WBB: SDSU's Miller Named Summit League Player of the Year

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - South Dakota State’s Macy Miller was chosen as The Summit League Player of the Year for the second consecutive season in a vote by the league’s head coaches, athletic communications directors and select media members.

Miller becomes the sixth Summit League women’s basketball student-athlete to earn the award multiple times, joining Brianne Kenneally (Youngstown State), Krista Ragan (Oral Roberts), Zane Teilane (Western Illinois), Kevi Luper (Oral Roberts) and Amanda Hyde (Purdue Fort Wayne). The Jackrabbit senior averaged 17.9 points per game and 5.4 rebounds per game in league play. Over the course of the season, Miller climbed up The Summit League career scoring list and sits in second with 2,223 career points. She is 55-points shy of breaking Oral Roberts’ Kevi Luper’s career mark of 2,277 set between 2009-12.
South Dakota Allison Arens was named the defensive player of the year, becoming the second straight Coyote to earn the award. Arens, the lone Yote senior, helped USD hold five league opponents to under 50-points, marking the first time a Coyote team achieved that feat. She finished second in league play with 33 steals and also added seven blocks.

Hannah Sjerven, a sophomore center for South Dakota, was voted as The Summit League’s Sixth Woman of the Year and the Newcomer of the Year. Sjveren became a force off the bench for USD, leading all reserves with 13.8 points per game. Sjerven reached double-digit points in 10 of 16 league games, including a double-double against Western Illinois. She has also been one of the better defenders on the low post, leading The Summit League in combined blocks and steals (53 blocks and 38 steals). In Summit League action she blocked 24 shots, fourth-most in the league.

Western Illinois’ Danni Nichols was named freshman of the year, becoming the first Leatherneck to earn the award since Ashley Luke won newcomer of the year in 2013. The award was split into freshman of the year and transfer of the year (now newcomer of the year) for the 2015-16 season. Nichols moved into Western Illinois’ starting lineup two games into The Summit League schedule and never looked back. The freshman guard averaged 11.1 points per game and 3.8 rebounds per game. She scored 15 or more points in eight of 16 league games, including a career-high 22-points at Omaha. She leads WIU in shooting from the field with a 58.8 percent clip.

South Dakota head coach Dawn Plitzuweit was voted the coach of the year for the second consecutive season. Plitzuweit led her Yotes to a 14-2 league record and the No. 2 seed in The Summit League Championship. Under the leadership of Plitzuweit, South Dakota earned the program's first national top 25 ranking. The Coyotes entered the AP Top 25 for the first time on Feb. 11 at No. 25 and the USA Today coaches' poll at No. 25 on Feb. 12. The Yotes became the first Summit League team to earn a national ranking since the 2008-09 season.
The All-Summit League First Team is made up of Miller, Arens, Oral Roberts senior Lakota Beatty (14.6 ppg, 3.6 apg), South Dakota junior Ciara Duffy (16.6 ppg, 5.1 rpg), South Dakota State senior Madison Guebert (13.9 ppg, 41.5 3FG%) and North Dakota senior Lexi Klabo (18.1 ppg, 8.0 rpg)
.
The five-player second team consists of Western Illinois senior Taylor Higginbotham (15.0 ppg, 7.7 rpg) and junior Olivia Kaufmann (16.7 ppg, 5.6 rpg, 4.6 apg), South Dakota State junior Tagyn Larson (13.4 ppg, 6.9 rpg), Oral Roberts sophomore Maya Mayberry (16.2 ppg, 2.3 apg) and Denver junior Madison Nelson (17.0 ppg, 8.6 rpg).

Honorable mention honors went to South Dakota sophomore’s Chloe Lamb (11.3 ppg, .486 FG%) and Hanna Sjerven, Denver senior Samantha Romanowski (12.5 ppg, 6.2 apg) and junior Lauren Loven (13.6 ppg, .433 3FG%) and South Dakota State sophomore Myah Selland (12.1 ppg, .523 FG%).
The Summit League All-Newcomer team featured South Dakota State freshman Paiton Burckhard (7.2 ppg, 3.7 rpg), Omaha freshman Mariah Murdie (9.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg) Western Illinois freshman Danni Nichols (11.1 ppg, 3.8 rpg), Purdue Fort Wayne junior Sh’Toya Sanders (10.3 ppg, 7.8 rpg) and Sjerven.

2018-19 Women’s Basketball Postseason Awards
First Team All-Summit League
Lakota Beatty, Oral Roberts
Lexi Klabo, North Dakota
Allison Arens, South Dakota ***
Ciara Duffy, South Dakota **
Madison Guebert, South Dakota State ***
Macy Miller, South Dakota State (POY)^****

Second Team All-Summit League
Madison Nelson, Denver
Maya Mayberry, Oral Roberts
Tagyn Larson, South Dakota State
Taylor Higginbotham, Western Illinois ***
Olivia Kaufmann, Western Illinois

Honorable Mention All-Summit League
Lauren Loven, Denver
Samantha Romanowski, Denver
Chloe Lamb, South Dakota
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota
Myah Selland, South Dakota State

Summit League All-Newcomer Team
Mariah Murdie, Omaha
Sh’Toya Sanders, Purdue Fort Wayne
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota
Paiton Burckhard, South Dakota State
Danni Nichols, Western Illinois
^Player of the year automatically earns a spot on the first team
*career of All-League honors

Player of the Year
Macy Miller, South Dakota State
Defensive Player of the Year
Allison Arens, South Dakota
Sixth Woman of the Year
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota
Freshman of the Year
Danni Nichols, Western Illinois
Newcomer of the Year
Hannah Sjerven, South Dakota
Coach of the Year
Dawn Plitzuweit, South Dakota