After claiming its record fifth-straight tournament title and fourth regular season title in six years, South Dakota State was selected as the 2013-14 women's basketball preseason favorite. The Jackrabbits collected 27-of-30 first-place votes and 319 points in the voting conducted by the league's head coaches, SIDs and media. IPFW's Amanda Hyde was selected as the preseason Player of the Year.
IUPUI, which finished second in the regular season a year ago, earned the final three first-place tallies and collected 276 points. Last season's tournament runner-up, South Dakota placed third with 224 followed by IPFW in fourth place with 179 points. League newcomer Denver, Western Illinois, Omaha and North Dakota State rounded out the poll.
Hyde was selected as the Preseason Player of the Year after earning Player of the Year and first team All-Summit League honors last season. She became the first player in Fort Wayne history to get the league's top award after scoring a league-high 18.6 points per game. The senior also dished out 3.1 assists and had 1.9 steals per contest. Hyde connected on 44.3 percent of her shots from the field and hit 86.9 percent of her free-throw attempts. She was also named the Division I-AAA ADA Scholar-Athlete of the Year and earned Capital One Academic All-America Second Team distinction.
The second team is composed of reigning Defensive Player of the Year in IUPUI's Dee-Dee Bellamy (1.3 spg, 1.6 apg), South Dakota's Polly Harrington (11.1 ppg, 5.8 rpg, .490 FG%), Omaha's Ericka House (9.0 ppg, .335 3FG%), South Dakota State's Steph Paluch (2.5 apg, 6.5 ppg in '11-12) and IPFW's Haley Seibert (2.9 apg, .865 FT%).
The Summit League concluded the 2012-13 season with a No. 21 ranking in the College Basketball News RPI, three teams in postseason tournaments and its best non-league winning percentage in 10 years. New women's tournament records were also set last year for total and championship game attendance.
The regular season begins Nov. 8, with the 14-game, double round-robin league schedule starting Jan. 9. The 2014 Summit League Women's Basketball Championship will be held March 8-11 at the Sioux Falls Arena in Sioux Falls, S.D, for a record sixth consecutive year.
IPFW men's golfers 15th in final event
The IPFW men's golf squad improved by five strokes in the second round of the Dayton Flyer Invitational as the Mastodons finished the two-day tournament with scores of 304-299-603 to finish 15th in their final event of the fall season.
IPFW finished six shots ahead of Cincinnati State and just six strokes behind Wright State. Played at the par-70, NCR Country Club North Course, Western Kentucky won the tournament with a two-day score of 288-278-566. Andrew Bailey of Cleveland State took medalist honors with scores of 67-69-136.
The Dons were led by sophomore Oliver Gibson for the second straight day with a 2-over-par 72, to finish with a 3-over-par 143 for the tournament to place eighth. Six shots back in a tie for 39th was sophomore Drake Devereux with rounds of 74-75-149.
Just two shots separated sophomore Dan Wert and freshman Daniel Shepard. Wert closed out the tournament with rounds of 80-75-155 to finish in a tie for 72nd while Shepard carded a two-day total of 79-78-157 to tie for 82nd. Junior Jacob Groninger rounded out the scoring for the Mastodons with a two-round score of 81-77-158 to stand alone in 86th place.
Freshman David Watterson shot rounds of 79-80-159 as an individual for the 'Dons to finish tied for 87th.
2 from IPFW saluted for cross-country
IPFW senior Julie Jeszenszky and sophomore Chris Rudolph have been named the Summit League women's and men's Runners of the Week, respectively.
Jeszenszky, a native of New Carlisle, helped the Mastodons to a fifth-place finish at the 2013 Disney Cross Country Classic by placing 24th overall in a season-best time of 19:00.23, bettering her previous best time of 19:19.20 from the Notre Dame Invitational, and is the third-fastest cross-country 5,000-meter run in her career.
Rudolph, a Fort Wayne native and Wayne High School alum, led the Mastodons to an eighth-place finish at the 2013 Walt Disney World Classic, hosted at the Walt Disney Wide World of Sports Complex, and ran a time of 27:17.04, placing 37th in the field. His time was a season-best by over a second and a half, and is the second-fastest 8,000-meter cross-country time of his career.
The Mastodons return to the course on Friday, when the squad competes at the Bradley Classic in Peoria, Ill.