NORFOLK, Va. – Norfolk State University sophomore forward Kayla Roberts was voted to the preseason All-MEAC first team, as the conference announced its preseason predictions on Tuesday.
The Spartans were picked to finish fifth in the MEAC in voting by league coaches and sports information directors.
Roberts is coming off a freshman campaign in which she became the Spartans’ first-ever MEAC Rookie of the Year. She also was named to the All-MEAC second team and earned Virginia Sports Information Directors (VaSID) Rookie of the Year accolades.
Roberts was second on the team in scoring last season, averaging 12.2 points per game. She also paced the Spartans and all of the MEAC in rebounding, at 9.6 rebounds per contest. Roberts also tallied 21 assists, 16 blocks and 28 steals. She was even better in MEAC play, averaging 13.9 points and 11.3 rebounds per outing against conference foes. Roberts was a seven-time MEAC Rookie of the Week award winner, and also earned one MEAC Defensive Player of the Week award, as well.
Joining Roberts on the preseason All-MEAC first team are preseason Player of the Year Malia Tate-DeFreitas of Hampton, Kenyata Hendrix of Savannah State, Adriana Nazario of North Carolina A&T and Kailyn Williams of Bethune-Cookman.
North Carolina A&T was voted the MEAC preseason favorite by a slim margin. Both the Aggies (310 points) and Hampton (307) earned 10 first-place votes. Maryland Eastern Shore was voted third and defending MEAC tournament champion Savannah State was fourth, followed by the Spartans in fifth.
NSU welcomes back nine letterwinners from last year’s team that went 14-16 overall and 11-5 in the MEAC, the program’s best conference record since 2001-02. The Spartans open the season on Friday, Nov. 13 at home against USC Upstate.