WVWC’s Baird and Witt earn MEC Women’s Basketball honors

BRIDGEPORT, W.Va. – Frostburg State sophomore forward Emilee Weakley headlined the Mountain East Conference postseason awards and all-conference teams on Monday afternoon as the league’s 2023-24 Player of the Year in women’s basketball. West Virginia Wesleyan’s Sydney Baird was voted the MEC Freshman of the Year, and Frostburg State head coach Jenna Eckleberry was named the league’s Coach of the Year for the second time.

Weakley was joined on the All-MEC first team by Fairmont State’s Katy Darnell and Alyssa DeAngelo, Charleston’s Clarrissa Francis, West Virginia State’s Shelby Harmeyer, Glenville State’s Hya Haywood, Concord’s Jaisah Smith, Wheeling’s Shamia Strayhorn, and West Liberty’s Corinne Thomas.

Weakley, a sophomore from Luray, Va., leads NCAA Division II averaging 25.4 points per game this season. Weakley is also averaging 7.0 rebounds per outing and racked up 47 assists and 35 steals on the year. She is shooting 47 percent from the floor (215-453) and just under 80 percent from the free throw line (170-213) this season. Weakley also ranks third in the nation in made free throws (170) and fifth in made free goals (215). Weakley was a two-time MEC Player of the Week this season.

Baird, a freshman guard from Webster Springs, W.Va., averaged 13.0 points and 3.4 rebounds in her first season at West Virginia Wesleyan this winter. She also recorded team highs in assists (77) and steals (36) for the Bobcats this season. Nationally, Baird ranks third in free throw percentage (92.5) and 11th in three-point field goal percentage (44.3). Baird was named MEC Player of the Week on Feb. 5.

Eckleberry, Frostburg State’s second-year head coach, inherited a five-win team last season and led the Bobcats to an 18-10 record and finished tied for second in the MEC standings this season. The Bobcats enter the postseason winning six of their last seven games. When she arrived in Frostburg, Eckleberry recruited Emilee Weakley to town, and the sophomore has not disappointed, earning MEC Freshman of the Year and MEC Player of the Year in back-to-back seasons. Eckleberry has also coached senior Maggie Sharp and freshman Jenna Muha to All-MEC honors this season. Eckleberry is now a two-time MEC Coach of the Year after also earning the honor in 2015 as the head coach at Shepherd University.

In addition to the All-MEC first team and postseason award winners, the conference also recognized second team and honorable mention all-conference teams (listed below). The MEC postseason awards and all-conference teams are selected following a vote of the league’s head coaches.

2024 All-MEC First Team
Name School Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown

Katy Darnell Fairmont State Gr. G 5-6 Charleston, W.Va.
Alyssa DeAngelo Fairmont State Sr. G 5-10 Jefferson Hills, Pa.
Clarrissa Francis Charleston Sr. F 5-10 Lubbock, Texas
Shelby Harmeyer West Virginia St. Gr. G 5-10 Independence, Ky.
Hya Haywood Glenville State Sr. G 5-6 Evansville, Ind.
Jaisah Smith Concord Sr. G 5-9 Bluefield, W.Va.
Shamia Strayhorn Wheeling Jr. G 5-7 Cincinnati, Ohio
Corinne Thomas West Liberty Sr. G 5-9 New Carlisle, Ohio
Emilee Weakley Frostburg State So. F 5-11 Luray, Va.
2024 All-MEC Second Team
Name School Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown
Lauren Calhoun Glenville State Gr. F 6-0 Ravenna, Ohio
Destiny Fields West Virginia St. Gr. F 5-10 Reynoldsburg, Ohio
Jalen Gibbs Fairmont State Sr. F 6-0 Wellington, Ohio
Anysa Jordan West Virginia St. Gr. F 6-1 Fairmont, W.Va.
Maggie Sharp Frostburg State Gr. G 5-3 Stafford, Va.
Abbie Smith Concord So. F 6-2 Little Hocking, Ohio
Noel Weathers Notre Dame So. F 6-0 Cincinnati, Ohio
Emma Witt West Va. Wesleyan So. G 5-9 Staunton, Va.
2024 All-MEC Honorable Mention
Name School Cl. Pos. Ht. Hometown

Taylor Austin Charleston Jr. G 5-4 Portage, Ind.
Sydney Baird West Va. Wesleyan Fr. G 5-8 Webster Springs, W.Va.
Karly McCutcheon West Liberty Jr. G 5-9 New Castle, Pa.
Jenna Muha Frostburg State Fr. F 6-1 Central City, Pa.
Taylor Smith Davis & Elkins Jr. G 5-7 Uniontown, Pa.
Nia Vanzant Charleston R-Sr. G 5-7 Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Player of the Year: Emilee Weakley (Frostburg State)
Freshman of the Year: Sydney Baird (West Va. Wesleyan)
Coach of the Year: Jenna Eckleberry (Frostburg State)
Previous Winners
MEC Player of the Year

2014: Lexy Carson (WVSU)
2015: Martha Nagbe (NDC)
2016: Kierra Simpson (WLU)
2017: Paris McLeod (GSC)
2018: Paris McLeod (GSC)
2019: Marissa Brown (WLU)
2020: Tyra James (UU)
2021: Brooklyn Pannell (UC)
2022: Re’Shawna Stone (GSU)
2023: Breanna Campbell (GSU)
2024: Emilee Weakley (FROST)

MEC Freshman of the Year
2014: Cara Mason (SU)
2015: Mari Stewart (WVWC)
2016: Laura Szorenyi (WVSU)
2017: Sydney Bates (WVSU)
2018: Sierra Kotchman (FAIR)
2019: Re’Shawna Stone (GSC)
2020: Dakota Reeves (UC)
2021: Alyssa DeAngelo (FAIR)
2022: Bailee Smith (WLU)
2023: Emilee Weakley (FROST)
2024: Sydney Baird (WVWC)

MEC Coach of the Year
2014: Adam Collins (UC)
2015: Jenna Eckleberry (SU)
2016: Lynn Ullom (WLU)
2017: Katie Hine (NDC)
2018: Kim Stephens (GSC)
2019: Kim Stephens (GSC)
2020: Lauren Macer (NDC)
2021: Tianni Kelly (UC)
2022: Kim Stephens (GSU)
2023: Kim Stephens (GSU)
2024: Jenna Eckleberry (FROST)

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