Quakers Earn Ivy League Defensive, Rookie Honors

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PHILADELPHIA- SophomoreSydney Stipanovichearned Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year accolades for the second straight season as well as unanimous first-team All-Ivy honors, whileMichelle Nwokedicollected Penn's second straight Ivy League Rookie of the Year award.

SeniorKara Bonenbergerwas selected to the All-Ivy second team, while seniorKathleen Rochegarnered honorable mention All-Ivy.

Stipanovich, who ranks 19th in the nation and first in the Ivies in blocks, is the first player in school history to win back-to-back Ivy League Defensive Player of the Year awards (third in Ivy history to do so). Last year, she was the first in league history to win two Player of the Year honors in the same season (she was also the Rookie of the Year and named second-team All-Ivy).

Stipanovich leads the Quakers in rebounding, blocks,scoring and field goal percentage,and is also tied for third on the team in steals. The St. Louis, Mo., native has 77 blocks so far this season -- eighth-most in a season in Ivy League history and second-most in Penn history behind her school standard of 99, which ranks second in the Ivy record book.

Nwokedi is the fourth player in school history to win Ivy League Rookie of the Year honors as she joins Diana Caramanico,Alyssa Baronand Stipanovich. Her 63 blocks this year are second only to Stipanovich in the Ivy League and rank as fourth-most in a season in school history. She is also second on the team to Stipanovich with 7.1 rebounds per game, and leads the Quakers with 60 offensive rebounds. In addition, Nwokedi has made a team-high 56 free throws and is third on the team in scoring (8.9). The St. Agnes Academy (Texas) product also won six Ivy League Rookie of the Week honors this season.

Bonenberger was named to the All-Ivy second team for the second straight season. The Walnutport, Pa., native is the only player in school history to win an Ivy title, Big 5 title and score 1,000 career points. She reached the 1,000-point mark on Feb. 7, and currently ranks 14th all-time at Penn with 1,064 career points. She is also fifth on Penn's all-time career blocks list with 112. This season, she is third on the team in rebounding, blocks, assists, and is one of four Quakers to average over 8.0 points per game.

Roche earned her first All-Ivy honor with an exceptional senior season. She ranks ninth in school history with 55 threes this season and is fifth in the Ivies in three-point percentage (.417). The River Forest, Ill., native is second on the team in scoring with 9.4 points per game, and defensively, she leads the team with 28 steals.

This season, Penn (20-8, 11-3 Ivy) won the program's first-ever Big 5 title and clinched back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time in school history.

With a second-place finish in the Ivy League, the Quakers have clinched the league's automatic berth to the WNIT and a school record third-straight postseason appearance. The Quakers reached the WBI and the NCAA Tournament in the two previous seasons. Selections for the WNIT are announced shortly after the NCAA Tournament field is revealed on Monday. The first round of the WNIT would be played March 18, 19 or 20th at The Palestra or the home court of Penn’s opponent.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR
*Blake Dietrick, Princeton (Sr., G – Wellesley, Mass.)

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR
Michelle Nwokedi, Penn (Fr., F – Missouri City, Texas)

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Sydney Stipanovich, Penn (So., C – St. Louis)

COACH OF THE YEAR
*Courtney Banghart, Princeton

FIRST-TEAM ALL-IVY
*Blake Dietrick, Princeton (Sr., G – Wellesley, Mass.)
Nia Marshall, Cornell (So., F – Macedonia, Ohio)
*Sydney Stipanovich, Penn (So., C – St. Louis)
Annie Tarakchian, Princeton (Jr., G/F – West Hills, Calif.)
Alex Wheatley, Princeton (Jr., F – Upper Holland, Pa.)

SECOND-TEAM ALL-IVY
Jordin Alexander, Brown (Jr., G – Fishers, Ind.)
Kara Bonenberger, Penn (Sr., F – Walnutport, Pa.)
Temi Fagbenle, Harvard (Sr., F – London)
Tori Oliver, Columbia (So., F – Manassas, Va.)
Fanni Szabo, Dartmouth (So., G – Budapest, Hungary)

HONORABLE MENTION ALL-IVY
Sophie Bikofsky, Brown (Sr., G – Newton, Mass.)
AnnMarie Healy, Harvard (Jr., F – Edina, Minn.)
Erin McDonnell, Harvard (Sr., F – Morristown, N.J.)
Michelle Miller, Princeton (Jr., G – Pasadena, Calif.)
Kathleen Roche, Penn (Sr., G – River Forest, Ill.)
Lakin Roland, Dartmouth (Jr., F – Jeffersonville, Ind.)
Whitney Wyckoff, Yale (Jr., G – West Chester, Ohio)

KEY
*-Unanimous selection

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