SALEM, Va. – The glass slipper fits!
The Shenandoah University women's basketball team completed its Cinderella run through the ODAC Tournament by earning its first-ever ODAC championship thanks to a 63-53 win over Washington and Lee University Sunday at the Salem Civic Center.
Shenandoah (16-13) claims the league's automatic bid into the 2019 NCAA Division III Tournament with the win over W&L (19-9). The bids are scheduled to be announced at 2:30 ET Monday afternoon.
The championship is the third in the history of the program and the first in 19 years. The 1996 and 2000 teams both won Dixie Conference championships.
It is also the fourth ODAC title in school history. Baseball has won in 2015 and 2018 and field hockey in 2016.
The Hornets earned the title with a solid defensive performance, holding the Generals to 29 percent shooting (16-of-55) and grabbing 41 of the game's 73 rebounds.
SU scored 20 of the game's 34 points in the paint.
Shenandoah led for 36:21 of the 40 minutes and after taking a 24-20 lead at the half, broke the game open with a 19-point third quarter.
Junior Jordan Sondrol, who was named to the All-Tournament team along with classmate Shannon Kuhn and freshman Sierra St. Cyr, had back-to-back 3-pointers in a 45-second span that turned a doubled the squad's previous six-point lead.
W&L made its run, cutting the deficit to four points, 51-47, with 3:49 left, before getting a St. Cyr jumper at 2:42 and then making 10 of 12 attempts from the free throw line down the stretch to clinch the championship.
Sondrol, the league's leading free throw shooter, made all four of her attempts in the final 40 seconds.
"We are peaking at the right time," head coach Melissa Smeltzer-Kraft said. "We were an 8-seed, but this is what 'March Madness' is all about.
"We are playing with confidence and that was a big factor in our win."
The Hornets will learn their destination for the 2019 NCAA Tournament on Monday at 2:30.
- The championship is the third in program history after 1996 and 2000
- The department has now won four ODAC championships – baseball in 2015 and 2018, field hockey in 2016.
- Shenandoah shot 37 percent (20-of-54)
- W&L shot 29 percent (16-of-55)
- Kuhn led the victors with 17 points with Sondrol adding 16 and Olivia Weinel 12
- The Shenandoah bench scored 25 points