Breanna Verkaik Named MIAA Women's Basketball Most Valuable Player

Breanna Verkaik Named MIAA Women's Basketball Most Valuable Player

(Photo by Eric Kelley - special to D3photography.com)

Calvin forward Breanna Verkaik, who led the Knights to the MIAA championship, the conference tournament championship and the first unbeaten regular season in school history, has been named the MIAA's Most Valuable Player in the vote of the league's coaches.

A senior from Holland (Holland Christian HS), Verkaik averaged 14.2 points per game in league play and ranked among the MIAA top five in six statistical categories, including 3-point shooting percentage (first), free throw percentage (second), field goal percentage (fourth), assists (fifth) and scoring (fifth). She becomes the second member of her family to earn MIAA women's basketball Most Valuable Player honors, joining her older sister, Carissa, who became the first player in MIAA history to win four consecutive MVP awards in 2010-13 for Calvin.

In addition, Verkaik has been named to the All-MIAA first team for the second straight year. She is joined on the All-MIAA first team by teammate Kayla Engelhard.

Hailing from Unionville, Michigan, and a graduate of Saginaw Valley Lutheran High School, Engelhard is being recognized as an All-MIAA performer for the third straight season. She was a first team All-MIAA choice in 2013 and a second team All-MIAA selection in 2014. The senior guard was second on Calvin's squad in scoring with a 12.1 point-per-game average against league opponents.

Engelhard led the Knights in steals and was second in assists, and midway through the season, she cracked 1000 points to become just the 14th player in Calvin women's basketball history to do so. Engelhard was named the MIAA Player of the Week once during the conference season.

Ranked sixth nationally, the Knights are currently 27-0 overall and went 16-0 in conference play. Calvin then defeated Olivet and Hope in the MIAA Tournament, claiming the league's automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament. The regular season conference title was Calvin's 15th in women's basketball, the highest total in the MIAA.

Calvin will host Baldwin-Wallace in a first round NCAA III Tournament game Friday night at 7:30 p.m.

BREANNA VERKAIK AUDIO INTERVIEW