LEXINGTON, Ky.—Transylvania senior guard Jackie Distler captured Player of the Year honors Thursday from the Heartland Conference while Greg Todd was the selection of his peers as the league's Coach of the Year.
Distler, a Louisville Sacred Heart product, led the Pioneers to a 22-5 record and to HCAC regular season and tournament titles. She averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds a game, both team highs, while shooting 44.7 percent from the field and 31.3 percent from three-point range. She scored in double figures in 25 of 27 games with a career-high of 25 against Mt. St. Joseph.
Distler, who missed her junior season with a knee injury, was named to the All-HCAC team for the first time. She is the third Transy women's player to be named Player of the Year, joining Julie Leach (2007) and Tari Young (2003).
Todd guided Transy into the NCAA Championship for the second time in his three seasons as head coach. The Pioneers were regular season HCAC champs for the first time since 2002-03 and took the HCAC tourney for the first time since Transy joined the league in 2001-02.
Transy also won 20 or more games in a season for the first time since 2004-05. Todd's record in three seasons at Transy is 53-29.
Distler was joined on the All-HCAC first team by teammate Brittany Henderlight. The junior guard averaged 12.4 points a game, second on the team, despite missing six games due to injury. The Woodford County graduate also grabbed 4.7 rebounds a game while shooting 46.5 percent from the field and a team-best 36.8 percent from three-point range.
Henderlight was also a first-team choice a year ago and an honorable mention pick as a freshman.
Sophomore guard Olivia Akridge (Eddyville, Ky./Lyon County HS) was an All-HCAC honorable mention pick while Alex Adler (Ft. Thomas, Ky./Highlands HS) was named to the All-Freshman team.
Transy will face Howard Payne in first-round NCAA tourney play on Friday at 6 p.m. at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. The Pioneers' last NCAA appearance was in 2007 as an at-large selection.
For more information, contact Glenn Osborne, sports information director, at (859) 233-8284 or firstname.lastname@example.org.