Four women and two men from UAA institutions received CoSIDA Academic All-District® Basketball Team honors.
The team recognizes the nation's top student-athletes for their combined performances on the court and in the classroom. The honorees advance to the CoSIDA All-America® Team ballot with first-, second-, and third-team Academic All-America selections to be announced in March.
The UAA All-District Honorees:
Makayla Filiere, Carnegie Mellon University
Filiere is the only sophomore honored out of six players on the District 4 team and one of six sophomores to be honored in Division III. To be nominated for the award, a student-athlete must be a starter or significant reserve and maintain a GPA of 3.3 or better.
Carnegie Mellon is part of District 4 which is comprised of all Division III schools in the state of Pennsylvania. Filiere will now move on to the national ballot for Academic All-America consideration.
Filiere is a two-year starter for the Tartans and currently leads the team in scoring with 17.7 points per game and steals with 2.8 a game. Both her points per game and steals per game rank second in the University Athletic Association.
The sophomore carries a 3.93 GPA in the classroom while majoring in business and statistics with a concentration in business analytics. When not in class or on the court, Filiere volunteers her time at local food banks, at Animal Friends, and in the surrounding community. She was elected to Lambda Sigma last spring and performs at least 15 hours of community service per semester. The sophomore guard also serves on the planning committee for the Western PA Special Olympics held on campus and is a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Council.
Filiere currently holds an internship with Never Fear Being Different. Last summer, she was an intern at The Nest Collective Yoga and a camp counselor and academy teacher at Lifetime Fitness. Prior to enrolling at Carnegie Mellon, Filiere started her own business called Baking the World a Better Place where she baked cookies and bread, donating the proceeds to Feed My Starving Children over a four-year period. Through this, she provided more than 25,000 meals for children in third-world countries.
Kaitlyn Read, NYU
Read currently leads the University Athletic Association (UAA) in scoring (20.6 ppg) and steals (3.8 spg), while ranking second in assists (4.8 apg). The three-time First Team All-UAA guard has started each of NYU's (14-10, 7-6 UAA) 24 games this season (and all 112 games of her career). She leads the squad in minutes (32.6 mpg) and three-point percentage (37.5%), while also ranking second in rebounds (5.5 rpg).
This is the second-career CoSIDA Academic All-District™ selection for Read, who also received the honor as a junior in 2015-16.
Alexandra Leslie, University of Rochester
Leslie is a senior center for the Yellowjacket women's basketball team. This is her second year as an Academic All-District First Team selection. This season, she has helped Rochester to the #1 ranking in the East Region by the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Regional Advisory Committee. She is averaging 15.3 ppg., shooting .540 from the floor, .807 at the foul line, and has made 4 of 5 three-point shots. Leslie is averaging 7.4 rpg., has a team-high 45 blocked shots, and 56 assists – second behind the point guard.
Career-wise, she is second in points (1,788 points), third in rebounds (944). She is ranked fourth or higher in 15 career categories. She has earned seven All-America honors in three seasons, multiple All-Region and Region Player of the Year awards. She was the first Rochester player – male or female – to be chosen as Rookie of the Year and First Team All-UAA in the same season. She was chosen as the pre-season Division III Player of the Year by one organization and as a First Team Pre-Season All-American by two of them. As a junior, she was a finalist for the Josten's Trophy, given for a combination of academic achievement, athletic excellence, and community service. She is a three-time First Team All-UAA honoree and named to the UAA's All-Academic Team for three consecutive seasons.
A native of Lancaster, PA (Manheim Twp. HS), Leslie carries a cumulative GPA of 3.55 on a scale of 4.00. She has volunteered with the Lancaster County (PA) Project for the Needy for the last five years. Members work every Christmas Eve, delivering over 1,500 Christmas dinners to low-income families in Lancaster County. She is a member of the University's St. Sebastian Society, a service organization where she dedicates hours each week to tutoring 4th-8th graders at three different Rochester City Schools. In September, 2017, she was named as a Lysle Garnish Scholar, an award presented to the top 10 seniors for a combination of academics, athletics, and community service.
Jacob Wittig, University of Rochester
Wittig is a junior point guard for the Rochester men. With one game left in the regular season, he is second in scoring (a career high 11.3 points per game), shooting .441 from the floor (94-213), .338 outside the arc (26-77), and .829 at the foul line (58-70). He leads Rochester in assists with 114 (4.8 per game). He has 44 turnovers for an assists-to-turnover ratio of 2.6. That ranks him third in the current UAA statistics. He is fifth in assists per game and fifth in steals per game (34, 1.4 spg.). He is 18th in scoring average. Over his last five games, he has 30 assists and five turnovers. He scored a career high 26 points last Sunday in a 92-72 victory over NYU. Wittig was named the University Athletic Association Men's Basketball Player of the Week. He is 14th in career assists, five shy of 13th place.
The Manlius, N.Y. native (Fayetteville-Manlius) has a cumulative grade point average of 3.73 on a 4.00 scale. He works for Advocates, Inc. as a mentor for an autistic teenager. He is a member of the University's Varsity Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. At home, he volunteers to work at a series of basketball camps and clinics.
Natalie Orr, Washington University
Orr has started all 24 games this season while posting career-best numbers in scoring (12.9 ppg), rebounding (6.6 reb/g) and assists (2.6 ast/g). In the UAA she ranks eighth in assists, 10thin rebounding and 11th in scoring while sinking the fifth most three-pointers (48).
During her four-year career at WashU, Orr has totaled 962 points and the third most three-point field goals in all-time Bears history with 150. She has scored in double figures 44 times in her career including 19 games this season in addition to registering all four of her career double-doubles this season.
A three-time Academic all-UAA honoree, Orr has a 3.77 grade point average while studying biomedical engineering.
Jake Knupp, Washington University
Knupp has started all 24 games at shooting guard and is averaging 11.7 points, 3.4 assists and 2.1 steals per game. He leads the University Athletic Association (UAA) in steals (51) and is also seventh in three-throw percentage (.782).
Knupp has scored in double figures in 14 games this season, and was named the UAA Athlete of the Week on Nov. 27. He has appeared in 78 career games with 646 points, 216 assists and 110 steals.
A three-time Academic all-UAA selection, Knupp has a 3.56 grade point average while majoring in biology.