There was a major Youngstown State presence on the Horizon League Women's Basketball All-League teams released on Tuesday as Mary Dunn, Sarah Cash and Chelsea Olson were each recognized in a vote of the conference's coaches, women's basketball sports information contacts and select media members.
Dunn was voted the Horizon League Sixth Player of the Year, and she was also a member of the five-member first team. Cash and Olson both earned Second-Team All-Horizon League honors, giving the Penguins three honorees for the first time in the program's 18 years in the conference. The trio helped YSU set school records with 13 Horizon League wins and 15 home victories in 2018-19.
"Having three of our players earn all-league honors is indicative of the balance and unselfishness our team has shown all year," YSU head coach John Barnes said. "Having both Mary and Sarah recognized as post players shows what an outstanding tandem they are. Our offense is designed to go inside, and those two have certainly made the most of that along with lots of credit going to our perimeter players for getting them the ball. Chelsea has a special ability to contribute in many ways on the floor, and it's great to see her rewarded for her all-around game. My staff and I are extremely proud of these three and the whole team for putting in the hard work and earning these honors."
Dunn is the first Penguin to be named the conference's Sixth Player of the Year, and she is the fourth to be named First-Team All-Horizon League. She joins Heidi Schlegel as the only two YSU student-athletes to be named to the All-Horizon League First Team as juniors. Cash was also a second-team honoree as a sophomore in 2015-16, and she joins Schlegel and Brandi Brown as the only Penguins to be named All-Horizon League multiple times. Olson is just the fourth guard in program history to earn all-conference honors as a sophomore, joining Brianne Kenneally (1998-99), Caroline McCombs (1995-96) and Liz Hauger (1994-95).
It's a rare feat for one team to have three All-Horizon League honorees. Green Bay's 2014-15 squad had three players on the second team, and that was the only time since 2010-11 that any team had at least three selections. The last time a program other than Green Bay had three members on the all-league squads was in 2001-02 when Detroit Mercy and Milwaukee both had three. That was the same year that Youngstown State joined the Horizon League as the ninth team in the conference.
Dunn came off the bench in 22 of YSU's 29 games in the regular season and ended up leading the team in scoring. She ranks fifth in the Horizon League with 13.2 points per game while also ranking third with a .567 field-goal percentage. Additionally, the junior forward from Washington, Pa., ranks sixth in the conference in blocks per game, and her six games with at least 20 points ranks fourth in the league. Dunn was even better against league opponents, averaging 14.3 points and shooting 61.8 percent from the field in 18 conference games.
Cash started all 29 games of the regular season, and she ranks tied-for-second on the team and tied-for-sixth in the Horizon League in scoring with 13 points per game. The redshirt senior also ranks second in the conference with a .581 field-goal percentage, and she's fourth in free-throw percentage at .781. Against league opponents, she ranked fifth in the circuit with 13.3 points per game and third with a .570 field-goal percentage. The Lordstown, Ohio, native will finish her time at YSU holding school records in career games played and career free-throw percentage.
Olson leads the Horizon League with 4.8 assists per game, but her all-around contributions are what make the sophomore stand out. The Westby, Wis., native ranks in the top six in the conference in assists, free-throw percentage, rebounding, 3-pointers per game, 3-point field-goal percentage, blocks, assist-to-turnover ratio and minutes. On the national level, she is the only underclassman in the country averaging at least 10 points, seven rebounds and four assists. She had at least 10 points, eight rebounds or five assists in 26 of YSU's 29 games during the regular season, and she led the squad with five double-doubles.
Youngstown State will host Milwaukee on Wednesday in the quarterfinals of the 2019 Little Caesars Horizon League Women's Basketball Championship. Tipoff at Beeghly Center is set for 7 p.m.