BUENA VISTA, Va. — The Southern Virginia University women's basketball team concluded their historic season with the most wins in program history while setting multiple team and individual records.
In his first season, Head Coach Adam Wardenburg received regional recognition as the Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year after leading the Knights to a program-best 21-6 record including 10-4 in Capital Athletic Conference play. The team improved by eight overall wins from the 2017-18 season and more than doubled their number of conference wins.
Wardenburg coached Southern Virginia to the furthest run in postseason play where they fell to Christopher Newport in the CAC Championship game. He received regional recognition as the Mid-Atlantic Region Coach of the Year.
Sophomore Katie Garrish led the Knights in almost every statistical category and was named to the D3hoops.com 2019 All-American Second Team, the program's first player to receive All-American honors. Garrish led all of Division III with 22 double-doubles on the season and averaged 17.6 points, 3.37 blocks (led Division III), 14 rebounds (fifth in Division III) and 2.1 steals per game for the Knights. She was named CAC Player of the Week five times, USBWA National Player of the Week, CAC Player of the Year, and Mid-Atlantic All-Region First Team.
Savanna Christensen was selected All-CAC Second Team for her impact on the Knights' record season, averaging 10.1 points per game 6.6 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game.
"We had a great season," said Wardenburg. "Our whole team bought into our philosophy and believed in themselves and each other. The defense set us apart this year. We were aggressive on the perimeter and in the paint while managing to outrebound almost every team we played. We ended as one of the best man-to-man defenses in the country."
The Knights defense anchored the team's success, finishing in the top 25 nationally in blocks per game (8th), rebounding margin (20th) and rebounds per game (25th). Southern Virginia held their opponents to shooting just 33.6 percent from the floor and 29 percent from deep.
"Offensively, we were able to play at a fast pace," said Wardenburg. "We pushed the ball and were effective in transition. We made ourselves unique in that we could also slow down if we needed to and executed plays where we could get good looks."
The Knights will have to replace starters, Barnes and Ballam who each made major contributions throughout the year. Barnes tied for second on the team in scoring at 10.1 points per game while Ballam added nearly nine points a game at 8.6.
"We are excited about the direction of the program," said Wardenburg. "The future is bright. I look forward to the opportunities that we will have heading into next season."