A day ahead of their battle for the River States Conference tournament championship, WVU Tech and Rio Grande dominated the league’s postseason honors.
The Golden Bears took home three of the big awards after capturing the RSC regular season championship, led by Player of the Year Rolando Sanchez, a midfielder. Allan Costa was named Defensive Player of the Year and Oliver Hewitt-Fisher was voted Coach of the Year.
WVU Tech also had first-teamers Jesus Naves and Manuel Garcia at forward, Sergio Sanchez at midfield, Alvaro Tina at defender and Jorge Martinez at goalkeeper.
On the second team were Luis Alejandro-Jaimes (forward) and Pablo Muniz (cornerback).
Rio Grande grabbed the other two specialty awards with Offensive Player of the Year Nicolas Cam Orellano, a forward, and Newcomer of the Year Sebastian Borquez, a freshman midfielder.
Logan Thomasson was named a Champion of Character.
Rio Grande’s other first-team selections were Rodrigo Basso and James Williamson on defense and Richard Dearle, the top goalkeeper in the voting.
Representing the RedStorm on the second team were forward Sam Pederson and midfielder Callum Malanaphy.
NAIA No. 9 WVU Tech (17-0-1) will host No. 10 Rio Grande (15-3) today at 3 p.m. for the tournament championship at the YMCA Paul Cline Memorial Youth Sports Complex. The winner will secure an automatic bid to the national tournament.
Miller named Women’s Defensive
Player of the Year
WVU Tech sophomore goalkeeper Jenna Miller was voted the River States Conference Defensive Player of the Year on Friday. She played in 15 games with a 1.15 goals against on average and led the Lady Golden Bears to fourth place in the league standings.
Tech also had two players on the second team in midfielder Sydney Krakat and defender Veronica Nobles.
Brittany Dye was named a Champion of Character.
Volleyball battles back for first-round win over Indiana-Southeast
WVU Tech dropped the first two games before winning the next three and eliminating Indiana-Southeast in the first round of the River States Conference tournament Friday in Pittsburgh.
IU-Southeast took the first two games 25-19 and 25-22 before Tech reeled off victories of 25-23, 25-21 and 16-14.
Konstantina Pateli recorded 39 assists and surpassed 5,000 for her career. Carolina Bologna made nine kills to go over 1,000 for her career.
The Lady Golden Bears (22-11), the second seed from the East Division, will take on West champion and overall No. 1 seed Brescia today at 12:30 p.m. in the semifinals. The winner will advance to the title match at 6 p.m.
Women’s basketball earns road win over Wilberforce
Whittney Justice scored a game-high 25 points as WVU Tech defeated Wilberforce 101-82 in the Super Eight Classic at Rio Grande.
Justice also had four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Fellow junior and twin sister Brittney Justice finished with 18 points, four rebounds and three assists.
Senior Laura Requena recorded a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
The Lady Golden Bears (4-3) will conclude the tournament today against Fisk University at 1 p.m.
Men’s basketball falls to St. Francis
WVU Tech shot less than 40 percent from the field and was outrebounded 39-24 in a 89-70 loss to St. Francis on Friday in the St. Francis Classic.
The Golden Bears (2-3) were 23-of-60 (38.3 percent) for the game. That included a 5-for-17 (29.4 percent) showing from 3-point range.
St. Francis, meanwhile, shot 32-of-52 (61.5 percent) overall and 8-of-15 (53.3 percent) from 3.
Juvanté Hayes led Tech with 20 points and five rebounds. Tamon Scruggs finished with 14 points. Andrew Work and Dominik King scored nine each.
Tech will wrap up the tournament today against Taylor University at 1 p.m.