SEWARD, Neb. – Already a two-time GPAC player of the year, senior Bailey Morris has earned the highest of honors. As announced following Tuesday’s national championship game, Morris has been named the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Player of the Year. In addition, teammate Tracy Peitz received second team NAIA All-America recognition.
Morris is also making her second-straight appearance on the NAIA’s All-America first team. The native of Clay Center, Neb., is the first Bulldog ever to be tabbed national player of the year as well as the program’s only two-time first team All-American. Morris’ impressive haul of career honors include honorary captain of the Omaha World-Herald All-Nebraska NAIA team, eight GPAC player of the week awards, a national player of the week accolade, first team all-tournament at the 2015 national championships, two CIT MVP trophies and academic all-district laurels.
Morris ends her career with a school record 2,054 points over 136 career games. On program career lists, Morris also ranks second in steals (394) and fourth in assists (502). The 5-foot-4 point guard averaged 18.5 points, 5.17 assists and 3.78 steals per game as a senior. Her 45 points on Feb. 15, 2014, in a win over Northwestern remain a program record for the highest individual single-game scoring output.
When reflecting upon her time playing for Concordia, Morris wrote:
"When I look back on my career at Concordia, sure, I'll remember the scoring record, the national player of the year and all the accolades and recognition. But what I'll be most proud of are my teammates. I'm proud of everything they did for the teams I was on and the player they pushed me to be. I hope they remember me as passionate and hard-working person who loved the game of basketball but more importantly, loved them. Saying 'I'm so thankful for them' would be a giant understatement. I don't think they'll ever understand how much they mean to me. I'm so thankful for Coach Olson. Plain and simple, I wouldn't have become the player I did without him. He challenged me every day, mentally and physically, to make myself better and to make those around me better. He is a huge, huge reason for my success. I'll graduate and move on with my life, but the pride of being a Concordia Bulldog will be with me wherever I go."
Peitz has helped team up with Morris on a four-year record of 119-21, two GPAC regular-season titles, two GPAC tournament titles, two national semifinal appearances and four-straight trips to the national tournament. A third team All-American last season, Peitz moves up to the second team following a stellar senior year. The two-time first team all-conference selection averaged 11.9 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.3 steals per game in 2014-15. She averaged 15.6 points at this year’s national tournament, earning first team all-tournament honors.
Also a two-time scholar-athlete, the Hartington, Neb., native is one of 26 players in program history to eclipse 1,000 points. Over 136 career games, Peitz posted 1,277 points, 594 rebounds and 306 steals (sixth most in Concordia women’s basketball history).
Excluding honorable mention honorees, Concordia has had 13 different players earn All-America status for a total of 17 All-America awards. Morris and Peitz are two of four Bulldogs to ever be named All-Americans twice. The others are Whitney Stichka (2008, 2009) and Kristen Conahan (2012 and 2013). Concordia players have collected All-America recognition a total of nine times under head coach Drew Olson.