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WVC women's basketball: Fairmont State's Snyder savors career

Former Sissonville High standout Kaitlin Snyder has had quite the collegiate career for Fairmont State.

Snyder made the West Virginia Conference all-freshman team in 2009 and was a key member of the FSU team that won the conference tournament that same season.

Her sophomore season, Snyder was a WVC All-West Virginia Conference first-team selection. Last season, she received the highest honor in the league being named the Player of the Year.

Those two seasons saw great individual accomplishments for Snyder, but the Falcons were no higher than fifth in the regular season and advanced no further than the quarterfinals of the tournament.

Now a senior, Snyder hopes to end her career with the Falcons the way she started with a deep run in the league tournament and possibly a second championship.

"The conference tournament is very important," Snyder said. "I think we have a good enough team to do it and perform the way we need to. Our coaches are going to prepare us no matter what. We are looking forward to it."

Fairmont is the No. 3 seed in the tournament with a 19-9 overall record and 16-6 mark in the conference. The Falcons begin their quest tonight when they host No. 14 Wheeling Jesuit (8-18, 5-17) in the first round.

The third seed is the highest Fairmont has been in Snyder's four seasons, including the tournament championship victory in '08.

Snyder believes the higher seed will be a very good thing for the Falcons, especially mentally.

"Regardless of who you play, you have to be both mentally and physically prepared to win and move on to the next game. That's the sole purpose of postseason play," she said. "As a third seed it better positions us to play a lower seed and move on through the tournament."

Snyder is proud of her accomplishments so far.

"I'm happy I got it," Snyder said. "It is something I will always cherish. I can look back and say I was able to obtain certain awards throughout my college career. I think it's a reward for hard work and dedication."

Fairmont State Coach Steve McDonald also couldn't have been any prouder of Snyder.

"I think Kaitlin epitomizes what our basketball program is all about," McDonald said. "She is a competitor and comes to play every day like you should. Not all players do. Plus she's a great student and teammate."

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WEST VIRGINIA STATE cruised past Charleston 78-56 on Senior Day for the Yellow Jackets on Saturday, causing both coaches after the game to re-evaluate their respective teams coming into the tournament tonight.

The loss kept UC (14-12, 11-11) at the No. 9 seed but instead of a return trip to Institute to play State in the first round, the Golden Eagles must now make the long trek to No. 8 seed Pitt Johnstown (14-11, 12-10) at 7 p.m. today.

"Obviously if we can't come up here and get up for this game, we probably aren't going to be able to get up to play at UPJ," UC Coach Adam Collins said. "It is what it is. As a collective unit, they didn't show up and that's been a consistent thing for us."

The mood heading into the tournament for West Virginia State Coach David Smith was much more positive.

With the win over UC, the Yellow Jackets (13-13, 12-10) catapulted into the No. 6 seed and will host No. 11 West Virginia Wesleyan (8-17, 7-15) at 7 p.m. today. State also owns regular-season victories over Fairmont State and No. 2 seed West Liberty (19-7, 17-5).

"It's huge for this team and program," Smith said. "We have a winning record in the conference, which they haven't had for years. We are hosting a first round game and we have beaten the West Libertys and Fairmonts. We can play with anybody."



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