Division III

Hannah Plybon emerges from small town to captain of University of Akron women’s hoops team

(The following story is an alternate version of what will appear in the Jan. 9, 2014 edition of OrrViews in Orrville, Ohio)

ORLANDO, Fla. – It didn’t take long for Hannah Plybon to showcase the kind of impact she could have at the highest level of college basketball.

Hannah Plybon (left) earned as spot on the All-MAC Freshman Team a year ago.

Hannah Plybon (left) earned as spot on the All-MAC Freshman Team a year ago.

On the heels of successful runs in three different sports during her senior year at Orrville High School in Ohio, Plybon made an immediate impression on coaches and teammates upon her arrival at the University of Akron.

Plybon worked her way into the starting lineup as a freshman before her rookie season ever got underway, on a team featuring six seniors that had returned from a 23-win campaign.

Plybon has since blossomed into a leader at Akron, on a squad that opened the 2014-15 season by winning its first 10 games.

She’s now less than a year removed from being named to the All-MAC Freshman Team after starting 32 of 33 games for the Lady Zips, who qualified for the NCAA Tournament and won the Mid-American Conference for the first time in school history.

Not bad for someone hailing from small-town America, where the pride of being hometown to former college coach Bobby Knight and a jelly manufacturer is offset by two decades worth of factories closing shop and families relocating elsewhere.


Champions: Wisconsin-Whitewater Wins Second Men’s Title in Three Years

It’s not quite on par with the football team’s eight championship game appearances over the past nine seasons, but the Wisconsin-Whitewater men’s basketball squad is off to a good start.

The Warhawks won the Divison III national title last month when Quardell Young scored on a layup and drained a free throw with less than a second to play to finish off a 75-73 win over Williams in Salem, Virginia.

It’s the second championship for head coach Pat Miller and his team in three years.


Champions: FDU-Florham Women’s Basketball Team Puts Logo in Forefront

Devil_Artwork__HEAD_Leave it to the women’s basketball team at New Jersey’s FDU-Florham to introduce me to one of the more sinister logos in college athletics.

Last month the Fairleigh Dickinson University Devils completed a perfect 33-0 season with an 80-72 win over Whitman College in the Division III title game played in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

It’s the eighth time a women’s Division III basketball program has wrapped up an undefeated season.

I’ll have to find time to research whether those other perfect squads had an equally cool logo and nickname to go along with the hardware.