Honoring the division's top coaches.
June 13, 2019 by Sam Echevarria in Awards with 0 comments
Ultiworld’s 2019 Women’s College Awards are presented in part by VC Ultimate, a leading supporter of women in ultimate. They are also presented in part by the National Ultimate Training Camp, who can help prepare you to be an All-Star. All opinions are those of the authors. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Ultiworld possible!
Ultiworld is pleased to announced our third annual D-III College Awards. The criteria for each award can be found here — we consider both regular season and postseason performance in our selection of awards. As the overall top performers of the year, players selected as top three in Player of the Year voting are removed from consideration for other individual awards.
Links to all of the 2019 D-III Women’s Division awards will be added as awards are announced:
Player of the Year Award
Offensive Player of the Year Award
Defensive Player of the Year Award
Breakout Player of the Year Award
Rookie of the Year Award
Coach of the Year Award
All American 1st Team (will be announced later this week!)
All American 2nd Team (will be announced later this week!)
D-III Women’s 2019 Coach Of The Year
Libby Lehman (Oberlin)
Having top players on a team doesn’t guarantee much; it certainly doesn’t guarantee a National title. This spring, Libby Lehman took the talents of Oberlin and helped combine them into something larger than the sum of those talents.
In 2018 Oberlin struggled to call lines that maximized their skill combinations and effectiveness. A Nationals run in Rockford saw the Preying Manti bow out in prequarters. This year under Lehman, Oberlin found a way to not only spread out play time and grow younger players, but put combinations of lines and strategies that stifled offenses and crushed defenses alike.
The final against Bates demonstrated this to a tee, with tactical dominance on both sides of the disc. Neutralizing the threat of Josie Gillett (even aided by the heat) was something no other team had successfully accomplished all season, and Oberlin did so under Lehman’s guidance to resounding results. Offensively, Oberlin played to their strengths with the surety of a team and program that knows itself, knows what level it is capable of performing, and demands to do so.
The Preying Manti had the top talent in place to challenge for a title. Thankfully they also had a coach who saw and motivated the team to make the best use of that talent.
1st Runner up: Cam Hodgkinson and James Sykora (North Park)
For the second year in a row, North Park coaches come ever so close to the top prize. In 2018, this was on the rising potential of the Allihopa program; in 2019, it is well deserved for blowing all expectations out of the water, as the Nationals no. 14 seed tied for a third place finish.
To inspire and support the tenacity and grit with which North Park played through the semifinals, and doing so while managing a short 12-player roster for the hot, windy weekend, is nothing short of impressive from the coaching duo.
2nd Runner up: Biz Cook, Rebecca Enders, and Sean Prichard (St. Olaf)
2018 hit the highest of highs for the St. Olaf coaching staff with a National title, and they could have sat back and rested on their laurels while quietly rebuilding the Vortex program. Instead, they helped develop a roster of immense talent and grittiness, making a run back to the semifinals and cementing the St. Olaf name as a year-in, year-out powerhouse in D-III Women’s ultimate.
The bio for St. Olaf in the Nationals program read, “We came back this year to remind everyone who reads our team bio that Vortex still loves the grind.” The coaching staff is right there with the Vortex squad.