Sophomore forward Sarah Cash was named the Coach Ed DiGregorio Most Valuable Player for the 2015-16 season at the Youngstown State women's basketball team's annual postseason banquet on Friday evening at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Social Hall.
Cash was the first player in school history to lead the Penguins in points, rebounds, steals and blocks, and she was named Second-Team All-Horizon League for her efforts. Cash averaged 14.1 points and 7.1 rebounds, which both ranked among the top 10 in the conference.
WKBN Sports anchor Chad Krispinsky served as the event's emcee, and he began the program with a long list of the program's accomplishments. Among them were playing in a postseason tournament in consecutive seasons for the first time in program history and winning at least 21 games for the third time in the last four years. A video of highlights from the season created by Robb Schmidt was then shown.
Krispinsky and radio play-by-play voice Jim Campbell also emphasized how well the coaches and student-athletes represent the university and give the community pride and joy. Both already expressed excitement in the 2016-17 season with a large group of YSU's young team returning.
Head Coach John Barnes then took the podium and talked about how much heart, character and toughness his players showed throughout the season to win as many games, especially close ones, during the season. He thanked his assistant coaches, the administration and the women's basketball support staff for their support throughout the season. Barnes also boasted about his team's achievements in the classroom and how special it is to have a team that wins 21 games while also posting a 3.5 grade-point average.
Barnes and his staff handed out the team awards to Cash, Jackson and Arbanas, and Jackson followed by thanking her teammates and coaches for allowing her to have the best year of her basketball career. She also gave a special thank you to athletic trainer Jeff Wills for helping rehabilitate her from several injuries and for supporting her throughout her time as a Penguin.