WORCESTER, Mass. - Karen Tessmer was named the Worcester Area College Basketball Association Women's Coach of the Year Wednesday morning, highlighting five Worcester State University WACBA All-Star Selections.
Senior Brittany Herring (West Brookfield, Mass.) was named a WACBA First Team All-Star for the third consecutive season, Worcester State's only First Team selection. Teammates Kaitlyn Berkel (Waterford, Conn.) and Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.), as well as junior Tyler Dion (Barre, Mass.) of the Worcester State men's team, all earned WACBA Second Team All-Star honors.
In her 25th season at the helm of the Lancers, Tessmer led Worcester State to an overall record of 20-7, the program's first 20-win season since the 1980-81 season. The Lancers earned a share of the MASCAC Regular Season title for the second time in Tessmer's reign, and were the top seed in the MASCAC Tournament for the first time in program history. Under Tessmer's lead, Worcester State defeated two teams that qualified for the NCAA Tournament this season (Westfield State and Western New England), and held its opponents to the lowest field goal percentage in the MASCAC at just 34.7 percent. The team's average rebounding margin of 11.4 per game also led the conference, and ranked 12th in the nation.
Herring was a dominant force for the Lancers at the post position in her senior season. She led the MASCAC and ranked third in the nation with a field goal percentage of 66.7 on the season, and ranked second on the Lancers by averaging 12.5 points per game. She also led the conference with 2.6 blocks per game on the season. She graduates as the program's all-time leader in field goal percentage at 57.3 percent, ranks second in blocks with 268, third in rebounds with 848, and fourth in points with 1,349. Herring was an All-MASCAC selection each of her four years at Worcester State, and a three-time First Team selection.
Berkel earns her first WACBA All-Star selection. In December, she became the 20th 1,000-point scorer in program history, finishing ninth all time with 1,191 points as a Lancer. Berkel was second on the Lancers this season and fifth in the MASCAC with 7.7 rebounds per game, while ranking third on the team with 11.9 points per game. A 2017 Second Team All-Conference selection, Berkel graduates Worcester State ranking fourth all time with 816 career rebounds and sixth all time with 136 career blocked shots for the Lancers.
Sweeney missed eight of the first nine games of the season due to injury, but turned it on down the stretch to earn her second straight Second Team All-MASCAC nod. Sweeney led the nation with three triple-doubles this season, including one in Worcester State's MASCAC Semifinal win over Framingham State on February 21. She was the conference's leader with an average of 5.4 assists per game, and already ranks fifth in program history with 318 career assists with a season to go. Sweeney won one WACBA Player of the Week award in her junior season, and was a one-time New England Women's Basketball Weekly Honor Roll selection.
Dion led his team in scoring in his first season with the Lancers, averaging 15.6 points per game in 24 games. He scored in double figures in 20 of his 24 games, recording a season-high of 33 in a loss to Bridgewater State on February 13, which saw him drain eight 3-pointers. He recorded one double-double on the season, with a 14-point, 11-rebound effort against Baruch on November 14. Dion led the conference with a free throw percentage of 84.3 percent, knocking down 70-of-83 attempts at the charity stripe on the year.
WACBA is an organization billed as "one of its kind in the country" featuring nine colleges, 18 programs plus sports information directors and media members to foster friendships and camaraderie along with promoting the great game of basketball throughout the tradition-rich Worcester County Area.
#WooWBB | #WooMBB