COLUMBUS – It didn't take Ashland University's women's basketball team long to add to its list of 2016-17 plaudits – and what a list of additions.
On Monday (March 20) night at the NCAA Division II women's basketball Elite Eight student-athlete banquet at COSI, the No. 1-ranked Eagles picked up the following Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) awards:
- Head coach Robyn Fralick is the 2016-17 United States Marine Corps WBCA Coach of the Year.
- Assistant coach Kari Pickens is the 2016-17 WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year.
"You only win those awards if you are part of a great team," Fralick said. "I'm really thankful for the players on the team. They've been very life-giving to me, to my family, to the community. This award is just a reflection of what this team has given. It's been one of those special seasons where there is a lot of joy, and I'm thankful I get to be a small part of it."
Fralick has led Ashland to a 34-0 record going into Tuesday's (March 21) national quarterfinal at 6 p.m. against West Texas A&M (26-8) at Alumni Hall on the campus of Ohio Dominican University. The Eagles also became the first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference women's basketball program to win four regular-season and four tournament titles in a six-year period.
This is the AU women's program's second WBCA Coach of the Year award, as Sue Ramsey earned the honor in 2011-12.
Pickens becomes the program's first WBCA Assistant Coach of the Year after countless awards in two seasons as a player at Ashland.
"Coach Pickens is unbelievably deserving," said Fralick. "Her work ethic, her mind for the game, her unbelievable commitment is the same. She had it as a player, and she has it as a coach. Those awards follow her because of those things. I'm really fortunate that she's on my staff."
Earlier on Monday, Snyder (first team) and Daugherty (second team) each were named All-Americans by the Division II Conference Commissioner's Association (D2CCA). They both earned honorable mention All-American status from the WBCA as sophomores, and are the first Eagles to be two-time WBCA All-Americans since Pickens (then Kari Daugherty) in 2011-12 and 2012-13.
"Really proud of Laina and Andi, and they've had unbelievable seasons," Fralick said. "I think what really stands out about both of them is their impact in so many areas of the game. And their versatility is really important in what we do."