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Parkside’s Kenesie named GLVC Coach of the Year

Rooney, Beyer first-team All-Conference

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BY JEFFREY ZAMPANTI

jzampanti@kenoshanews.com


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KENOSHA — UW-Parkside women’s basketball coach Jenny Kenesie credited her players for completing the finest regular season in school history. There’s good indication the coaching had plenty to do with it as well.

In a vote conducted by the league coaches, Kenesie received the ultimate compliment from her peers in being named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Coach of the Year on Tuesday. The St. Joseph graduate led the Rangers to a record 22 regular-season wins and the second division championship in program history.

“I’m very honored and I appreciate it, but it’s hard for me to accept something like that,” Kenesie said. “The credit goes to the kids. This is a team award and something they deserve. They are the ones who go out and execute and put in all the time. I’m lucky to be a part of such a good group.”

Kenesie, in her 10th season at Parkside, is the school’s all-time win leader with a record of 172-113. The former University of Louisville standout guided the Rangers to three straight 20-win seasons and three consecutive NCAA Division II Tournaments.

Parkside, the GLVC East Division champion, improved its record in each of the last five seasons.

All-GLVC picks

The Rangers (22-4) had five players recognized in the league’s awards. Jadee Rooney and Brittany Beyer were unanimous All-GLVC first-team selections, while Amy Selk was a second-team pick.

Kaityln Bettiga and Jaleesa Trussell were chosen to the GLVC’s inaugural all-defensive team.

“All five of those kids, I’m so thrilled for them,” Kenesie said. “They really deserve the awards. It’s a credit to them and their teammates as well.”

Northern Kentucky’s Casse Mogan was named GLVC Player of the Year, while Shelby Miller from Maryville (Mo.) was chosen as the Freshman of the Year.

Third time

Rooney (16.3 points per game) and Beyer (16.6 ppg) were two of the league’s top scorers. It was the third all-conference honor for each player.

“They were at a disadvantage because they were likely splitting (Player of the Year) votes,” Kenesie said. “Our teams have always been very balanced and it showed this year in the voting. Nobody would win any individual awards without all 15 kids putting in the time and dedicating themselves to the program.”

Selk earned her first postseason award. The senior forward averaged 9.1 points, and 6.5 rebounds in the regular season.

Bettiga and Trussell played a major role in the Rangers’ second-ranked GLVC defense, allowing just 56.7 points per game. Parkside held opponents to 24.3 percent from behind the three-point arc, which was fifth-best in NCAA Division II.

“They gave us that extra spark,” Kenesie said. “We’re always asking them to guard the best kids on the floor and they’re always willing to do the little things. Our team values those two tremendously.”

Parkside received a first-round bye in the GLVC Tournament. The Rangers, ranked 15th in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll, play Kentucky Wesleyan (15-12) in a second-round game 2:30 p.m. Thursday at Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Ill.

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Breaking down the NCAA Tourney field

This weekend will especially sweet for one of the four teams playing in the NCAA Division II Women’s Soccer Tournament at UW-Parkside’s Wood Road Field.

The two-day, three-game event will culminate with a regional final at noon Sunday. Today, Minnesota-Mankato will face Central Missouri State at 11 a.m. with UW-Parkside facing nemesis Grand Valley (Mich.) State at 1:30 p.m. The winners will play Sunday for spot in the Final Four in Louisville, Ky., beginning Dec. 4.

Bench warms things up for Parkside

The UW-Parkside women’s basketball team is still undefeated.

Using a big second half and 39 points from their bench, the Rangers improved to 3-0 with a 69-59 non-conference win over Ohio Dominican on Thursday inside Alumni Hall in Columbus, Ohio.

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There was some grassroots campaigning going on around the UW-Parkside campus this week as the women’s soccer team prepared to host this weekend’s NCAA Division II Tournament Midwest Regional at Wood Road Field.

“Everyone that’s had classes with each of us told kids (to come) out,” UWP senior defender and leading scorer Emily Konior said. “First hundred students are free. Yeah, we know it’s really cold, but if you’re going to come out, just bundle up, bring blankets, bring whatever you need to stay warm. When we have a loud crowd, it really kind of pumps us up more and makes us more excited to play.”

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