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  • Writer's pictureDanielle Bordeau

CBT's NAIA Women's Update - Awards Aplenty.

It’s tough to imagine a time without college basketball but all good things must end. The National Tournament delivered a true 64-team field, postseason accolades were released from the NAIA’s All-American list, the WBCA’s All-American rosters and the COSIDA Academic All-American honorees.

The National Championship

After humbling number top-seeded Southeastern in a nail-biting one-point victory, the Dordt Defenders headed to the NAIA National Championship, a first in program history.

The Defenders then fell 77-65 to Thomas More allowing the Saints to claim their first NAIA women’s basketball championship and third overall title.

Fourth-seeded Dordt battled from tip though it didn’t prove enough to bring home the chip in their third tournament appearance. The Saints offense held steady with 45.3% shooting from the field, 31.8% from the arc and a solid 80% performance at the stripe. Tournament MVP Alexah Chrisman averaged 10 points in the tournament and 5.7 rebounds, closing out her college career with a spot on the All Mid-South Conference First Team. NAIA All-American Honorable Mention Taylor Clos added 11 points and five rebounds in the national title effort while achieving double-figure points in four of six tournament games.

In his eleventh season, coach Jeff Hans led his decorated Saints to a 32-4 record and had a team robust in accolades. The Saints boasted five all-conference players, ten All-Academic Mid-South Honors and a Mid-South Conference Champion of Character while Hans claimed both Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year and NAIA Women’s Basketball Coach of the Year.

WBCA’s NAIA Player of the Year

The Women’s Basketball Coaches Association presents the Player of the Year Award in five of its six membership divisions, NAIA being one. Along with an MVP, the committee also selects ten members of each division to an All-America team for each division as well.

The Masters University’s Stephanie Soares was named Women’s Basketball Coaches Associations (WBCA) NAIA Player of the Year. Many players work toward this award but Soares took it for the second time, her first in the 2019-20 season with a year lost to injury between honors.

After recording 25 double-doubles, and at one point collecting 15 in a row, she averaged 20.5 points, 12.2 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game. Soares — aka The Brazilian — who towers over opponents at 6-foot-6, had another career-defining year to help TMU to 32 wins, a fourth GSAC title and a berth in the quarterfinals for the third time in program history. Soares led the nation with 126 blocks and was second in the nation in total rebounds after grabbing 415 boards.

Soares entered the transfer portal for her final season of eligibility and has committed to join coach Bill Fennelly’s roster at Iowa State, which means she’ll have a shot to finish her college career in the NCAA Tournament.

WBCA’s Coaches NAIA All —Americans

Bailey Albright — Sterling (KY), KCAC

Peyton Banks —Siena Heights University (MI), WHAC

Stefanie Berberabe — Westmont College (CA), GSAC

Grace Beyer — University of Health and Sciences (MI), AMC

N’Dea Flye — Rocky Mountain College (MT), CCC

Imani Guy — Marian University (IN), Crossroads

Jaycie Jenkins — Milligan University (TN), AAC

Ashlee McGeorge — Campbellsville University (KY), Mid-South

Morgan Stamper — University of Pikeville (KY), Mid-South

WBCA’s Coaches NAIA All —American Honorable Mentions

Ashlyn Adkins — Faulkner University (AL), SSAC

Claire Austin — St. Xavier University (IL), CCAC

Millie Bryant — Bethel College (KS), KCAC

Milagros Carrera — University of Science and Arts (OK), SAC

Zaria Dorsey — University of Science and Arts (OK), SAC

Rebekah Engle — William Carey University (MS), SSAC

Mary Englert — University of Pikeville (KY), Mid —South

Kennedy Hansberry — Loyola University (LA), SSAC

Amanda Hill —Kansas Wesleyan University (KS), KCAC

Kelcey Hinz —Kansas Wesleyan University (KS), KCAC

Iyree Jarrett — Westmont College (CA), GSAC

Emilee Maldonado — University of Providence (MT), CCC

Jordan Pyle —University of St. Francis (IL), CCAC

McKinley Seal — William Carey University (MS), SSAC

Mallory Shetley — Columbia College (MO), AMC

Zoe Shieldnight — Tabor College (KS), KCAC

Ella Skeens — University of Rio Grande (OH), RSC

Tarah Stephens — John Brown University (TX), SAC

Emma Tuominen — Indiana Technical University (IN), WHAC

Taya Wilson —Sterling College (KS), KCAC

NAIA All —Americans

Stephanie Soares of the Masters University claimed the National NAIA Player of the Year, but the list of talent in the NAIA is at no shortage. The All-American list dropped days after the national title game, with 12 named on each of the first, second and third teams as well as 55 honorable mentions.

Multiple teams possess two players on the lists with Carroll (MT) boasting three.

First Team

Stefanie Berbarabe, Westmont (CA) — 15.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg and 5.6 apg, two —time NAIA All —American First Team, GSAC Co —Player of the Year, 2020 —21 NAIA National Tournament MVP and NAIA Player of the Year;

Grace Beyer, Health Sciences and Pharmacy (MO) — leads NAIA with 32.9 ppg, 6 rpg and 4.2 apg, leads NAIA in free throws with 358 of 402, CoSIDA Academic All —America Player of the Year, WBCA All —American, AMC Player of the Year;

Kaylee Edgemon, Wayland Baptist (TX) — 19.9 ppg (ranked 4th in NAIA), 3rd time as an NAIA All —American, CoSida Academic All —American Second Team, SAC Player of the Year;

N’Dea Flye, Rocky Mountain (MT) — 20.6 ppg (9th in NAIA), WBCA NAIA All —American First Team, Frontier Conference Player of the Year, Newcomer of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year;

Imani Guy, Marian (IN) — 15.2 ppg, 8.2 rpg and 161 career blocks, three —time NAIA All —American First Team, WBCA NAIA All —American; Crossroads League Player of the Year;

Iyree Jarrett, Westmont (CA) — 15.1 ppg, 3.4 rpg and 4.6 apg, two —time NAIA All —American First Team, WBCA All —American Honorable Mention.

Arleighshya McElroy, Central Methodist (MO) — 19.5 ppg, 5.9 rpg and 4.1 apg, Heart of America Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year;

Sierra Mitchell, Morningside (IA) — 18.1 ppg, 3.9 apg and finished career with 2,691 points, two-time NAIA All-American First Team, four-time NAIA All-American overall;

Angela Perry, Southeastern (FL) — 14.8 ppg and 4.6 rpg, Sun Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, All-Sun First Team;

Courtney Pritchett, Campbellsville (KY) — 11.5 ppg and 6.7 rpg, All Mid-South Conference First Team;

Stephanie Soares, The Masters (CA) — 20.5 ppg, 12.2 rpg and 3.7 bpg (ranked 1st in NAIA with 126), two-time WBCA NAIA Player of the Year, third time NAIA All-American First Team, GSAC Co-Player of the Year, GSAC Defensive Player of the Year, NAIA Women’s Basketball Player of the Year, WBCA Player of the Year;

Ashtyn Veerbeck, Dordt (IA) — 17.9 ppg, 2.3 apg and 3 bpg, CoSIDA Academic All —American Second Team, Hauff Mid-America/GPAC Player of the Year;

Second Team

Ella Collier, Marian (IN) — 15.7 ppg, 104 assists, leads NAIA in free —throws at 92.2%, two —time NAIA All-American Second Team, two-time Crossroads League First Team Honors;

Jenna Cooper, Wayland Baptist (TX) — 18 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 5.9 apg (led NAIA this season with 207), 2019-20 NAIA All —American Honorable Mention, three-time All-Conference Honors with consecutive First Team Honors;

Gracee Dishman, Bryan (TN) — 20.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg, AAC Player of the Year with first-team honors;

Parker Esary, Providence (MT) — 15.6 ppg, 7.9 rpg, Frontier Academic All-Conference Team, Frontier Conference First Team;

Jessi Giles, Dakota State (SD) — 17.2 ppg, three —time NAIA All —American Honors, CoSIDA Academic All-American First Team, NorthStar Player of the Year and All-Conference First Team;

Shay Johnson, Rust (MS) — 11.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg and 5.4 apg, All —GCAC First Team, GCAC All-Defensive Team;

Tyra Johnson, Cumberland (TN) — 17.5 ppg, 3.6 rpb and 1.7 apg, Mid —South Conference Player of the Year;

Emilee Maldonado, Providence (MT) — 17.5 ppg, 7.9 rpg and 4.6 pg, Frontier Conference Academic All-Conference Team, WBCA All-American Honorable Mention;

Matti Morgan, Avila (MO) — 20.2 ppg, 7.2 defensive rpg and 3.3 spg, CoSIDA Academic All-American First Team, KCAC Player of the Year;

Jordan Pyle, St. Francis (IL) — 17.9 ppg and 6.6 rpg, WBCA NAIA All —America Honorable Mention;

Morgan Stamper, Pikeville (KY) — 13.2 ppg, 12.1 rpg (top ten in NAIA with 400), WBCA NAIA All —American First Team, Mid —South All —Conference First Team;

Danielle Wagner, Carroll (MT) — 13.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 1.6 spg, Frontier Conference Academic All —Conference, four straight Frontier All-Conference Team, Frontier Conference First —Team, third straight NAIA All —American Honors;

Third Team

Melissa Akullu, Vanguard (CA) — 18.1 ppg and 12.6 rpg, GSAC All-Conference Team;

Bailey Albright, Sterling (KS) — 19.1 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 3.8 apg, WBCA NAIA All-American, CoSIDA Academic All-American First Team, All-KCAC First Team, NCCAA Player of the Year and First Team;

Asheika Alexander, Langston (OK) — 18.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg and 2.9 spg, All-SAC First Team, All-SAC Defensive Team;

Claire Austin, Saint Xavier (IL) — 14.5 ppg, 10.6 rpg and 4.6 apg, WBCA NAIA All-American Second Team, third consecutive NAIA All-American honors, two-time All —Chicagoland Conference First Team;

Peyton Banks, Siena Heights (MI) — 18.3 ppg and 9.3 rpg, WBCA NAIA All —American, CoSIDA Academic All —American Second Team, third consecutive Wolverine —Hoosier Conference Co —Player of the Year, All —WHAC First Team and All —Academic;

Brynley Fitzgerald, Montana Western — 18 ppg and 6.9 rpg, Frontier Conference Academic All —Conference Team and First Team All —Conference;

Kennedy Hansberry, Loyola (LA) — 14.3 ppg and 3.8 apg, WBCA All —American Honorable Mention, SSAC Player of the Year, SSAC First Team All —Conference, Barnes and Noble College All —Academic Team;

Sophia Peppers, Morningside (IA) — 15 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 3.5 apg, two —time NAIA All —American honors, GPAC All —Conference First Team;

Shannon Pisney, Grand View (IA) — 16.8 ppg, two —time NAIA All —American Honors, Heart of America First Team All —Conference;

Ella Skeens, Rio Grande (OH) — 18.5 ppg, 8.2 rpg, WBCA NAIA All —American Honorable Mention, River States Conference Player of the Year and Newcomer of the Year, All —RSC First Team;

Callie Stevens, Lewis —Clark State (OH) — 18.3 ppg (leading scorer in CCC) and 2.7 apg, Cascade Conference Player of the Year, First Team All —Cascade Conference, Academic All —Cascade Conference;

Emma Tuominen, Indiana Tech (IN) — 14.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg and 2.2 apg, CoSIDA Academic All —American Second Team with a 4.0 GPA, Wolverine —Hoosier Athletic Conference Co —Player of the Year and All —Defensive Team, WBCA NAIA All —American Honorable Mention;

Honorable Mention

Many Honorable Mentions have multiple accolades in their respective conferences:

Andriana Acosta, St. Francis (IL) — 15.4 ppg and 12.2 rpg, Second Team All —CCAC, two —time NAIA All —American Honors;

Ashlyn Adkins, Faulkner (AL) — 15.9 ppg and 3.1 apg, WBCA NAIA All —American Honorable Mention, First Team All —SSAC, Barnes and Noble College All —Academic Team;

Alyssa Alvarez, Arizona Christian — 21 ppg and 4.3 apg, GSAC All —Conference Team;

Kertisa Amos, Texas Wesleyan — 16.9 ppg and 4.8 rpg, SAC Newcomer of the Year;

Thamires Andrade, Southwestern Christian (OK) — 19.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 3.9 apg, 2.1 spg, NCCAA Most Outstanding Player and NCCAA All —Tournament Team;

Daryna Bachkarova, Central Methodist (MO) — 14.7 ppg and 5.3 rpg, two —time HOA All —Conference First Team;

Keviona Barber, Our Lady of the Lake (TX) — 17.3 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 4.2 apg and 2.3 spg, RRAC Player of the Year, RRAC First Team;

Katie Blackmon, Rust (MS) — 8.9 ppg and 10 rpg; All —GCAC First Team, three —time All —GCAC honors;

Kiara Brown, Menlo (CA) — 12.3 ppg and 8.5 rpg, All —GSAC Conference Team;

Ella Brubaker, The Master’s (CA) — 15.2 ppg and 3.8 rpg, All —GSAC Conference Team;

Tay Cannon, Loyola (LA) — 14.2 ppg, 6.4 rpg and 1.9 spg, SSAC All —Tournament MVP, SSAC All —Conference First Team;

Taylor Clos, Thomas More (KY) — 10.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg, 2.2 apg and 88.2% from free throw line, First Team All Mid —South, two —time MSC All —Academic Team;

Maggie Coe, Mount Vernon Nazarene (OH) — 16.9 ppg, ranked 7th in country in free throws at 90.1%, First Team All —Crossroads and Crossroads League All —Defense Team;

Christine Denny, Carroll (MT) — 12.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg, and 2.6 apg, Frontier All —Conference Second Team and Academic All —Conference Team;

Zaria Dorsey, University of Science and Arts (OK) — 13.3 ppg and 7.4 rpg, two —time NAIA All —American Honors, two —time WBCA NAIA All —American Honors, Second Team All —SAC;

Kendall Fisher, Lawrence Tech (MI) — 16.8 ppg, 2.6 spg and 80.7% from free throw line, First Team All —WHAC, All —Defensive Team Wolverine —Hoosier Athletic Conference; two —time All —American Honorable Mention;

Taylor Freeman, Williams Baptist (MO) — 19 ppg and 3.6 spg, AMC Defensive Player of the Year, AMC First Team All —Conference;

Maddie Gard, IU South Bend (IN) —16 ppg and third in league with 71 steals; All —CCAC First Team;

Jade Giron, Lyon (AR) — 14.7 ppg, 7 rpg, 5.3 apg and 2.1 spg, AMC First Team;

Lexi Hernandez, Mid —America Christian (OK) — 11.9 ppg and 1.6 spg, All —SAC Second Team, NCCAA All —Central Region First Team, three —time NCCAA Scholar —Athlete;

Kelcey Hinz, Kansas Wesleyan — 12.9 ppg and 10.7 rpg, holds KWU record for blocks with 124 this season and currently has 973 career rebounds, WBCA NAIA All —American Honorable Mention, KCAC Defensive Player of the Year, First Team All —KCAC Honors and All Defensive Team;

Jaycie Jenkins, Milligan (TN) — 21.7 ppg (fifth in nation) and 9.1 rpg, WBCA NAIA All —American, CoSIDA Academic All —American Second Team; All —AAC First Team (twice);

Brittney Justice, West Virginia Tech — 19.3 ppg, All River States Conference First Team;

Gabby Kreykes, Trinity Christian (IL) — 24.2 ppg, 9 rpg, 2.5 apg and 2 spg, two —time NAIA All —American Honors, CCAC First Team All —Conference;

Rakia Lane, Philander Smith (AS) — 14.3 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 2.8 apg and 2.2 steals, All —GCAC Second Team;

Sailor Leifke, Eastern Oregon — 16.1 ppg and 3.4 apg, two —time First Team All —CCC;

Alyssa LeMay, Freed —Hardeman (TN) — 14.2 ppg and 7.4 rpg, Mid —South Conference Women’s First Team and Academic All —Conference Team;

Mikayla Mabie, UC Merced (CA) — 9.6 ppg, 4.8 apg and 2.2 spg, All —Cal Pac First Team and All —Cal Pac Defensive Team;

Elexis Martinez, Bellevue (NE) — 14 ppg, 6.1 rpg and 2.1 apg, NSA First Team All —Conference (fourth time), fourth straight season with NAIA All —American Honorable Mention honors;

Nicole McDermott, Clarke (IA) — 12.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 2.6 apg and 1.7 spg, HOA First Team All —Conference;

Kyla Moore, Iowa Wesleyan — 17.7 ppg, 6.2 rpg and 3 spg, CAC Player of the Year, CAC Co —Defensive Player of the Year, CAC All —Conference First Team;

Courtney Olson, Dickinson State (ND) — 19.4 ppg, 4.6 rpg and ranked second in nation in free throws made (204), NSAA First Team All —Conference;

Jamie Pickens, Carroll (MT) — 10.2 ppg and 6.6 rpg, Frontier Conference Academic All —Conference Team, Frontier All —Conference First Team (twice), two —time NAIA All —American honors;

Matti Reiner, Dakota Wesleyan (SD) — 13.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg and 3.7 apg, GPAC All —Conference First Team, two —time All —Conference honors;

Brittany Roberts, McPherson (KS) — 19.6 ppg and 15 rpg, Barnes and Noble All —KCAC Scholar —Athlete Academic, All —KCAC First Team and Defensive Team;

Taysha Rushton, Concordia (NE) — 17.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 2.5 apg and 1.6 spg, First Team All —GPAC (second time);

Maddie Ryman, Grace (IN) — 17.1 ppg, 2.9 apg and 1.6 spg, All —Crossroads First Team, NCCAA First Team All —American;

Molly Schany, Northwestern (IA) — 13.8 ppg and 6.6 rpg, GPAC All —Conference First Team;

Abby Selzer, Oklahoma City — 18.2 ppg, 10.4 rpg and 1.48 bpg, CoSIDA Academic All —American First Team, All —SAC Second Team (four —time All —SAC Honors), three —time All —American Honors;

Mallory Shetley, Columbia (MO) — 15.8 ppg, 5.3 rpg and 3 apg, two —time NAIA All —American Honorable Mention, WBCA All —American Honorable Mention;

Zoe Shieldnight, Tabor (KS) — 10.5 ppg and 5.3 rpg, two —time NAIA All —American Honorable Mention, WBCA NAIA All —American Honorable Mention;

TrEl’Shawn Smith, MidAmerica Nazarene (KS) — 13 ppg, 2.4 apg and 4.6 rpg, HOA All —Conference First Team;

Tionne Taylor, Missouri Baptist — 19.3 ppg, 2.4 spg and 1.3 apg, All —AMC First Team and Defensive Team;

Sydni Tears, Talladega (AL) — 15.1 ppg and 7.4 rpg, SSAC All —Conference First Team, SSAC Newcomer of the Year;

Kloie Thatcher, Rocky Mountain (MT) — 13.7 ppg, Frontier All-Conference Second Team and All —Defensive Team; Frontier Academic All-Conference Team;

Trinity Vasquez, Westcliff (CA) — 18.3 ppg and 6 rpg, First Team All-Cal Pac, Cal Pac Player of the Year, Cal Pac Newcomer of the Year;

Leilah Vigil, Southeastern (FL) — 11.6 ppg, 5.5 rpg and 1.3 spg, All-SUN Conference First Team;

Skylar Washington, Benedictine (KS) — 13.2 ppg and 2.3 rpg, HOA First Team All-Conference;

Dezeree White, Midway (KY) — 18.2 ppg, 7.2 rpg, 4.1 spg and 2.8 apg, First Team River States All-Conference, two-time All-America Honors;

Taya Wilson, Sterling (KS) — 15.2 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 2.5 apg and 2.1 spg, WBCA NAIA All —American Honorable Mention, All-KCAC First Team and Defensive Team;

Kylie Wroblewski, St. Ambrose (IA) — 15. 9 ppg and 8.4 rpg, two-time First Team All —CCAC, two —time NAIA All —American Honors;

Jordan Zrust, Mayville State (ND) — 18.1 ppg and 6.2 rpg, NSAA First Team All-Conference;

CoSIDA Academic All —American

If the WBCA and NAIA All-American honors weren’t enough, the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA) also select student-athletes from NCAA and NAIA who show leadership on the court as a starter or a contributing reserve while maintaining a 3.3 GPA or above.

Grace Beyer from the University of Health and Pharmacy Sciences in St. Louis has been selected as the CoSIDA Women’s NAIA Academic All-American this season. Beyer led the NAIA women’s basketball in scoring with 32.9 ppg, banking 1,019 points. Beyer also averaged 6 rpg and 4.2 apg while making 358 of 402 free throws attempted. The junior guard maintains a 3.94 GPA as a pharmacy major and was named AMC Player of the Year, AMC Player of the Week 10 times and NAIA Player of the Week twice while first in her school’s history to be named CoSIDA NAIA Academic All-American.

The CoSIDA Academic All-American selections are the only accolades without honorable mentions, rostering only five student-athletes on a first and second team. The selection process begins with student athletes being named to CoSIDA Academic All-District Teams in four districts with first team honorees continuing to the April ballot for Academic All-American accolades.

First Team

Bailey Albright, Sterling (KS) — 3.93 GPA in Health Science/Pre-Occupational Therapy; Grace Beyer, University of Health Science and Pharmacy of St. Louis (MO) — 3.94 GPA in Pharmacy;

Jessi Giles, Dakota State (SD) — 4.0 GPA in English for News Media (the only repeat recipient);

Matti Morgan, Avila University (MO) — 4.0 in Nursing;

Abby Selzer, Oklahoma City University (OK) — 3.96 in Criminal Justice;

Second Team

Peyton Banks, Siena Heights University (IL) — 3.58 GPA in Education;

Kaylee Edgemon, Wayland Baptist (TX) — 3.61 GPA in Elementary Education;

Jaycee Jenkins, Milligan University (LA) — GPA 3.98 in Child and Youth Development;

Taylor Stricklin, Eastern Oregon University (OR) — 3.99/4.0 in Health and Human Performance (UG) / Teaching (G), also two-time All-CCC First Team;

Emma Touminen, Indiana Tech (IN) — 4.0/4.0 Business Administration and Marketing (UG)/ MBA (G);

Ashtyn Verbeek, Dordt (IA) — 3.91 in Business Administration / Management

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