Kotas Leads Quartet of All-IIAC Selections

Mar 4, 2015

Official IIAC Release

DUBUQUE, Iowa – The University of Dubuque women’s basketball team placed four Spartans on the All-Iowa Conference (IIAC) teams led by senior Jenna Kotas. Kotas led the Iowa Conference (IIAC) in scoring and finished second in rebounding to earn her second-straight All-IIAC First Team Award and senior Meggie Schmidt placed on the All-IIAC Second Team after pacing the IIAC in steals. Senior Kayla Springer and sophomore Emily Brinker were named Honorable Mention.

Springer and Schmidt leave UD as the winningest class in school history after compiling 69 wins in their four years in the blue and white. With the help of Kotas, Brinker, and the rest of the Spartans, UD has finished third, third, second, and first the past four seasons. They are the four most successful seasons in school history.

Kotas lit up the scoreboard in her only two years at UD after transferring from nearby Clarke University. The IIAC’s leading scorer led the Spartans to their first IIAC regular season title in school history and totaled 22 points and five rebounds in the decisive regular season finale vs. Luther.

The Tinley Park, Ill. native posted averages of 18.1 points and 7.6 rebounds during IIAC play (14 games) and also led the conference in free throw shooting as well (64 of 68, 94.1%). Kotas compiled 12 games of 20 points or more and scored a season-high 27 at Buena Vista on January 17.

The 2013-14 First Team All-IIAC selection was the leading scorer on the IIAC’s highest-scoring team during IIAC play (72.4). For her efforts, she won three IIAC Female Athlete of the Week Awards to finish her career with five total. Kotas, Schmidt, and Brinker helped the Spartans capture four of the final six IIAC women’s basketball player of the week awards. Kotas was also named to D3Hoops.com National Team of the Week (Feb. 22).

Kotas will leave UD with 867 career points, good for 13th on the All-Time scoring list, the the highest career free throw shooting percentage at 84.7 percent, and finish in the Top-10 for career three-pointers made and attempted.

The first two-time First Team All-IIAC selection since UD’s career scoring leader, ’13 Mollie Whiting, majors in sports marketing and management.

“Jenna had a phenomenal senior year after leading the IIAC in scoring and finishing second in rebounding,” said Head Coach Mark Noll. “She had a big target on her back and everyone knew she was our go-to player. She was First Team All-IIAC two years in a row and IIAC POW three times this season in arguably one of the best Division III conferences in the nation. To score 867 points in two years is a great accomplishment."

Schmidt was a threat on both ends of the floor after earning Second Team All-IIAC accolades. The senior out of Edgerton, Wis. led the IIAC in steals with 2.71 per game and finished sixth in scoring at 12.1 points per game.

The 2012-13 Honorable Mention selection nearly doubled her scoring average from a year ago and posted a season-high 22 points on 7 of 9 shooting against Gustavus Adolphus on November 29.

Schmidt snagged one IIAC Female Athlete of the Week award and was also named UD’s November Athlete of the Month.

The multi-sport athlete (also a letterwinner in both volleyball and softball) finishes her career 12th on the all-time scoring list with 868 points, third in career steals (183), second in career games played at 105, and Top-5 in both three-pointers made and attempted.

The 2013-14 Second Team All-IIAC selection in softball majors in criminal justice.

“Meggie had a great senior year after earning Second Team All-IIAC and IIAC Player of the Week once,” added Coach Noll. “She made some big plays in some big games for us. Meggie brings so much to the table as a multi-dimensional player. Those types of players are always the hardest to guard. She is a true competitor who has continually gotten better in each of her 4 years at UD.”

Springer’s durability and clutch play helped earn her Honorable Mention honors. The Altoona, Wis. native’s free throw makes in the waning minutes helped put away both Simpson and Loras in the heart of the IIAC season. With the pair of wins, the Spartans swept the season series with Simpson for the first time in school history and swept Loras for the first time since 1980.

Springer’s 21 points in the Spartans final meeting against Loras was a season-high as she finished with 9.9 ppg and 5.5 rpg on the entire season.

The 2013-14 All-IIAC Academic Award winner is now the Spartans career leader in games played (106), and also ranks Top-10 in career free throw percentage, career three-pointers made and attempted, and career steals. 

The senior majors in nursing. 

“Kayla does so many things that go unnoticed, from taking charges to being a lock down defender on any position 1-5, which is very rare at the Division III level,” stated Coach Noll. “She won a couple games for us this year with her defensive skills and making free throws down the stretch. Her career record in games played (106) shows her commitment to the program and how valuable of a player she is.”

Brinker led UD’s second platoon and was a spark off the bench from the get-go. The sophomore earned her first IIAC recognition with her Honorable Mention selection after averaging 10.4 points, and 4.3 rebounds on 55% shooting throughout the IIAC slate.

The Baraboo, Wis. native shone brightest against Luther on senior night with the IIAC regular season title on the line. Sporting a two-point lead with 14 minutes remaining, Brinker scored eight of UD’s next 13 to help put away the Norse and win UD’s first IIAC regular season title in school history.

Brinker won IIAC Female Athlete of the Week once after totaling a combined 29 points on 18 shots in 35 minutes of play in wins over Coe and Loras.

Brinker also owns the second-best indoor high jump mark in UD school history at 5’5” and majors in nursing.

“Emily battled a couple injuries throughout the season but was able to fight through that and came on very strong at the end of the year,” said Coach Noll. “She's a multi-dimensional player who can play different positions, 1-5. She has a great ability to score and came up big for us in some key games. We will look for big things out of Emily these next two years.”