WESTFIELD, Mass. - Worcester State University women's basketball's Karen Tessmer was named Coach of the Year on Thursday, as the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference announced its end of season awards and all-conference honors.
Also receiving recognition on Thursday were senior Brittany Herring (West Brookfield, Mass.), who was named to the First Team All-Conference, and junior Catherine Sweeney (Lowell, Mass.), who was named to the Second Team All-Conference.
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 currently ranks 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. It is Herring's fourth All-Conference award from the MASCAC, and third consecutive First Team selection.
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 Worcester Area College Basketball Association Player of the Week award in her junior season, and was a one-time New England Women's Basketball Weekly Honor Roll selection.