SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. - The Lake Superior State women's basketball team announced its annual team awards, capping off the 2019-20 season.
Sophomore guard Mackenzie Kalchik was named the recipient of the Christina Comito Memorial Award, which is awarded to the athlete who exemplifies the competitive spirit. The award is named in honor of the Lake Superior State women's basketball alumna, Christina Comito, who donned the Laker jersey from 1988-92 and was tragically killed in an automobile accident in 1995. Kalchik also received the team's Most Improved Award. Kalchik appeared in 19 games for the Lakers in her sophomore season and averaged 10.6 minutes per game. The Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. native set career highs with 21 points, 15 rebounds and 13 assists this season. In the Lakers game against SVSU on Saturday, Feb. 8, Kalchik played a career-high 27 minutes, and scored a season-high five points.
Redshirt junior guard/forward Abigail Ostman was named the recipient of the "4" Award, which is awarded to a Laker for what they did "4" their teammates, "4" the community and "4" the university. The award, which Ostman received last season as well, was started by the family of a former player who wore the number four. In addition, Ostman received this year's Laker Pride Award, as the player who most exemplifies what it means to be a part of the Lake Superior State women's basketball team and its culture. Ostman appeared in the last 20 games of the season for the Lakers, starting 16 times. Ostman set a single game career high in points with 19 in the Lakers 65-62 win at Purdue Northwest on Saturday, Feb. 22. The Michigan native finished her career as a Laker with 378 points and 143 rebounds in 57 games played.
Junior guard Rebecca Villanueva earned the Scholar Athlete Award for having the highest cumulative GPA with a minimum of four or more completed semesters with a 4.0. Kinesiology - Rehabilitation Science major has earned a 4.0 in each of her six semesters as a student-athlete at LSSU. On the court this season, Villanueva played in 26 games, and averaged 4.8 points per game. She totaled 125 points and 46 rebounds in her junior season, and scored a season-high 14 points on Thursday, Dec. 5 against No. 6 Ashland.
Junior Eileene Naniseni was named the recipient of the Parker Dagenais Ultimate Teammate Award, which goes to the player who most exemplifies what it means to be a great teammate. The award was renamed this season in honor of Parker Dagenais, a student assistant coach for the women's basketball team who was tragically killed in a car accident shortly before the 2019-20 season began. Naniseni was unable to compete for the Lakers this season due to an injury but was still a valuable member of the team. Naniseni stepped into a mentoring role with younger post players and spent the year working with them. Always supporting her teammates, Naniseni was willing to step in and help the coaching staff with whatever was needed including helping in practice drills.
Senior forward Lexie Khon was named the team's Most Valuable Player for the second straight season. Khon has led the Lakers in scoring during the past two seasons and finished her collegiate career with 1,047 career points, ranking 21st all-time in Lake State women's basketball history. The Jackson, Mich. native played in 107 games as a Laker, and in her final home game on Saturday, Feb. 15, Khon became the 22nd Laker in women's basketball history to record 1,000 career points. In her senior season, Khon posted a career-best 54.6 shooting percentage, as well as a career-high 83.6 free throw percentage. Khon also set career highs in single season points (346) and points per game (12.8) during her final year as a Laker.
As a senior, Khon led the team in points per game, shooting percentage and points. During the 2019-20 season, the Laker forward ranked eighth among all Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) athletes in shooting percentage and 15th among her conference peers in points per game. Khon posted double-digit point totals in 18 games in 2019-20 which included five games with 20 or more points. Against Malone on Nov. 8, Khon set a single-game career best 26 points for the Lakers.
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