For Kaitlin Snyder, not too many days in her life will top Saturday, March 2, 2013.
One day earlier Fairmont State University’s senior point guard said she and her teammates heading into championship Saturday at the final West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Basketball Tournament at the Charleston Civic Center had an “opportunity for another memory to be made.”
And, boy, did they ever take full advantage of that opportunity and make one they’ll never forget.
All Snyder did Saturday was help lead FSU to its third WVIAC Women’s Basketball Tournament title in six years and the second of her career with a come-from-behind 65-54 victory over Seton Hill. For her efforts she was selected Most Valuable Player of the tourney, named to the WVIAC’s 10-member all-tournament team along with teammates Hailey Garrett and Briana Welch, and win the event’s Heart and Hustle Award.
Oh, and just for good measure, on Saturday she also became the all-time scoring leader in FSU women’s basketball history.
“It really doesn’t get any better than this,” said a teary black-eyed Snyder, who suffered the injury during an accidental collision with teammate Emily Lohr hustling after a loose ball earlier in the tourney. “Aside from all of the awards I’m just so thankful that we were able to pull out this win. It’s not only important to me and my teammates, but everybody else — the fans and everybody in Fairmont. You know how tight-knit Fairmont is. We’re all excited.
“Who wouldn’t want to come out and win? You start in November and this is what you play for. This is where you want to be. Ultimately this is the goal and we met that goal, and the feeling is incredible.”
Snyder averaged 16 points, 6.8 rebounds, 5.0 assists and 2.8 steals en route to earning MVP honors. Her double-double performance of 18 points and a game-high 12 rebounds in the title game helped seal the honor for her.
This season Snyder has struggled with her shooting more so than ever before in her previous three years in a Lady Falcons uniform. But the four-year starter who became Fairmont’s leader Saturday in games played (119) and games started (119) says she surrounded by a talented cast who assisted her not only in the tournament, but throughout the 2012-13 season.
“I’m not the only scorer on this team,” said Snyder. “I might be the so-called go-to player, but we have Hailey (Garrett), who can score and rebound, Tiffany (Nicholson), who scores and gets steals, Bri (Welch), who really played well in the tournament despite being sick, Emily (Lohr), who can shoot and rebound and Hallie (Gunnoe), who came off the bench for us and really played tremendous the entire tournament. She had a double-double in the championship game.
“We’ve got everything we need. We’re putting four and five players in double figures every game, so it’s certainly not all about me. We have all of the pieces that we need to be successful and I think we proved that by winning this thing. Hopefully, we can keep it going in the national tournament.”
With 1:39 remaining in Saturday’s championship game and Fairmont State clinging to a seven-point lead, Snyder stepped to the foul line and calmly drained a pair of free throws to pass Kristen Gattuso (2,041) as the Lady Falcons’ all-time leading scorer. She added three more free throws and currently has 2,046 points for her career.
“It’s special,” said Snyder. “It’s something I’ll always cherish, but you know right now I’m just happy we got the win, and if that’s something that comes along with it then that’s awesome.
“There’s been some great players who have played here and I was fortunate enough to play with one of them in Ashley Vavrek in 2010. I learned a lot from her. To be included on the same list with them and their accomplishments — it means a lot to me.”
Snyder now becomes the fourth FSU women’s basketball player since 2005 who has scored more than 1,300 career points to finish her career with a WVIAC title.
Kristen Gattuso (2001-05), who Snyder just passed as the school’s all-time scoring leader, led Fairmont to its first regular-season league championship in 32 years and an NCAA Tournament berth as a senior in 2005. As noted, Gattuso finished her career with 2,041 points.
Danielle Cornish (2004-08), who finished her career with 1,319 points and is 13th in career scoring in school history, turned the trick as well when she led the 2007-08 Lady Falcons to their first league tournament title in 24 years and a second NCAA Tournament bid. Cornish, who was named MVP of the WVIAC Tournament and was a freshman on FSU’s 2005 regular-season championship team, averaged 14.5 points and 10.8 rebounds in Fairmont’s run to the title.
Two years later Ashley Vavrek (2006-10), who was a sophomore on FSU’s 2007-08 title team, led the Lady Falcons to the 2009-10 WVIAC Tournament Championship and a third NCAA Tournament berth with an MVP performance of her own. Vavrek, who finished her career with 1,612 career points and is seventh in school history in scoring, averaged 24.5 points per outing in the tournament for the Lady Falcons, who became the first-ever sixth seed to win the league tournament on the women’s side.
Snyder was a freshman starter at point guard for the Falcons on that squad.
Snyder enjoys memorable day in WVIAC finals
For Kaitlin Snyder, not too many days in her life will top Saturday, March 2, 2013.
- Fairmont State Sports
Aggressive Falcons roll past State, 107-89
Jerrod Calhoun had a simple message for his Fairmont State University team at halftime of its game with visiting West Virginia State here Saturday afternoon at the Joe Retton Arena.
“Coach got on us at halftime about playing timid and not being aggressive,” said backup point guard Shammgod Wells, who helped key a big second-half turnaround for the Falcons in their 107-89 blowout win over the Yellow Jackets.
Lady Falcons’ second-half rally falls short
A 17-point second-half deficit proved to be just a bit too much for Fairmont State’s Lady Falcons to overcome here Saturday afternoon at the Joe Retton Arena.
Visiting West Virginia State built a 55-38 lead just over 26 minutes into the contest and then held off a furious FSU comeback bid to record a 78-75 win.
Falcons home to face West Virginia State
The Mountain East Conference schedule is heating up for Fairmont State.
Two days after traveling to the University of Charleston, the Falcons are back in action today against another MEC foe in West Virginia State.
Lady Falcons rally past UC in OT
It took an extra five minutes ,but Fairmont State’s Lady Falcons accomplished their goal Thursday evening at the Eddie King Gymnasium.
FSU outscored the University of Charleston 12-9 in overtime to record a wild 78-75 Mountain East Conference victory.
Charleston holds off FSU, 75-71
An undermanned Fairmont State University men’s basketball team took the University of Charleston to the wire here Thursday night before falling 75-71 at the Eddie King Gymnasium.
The loss drops the Falcons to 5-2 overall and to 1-2 in the Mountain East Conference. Charleston, meanwhile, improved to 5-1 overall and to 2-1 in the league.
FSU set for important MEC game
While their classmates were home for Thanksgiving break feasting on turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie, the Fairmont State University basketball team was taking second helpings of something else: basketball practice.
FSU names McGinnis first women’s soccer coach
After sorting through about 90 applications, Fairmont State Director of Athletics Tim McNeely announced Tuesday that Patrick McGinnis has been named the Falcons’ first-ever women’s soccer coach.
This isn’t the first time McGinnis will be building a program from the ground up.
FSU takes out frustrations in 91-75 romp: PHOTOS
There’s little doubt second-year Fairmont State men’s basketball coach Jerrod Calhoun was angered by his team’s lackluster performance Monday in a 94-87 road loss to Glenville State.
Falcons look to rebound against WVU Tech
After being dealt its first loss of the season on Monday, Fairmont State (4-1, 1-1) is looking to get back on track when it welcomes WVU Tech (8-2) to Joe Retton Arena today at 1 p.m.
Pioneers hand Falcons first setback, 94-87
Fairmont State dug itself an early hole it could never get out of and as a result suffered its first setback of the 2013-14 season Monday night against a charged-up Glenville State team at the Lilly Gymnasium.
- More Fairmont State Sports Headlines
- Aggressive Falcons roll past State, 107-89