UMM’s Ekness & Reitsma Garner Honorable Mention All-American Nods 14 Nov 17

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VOLLEYBALL
LEXINGTON, Ky. – The honors keep rolling in for Katie Reitsma and Marissa Ekness. A week after receiving American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) All-Central Region First Team accolades, the Cougar volleyball duo earned AVCA Honorable Mention All-American status.

This is the first all-american honor for Reitsma while it is a repeat accolade for Ekness.

This puts a cap on honors for the impressive careers for Reitsma and Ekness. This season, Reitsma earned her second straight Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Defensive Player of th Year award and she made her third appearance on the All-UMAC First Team squad. Ekness also became a three-time All-UMAC First Team member this season. Both became all-time program leaders in their respective categories this season with Reitsma becoming the career digs leader (2,024) and Ekness the career kills leader (1,717).

The Cougars had one of the best seasons in program history in 2017. Their 26 wins is second most in program history and their .765 winning percentage (26-8) is best in the 48 years of the program.

MEN’S BASKETBALL
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Morris men’s basketball team brings back a veteran backcourt for the 2017-18 season led by senior All-UMAC point guard CD Douglas and the sharp-shooting of Noah Grove and Jeremy Halverson. That leadership will be key for the upcoming season slated to start on Wednesday at Concordia (Minn.)

In the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll announced Thursday, the Cougars are predicted to finish fourth behind St. Scholastic, Bethany Lutheran, and Northwestern.

2017-18 UMAC Men’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. St. Scholastica – 58 points (4 First place votes)
2. Bethany Lutheran – 57 points (3)
3. Northwestern – 54 points (2)
4. Minnesota Morris – 42 points
5. Crown – 34 points
6. UW-Superior – 28 points
7. Northland – 24 points
8. North Central – 18 points
9. Martin Luther – 9 points

The University of Minnesota Morris has qualified for the UMAC tournament in each of the last eight years, and the Cougars should have a chance at challenging all three of the top programs coming in fourth in the poll with 42 points. The Cougars will rely heavily on 2016-17 statistical leader CD Douglas who averaged 19.9 ppg in league play and has been back-to-back All-UMAC First Team. Junior Noah Grove also returns after scoring 13.9 ppg. 

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Morris women’s basketball team brings back a strong inside-outside threat in guards Elli Stevenson and Mauren Thiesen and posts Kendra Raths and Abby Van Kempen for the 2017-18 season.

In the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll announced Thursday, the Cougars are slated to finish second behind defending champion UW-Superior.

2017-18 UMAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Coaches’ Poll
1. UW-Superior – 64 points (8 First place votes)
2. Minnesota Morris – 52 points (1)
3. Northwestern – 51 points
4. Bethany Lutheran – 40 points
5. St. Scholastica – 38 points
6. Martin Luther – 33 points
7. Northland – 21 points
8. North Central – 15 points
9. Crown – 10 points

Minnesota Morris welcomes back a talented trio of juniors who should anchor the Cougars again this year. Elli Stevenson was a First Team honoree and led the team in conference play with 15.3 ppg. Kendra Raths and Mauren Thiesen were Second Team picks after finishing in double-digits in scoring. Raths was fourth in the conference in rebounding (8.1 rpg) providing a threat inside, while Thiesen was among the top outside players averaging 2.7 3-pointers per game for a remarkable 42.2 percent. The Cougars also welcome back sophomore Abby VanKempen who averaged nearly 10 rebounds per game as a rookie against UMAC teams.