by Megan Murray
The 5’6” defensive powerhouse Ashley Zamjahn had an outstanding season for the Millsaps Majors volleyball team. She set the bar for the Majors with a team-leading 556 digs, over 200 more than her closest teammate. Her digs per set were also tops in the conference. The Southern Athletic Conference rewarded her efforts, as she won the SAA Defensive Player of the Year and First Team All Conference Libero. Most recently, the American Volleyball Coaches Association named Zamjahn to the South All-Regional Team as the only defensive player. The Purple & White talked to Zamjahn about her award-winning season.
The Purple and White: Why did you decide to continue your volleyball career at Millsaps?
Ashley Zamjahn: I liked the small school atmosphere. I really liked the team, and that was a big factor because the team really felt like a family. That’s why I was looking for coming from a small high school. I went to an all girls’ high school and it was very small.
P&W: How did it feel to win SAA Defensive Player of the Year?
AZ: It was pretty great. I credit it to my teammates and coaches.
P&W: How were you able to transition to a new position and then win first team accolades in that position?
AZ: Yeah that was pretty cool. I played all the way around in the beginning. I got to play back row so I got to pass… I played libero last year, so it was a pretty easy transition.
P&W: How did it feel to be selected as the only defensive player selected to the All-Region team?
AZ: I was happy to hear that I made the team, big credit to my teammates and coach always pushing me to be better. Being the only defensive player just added to the excitement.
P&W: How did it feel to be recognized by coaches for your efforts this season?
AZ: It’s nice being recognized by coaches, makes the hard work we put in at practice seem worth it; but I’m keeping my eyes forward the conference championship for next year.
P&W: What do you attribute your success to?
AZ: [I attribute my success to] my team the most. I can’t do anything without them. You can’t get in the right defensive play if you don’t have your block… my coaches have to get on [me] and make [me] better.
P&W: What are your expectations for yourself during your last two years at Millsaps?
AZ: I set the bar pretty high. I just want to keep working hard and hopefully we’ll get a conference championship; that will be the goal.
P&W: What is the greatest experience you have had at Millsaps during your first two years?
AZ: Last year when we went on that big winning streak, that was pretty cool. Everyone knew who we were. We got to walk on the football field, which was pretty cool because they acknowledged us.
P&W: What do you expect from your team the next two years?
AZ: I expect great things. Hopefully we’ll have a nice freshman class coming in that will really help us out. Everyone is growing. We have a lot of work to do, but positive thoughts.