Sports in brief, Oct. 30

Sports Editor

Men’s basketball tabbed first, earn three players on MVC preseason team

The Shocker men’s basketball team received 45 of 46 first place votes for the Missouri Valley Conference preseason poll.

The poll, determined by a panel of league sports information directors, media and coaches, voted Wichita State as the preseason Champion of the MVC. Illinois State received one first place vote.

Senior Tekele Cotton, reigning MVC Defensive Player of the Year, made the MVC preseason team along with junior teammates Fred VanVleet and Ron Baker. Junior Fred VanVleet was named the preseason player of the year. It’s the first time in league history three players from the same team have been named to the preseason team.

Joining the three Shockers on the MVC preseason team were senior forward Seth Tuttle of University of Northern Iowa and Junior D.J. Balentine of Evansville. No Shockers made the honorable mention selections.

Women’s basketball selected first, one player selected to MVC preseason team

The Shocker women’s basketball team was voted first place in the MVC preseason poll, collecting 36 of the possible 40 first place votes. UNI and Drake received two first place votes apiece.

Senior guard/forward Alex Harden, reigning MVC Defensive Player of the Year and MVC Tournament MVP, was the lone Shocker on the MVC’s preseason team. Harden was also voted the Valley’s preseason player of the year.

Joining Harden on the preseason team were Kyndal Clark (Drake), Sara Dickey (Evansville), Jen Keitel (UNI), Dyana Pierre (Southern Illinois) and Lizzy Wendell (Drake).

MVC Cross Country Championship Saturday

The 2014 MVC Cross Country Championship will be held this Saturday at Southern Illinois’ cross country course in Carbondale, Ill. The women’s 5K starts at 10:30 a.m. and the men’s 8K starts at 11:30 a.m.

The Shocker women’s cross country was selected fourth in the pre-championship poll and received no first place votes. Wichita State’s Sidney Hirsch has been named Athlete of the Week twice this season and hold the best MVC 5K time since the beginning of October. The Shockers’ Ebeissa Nyandwi, Kaitlyn Mcleod, Kayla Deighan, Lycia Hollon and Emilea Finley are also in the Valley’s top-ten 5K times.

The Shocker men’s cross country team was selected sixth in the pre-championship poll and also received zero first place votes. Ugis Jocis, Kilian Schreiner and Paul Raymond have helped the men’s team rank 11th in the Midwest Region.

— James Kellerman