NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Stefanie Dolson of the University of Connecticut is the 2014 WBCA Division I Defensive Player of the Year presented by the United States Marine Corps, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) announced during the fourth annual WBCA Awards Show on Monday night. The event is part of the WBCA National Convention held in conjunction with the NCAA® Women’s Final Four®.

UConn center Stefanie Dolson defends a shot by Texas A&M guard Courtney Walker.The Defensive Player of the Year award honors the best defensive collegiate Division I women’s basketball player. All Division I conference defensive players of the year are eligible to be nominated for the award. A selection committee makes the final decision on the winner. Baylor’s Odyssey Sims and Stanford’s Chiney Ogwumike were also finalists for the award.

Stefanie Dolson leads the American Athletic Conference in defensive rebounding with 7.1 per game and paces the Huskies effort on the glass, bringing down an average 9.1 boards per contest. Her season total of 90 blocks is the second-highest on the team and the third-highest by a senior at Connecticut. Moreover, Dolson has contributed to a UConn team that not only leads the nation in blocked shots per game (8.2), but set the NCAA single-season record with 318 heading into Tuesday’s National Championship matchup with Notre Dame. The Huskies also lead Division I in scoring defense, allowing a mere 47.3 points per game throughout the season.

Earlier this season, the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year became just the fifth Husky to record at least 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds. Among numerous career highlights from this season, Dolson logged UConn’s second-ever triple double on Nov. 20 against Oregon and became the second Husky to four-peat as an conference All-Tournament selection.

On Saturday, Dolson and teammates Bria Hartley and Breanna Stewart were named WBCA All-Americans at a presentation at the Final Four in Nashville, Tennessee. The squad will look to bring home the program’s ninth national championship on Tuesday against Notre Dame.

Past WBCA Division I Defensive Players of the Year:
2013 – Brittney Griner, Baylor University
2012 – Brittney Griner, Baylor University
2011 – Brittney Griner, Baylor University
2010 – Monica Wright, University of Virginia
2009 – Jennifer Risper, Vanderbilt University
2008 – Sylvia Fowles, Louisiana State University
2007 – Lindsey Harding, Duke University

photo credit: cloe poisson – hartford courant