(Editor's note: University of Montana news release)
MISSOULA — Montana sixth-year forward Carmen Gfeller has been named Preseason All-Big Sky Conference, the league office announced on Thursday.
It’s the third time in her career that Gfeller has been voted Preseason All-Big Sky.
Gfeller played as a true freshman in 2018-19, redshirted in 2019-20, then put together three seasons of all-league basketball, earning third-team All-Big Sky honors in 2020-21, first-team in 2021-22 and second-team last season.
The Colfax, Wash., native enters her sixth and final season with 105 games played and 1,179 career points. She will likely finish her career in the top four in scoring in program history.
“It’s a unique situation that someone is around this long,” said third-year coach Brian Holsinger, Gfeller’s third head coach at Montana. “She is not only a good player, she has experienced so much as a Lady Griz.
“I’m really excited about her leadership. There is nothing like experience and going through the ups and downs that she has. It will only help her lead our team this year.”
Portland State junior guard Esmeralda Morales, second-team All-Big Sky last season after averaging 15.8 points, was voted the preseason MVP.
She and Gfeller are the only two players among last season’s 10 who were voted first- or second-team All-Big Sky who return in 2023-24.
Eastern Washington’s Jamie Loera and Jaydia Martin, Northern Colorado’s Hannah Simental and Weber State’s Daryn Hickok also were voted to the six-player Preseason All-Big Sky team.
Loera was voted the Big Sky Defensive Player of the Year last season and third-team all-league after transferring to Eastern Washington from Arizona State.
Martin, Simental and Hickok were voted third-team All-Big Sky last season. Hickok averaged 16.3 points, Martin averaged 16.1 points, Simental averaged 13.5 points.
Preseason All-Big Sky Conference Women's Basketball Team
Esmeralda Morles, Portland State (MVP)
Carmen Gfeller, Montana
Jamie Loera, Eastern Washington
Jaydia Martin, Eastern Washington
Daryn Hickok, Weber State
Hannah Simental, Northern Colorado