Iona’s Damika Martinez Named MAAC Women’s Preseason Player of the Year

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NEW ROCHELLE, NY — Iona College senior guard Damika Martinez has been named the 2014-15 MAAC Women’s Basketball Preseason Player of the Year and headlines the Preseason All-MAAC First Team, as selected by the league’s 11 head coaches.

A unanimous selection to the preseason first team, Meriden, Connecticut native, Martinez helped guide the Iona Gaels to the top seed in the MAAC Championship in 2014, including a share of the regular season title. The 5-7 senior guard averaged 24.9 points per game which ranked first in the MAAC, while ranking ninth nationally, and is also the returning leader in minutes played after averaging 36.4 minutes per outing last season. Martinez, the leading scorer in the MAAC the past three seasons, averaged 3.5 three-point field goals per contest and led the conference in free throw percentage shooting 88.1% in route to being selected as the 2014 MAAC Player of the Year for the second consecutive season. She was a member of the MAAC All-Tournament teams in 2013 and 2014 and was also a member of the 2013 and 2014 All-MAAC First team, 2012 All-MAAC Second team, 2012 All-MAAC Rookie team as well as the 2012 MAAC Rookie of the Year. Martinez was selected as an AP All-American honorable mention in 2014.

Martinez is joined on the preseason first team by Iona’s junior forward Joy Adams, Marist College’s junior guards Madeline Blais and Sydney Coffey, and Quinnipiac University’s senior guard Jasmine Martin.

Iona’s junior forward Joy Adams enters the 2014-15 season as the leading returner in rebounds in the MAAC averaging 13.8 per game in 2013-14, a number that ranked her third in the nation. The 6-1 Orlando, Florida native was a unanimous first team selection and finished last season averaging 16.8 points per game ranking her fourth in scoring and averaging 1.8 steals good for third in the MAAC. Adams ranked first in the MAAC in double-doubles with 26 which was good for fifth overall in the nation. A 2013-14 All-MAAC First team selection, Adams was named the MAAC Rookie of the Year in 2012-13 while being selected for the 2013 All-MAAC Second team and All-MAAC Rookie team. Adams played 35.2 minutes per outing last season.

Marist junior Madeline Blais, was a member of the All-MAAC Second team during the 2013-14 season after averaging 12.9 points per game, which ranked her 10th in the MAAC, and helping Marist to their ninth consecutive MAAC Championship title. The 6-1 guard from Exeter, New Hampshire shot 58.3% from the field, ranking second in the MAAC, and shot 85% on free-throws ranking third in the league. Blais led the league in three-point field goal percentage shooting 48.1% and ranked eighth in the conference with 63 three-point baskets.

Junior Sydney Coffey of Marist College helped guide the Red Foxes to their ninth consecutive MAAC Championship title and 10th in the last 11 years in 2013-14. The Hopkins, Minnesota native was named the 2013-14 MAAC Championship team MVP and averaged 11.5 points per game. The 6-0 guard also made 81.4% of her free-throws, good for sixth in the league, and averaged 2.4 assists per game, good for 11th in the conference during her 2013-14 campaign. Coffey was selected to the 2012-13 All-MAAC Rookie team as a freshman.
Quinnipiac’s 5-6 senior guard Jasmine Martin joins Martinez and Adams as the only unanimous selections to the preseason first team. In 2013-14, Martin helped lead Quinnipiac to an appearance in the MAAC Championship Finals during their first year in MAAC competition. She led the Bobcats with 15.0 points per game ranking fifth overall in the MAAC and returns as the third highest scorer in the league. The native of Sicklerville, New Jersey averaged 1.6 three-point field goals per contest and 1.5 rebounds per contest in route to an All-MAAC Second Team selection last season.

The preseason second team features Canisius College’s senior Kayla Hoohuli, Fairfield University senior Felicia DaCruz, Marist College senior Tori Jarosz, Niagara University senior Meghan McGuinness, and Quinnipiac University senior teammates Gillian Abshire and Samantha Guastella.

Members of the preseason third team includes Manhattan College’s junior Shayna Ericksen, Niagara University’s sophomore Victoria Rampado, Rider University’s sophomore Julia Duggan, and Siena College teammates senior Tehresa Coles and sophomore Meghan Donohue.