Big Sky Conference

Two Lady Griz on preseason All-Big Sky team; Loyd named inaugural MVP



Montana and North Dakota are the preseason favorites in the Big Sky Conference women’s basketball race and the league’s first-ever preseason All-Big Sky team reflected as much.

North Dakota senior forward Mia Loyd was named the preseason Big Sky MVP whil the Montana duo of junior Kayleigh Valley and senior McCalle Feller also were voted to the preseason All-Big Sky team. UND was the second-place pick by both the coaches and the media in the preseason polls.

Loyd helped lead UND to a 17-15 record and the Women’s National Invitational Tournament last season by averaging 15 points and 8.9 rebounds per game. She was a first-team All-Big Sky selection as a junior.

Valley and Feller played key roles on a Lady Griz squad featuring three seniors, including last season’s Big Sky MVP in Kellie Cole and the league’s Defensive Player of the Year in Carly Selvig. Valley averaged 11.5 points per game and Feller chipped in 10.9 points per game as Montana qualified for the NCAA Tournament for the 21st time under Robin Selvig. Both earned honorable mention All-Big Sky honors.

Montana State senior center Jasmine Hommes, a second-team All-Big Sky selection a season ago, was voted to the preseason team. Eastern Washington senior guard Hayley Hodgins and Idaho State senior guard Apiphany Woods rounded out the team.

Hodgins, the Big Sky’s Freshman of the Year three years ago, averaged 16.3 points per game as EWU won 21 games, the most in Wendy Schuller’s 14 seasons at the helm.

Hommes averaged 16.9 points and 5.3 rebounds per game as Montana State finished 15-15. The Bobcats went 9-9 in league after a 1-5 start but lost in the first round of the Big Sky Tournament for the eight time in Tricia Binford’s 10 previous seasons at the helm.

Woods, a transfer from State Fair College in Chicago, averaged 15.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game to earn the Big Sky’s Newcomer of the Year award as ISU finished 13-17.



About Colter Nuanez

Colter Nuanez is the co-founder and senior writer for Skyline Sports. After spending six years in the newspaper industry with stops at the Missoulian, the Ellensburg Daily Record and the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the former Washington Newspaper Association Sportswriter of the Year and University of Montana Journalism School graduate ('09) has cultivated a deep passion for sports journalism during his 13-year career covering the Big Sky Conference. In August of 2014, Colter and brother Brooks merged their passions of writing and art to found Skyline Sports.

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