Heidi Schlegel was named the Youngstown State women's basketball program's Coach Ed DiGregorio Most Valuable Player for the 2014-15 season at the team's annual postseason banquet on Saturday afternoon at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Hall.
Schlegel, a senior from Wapakoneta, Ohio, helped lead the Penguins to a 21-win season, their second berth in the Women's NIT in the last three seasons and their third straight trip to the semifinals of the Horizon League Tournament. She was named First-Team All-Horizon League for the second straight season and finished her career as the program's all-time leader in free throws and ranking fourth in points with 1,729. Schlegel is one of five players in school history to be named first-team all-conference twice.
Fellow senior Latisha Walker received the Most Improved Player award, while a pair of freshmen took home the other top awards. Indiya Benjamin was named the Newcomer of the Year, and Nikki Arbanas was named the Defensive Player of the Year.
Walker improved tremendously from her junior year and posted career highs in points, rebounds, blocks, steals, assists and free throws. She averaged 10.4 points, up from 7.1 as a junior, and she averaged 1.4 more rebounds. Walker ranked second in the Horizon League in free-throw percentage and blocks and was third in field-goal percentage.
In addition to being named the program's newcomer of the year, Benjamin was voted to the Horizon League All-Freshman Team in 2014-15. She led YSU with 115 assists and ranked third in scoring at 9.0 points per game.
Arbanas was recognized for her defensive efforts in regularly guarding the opposition's top guard throughout the season. Offensively, Arbanas set a YSU freshman record with 55 3-pointers in 2014-15.