, Pa., was honored for women's cross country; Paige Blasco of Greeley, Colo., was selected for volleyball; and Taylor Bracken of North Andover, Mass., was honored for men's soccer.

Selig, a tri-captain for head coach John Evans's team, earned her first UAA Athlete of the Week honor for 2010-11 thanks to a fine performance at the 2010 Open New England Cross Country championships. Competing against the top runners in the region from Division I, II and III, Selig placed seventh overall out of 322 runners and tops among all Division III runners. Selig covered the 5K course in 17:47, more than a minute better than her time at the same race in 2009. Her seventh-place finish at the Open New England meet was the best by a Brandeis woman since 1990. As a team, Brandeis finished in 22nd place overall and eighth among Division III squads. The Judges compete this weekend on Oct. 16 at the University of Albany Invitational.

Blasco, an outside hitter for head coach Michelle Kim's volleyball squad, led the Judges to a 3-0 week with sweeps of Emerson College, Colby-Sawyer College and Keene State College. She had 35 kills to lead the team, along with 27 digs, third most on the team. Blasco recorded her third-straight double-double with 11 kills and 12 digs in a win over Emerson on Oct. 6.  After a nine-kill, 11-dig performance against Colby-Sawyer on Oct. 9, Blasco closed the week with 15 kills and four digs against Keene State. Overall this season for the 13-7 Judges, Blasco leads the team with 3.43 kills per set, ranked fourth in the UAA, and is second on the team with 3.18 digs per set, 12th in the conference. Brandeis is 1-2 in the UAA and will host the second conference round robin on Oct. 16-17.

Bracken, a goalkeeper for coach Mike Coven's men's soccer squad, was selected as the UAA Co-Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in a 1-0 win over the University of Rochester on Oct. 9. He made a season-high nine saves to preserve a 1-0 victory over the 15th-ranked Yellowjackets, handing UR its first loss of the season. Bracken made three saves in the final two minutes as the Yellowjackets increased their pressure. He helped the Judges snap an eight-game losing streak against UR and pick up their first win in Rochester since 1998. Bracken now has three shutouts on the seasonand eight for his career. He leads the UAA with 4.12 saves per game and is tied for second with his three shutouts. Overall this season, the Judges are 7-3, 1-1 in the UAA. They next take the field on Oct. 15 at 7:30 p.m. against Carnegie Mellon University.

Selig is a 2007 graduate of Springside School. She is the daughter of William and Deborah Selig, Narberth, Pa.

Blasco is a 2007 graduate of Frontier Academy. She is the daughter of Leon and Ellie Blasco, Greeley, Colo.

Bracken is a 2007 graduate of St. Johns Prep School, Danvers, Mass. He is the son of James and Catherine Bracken, North Andover, Mass.