Senior Class Honored and Annual Awards Presented At Year-End Banquet
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - The Yale women's basketball team held its annual team banquet on Sunday evening at The Course at Yale. In addition to celebrating the seasons, the Bulldogs' four seniors, captain Janna Graf, Zenab Keita, Alexandra Osborn-Jones and Amanda Tyson were honored and the major team awards were presented by Chris Gobrecht, the Joel E. Smilow, Class of 1954 Head Coach of Women's Basketball.
The program recognized the team and individual accomplishments of the 2013-14 season that saw the Bulldogs post a 7-7 mark in Ivy League play and collect 13 wins overall against a schedule that included nine opponents that participated in postseason play. Yale clinched its fifth straight top-four finish in the Ivy League and led the league in both steals per game and turnover margin, while ranking among the top four in both scoring offense and defense.
The evening's awards presentations began with all 14 student-athletes being honored with year-end Major- and Minor-Y awards. The coaching staff also recognized the individual awards collected by the Bulldogs throughout the season, which included Graf and Sarah Halejian earning All-Ivy League honors and scoring their 1,000th career points during the year. A total of seven Yale student-athletes were recognized for earning weekly awards from the Ivy League during the 2013-14 season.
Gobrecht presented the team's major awards, which included the "Bulldog Basketball Awards", Most Improved Player Award, Outstanding Leadership Award and the Karen Yarasavage Bulldog Award. The Bulldog Basketball Awards are presented to players who performed best in the areas valued most by the Bulldogs.
Whitney Wyckoff came on strong in the last month of the season and was presented with the Most Improved Player award. Wyckoff emerged as a starter in the second half of the Ivy League schedule, and ranked third on the team in scoring and second in assists over the final six contests. She posted double-figures in two of the last four games of the season, including a career-high 12 points against Princeton.
Graf was presented with the Outstanding Leadership Award. The 36th captain in program history, Graf started all 28 games and played a team-high 29.0 minutes per game. An all-around leader on the court, she ranked second on the team in scoring, rebounding, assists and steals, while leading the team in three-pointers and shooting 84.1 percent at the foul line. Graf also collected Bulldog Basketball Awards for Charge Takes and for Free Throw Percentage.
The Karen Yarasavage Award, which is presented to the player who most displays the attributes of grit, determination and Bulldog spirit that were embodied by Karen Yarasavage was presented to Lena Munzer. A freshman, Munzer played in 26 games, making 11 starts. She ranked among the team leaders in scoring, assists and steals and did her best to contribute in any way she could to make the Bulldogs successful.
Halejian earned the Bulldog Basketball Award for Assists, after giving out 102 during the season and leading the Ivy League with 3.6 per game. Meredith Boardman earned the Rebounds award after grabbing a team-high 5.5 rebounds per game. Her 2.2 offensive rebounds per game ranked fifth in the Ivy League.
The evening's program concluded with Yale's seniors being presented with gifts from the team and reflecting on their time with the program. During the seniors' four seasons, Yale amassed a total of 56 wins, which is the second-highest total of victories during a four-year span in program history. The Bulldogs also accumulated 33 wins in Ivy League play during the past four seasons, which is also the second-highest total during a four-year span in program history.
The major awards presented at the banquet included:
Most Improved Player (Awarded to that member of the women's basketball team who, in the opinion of the coaches, has shown the most improvement during the season): Whitney Wyckoff, who started five of the last six games for the Bulldogs and averaged 6.5 points and 2.0 rebounds in 23.8 minutes per game in that span. She also shot 38.9 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from three-point range in those games, while posting a career-high 12 points against Princeton. Wyckoff appeared in 25 games overall and ranked fourth on the team in steals (20) and fifth in assists (28).
Outstanding Leadership Award (Awarded annually to that member of the women's basketball team who, in the opinion of her teammates, through her spirit, hustle, attitude, desire and determination has served as an inspiration to the team): Janna Graf, started all 28 games and served as the 36th team captain in program history.
Karen Yarasavage Award (Presented to the player who most displays the attributes of grit, determination and Bulldog spirit that were embodied by Karen Yarasavage during her career at Yale): Lena Munzer, played in 26 games as a freshman and made 11 starts, while also ranking third in steals (25) and fourth in assists (31).
Bulldog Basketball Awards
Presented to the players who performed best in the areas of the game most valued by the Bulldogs
· Free Throw Percentage: Janna Graf, shot .841 from the foul line on the season, including a .895 mark in Ivy League play.
· Assists: Sarah Halejian, led the Ivy League with 3.6 assists per game and ranked second with an assist-to-turnover ration of 1.5.
· Charge Takes: Janna Graf
· Rebounds: Meredith Boardman, led the team in rebounding with 5.5 rebounds per game (12th in the Ivy League). She ranked fifth in the Ivy League with 2.2 offensive rebounds per game and matched a career-high twice during the season by grabbing 10 rebounds in a game.
Report filed by Jeff Mead, Yale Sports Publicity