The Penn women's basketball team held its year-end banquet April 22 at the Inn at Penn to celebrate the 2006-07 season and recognize some of this season's standouts.
The Harschberger-Johnson-Brendel Prize for Sportsmanship, Loyalty and Leadership is a prestigious honor given to the person that not only embodies the qualities of sportsmanship, loyalty and leadership outlined in the award title, but also builds bridges between current Penn players and alumni. Senior tri-captain Monica Naltner was this season’s recipient.
Naltner hails from Cincinnati, Ohio and was Penn's leading scorer and rebounder this season. She scored 417 points (15.4 ppg) and tore 170 boards (6.3 rpg). Naltner had three double-doubles this season and led the Red and Blue scoring in 11 games. A highlight game for the forward was Dec. 7 at Lafayette. Naltner had a quiet first half with just seven points but put her team on her back in the second scoring 30 points behind 10-of-10 free throws, 4-of-4 from beyond the arc and 8-of-9 overall shooting. Her 37 points put her in a tie for the sixth most points scored by a Quakerin a game. Naltner was a second team All-Ivy and All-Big 5 selection.
Epton-Tarr Award was presented to senior Lauren Pears and recognized her efforts as the consummate team player throughout the season. Pears was also awarded the team award for best defense.
A native of Mechanicsburg, Pa., Pears led the team in steals (57) and assists (110). She was the Quakers’ third leading scorer with 7.2 points per game and their second leading rebounder with 4.4 boards per game.
Two players repeated their awards from last season. Senior Joey Rhoads was once again named the team MVP, while Kelly Scott was once again named the Most Improved Player. Scott’s dedication to defense throughout the season, while maintaining her offensive contributions was an important contribution to the team’s success.
A native of Huntingdon Valley, Pa., Rhoads led the Quakers' scoring in 12 games -- six of them in the Ivies -- this season and leaves the Penn as the seventh all-time leading scorer in the program history with 1,210 points. She put up a career-high 28 points against Drexel in December and registered back-to-back 23-point performances against Brown and Yale in early February. In 109 games with the Quakers, Rhoads scored in the double digits 55 times, this season alone, she did it 19 times. Rhoads was named to the All-Ivy first team and All-Big 5 second team.
The final two awards presented take into consideration some of the more intangible aspects of the team and game. The Hustle Award is given to the student-athlete that consistently outworks her teammates in practice and competition. This year Anca Popovici was given the honor.
Finally, the Unsung Heroine Award, given to a member of the team that recognizes the accomplishments of a player that may not have tangible stats but contributes to the team. Freshman Carolyn Miller, who saw action in just two games, for a grand total ofthree minutes of play, earned the honor through her hard work at practice and continued support of the program.
Penn finished its season with a 12-15 overall record and in a tie for fourth place in the Ivy standings with an even 7-7 record.