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Courtesy: Eric Badeau (http://www.ewbphotography.com/)
W. Basketball Makes Near Sweep of Top All-WAC Honors
Courtesy: Seattle University  
Release:  03/11/2013
The Western Athletic Conference office has announced the 2013-13 Women’s Basketball All-WAC Teams, as voted upon by the league’s 10 head coaches, and several members of the Seattle University team received top honors. The Redhawks earned the WAC regular season title in their first year in the conference as they defeated Idaho, 55-53, on Saturday night.

Head coach Joan Bonvicini headlines the awards as Coach of the Year and Kacie Sowell (Ventura, Calif.) was named Player of the Year.

Bonvicini has been named Coach of the Year in every conference she has been a part of, named WCAA Coach of the Year and Big West Coach of the Year three times (1981, 1984, 1986) at Long Beach State, and PCAA Coach of the Year in 1986. At Arizona, she was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year in 1998 and was named Independent Coach of the Year in 2012.  Regionally, she has been honored as Region VIII Coach of the Year four times (1981, 1984, 1986, 1998) and, nationally, was named NCAA Division I Coach of the Year in 1981. This season, she is also one of the Top 30 finalists for Naismith College Women’s Coach of the Year.

Sowell is just 15 points away from reaching 1000 career points and ranks in the top 10 in NCAA Division I field-goal percentage. Also leading the WAC in field-goal percentage, she has led the team in scoring for the entire season, notching 14 double-doubles. To start the season, she was named Preseason First Team All-WAC by both the conference head coaches and the conference media members. She has also received WAC Player of the Week twice as awarded by the conference office.

Sylvia Shephard (Alta Loma, Calif.) was named Defensive Player of the Year and leads the Redhawks in steals and assists, ranking second in scoring and third in rebounding going into the WAC tournament. She grabbed a season-high 11 rebounds on Jan. 19 vs. Louisiana Tech and recorded a career-high 11 assists vs. UT Arlington on Jan. 17.

Sowell was also named First Team All-WAC and Shephard was named Second-Team All-WAC, with Daidra Brown (Seattle, Wash.) and Shephard named to the All-Defensive Team.

Brown, a senior captain for the Redhawks, ranks second on the team in steals and blocks as well as third in assists going into next week’s WAC Tournament. She scored a career-high 24 points at San Jose State on Jan. 31 and grabbed a career-high nine rebounds vs. Utah State on Jan. 3.

Bonvicini was also named WAC Coach of the Year by College Sports Madness, with Sowell and Ashley Ward (Irvine, Calif.) named to the First Team and Shephard named to the Second Team. Ward hit the game-winning bucket in the Redhawks’ final two regular season conference wins and leads SU averaging 82.4 percent from the free-throw line.

The Redhawks will compete for their first automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament as the No. 1 seed at the WAC Tournament in Las Vegas on Mar. 12-16. They face the winner of No. 8 New Mexico State v. No. 9 UT Arlington on Wednesday, Mar. 13 at 6 p.m. For all the latest updates, information, and highlights, stay tuned to www.GoSeattleU.com, as well as Seattle U Athletics on Facebook, @su_athletics on Twitter, and @su_wbb on Instagram.

First Team All-WAC
Alyssa Charlston Idaho P 6-1 Jr. Sammamish, Wash. (Eastlake)
Devyn Christensen Utah St. G 5-6 Sr. Caldwell, Idaho (Vallivue)
Ta'Rea Cunnigan San Jose St. G 5-9 So. Winchester, Calif. (Chaparral)
Diamond Ford Texas St. G 5-9 Sr. Houston, Texas (Hightower)
Kacie Sowell Seattle U P 6-2 Jr. Ventura, Calif. (Buena)

Second Team All-WAC
Whitney Frazier LA Tech F 6-0 So. El Dorado, Ark. (El Dorado)
Stefanie Gilbreath NMSU G 6-1 Sr. Katy, Texas (Cinco Ranch)
Jennifer Schlott Utah St. G 5-6 Jr. Mesa, Ariz. (Mountain View)
Sylvia Shephard Seattle U G 5-10 Jr. Alta Loma, Calif. (Alta Loma)
Emiko Smith Denver G 5-5 Sr. Los Angeles, Calif. (Windward School)

Third Team All-WAC
Stacey Barr Idaho G 5-8 So. Melbourne, Australia (Maribyrnong)
Riana Byrd San Jose St. F 6-1 Fr. Richmond, Calif. (Inderkum)
Jenna Johnson Utah St. G 5-10 Sr. Wasilla, Alaska (Wasilla)
Kamra King UTSA G 5-6 So. Norman, Okla. (Norman)
Brittany Lewis LA Tech F 6-2 Sr. Orange Park, Fla. (Fleming Island)

All-Defensive Team
Daidra Brown Seattle U G 5-6 Sr. Seattle, Wash. (John F. Kennedy)
Riana Byrd San Jose St. F 6-1 Fr. Richmond, Calif. (Inderkum)
Jenna Johnson Utah St. G 5-10 Sr. Wasilla, Alaska (Wasilla)
Maiya Michel Denver F 5-11 Jr. Loma Linda, Calif. (Summit)
Sylvia Shephard Seattle U G 5-10 Jr. Alta Loma, Calif. (Alta Loma)

All-Freshman Team
Riana Byrd San Jose St. F 6-1 Richmond, Calif. (Inderkum)
Kailey Edwards Denver G 5-9 Broomfield, Colo. (Legacy)
Erin Peoples Texas St. F 6-0 Little Rock, Ark. (Parkview)
Lulu Perry LA Tech G 5-6 Benton, La. (Benton)
Christina Salvatore Idaho G 5-11 Anaheim, Calif. (Canyon)

Player of the Year: Kacie Sowell, Seattle U
Defensive Player of the Year: Sylvia Shephard, Seattle U

Newcomer of the Year: Stefanie Gilbreath, New Mexico St.
Coach of the Year: Joan Bonvicini, Seattle U

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