LAS VEGAS – Three Cowgirls earned all-Mountain West honors on Sunday.
Wyoming sophomore Allyson Fertig and super senior Quinn Weidemann were both named to the 10-player all-conference team and Malene Pedersen is the MW freshman of the year.
UNLV’s Lindy La Rocque is the coach of the year and Colorado State’s McKenna Hofschild is the player of the year.
The Cowgirls (20-9) finished second in the MW regular season race this season and will open tournament play against No. 10 San Jose State on Monday in the quarterfinal round at the Thomas & Mack Center (6 p.m., MW Network).
The Spartans (6-24) stunned No. 7 Air Force 62-51 in the opening round Sunday.
Fertig and Weidemann were named to the all-MW team for the first time in their careers while Weidemann was named to the league’s all-defensive team for the third time. This is first time since 2018-19 (Bailee Cotton and Marta Gomez) that two Cowgirls were named to the same all-league team.
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UW has had the freshman of the year two seasons in a row with Fertig winning the award last year.
Fertig led the conference in field-goal percentage (63.4%), was second in blocks (2.1 bpg), third in scoring (15.7 ppg) and fourth in rebounding (8.1 rpg) this season. The former Douglas High star scored 15 of her 27 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Cowgirls to a 76-60 win over Hofschild and the Rams in the regular-season finale.
“The way that she has played these last six-to-eight games, if she would have done that for the whole conference year, I think she’s right there in that conversation, if she’s not already,” first-year UW head coach Heather Ezell said of Fertig deserving player of the year consideration. “That just shows what could be for the future if she continues to grow the way she has been.”
Weidemann and Pedersen tied for 14th in the conference in scoring at 11.4 points per game. Weidemann became the first Cowgirl and just the second in league history to be named to the defensive team three times.
Boise State’s Abby Muse is the MW defensive player of the year.
“For five years now we’ve had a kid, Quinn Weidemann, we could no doubt put on the best player on the other team,” Ezell said. “She could be in the running for defensive player of the year for the past three years. I don’t know if she’ll win it this year but, in my heart, she’s one of those kids for me that’s a defensive player of the year.
“She does everything for us but what she did (Feb. 25) against Hofschild just shows that kid takes pride in getting stops on the defensive end. Just to watch what she was able to do I could sit back and kind of smile.”
Pedersen led all MW freshmen in scoring and assists (2.6 per game). She shot 49% from the field and 91.5% from the free-throw line in conference games while being named MW freshman of the week five times.
“We haven’t even hit the ceiling for what her ability is, and we probably won’t even this year,” Ezell said of Pedersen, who redshirted last season at Kansas State and transferred to UW. “It will be next year or even the year after where you’re going, man, what a player she has become. I’m really proud of the way that she has continued to work day in and day out. So far, I haven’t really had that freshman slump where everything gets a little overwhelming.”