Date Posted:02/28/2002,  8:00AM

NESCAC Honors Women's Basketball

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The New England Small College Athletic Conference announced its all-conference honors this morning and Bowdoin College came away with numerous accolades. Sophomore Lora Trenkle (Surry, Maine) earned NESCAC Player of the Year honors just one year after being named Rookie of the Year. Head Coach Stefanie Pemper was named NESCAC Coach of the Year while Kristi Royer (Lewiston, Maine) and Trenkle both earned first-team honors. Senior Jessie Mayol (Westbrook, Maine) received a second-team nod for her performance this season. Bowdoin (24-1) will host Emmanuel (27-2) in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. in Morrell Gymnasium.

Senior Mayol has started each of the 101 games in her four years at Bowdoin, tops in school history. Improving her turnover-to-assist ratio each season, the Westbrook graduate is second all-time at Bowdoin in assists and three-point shots and has twice captained the squad. This season, Mayol has averaged a solid 10.7 points and 4.3 assists per game entering this weekend's NCAA game.

"Obviously I'm thrilled for all three players but I'm especially happy for Jessie," says Coach Pemper. "She's been the one all year that really gets the team going, specifically Lora and Kristi. She's the one that has always understood our offensive concepts and the importance of scoring balance, and often times sacrifices her own shots for others. Jessie has given us great leadership this year and contributes in so many ways on both ends of the floor, it's nice that other coaches recognized that."

Royer, a junior captain, has emerged as one of the premier players in the conference her first three seasons. Improving her points per game every season, the Lewiston native is 15 points shy of 1,000 for her career. She will be only the 8th player in school history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. She is among the national leaders in field goal percentage (.506) and free-throw percentage (.875). Royer also earned first-team All-State honors from the Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

Trenkle, last season's NESCAC Rookie of the Year, has become one of the most deadly scorers in the conference. The George Stevens graduate led the Polar Bears in scoring at 15.3 points per game and 3.6 rebounds per contest. Heading into this weekend's NCAA Tournament, she is shooting 46.4 percent from the floor and 38.1 percent from beyond the three-point arc. Trenkle was also named Maine State Player of the Year on Wednesday by the Maine Women's Basketball Coaches Association.

"I'm guessing Player of the Year must have been very close between Lora and Kristi," according to Pemper. "They are both equally talented at their positions; the noticeable difference is Kristi often gets double-teamed and is forced to give it up, whereas teams struggle to double Lora. There's no question both players are gifted scorers who work very hard and have a lot of confidence in their abilities. They're both coachable team players, and they really value defense, and when you have those two qualities in your two best scorers you're going to have a special year."

Head Coach Stefanie Pemper has led the Polar Bears to two straight NESCAC Titles and their second consecutive NCAA appearance this season. Selected by her peers as the league's top coach, Pemper has posted an impressive 76-26 record in four years at the helm, good enough for a school-record .745 winning percentage in her career.

"I'm honored to receive coach of the year in a league with such talented coaches," says Pemper. "Obviously, I'm fortunate in terms of the young women I get to work with. Ours isn't a team where the captains are the only leaders. Every single player out there has pride in our program and has found ways to contribute. They work hard, they believe in the coaches, and they truly appreciate each other, and the daily grind, and that's really unique. I'm pretty blessed."