Nelson, Francis and Matsui Honored with ACC Postgraduate Scholarships
GREENSBORO, N.C. – The Atlantic Coast Conference announced today (Feb. 24) three Virginia student-athletes – women’s swimmer Ella Nelson (Nashville, Tenn.), volleyball player Jayna Francis (Virginia Beach, Va.), and men’s lacrosse player Quentin Matsui (Eden Prairie, Minn.) – are among 53 from league institutions selected as 2023 Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford Postgraduate Scholarship Award recipients.
The Weaver-James-Corrigan-Swofford postgraduate scholarships are awarded to select student-athletes who intend to pursue a graduate degree following completion of their undergraduate requirements. Each recipient will receive $6,000 toward his or her graduate education. Those honored have performed with distinction in both the classroom and their respective sport, while demonstrating exemplary conduct in the community.
This year’s class of postgraduate scholarship recipients will be highlighted in a one-hour show on ACC Network that will air in May.
“The student-athletes in the ACC are amazing, and we are especially proud to honor this year’s class of ACC Postgraduate Scholarship recipients that represent our 15 world-class institutions,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “The academic and athletic resumes of these 53 student-athletes are incredible, and we applaud their dedication and commitment to excellence. We look forward to continuing to support these tremendous individuals as they approach the future, which is incredibly bright for each of them.”
Nelson is a two-time NCAA Champion, 12-time All-American and three-time selection to the All-ACC Academic team. Her freshman year at Virginia was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic after setting two school records and winning the ACC title with the 800-yard freestyle relay at the ACC Championships. She returned to the pool in her sophomore year continuing her good form, earning three All-America honors and winning another ACC title, this time in the 400-yard IM, and an NCAA title with the 800-yard freestyle relay. Last year, Nelson was named a CSCAA Scholar All-American and set a meet record to win the ACC title in the 400-yard IM for the second straight year, as well as placing on the podium in two NCAA Championship events.
Francis made an immediate impact when she arrived at Virginia in 2019, appearing in 27 matches and 90 sets as a freshman, racking up 214 kills throughout the year. During the COVID shortened season, she appeared in 13 matches and averaged 2.10 kills in that time. She returned the following year appearing in 16 matches and playing 43 sets after missing the first 12 matches due to injury, she finished the season averaging 1.56 kills per game and recorded a career best four blocks over Boston College. Francis appeared in three matches for Virgina in 2022, becoming the first Cavalier since 2018 to hit .619 or better on 12 or more kills in a single match, as well as being named to the Gators Invitational All-Tournament Team before unfortunately suffering an injury that would sideline her for the rest of the season.
Matsui has been a pillar of the Virginia defense since his arrival in 2020, appearing in every possible match in his career for the Cavaliers, including the 2021 NCAA Championship, after injuries on the defense during his freshman year put him on the field immediately. He had a career year during the 2022 campaign, posting 28 ground balls and 12 caused turnovers during his 16 starts, including a career-high five ground balls against No. 1 Maryland. Matsui recently appeared with the U.S. U21 National Lacrosse Team which saw the U.S. overcome Canada in the gold-medal game.