March 4, 2014
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. -- A trio of Navy women's basketball players and head coach Stefanie Pemper garnered honors from the Patriot League today with the announcement of the all-league teams and the league's major individual award recipients. Jade Geif (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.) and Kara Pollinger (Sr., Fort Gay, W.Va.) received first-team all-league laurels, Alix Membreno (Sr., Loxahatchee, Fla.) was selected as the league's defensive player of the year and earned second-team all-league accolades, and Pemper was recognized as the league's coach of the year.
"What a huge compliment to our players to be recognized by the coaches in the league; really stiff competition to get on those teams," said Pemper. "Kara and Jade have had really good years from back in November, especially being the focal point for many of our opponents' game plans. We're all happy for Alix to be named as the defensive player of the year; she's such an important player to us in truly every facet of the game. It's exciting to add the third team; there are some really deserving young women who were recognized."
Pollinger was named to an all-league team for the first time in her career. This is after her being named to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team in both 2012 and `13. The captain of the Mids as both a junior and senior, Pollinger leads the Mids and ranks eighth in the league in scoring with an average of 13.9 points per game, as well as first on the team and eighth in the league with a 4.3 assists-per-game average. Pollinger also is pacing the Patriot League in three-point field goal percentage (46.0%), is tied for the league lead in three-point field goals made a game (2.8 fgm) and ranks third with a 2.0 assist-to-turnover ratio. Additionally, her three-point percentage ranks 32nd nationally and her three-point field goal average stands as the sixth-best mark in the country.
Geif has garnered accolades from the league in each of her four seasons. The 2011 Patriot League Rookie of the Year earned second-team all-league honors in 2012 and first-team laurels in 2013. She also was tabbed as the MVP of the 2011 and `12 Patriot League Tournaments and was named to the all-tournament team in 2013. Geif ranks 13th in the Patriot League in scoring this season with an average of 12.5 points per game, while ranking second in rebounding (8.5 rpg) and third in field goal percentage (53.5%). She also ranks second in offensive rebounds per game (3.4 orpg) and fifth in defensive caroms a contest (5.1 drpg).
This marks the third-straight season in which Membreno has earned second-team all-league recognition. Those honors go along with her nod as the MVP of the 2013 Patriot League Tournament and her placements onto the all-tournament team in each of her three completed seasons. Membreno ranks 11th in the league in overall rebounds a game (6.4 rpg) and 12th in defensive boards a game (4.1 drpg). She also ranks among the league leaders in scoring (15th, 11.4 ppg), field goal percentage (8th, 47.0%), assists (9th, 3.8 apg) and assist-to-turnover ratio (5th, 1.9).
Now in its 10th season of existence, Membreno and Angela Myers (2009, `10) are the lone Mids to have been selected as the league's defensive player of the year.
Geif joins Adria Schneck, Becky Dowling, Laurie Coffey, Erica Hayes, Courtney Davidson and Angela Myers as the lone Mids to have earned multiple first-team all-league honors in a career. Also, Geif, Membreno, Dowling, Hayes, Davidson and Myers are the only Navy players to have been named to an all-league team at least three times in a career.
Pemper guided Navy this season to the first outright Patriot League regular season title in program history. The Mids compiled a 15-3 record in league play to attain the crown. Navy also has tied the school record for the most victories in a season this year with its mark of 23-6. This was the third 20-win season in the last four years for the Mids. Navy had won 20 games in a season just twice in its first 33 years of existence.
Navy has posted a winning record in each of its six years under Pemper, who also was recognized as the league's coach of the year in 2011. This is after the Mids had posted a winning record just six times in their initial 17 seasons of competition on the Division I level. Additionally, the Mids have attained a winning Patriot League record in each of the last six seasons after doing so just four times in 17 seasons as a member of the league prior to Pemper's arrival.
"I share my recognition with our entire coaching staff because they work tirelessly to make our program what it is," said Pemper. "They have great relationships with our players, they provide essential advice on everything we do and they care so much about every detail that matters. It's truly a staff award."
The top-seeded Mids will play host to the winner of tonight's No. 9 Colgate at No. 8 Lehigh first-round league tournament game Thursday night in the quarterfinal round of the event.
Major Individual Awards
Player of the Year: Kelsey Minato, Army (So., G)
Defensive Player of the Year: Alix Membreno, Navy (Sr., G)
Rookie of the Year: Claire DeBoer, Bucknell (Fr., F)
Coach of the Year: Stefanie Pemper, Navy
First-Team All-Patriot League*
Alexis Dobbs, American (Sr., G)
Jade Geif, Navy (Sr., F)
Kelsey Minato, Army (So., G)#
Kara Pollinger, Navy (Sr., G)
Shelby Romine, Bucknell (Sr., G)
Alex Smith, Holy Cross (Sr., G)
*Six players due to tie in voting
#Unanimous first team choice
Second-Team All-Patriot League
Audrey Dotson, Bucknell (Jr., F)
Jen Hazlett, Army (Sr., G/F)
Emily Homan, Lafayette (Jr., F)
Alix Membreno, Navy (Sr., G)
Raquel Scott, Holy Cross (So., F)
Third-Team All-Patriot League
Rashidat Agboola, Boston University (Sr., F)
Nai Brown, Loyola (Jr., G)
Jen Dumiak, American (Jr., G)
Kerry Kinek, Lehigh (So., F)
Arron Zimmerman, American (Jr., F)
Kayla Burton, Lehigh (Fr., G)
Claire DeBoer, Bucknell (Fr., F)
Danielle Failor, Army (Fr., F/C)
Sarah Hope, Boston University (Fr., G)
Megan McGurk, Bucknell (Fr., F)
Lisa Mirarchi, Loyola (Fr., G)
*Six players due to tie in voting