NAIA - women's basketball - Stephanie Soares - The Master's (Calif.)

2019-20 NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coach of the Year, Player of the Year and All-Americans Announced

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) announced the 2019-20 Division I Women's Basketball All-America Teams. Stephanie Soares of The Master's (Calif.) was named the 2020 NAIA National Player of the Year.

Coach Chris Nelson, in his 14th season, was named the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Coach of the Year after finishing the season at 29-4 (.879). The Wildcats finished the season qualifying for the 2020 championship for the 11th time and were ranked at No. 6 in the final Coaches' Top 25. Coach Nelson led his team to the Southern States Athletic Conference (SSAC) tournament championship with a 65-59 win over Martin Methodist (Tenn.).

The field of student-athletes selected was very balanced with the most one team had a selection was Campbellsville (Ky.) and Westmont (Calif.) with three.

Stephanie Soares, the 2020 Player of the Year, stepped up her game during her sophomore year. Soares posted higher totals in every category this year compared to 2018-19 with four fewer games played in 2019-20. The sophomore set new single-game career-highs in field goals made (16), steals (6), blocks (12) and points (35). The Brazil native also ended the 2019-20 season ranked No. 1 in five different categories: total rebounds per game (13.65), total blocks (151), blocks per game (4.87), defensive rebounds per game (10.52) and total rebounds (423). Soares was also awarded Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) player of the year, All-GSAC Selection and was named player of the week on Dec. 10 earlier this season.

Soares and Haylee Croom of Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) both garnered a second first-team selection this year. There were three 2019 second-team selections that made the jump to a first-team selection in Abby Selzer of Oklahoma City, Bailey Cummins of Shawnee State (Ohio) and Morgan Bennett of Wayland Baptist (Texas). There were also two previous third-team selections that also captured their first, first-team selection in Mercedes Jefflo and Markaela Francis Central Methodist (Mo.) of Rocky Mountain (Mont.).

Four of the 2019-20 second-team selections were also on the 2019 second team: Savannah Gregory of Campbellsville (Ky.), Reagan Turner of Lindsay Wilson (Ky.), Makenna Haase of Clarke (Iowa) and Vanessa Murphy of Vanguard (Calif.). Kaila Anthony of Loyola (La.) made the jump from third-team in 2018 to second-team in 2020.

There were 16 student-athletes on first, second and third-team that have received their first All-America selection in the top three teams. There were also a total of 52 honorable mentions.

All of the selections are made by the All-America Committee and comprises a First, Second, Third and Honorable Mention Team. There are 10 members on each of the first three All-America teams.

For more NAIA DI Women's Basketball information, CLICK HERE

FIRST TEAM

NAME SCHOOL POS CLASS HOMETOWN/STATE
Stephanie Soares* The Master's (Calif.) C So Sao Paulo, Brazil
Haylee Croom* Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) F Sr Clarksville, Tenn.
Mercedes Jefflo^ Central Methodist (Mo.) G Sr Compton, Calif.
Abby Selzer & Oklahoma City C So Thomas, Okla.
Bailey Cummins & Shawnee State (Ohio) G Sr Brooksville, Ky.
Markaela Francis # Rocky Mountain (Mont.) F Sr Great Falls, Mont.
Iyree Jarrett Westmont (Calif.) G So Whittier, Calif.
Lanay Rodney Central Methodist (Mo.) G Sr Peekskill, N.Y.
Morgan Bennett & Wayland Baptist (Texas) G Sr Shallowater, Texas
Madison Faulkner Campbellsville (Ky.) F Sr Horse Cave, Ky

Key:

*2019 First Team

& 2019 Second Team

^2019 Third Team

# 2018 Third Team

 

 

SECOND TEAM

NAME SCHOOL POS CLASS HOMETOWN/STATE
Savannah Gregory & Campbellsville (Ky.) G Jr Scottsville, Ky.
Reagan Turner & Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) G Jr Gamaliel, Ky.
Makenna Haase & Clarke (Iowa) C Jr Freedom, Wis.
Vanessa Murphy & Vanguard (Calif.) F Sr Phoenix, Ariz.
Victoria Chea Vanguard (Calif.) G Sr Murietta, Calif.
Parker Esary Providence (Mont.) F Jr Kalama, Wash.
Christine Denny Carroll (Mont.) F Jr Fairfield, Wash.
Tyasia Willis Bethel (Tenn.) F Sr Camden, Miss.
Liz Henderson Lyon (Ark.) G Sr Newark, Ark.
Kaila Anthony ^ Loyola (La.) G Sr Pflugerville, Texas

Key:

& 2019 Second Team

^2019 Third Team

 

THIRD TEAM

NAME SCHOOL POS CLASS HOMETOWN/STATE
Keimeshia Walker Rust (Miss.) G Sr Atlanta, Ga.
Reyna Ammons Science and Arts (Okla.) G Sr Houston, Texas
Kiara Burlage Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) F Jr Columbia Falls, Mont.
Emilee Maldonado^ Providence (Mont.) G Jr Sunnyside, Wash.
Brianna Mueller Lindenwood-Bellville (Ill.) G Jr Jackson, Mo.
DeAuja Thompson LSU-Shreveport (La.) G Jr Columbus, Ohio
Maud Ranger Westmont (Calif.) G Sr Paris, France
Kasey Saldana Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) G Sr San Antonio, Texas
Jordan Alford *# Columbia (Mo.) G Sr Thayer, Mo.
Brijanee Moore Talladega (Ala.) G Sr Stockton, Calif.

Key:

*2019 First Team

^2019 Third Team

#2018 Third Team

 

HONORABLE MENTION 

NAME SCHOOL POS CLASS HOMETOWN/STATE
Brenda Pennington William Penn (Iowa) G Sr Hammond, Ind.
Lexie Vaught Evangel (Mo.) G Sr Crane, Mo.
Whitney Clampitt MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.) G Jr Chillicothe, Mo.
Morgan Pitz Clarke (Iowa) G Jr Farley, Iowa
Ryan Dooley Culver-Stockton (Mo.) G Jr Assumption, Ill.
Alyssa Marsh-Contreras Peru State (Kan.) G So Bellvue, Neb.
Kate Yliltalo William Penn (Iowa) G Sr Maple Plain, Minn.
Dani Wagner Carroll (Mont.) G Jr Havre, Mont.
Savanna Bignell Montana Western G Sr Avon, Mont.
Mesa Williams Montana Tech G Jr White Sulpher Springs, Mont.
Kloie Thatcher Rocky Mountain (Mont.) G So Butte, Mont.
Jamie Nielson Lewis-Clark State (Idaho) G Sr Smithfield, Utah
Kaycee Gerald William Woods (Mo.) G Sr Springfield, Mo.
Madison Riley Lyon (Ark.) G Sr Judsonia, Ark.
Raegan Wieser Columbia (Mo.) F Sr Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Peyton Greenlee William Woods (Mo.) G Sr Marshfield, Mo.
Alyssa LeMay Freed-Hardeman (Tenn.) F So Mount Pleasant, Tenn.
Taylor Freeman Williams Baptist (Ark.) G Jr Murfeesboro, Tenn.
Kelsey Thaxton LSU-Alexandria (La.) G So Many, La.
Dezeree White Our Lady of the Lake (Texas) G So Houston, Texas
Fu'tra Banks LSU-Shreveport (La.) F Jr Conway, Ark.
DeAsia Outlaw Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) F Sr Henderson, Ky.
Emily Schultz Thomas More (Ky.) F Sr Melbourne, Ky.
Brandie Snow Shawnee State (Ohio) G So Hartville, Ohio
Sydni Tears Life (Ga.) F Jr Chicago, Ill.
J'Nayah Hall Lindsey Wilson (Ky.) G Sr Owensboro, Ky.
Caitlin Hall Campbellsville (Ky.) G Sr Stanford, Ky.
Miranda Zaragoza William Jessup (Calif.) C Jr El Dorado Hills, Calif.
Liz Gehweiler William Jessup (Calif.) G Sr Roseville, Calif.
Natasa Radovic Ottawa (Ariz.) G Fr Herceg Novi, Montenegro
Hannah Ostrom The Master's (Calif.) G Sr Lincoln, Neb.
Stefanie Berberabe Westmont (Calif.) G So Norwalk, Calif.
Tyeisha Juhan Talladega (Ala..) G Jr Jonesboro, Ga.
Diamond Jolly Talladega (Ala.) F Sr Huntsville, Ala.
Terralyn Dominick Philander Smith (Ala.) G Sr Little Rock, Ark.
Katie Blackmon Rust (Miss.) C So Olive Branch, Miss.
Kendra Langham Mobile (Ala.) G Sr Hoover, Ala.
Joy Sadler Middle Georgia State F Sr Birmingham, Ala.
Joy Hadley Brewton-Parker (Ga.) C Sr Jacksonville, Fla.
Brooklyn Blanchard Martin Methodist (Tenn.) G Sr Smyrna, Tenn.
Emilee Murr Blue Mountain (Miss.) G Sr Athens, Ala.
Angela Grant Faulkner (Ala.) F So Hoover, Ala.
Morgan Martin Bethel (Tenn.) G Sr Bradford, Tenn.
Tasia Jones Bethel (Tenn.) G So Martin, Tenn.
Alexis Shannon Mid-America Christian (Okla.) F Sr Noblesville, Ind.
Kaylee Edgemon Wayland Baptist (Texas) F Jr Littlefield, Texas
Nicole Gleason Texas Wesleyan G Sr Heath, Texas
Lexi Rich SAGU (Texas) G Sr San Antonio, Texas
Jenna Cooper Wayland Baptist (Texas) F So Claude, Texas
Mallory Lockhart Oklahoma City G So Keller, Texas
Asheika Alexander Langston (Okla.) F Jr Gwinnett, Ga.