WORCESTER – WPI senior Azita Bakhtyari (Andover, MA) has been named as a repeat Google Cloud Women's Volleyball Academic All-America, as selected by College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). In addition to joining Stacey Cotton (1988, 1989) as the program's only back-to-back selections, the duo is now linked as the program's only two first team selections.
Bakhtyari was one of five student-athletes with a 4.0 GPA to earn a spot on the first team. She was joined by MIT senior Abby Bertics (La Jolla, CA), who headlined the scroll as the Academic All-America Team Member of the Year. In all, 11 of the student-athletes boasted a perfect GPA including eight seniors.
A second teamer a year ago, Bakhtyari became the seventh different Engineer to be recognized by the NEWMAC or NEW 8 and the third WPI selection in four years following a lengthy absence with an All-NEWMAC second team nod in 2018. The senior ranked fourth in assists (351) and assists per set (9.75) in conference contests. Overall, the dental school hopeful was seventh in both categories despite missing a handful of matches due to interviews. For the season, Bakhtyari handed out a season-best 43 helpers versus Babson and Trinity and a season-high 20 digs against Springfield while compiling a dozen double-doubles in 2018. Overall, Bakhtyari recorded 2,506 assists and 950 digs in 113 matches.
The mechanical engineering major is a Heald Brothers Scholar and Charles O. Thompson Scholar, and a member of Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma honor societies. Earlier this year, Bakhtyari traveled to New Zealand to complete an IQP titled "Designing a Forestry Stewardship Council Community Campaign for Wellington Zoo". The senior is currently helping to design and construct a hand truck with vertical and horizontal capabilities for her MQP. Bakhtyari is also active across campus with Alpha Phi, ACEing Autism, Promotion of Animal Welfare Society and Society of Women Engineers.
WPI (21-8), who reeled off six wins to begin the season, achieved at least 20 triumphs for the third time in four seasons under head coach Greg Poole. The Crimson and Gray also appeared in the first two NCAA Regional Rankings.