UST's Spaulding headlines MIAC Women's Basketball Awards

Spaulding led the nation in field goal percentage with a mark of 71.4 this season. (Photo: Haley Staffon)
Spaulding led the nation in field goal percentage with a mark of 71.4 this season. (Photo: Haley Staffon)

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) closed the book on its 2017-18 women's basketball season on Wednesday with the announcement of the annual Conference awards.

St. Thomas junior center Hannah Spaulding was voted the Conference Player of the Year by MIAC coaches, while Saint Benedict head coach Mike Durbin was honored by his peers with Coach of the Year recognition for the sixth time in his illustrious 33-year career at CSB. Bethel senior guard Jasmin Bretoi received Sixth Player of the Year accolades for her contributions to the Royals' success and first-year Gustavus guard Ava Gonsorowski became the inaugural recipient of the MIAC Women's Basketball Rookie of the Year award.

Spaulding (Jr. | Annandale, Minn.) led all of NCAA Division III with a field goal percentage of 71.4 during the 2017-18 season. The 2017 MIAC Sixth Player of the Year, Spaulding moved into the starting lineup in November with the unenviable task of replacing two-time MIAC Player of the Year and 2017 National Player of the Year, Kaitlin Langer. Spaulding made the most of the opportunity, averaging 19.6 points, 8.0 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per Conference contest, while winning a pair of MIAC Athlete of the Week awards in her first full season as a starter.

Bretoi (Sr. | Lino Lakes, Minn. | Centennial) started the first six games of the season before transitioning to become Bethel's top reserve. The senior guard provided key production off the bench for the Royals this season, particularly down the stretch when she averaged 10 points per game in the month of January. Bretoi's signature performance came against St. Catherine on January 6, when she scored a game-high 27 points while shooting 7-for-11 from behind the arc.

Gonsorowski (Fy. | Esko, Minn.) earned the unique distinction of becoming the first women's basketball player in Conference history to receive Rookie of the Year honors. A floor general on offense and full-court pest on defense, Gonsorowski moved into the starting lineup in mid-December and made an immediate impact, scoring 10 points in her first career start at point guard against Coe College on December 22.

Durbin received MIAC Coach of the Year honors after leading Saint Ben's to its best regular season record in nearly a decade. CSB jumped out to a 15-1 start to the season and returned to the national polls for the first time in seven years en route to a 22-win season and a berth in the NCAA Division III Women's Basketball Tournament. The 2017-18 campaign was Durbin's 25th season with 20-plus victories, a feat only five DIII coaches can lay claim to. This is Durbin's sixth MIAC Coach of the Year award in his 33 seasons at the helm in St. Joseph.

In addition to individual awards, MIAC coaches also voted on and selected All-Conference, All-Defense and All-First-Year Teams. Gustavus senior guard Mikayla Miller joined elite company after being selected to her fourth All-Conference Team. Saint Mary's junior forward Brandi Blattner will have an opportunity to join that group next season, as the two-sport star earned her third All-Conference honor in as many seasons. Saint Benedict senior post Niki Fokken also received All-Conference honors for the third straight season. Seven players garnered All-Conference accolades for the second year in a row, including Augsburg's Tamira McLemore, Bethel's Taite Anderson and Hannah Johnson, Gustavus' Miranda Rice, Macalester's Regan Fruh, Saint Benedict's Chelsey Guetter and St. Thomas' Lauren Fischer. Johnson landed on the All-Defensive Team for the second consecutive season as well.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC also announced the 12th annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for women's basketball. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.


2018 MIAC Women's Basketball Awards

Player of the Year – Hannah Spaulding | C | St. Thomas (Jr. | Annandale, Minn.)

Sixth Player of the Year - Jasmin Bretoi | G | Bethel (Sr. | Lino Lakes, Minn. | Centennial)

Rookie of the Year – Ava Gonsorowski | G | Gustavus (Fy. | Esko, Minn.)

Coach of the Year – Mike Durbin | Saint Benedict (33rd season)


 2018 MIAC Women's Basketball All-Conference Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Tamira McLemore Augsburg So. Eagan, Minn.
G Abby Miller Bethel Sr. Howard Lake, Minn. | Howard Lake Waverly Winsted
G Katie Chavez Carleton So. Westminster, Colo. | Holy Family
G Grace Wolhowe Concordia Jr. Staples, Minn. | Staples-Motley
G Mikayla Miller Gustavus Sr. Goodhue, Minn.
G Danica Cambrice St. Catherine So. Minneapolis, Minn. | St. Croix Lutheran
G Alexa Huisman Saint Mary's Sr. Adrian, Minn. | Ellsworth
G Lucia Renikoff St. Thomas Jr. Minneapolis, Minn. | Washburn
F Camryn Speese Augsburg So. Bloomington, Minn. | De La Salle
F Taite Anderson Bethel So. White Bear Lake, Minn.
F Miranda Rice Gustavus Sr. Forest Lake, Minn.
F Niki Fokken Saint Benedict Sr. Oronoco, Minn. | Pine Island
F Chelsey Guetter Saint Benedict Sr. Wabasso, Minn.
F Brandi Blattner Saint Mary's Jr. Eyota, Minn. | Dover-Eyota
F Lauren Fischer St. Thomas Sr. Oshkosh, Wis. | Lourdes Academy
C Hannah Johnson Bethel Jr. Duluth, Minn. | Duluth East
C Regan Fruh Macalester Sr. Helena, Mont.
C Hannah Spaulding St. Thomas Jr. Annandale, Minn.

 2018 MIAC Women's Basketball Honorable Mention Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Alaina Quaranta Hamline Jr. Eau Claire, Wis. | North
G Sidney Schiffler Saint Benedict So. Albany, Minn.
G Megan Thompson Saint Benedict Fy. Inver Grove Heights, Minn. | Academy of Holy Angels
G Jackie Radford St. Catherine So. St. Paul, Minn. | Cretin-Derham Hall
G Meg Clark St. Catherine Sr. Kenyon, Minn. | Kenyon-Wanamingo
G Maddie Wolkow St. Thomas Sr. Lakeville, Minn. | Lakeville South
G Kaylie Brazil St. Thomas Jr. Norwood Young America, Minn.
F Anne Hamilton Carleton Sr. Chanhassen, Minn. | Minnetonka
F Kendall Thompson Gustavus Jr. Eden Prairie, Minn. | Holy Family Catholic
F Alexis Garcia St. Catherine Sr. Minnetonka, Minn. | Hopkins 

 2018 MIAC Women's Basketball All-Defensive Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Mikayla Miller Gustavus Sr. Goodhue, Minn.
F Niki Fokken Saint Benedict Sr. Oronoco, Minn. | Pine Island
F Brandi Blattner Saint Mary's Jr. Eyota, Minn. | Dover-Eyota
C Hannah Johnson Bethel Jr. Duluth, Minn. | Duluth East
C Hannah Spaulding St. Thomas Jr. Annandale, Minn.

 2018 MIAC Women's Basketball All-First-Year Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
G Nia Harris Carleton Fy. Burnsville, Minn. | The Blake School
G Ava Gonsorowski Gustavus Fy. Esko, Minn.
G Megan Thompson Saint Benedict Fy. Inver Grove Heights, Minn. | Academy of Holy Angels
F Kaia Porter St. Thomas Fy. Roseville, Minn.
P Abby Winter Saint Mary's Fy. Winona, Minn.

 2018 MIAC Women's Basketball All-Sportsmanship Team
 Position Name Institution Class  Hometown | High School
F Bridget Bednar Augsburg Sr. Pierz, Minn.
G Angie Kirchoff Bethel Sr. Barrington, Ill.
G Sarah Paller Carleton Sr. Brooklyn, N.Y. | Berkeley Carrol School
G Cassidy Rahman Concordia Sr. Moorhead, Minn.
F Emee Udo Gustavus Sr. Apple Valley, Minn. | Eastview
G Morgen Coleman Hamline So. North Branch, Minn.
G Vivi Gregorich Macalester Sr. Boulder, Colo.
P Kate Banovetz Saint Benedict Sr. Minneapolis, Minn. | Academy of Holy Angels
G Ashley Fosness St. Catherine Fy. Britton, S.D. | Britton-Hecla
G Isabel Bettag Saint Mary's Fy. Maple Park, Ill. | St. Francis College Prep
F Samantha Tisa St. Olaf So. Lake Geneva, Wis. | Badger
G Maddie Wolkow St. Thomas Sr. Lakeville, Minn. | Lakeville South