Fairfield’s Jill Barta named West Coast Conference player of the year

SAN BRUNO, Calif. — Add another award to Jill Barta’s trophy case.

The former Fairfield High School star compiled a 104-0 record during her career with the Eagles on her way to earning Montana’s Gatorade player of the year honor in 2014. On Tuesday, Barta, a redshirt junior at Gonzaga, was named the West Coast Conference player of the year.

Barta averaged 18.1 points and 8.5 rebounds per game this season, helping Gonzaga to a program-record 17 wins in conference play. She made 47.7 percent of her field goal attempts and 86.7 percent of her free throws. She also tallied 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks per game.

Barta was named the WCC player of the week three times during the regular season and set school records with 22 rebounds in a single game and scoring 30-plus points six times in her career. She’s the eighth Zag to be named the player of the year since 2005 and the first since Taelor Karr in 2013. Barta is just the third Zag in program history to be named a first-team all-conference selection three times.

Barta is also a finalist for the Cheryl Miller Award, which recognizes the top small forward in the country.

Gonzaga coach Lisa Fortier was selected as the league’s coach of the year after the Zags won the regular-season WCC championship for the third time in four seasons. Gonzaga is the No. 1 seed for the WCC Tournament, which begins Thursday in Las Vegas. The Zags will play Pepperdine or Santa Clara in a quarterfinal game Friday at 1 p.m. (MT).

Gonzaga juniors Chandler Smith and Zykera Rice were selected to the all-conference second team, and Jenn Wirth was added to the all-freshman team. Please click here to view the full conference awards.

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