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Dakota Athletic Conference released its postseason men’s and women’s basketball awards recently where the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology was well represented with three selection from the men’s team and two from the women’s
By Brad Blume
Sports Information Director
South Dakota School of Mines
RAPID CITY --- The Dakota Athletic Conference released its postseason men’s and women’s basketball awards recently where the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology was well represented with three selection from the men’s team and two from the women’s.
For the women, SDM junior Melanie Vedvei, a 5-foot-7-inch guard from Lake Preston, repeated as the league’s Most Valuable Player. The Industrial Engineering major has earned the honor for the second-straight year and is also a 2006-07 DAC First Team selection.
“There is no one more deserving. She is phenomenal. She plays hard every second of every game offensively and defensively,” said Lady Hardrocker head coach Barb Felderman.
Vedvei finished the season, leading the Hardrockers in points, rebounds, assists and steals. She tallied 598 total points, averaging 19 a game; had 251 total rebounds, averaging 8 a game; had 124 steals and 145 assists. At the end of the regular season Vedvei was the DAC’s scoring leader as well as leading the conference in steals. She was also second in the league for assists and third in total rebounds.
“She’s fun to play with and has made her teammates better. She could go out and be a ball hog but she’s not,” Felderman said. “She’s sees the court well and distributes the ball (accordingly) and she leads (the team) in almost every category.”
Lady Hardrocker guard Jennie Malone also earned postseason honors, making the DAC third team. Malone, a 5-10 junior from Rapid City, was a big spark down the stretch for the SDM women’s team. The Interdisciplinary Sciences major joined the team at the conclusion of the volleyball season and cashed in for 302 total points, averaging 11.6 each time out.
“I wish we would have had her for the preseason. It takes her a little bit to get going but then really hits her stride,” Felderman said. “She knows basketball very well and has a great outside shot.”
The Lady Hardrockers made it to the Dakota Athletic Conference Championship game and finished the season with a 20-11 overall record. The SDM women finished second in the conference standings and earned the No. 25 ranking in the final NAIA Div. II Top 25 poll.
On the men’s side, seniors Casey Schmitz, Matt Lyndoe and Brandon Lord all received postseason recognition.
“It was because of our seniors that we had a pretty good conference season and a very good run at the end,” said Hardrocker head coach Jason Henry. “It was a well deserving (honor) by all three of them and we could have even got a couple more on there.”
Schmitz, a Chemistry major, earned the Dakota Athletic Conference Most Valuable Senior Award. The 6-7 post player from Williston, N.D., was also selected the DAC second team. He ended the season with a team-high 395 markers, scoring 13 points a game and also led the Hardrockers with 164 rebounds, coming down with 5 a game.
“He is exactly what that award is,” Henry said. “He’s a kid that’s been in our program four years, scored 1,000 points here and is just a consistent player and brought that every day.” Lord and Lyndoe were both honored with DAC third team selections. Lyndoe scored 316 on the season averaging 10 points each contest and had 125 total rebounds averaging 4.2 a game and also breached the 1,000-point barrier while playing as a Hardrocker. Lord averaged 10 points a game, scoring 313 total points and had 142 rebounds for 4.6 a game.
The Hardrocker men made it to the Dakota Athletic Conference championship game and the team ended with a 16-15 overall record. They finished third in the regular season standings.
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