Liz Hornberger was named the 2013-14 Youngstown State women's basketball Coach Ed DiGregorio Most Valuable Player at the program's annual postseason banquet on Sunday at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Hall.
Hornberger served as the team's captain during what was the best season of her career. She averaged career highs of 10 points, 3.6 assists and 3.3 rebounds while improving her shooting percentage and playing a school record 1,084 minutes. Hornberger, a senior from Reading, Pa., made 80 3-pointers during the year to become just the second Penguin to make at least 80 in one season. She finished her career as YSU's record holder with 199 career 3-pointers made and 583 3-pointers attempted.
The banquet began with a video of game highlights and memorable press conference quotes from the season, and head coach John Barnes followed by thanking friends of the program for their support as well as his staff and members of the athletic department. He spoke very highly and graciously about the seniors for pulling the team together after it started with a 1-6 record. The Penguins went on to finish 15-16 overall and 10-6 in Horizon League play while advancing to the semifinals of the conference tournament. He said to overcome the adversity of injuries and the changing of coaching staffs and be in first place with two weeks left in the regular season was a tremendous credit to the hard work of the team.
The three student-athletes who earned honors from the Horizon League were recognized next. Jenna Hirsch received her All-Freshman Team award, Monica Touvelle was presented with her Sixth Player of the Year award, and Heidi Schlegel accepted her First-Team All-Horizon League award. Schlegel was also recognized for setting YSU season records with 192 free throws made and 238 free throws attempted.
Each of the team's four seniors then spoke about their time at YSU and what being a Penguin meant to them. Karen Flagg was proud of how the team came together and how she developed as a player and a person in her two years as a junior college transfer. Melissa Thompson shared funny stories about her teammates and was proud that the program is in better shape now than when she was recruited. Touvelle talked about the support she received as a Boardman native, and she was thankful that her parents were able to attend all but one game during her four-year career. Hornberger expressed sorrow that she was done playing the sport she loves in front of the fans she loves, but she committed to being a Penguin for life and expressed excitement for the future of the program.