2011 Little East Conference Women's Basketball
All-Conference Team announced

Melissa Teel named Player of the Year... Teel and Karli Spera named to First Team... Heather Lee honored on Second Team... Stephanie Slonski on All-Defensive Team... Kimberley Rybczyk named Coach of the Year

official release from Jack Holleran - LEC Director of Communications

NORTH DARTMOUTH, MA (Feb. 4) —Western Connecticut State University took home the vast majority of major awards this afternoon when the 2010-11 All-Little East Women's Basketball teams were announced by the conference office. Senior center Melissa Teel (Hamden, Conn.) became the first women's basketball student-athlete in conference history to be chosen as the Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year. Kimberley Rybczyk was named the Coach of the Year by her peers, and the Colonials received the Team Sportsmanship Award. University of Massachusetts Dartmouth freshman forward Erika Bornemann (Canton, Mass.) was selected as the Rookie of the Year to round out the major award winners.

The eight Little East women's basketball coaches select 11 student-athletes on the all-conference teams. The first team is comprised of six members, while the second squad includes five student-athletes. The conference coaches also elect a five-member All-Defensive and All-Rookie team.

Teel became the sixth women's basketball student-athlete in Little East history to repeat as the conference's top player. The senior from Hamden, Conn. is also making her second-straight appearance on the All-Little East, first-team and third consecutive on the All-Defensive Team. According to the latest NCAA Division III statistical leaders, Teel is third in the nation in field goal percentage (62.6), fourth in blocked shots per game (3.8), and 20th in rebounds per game (11.8). She became the first player in Colonials' history to reach the millennial mark in career points (1,148) and rebounds (1,026). Teel also established a new single-game scoring record with her 39-point performance in the championship game of the Little East Tournament against Eastern Connecticut. She set a new Western Connecticut standard for single-game rebounds by collecting 25 caroms at Rhode Island College. She is just 43 points shy of matching the program's single-season scoring record (517) set by Shannon Flowers in 1994. Teel was joined by the other five multiple player of the year award winners on the recently released Little East 25th Anniversary Team.

A starter in each of her 26 contests, Teel was the catalyst for the conference's top ranking offensive and defensive unit. She was one of just three student-athletes in the Little East to average a double-double for the season with 18.2 points and 12.5 rebounds per game. Teel controlled the paint during her swan song season with 15 double-doubles, posting nine in her past 11 contests. Earlier this season, Teel registered a triple-double against the Warriors with 35 points, 15 rebounds, and 10 blocks. She nearly repeated the feat in the semifinals of the conference championship against the Anchorwomen with 38 points, 18 rebounds, and eight blocks. With Teel's presence in the low blocks, the Colonials limited their opposition to 50.5 points per game.

Bornemann is only the third Corsair to be honored as the top rookie in the conference and first since Michelle Eaton in 1991. The Canton, Mass. product helped UMass Dartmouth earn the fifth seed in the Little East Tournament to match the program's highest ranking since 2005. Bornemann made an immediate impact in the Corsairs' starting line-up, averaging the highest minutes per game by a first-year (33.4). She currently ranks among the conference leaders in blocked shots (2nd, 1.4), free-throw percentage (4th, 79.4), rebounding (5th, 8.5), and scoring (8th, 13.3). A starter in all 26 contests, Bornemann reached double digits in the scoring column 18 times, including registering at least 20 points six times. The All-Little East Rookie pick posted nine double-doubles as a freshman, including a season-high in points (22) and rebounds (14) at UMass Boston on Feb. 8. She was selected as the rookie of the week award winner in five of the 11 times the accolade was presented.

Rybczyk has been voted the top mentor in the conference circuit for the fourth consecutive year, earning sole possession of the award in three of the past four years. She has guided Western Connecticut to the program's second highest win total (23) since the Colonials joined the Little East in 1994. Under her watchful eye, Western Connecticut sits atop the conference team standings in assists (17.6 apg), blocked shots (5.2 bpg), field goal percentage (.437), field goal defense (.321), scoring defense (50.5 ppg), scoring margin (+21.1), and scoring offense (71.6 ppg). The Colonials captured the 2011 Little East Basketball Championship by defeating intra-state rival Eastern Connecticut at the Feldman Arena this past weekend. Rybczyk will lead her charges into the NCAA Division III Tournament for the third-straight season, and second as the conference's automatic qualifier. Western Connecticut sports a 3-2 mark against participants in the national tournament.

The All-Little East, first-team is comprised of six members from four institutions. The Colonials' senior guard Karli Spera (Waterford, CT) joins Teel as a first-team selection. The junior quartet of Rhode Island College's Stephanie Coro (North Providence, R.I.) and Rachel Riley (Coventry, RI), Keene State College's Courtney Cirillo (Windsor Locks, Conn.), and University of Southern Maine's Courtney Cochran (Waite, Maine) complete the top team.

The All-Little East, second-team is composed of Eastern Connecticut's Tanisha Carter (East Hartford, Conn.) and Jessica Moriarty (East Haven, Conn.), University of Massachusetts Dartmouth's Tashauna Ashmeade (Hyannis, Mass.), University of Southern Maine's Kaylie DeMillo (Jay, Maine), and Western Connecticut's Heather Lee (Seymour, Conn.).

Western junior guard Stephanie Slonski (Griswold, CT) was honored on the All-Defensive Team.

Initially formed in 1986 as a six-team men's and women's basketball conference, the Little East Conference is celebrating its Silver Anniversary during the 2010-2011 academic year. Western Connecticut State University joined the conference in 1993-1994, while Keene State College raised its current membership to eight teams in 1997-1998.

2010-11 Little East Women's Basketball All-Conference Teams

First-Team

Courtney Cirillo

Junior

Guard

Keene State College

Courtney Cochran

Junior

Forward

Southern Maine

Stephanie Coro

Junior

Guard

Rhode Island College

Rachel Riley

Junior

Forward

Rhode Island College

Karli Spera

Senior

Guard

Western Connecticut

Melissa Teel

Senior

Center

Western Connecticut

 

Second-Team

Tashauna Ashmeade

Senior

Forward

UMass Dartmouth

Tanisha Carter

Sophomore

Forward

Eastern Connecticut

Kaylie DeMillo

Senior

Guard

Southern Maine

Heather Lee

Senior

Guard

Western Connecticut

Jessica Moriarty

Senior

Guard

Eastern Connecticut

 

All-Defensive Team

Lauren Harrington

Senior

Guard

Rhode Island College

Jessica Moriarty

Senior

Guard

Eastern Connecticut

Renee Nicholas

Junior

Guard

Southern Maine

Stephanie Slonski

Junior

Guard

Western Connecticut

Melissa Teel

Senior

Center

Western Connecticut

 

All-Rookie Team

Erika Bornemann

Freshman

Center

UMass Dartmouth

Sciarra Brandt

Freshman

Forward

Western Connecticut

Erin McNamara

Freshman

Guard

Southern Maine

Kendra Mosley

Freshman

Guard

UMass Boston

Sammie Walker

Freshman

Guard

Plymouth State

 

Player of the Year

Melissa Teel

Senior

Center

Western Connecticut

 

Defensive Player of the Year

Melissa Teel

Senior

Center

Western Connecticut

 

Rookie of the Year

Erika Bornemann

Freshman

Center

UMass Dartmouth

 

Coach of the Year

Kimberley Rybczyk, Western Connecticut State University

 

Team Sportsmanship Award

Western Connecticut State University