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Olson named National Coach of Year, Barry Tournament MVP

Olson named National Coach of Year, Barry Tournament MVP

SEWARD, Neb. – After the confetti had settled on Tuesday night (March 12) in Sioux City, Iowa, a trio of Bulldogs earned national awards for their work in leading the Concordia University women’s basketball team to a national championship win. Point guard Grace Barry was tabbed the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championship Tournament Most Valuable Player while Drew Olson was named the Phyllis Holmes National Coach of the Year.

Also a first team all-tournament choice, Barry was joined with all-tournament honors by teammate Philly Lammers, who landed on the second team (see complete teams at bottom).

This marks the second year in a row that Olson has been rewarded with a major national coaching honor. He was also selected as the United States Marine Corps/WBCA NAIA National Coach of the Year after leading the 2017-18 squad to a GPAC championship season and a national runner up claim. This time around, Olson’s Bulldogs closed the deal on what had been an elusive national title. It was the only thing missing during Olson’s remarkable tenure, which began with the 2006-07 season. In his 13 seasons leading Concordia, Olson has put together an overall record of 353-96 with a national title, two national runners up finishes, five national semifinal advancements, 11 national tournament appearances and 10 total GPAC titles (five regular season; five postseason).

Barry is the first Bulldog to ever take home the Most Valuable Player award at the National Championship tournament. The Lincoln East High School product has attained the rare feat of having now won a Nebraska state title and a national championship. Barry elevated her performance over the five national tournament games, during which she averaged 14.2 points, 4.8 assists, 3.4 steals and 2.6 rebounds while going 25-for-48 (.521) from the floor, 6-for-11 (.545) from 3-point range and 15-for-18 (.833) from the foul line. Barry played all 40 minutes in the semifinal win over No. 4 Northwestern and the championship win over No. 2 Southeastern University (Fla.). In the title game, she put up a line of 15 points, seven assists, four steals and four rebounds.

Lammers collected all-tournament accolades for the second year in a row. The Millard West High School product was most dominant in the semifinal win over Northwestern when she piled up 28 points, 13 rebounds and five steals. Over the five games at the Tyson Events Center, Lammers averaged 13.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 3.2 steals while going 34-for-60 (.567) from the field and 11-for-18 (.611) from the free throw line. The GPAC Player of the Year also notched a double-double in the national championship game with 11 points and 12 rebounds.

First Team

  • Grace Barry | Concordia (Neb.)
  • Mackenzie Cann | Southeastern (Fla.)
  • Kyendi Cheeseman | Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)
  • Kelsie Cleeton | College of the Ozarks (Mo.)
  • Kassidy DeJong | Northwestern (Iowa)

Second Team

  • Kendall Bradbury | Taylor (Ind.)
  • Darbi Gustafson | Northwestern (Iowa)
  • Philly Lammers | Concordia (Neb.)
  • Rylie Osthus | Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)
  • Marlena Schmidt | Southeastern (Fla.)

2019 Hustle Award Winner – Rylie Osthus | Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.)

2019 NAIA DII WBB National Championship MVP – Grace Barry

Phyllis Holmes Coach of the Year – Drew Olson

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