The Hudson Valley Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced their women’s basketball end-of-season awards. Senior forward Jah-Leah Ellis, of Harlem, N.Y., and the Hun School of Princeton, N.J. was named HVIAC Player of the Year, while first-year head coach Joan Sanchez was named HVIAC Co-Coach of the Year, with all voting conducted by the conference’s head coaches. Additionally, senior guard Alyssa Pechin, of Yonkers, N.Y., and Our Lady of Victory, and Ellis were selected to the HVIAC All-Conference team.
Ellis is in the midst of a tremendous season for the Blue Angels, averaging 20 points, 15.8 rebounds, 3.5 assists and 3 steals per game. In HVIAC games, the senior averaged 17.2 points, 20.3 rebounds, 4.0 assists and 2.7 steals per game, recording a double-double in every conference game, posting three games with 20 or more rebounds and never pulling down less than 17 in any HVIAC tilt. She ranks second in the conference in scoring and field goal percentage and leads the conference in rebounding. On the season, she has recorded 18 double-doubles and currently leads NCAA DIII in rebounds per game. Ellis has tallied 20 or more rebounds on six occasions this season, including each of the last three games, and has poured in 20 or more points 12 times, including a career-high 35 in a road win over Purchase College. This year marks the second time in a row she has received All-HVIAC accolades.
Pechin earned All-HVIAC honors for the third time after averaging 14.6 points, 3.9 assists and 1.9 steals per game. In conference play, she led the team in scoring, averaging 18.5 points per contest and adding 3.7 assists and 2.0 steals per game to rank among the conference leaders in each category. The guard reached double figures in scoring 16 times, including four 20-plus scoring performances. For her career, she ranks among the program’s all-time leaders in 3-pointers made and scoring, as she is just one of six Blue Angels to reach the 1,000 career point milestone.
Sanchez took over a program that returned just three letter-winners yet produced a 4-2 conference record and the program’s first consecutive winning seasons since the 1998-1999 and 1999-2000 seasons. In addition to molding a young squad, Sanchez also coached the team through a tumultuous period in the middle of the season that saw several players miss games because of injury. The first-year mentor guided the Blue Angels to two tournament championships, as CNR successfully defended its titles at the Women’s College Tip-Off Tournament and the Dr. Betty Shabazz
Tournament. This marks the third time in the past four seasons that the Blue Angels’ coach has been recognized by the conference coaches with this honor.
The College of New Rochelle returned to the court yesterday (Wednesday), Feb. 25, hosting Sarah Lawrence.