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Blose voted best

February 20, 1999|By BOB PARASILITI

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Betsy Blose sounded like she was accepting an Academy Award - and in a sense she was.

When the Shepherd College women's basketball coach learned she was named West Virginia Conference Coach of the Year Friday, she automatically made sure she thanked everyone who had a hand helping her gain the honor.

"This has been a special year," Blose said. "Being coach of the year is a great honor, but I'm not anything special. I'm organized and I work hard, but I have to give the credit to the team and Jodie Runner, my assistant."

League coaches voted Blose as the WVC's best. They also selected guard Jennifer Chapman to All-WVC first team and guard Sandi Goulet to the second team as Shepherd's supporting cast. They spearheaded the Rams' charge to a 17-8 record (14-4 in the WVC) and first place with one game remaining.

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The Rams face Davis & Elkins today at 2 p.m. in the regular season finale. A win will seal the school's first-ever regular season championship for either the men's or women's program.

"I'm not taking total responsibility for this, but I always believed it could happen," Blose said. "I told the team after practice (Friday) that we could make history tomorrow. I think we stand for a lot of good things. We may not be the most talented team in the conference, but they have found a way to win."

Chapman, a junior transfer from Mount St. Mary's, gave the Rams a deadly jump shooter. The junior from Waldorf, Md., averaged 13.3 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. She shot 81 percent from the foul line, second best in the WVC.

"It's a well-deserved honor," Blose said. "She has made such an impact on the program with her ability to create shots and score has helped us so much. This is a great honor for her and the program."

Goulet, a senior from Woodbridge, Va., was Shepherd's point guard and floor leader, scoring 7.2 points with 3.2 rebounds and four assists per game. But Goulet's importance isn't in her numbers.

"I'm happy for her," Blose said. "Most of the coaches who voted for her realized that she does a lot of things for us that don't show up in the statistics. She leads the team, and she distributes the ball to get the offense going."

For Blose, the coach of the year honor proves while her wait for success was frustrating, it was well worth it.

"My focus, like most coaches, starts with a vision," Blose said. "You dream to get a program and help build it to the point where it can compete for a championship. I had to learn to be patient. It took four years, but we are the point where we can compete with anyone in the conference."

Blose is 54-51 in her four years at Shepherd but has built the program step by step to get it to the point it enjoys now.

"I think we have won the respect of the rest of the conference," Blose said. "We win with defense, hard work, commitment and team. It's been a great year because we've remained healthy, won some close games and worked to put ourselves in a good situation."

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