ROCK HILL, S.C. – After becoming the first Lady Eagles in five years to be an all-region selection last year, Mika Wester starts her junior campaign as a preseason first-team All-South Atlantic Conference announced by the league Tuesday.
"Having a good support system with my team is key," Wester stated. "They help me stay focused mentally and physically. Knowing that they are going to be there this year to take that pressure off is going to be good. We have a lot of threats and a lot of weapons."
Since the league began naming preseason selections in 2006-07 the Lady Eagles have had 13 honorees including at least one in 10 of the 12 seasons. On three occasions, 2008, 2010 and 2011, Carson-Newman has placed two players on a preseason team. Prior to 2015-16, three Lady Eagles were honored by the league.
"We want to make sure that she doesn't feel too much pressure to carry us," Carson-Newman coach Mike Mincey said. "I think that they supporting cast around her [helps]. When you're the leading scorer coming back, teams are going to be keying on you and try to take you away. We have a lot of key people that can score and shoot the ball well."
To conclude her first season at Mossy Creek, she was named second-team All-Southeast Region by the D2CCA to be the 11th player in the history of the program to earn an all-region, all-district or All-American honor and the first since Zoriah Williams was a second-team all-region honoree and third-team All-American in 2012.
Wester was one of the most productive players in the league. The forward was selected to the top team for All-SAC honors in her first season with C-N becoming the first C-N player to be on the first group since Williams earned a spot in 2011-12.
The Newport, Tenn. native ended the year ranked 14th in the nation in field goals made with 224 while finishing the season second in the SAC in points per game (18.6), first in free-throw percentage (84.2), sixth in field-goal percentage (48.6) and seventh in shot blocks with 29. The junior led the team in scoring 22 times, in rebounds 14 times and shot blocks 16 times as a sophomore.
She scored in double figures in 17 straight games from the second game of the season until Jan. 25, 2017 when she had eight points at LMU matching the longest streak by a Lady Eagle over the last 15 years with Zoriah Williams during the 2011-12 campaign. Wester recorded 14 games with at least 20 points marking the most in a single season by a C-N player over the last 15 years. Andrea Fitzgerald and Monica Ashburn registered nine games with 20 or more points during the 2002-03 season.
The first-team All-SAC selection leads her unit into action Tuesday evening against No. 14 Tennessee at Thompson-Boling Arena at 7 p.m. The Eagle Sports Network will have the coverage starting at 6:45 p.m. on Mountain Country 106.3 (WPFT-FM, Sevierville) and online at cneagles.com/live.
2017-18 Preseason All-SAC Teams
Danasia Witherspoon, Wingate
Terri Rogers, Catawba
Mika Wester, Carson-Newman
Shea Coker, Lincoln Memorial
Marta Miscenko, Wingate
Meg Essex, Newberry
Nicola Handreck, Newberry
Alexy Mollenhauer, Anderson
Kasey Jonhson, Tusculum
Madison Baggett, Anderson
Madi Suddreth, Lenoir-Rhyne
Serena Brown, Catawba
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