Valparaiso (4-8, 0-0 MVC)
at Loyola (6-5, 0-0 MVC)
Game No. 13 – Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019 – 1 p.m. CT
Gentile Arena (4,486) – Chicago, Ill.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Missouri Valley Conference portion of the Valparaiso University women’s basketball season gets underway on Sunday afternoon in the Windy City as Valpo clashes with Loyola in a game that tips off at 1 p.m. The second year of Valpo in The Valley will officially begin as Valpo competes in its first regular season game since Dec. 21 after a 15-day stretch without an official game that did feature an exhibition contest.
Last Time Out: Valpo tied a school record for 3-pointers in a single game with 17 on Dec. 21, but came up shy in a 79-72 defeat to Bowling Green in the nonconference finale at the ARC. Grace Hales was the leading scorer with 15 points and knocked down five 3s. Valpo played an exhibition matinee on the final day of 2018, beating IU Northwest 85-59.
Following Valpo: Sunday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3, which is available free of charge with a cable subscription. This contest is a Valley featured game, with R.C. McBride (play-by-play) and Laura Leonard (color commentary) on the call. The game can also be heard as always on 95.1 FM WVUR with Ben Ariano (play-by-play) and Brandon Vickrey (color commentary). For in-game updates, follow @ValpoWBB on Twitter. Links to live video, audio and stats are available on ValpoAthletics.com.
Head Coach Mary Evans: Mary Evans is in her first year as the head coach of the Valparaiso University women’s basketball program in 2018-2019. Evans, who spent the last five seasons as an assistant coach at Ohio University, became the eighth head coach in program history on April 13, 2018. She brought 15 years of Division I experience with her to Valpo. During her time on Ohio’s staff under head coach Bob Boldon, Evans helped the Bobcats to three seasons of 22 wins or more, three postseason appearances and three Top 75 RPI finishes. The 2014-15 team established a school record with 27 wins, a 21-win improvement from two years earlier and an 18-win improvement from the previous season. The Bobcats won the 2014-15 MAC regular season and tournament titles and reached the NCAA Tournament. Evans has also coached at Youngstown State, Georgia Southern, South Carolina Aiken and Seton Hall.
Series Notes: Valpo had good success against Loyola a year ago, winning all three meetings including a 63-46 victory in the first round of the Missouri Valley Conference Tournament. That marked Valpo’s first MVC Tournament triumph in any sport. It was also the first time the women’s basketball program notched three wins against one team in the same season since 2003-2004. Valpo kept Loyola leading scorer Abby O’Connor in check to the tune of 1-of-13 shooting. She also struggled against Valpo on Feb. 11, 2018, a 63-53 Valpo win in Chicago, when O’Connor was held to two points on 0-of-9 shooting. Meredith Hamlet exploded for 19 fourth-quarter points in that one after being held scoreless through three quarters. Valpo also beat Loyola 76-60 on Jan. 12, 2018 at the ARC. Valpo and Loyola shared Horizon League affiliation from 2007-2013. Valpo owns a commanding 21-5 lead in the all-time series and holds a 9-4 record in games played at Loyola.
Frequenting the Windy City: Valpo is no stranger to Chicago this season as this marks the team’s third trip to Chi-Town. Valpo played at UIC on Nov. 7 to open the season and made the commute to Chicago State for a game on Nov. 29. The last time Valpo visited three different schools in Chicago in the same season was 2010-11, a year that featured a season-opening trip to DePaul as part of the preseason WNIT and Horizon League visits to Loyola and UIC.
It's Raining 3s: Valpo drained 17 3-pointers on Dec. 21 vs. Bowling Green, matching a school record that was set in 2004. The 17 triples tied for the fourth most in the history of the Missouri Valley Conference. Valpo fired off 38 3-point attempts, the second most in program history and the most since 1992. Bowling Green also hit 14 3s, so the two teams combined to knock down 31 shots from beyond the arc. Valpo dished out 19 assists in the game against the Falcons, the team’s most since Jan. 26 of last season (20 vs. Evansville).
Down to the Wire: Valpo's trend of close games continued in the team’s most recent action with two games that were decided by seven points or fewer and were still up for grabs in the final minute. Of the team's 12 games this season, 10 have been decided by 10 points or fewer and nine of those by seven points or fewer.
Rising the Scoring Ranks: For the third consecutive season, a Valpo player climbing the all-time scoring list is a continuous storyline. After two straight seasons of Dani Franklin moving up the Valpo ranks and eventually finishing second in program history in career points, it's Meredith Hamlet's turn. Hamlet’s career total currently stands at 1,120. She has usurped Tamra Braun (2003-2007) for 11th in program history. The next target is the Top 10 as Aimee Forsman (1988-1992) ranks 10th at 1,195.
3-Point Watch: Meredith Hamlet has made 178 career 3-pointers and recently cracked the Top 5 in program history in that area. She needs five more to draw even with Dani Franklin (2014-2018), who is fourth at 183.
Ascending the Assist Chart: Redshirt junior point guard Hannah Schaub is up to 269 career assists after recently passing Lisa Winter (1998-2000) for 11th in program history. The threshold to crack the Top 10 is 278 (Suzie Hammel, 2000-2004). In addition, Meredith Hamlet is up to 220 career assists – four shy of joining the all-time Top 20. Stephanie Greer (1987-1991) is currently 20th at 224.
Familiar Faces: Two years ago, Valpo sophomore Nicole Konieczny and Loyola sophomore Abby O’Connor were taking the floor as teammates with a state championship on the line. Now, the South Bend St. Joseph graduates oppose one another at the collegiate level. Konieczny scored nine points and O’Connor had eight in a 57-49 victory over North Harrison in the Class 3A state final at Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis when O’Connor and Konieczny closed out their prep career together in style on Feb. 25, 2017. In addition, Loyola junior Tiara Wallace and Valpo freshman Ilysse Pitts had two years of overlap at Montini Catholic High School.
Nonconference Look Back: Here’s the Spark Notes version of key team accomplishments from the nonconference slate.
- Nov. 7 at UIC: Valpo had 15 steals, the most steals by the team in a single game since Jan. 23, 2014 (18 vs. Detroit Mercy).
- Nov.14 at Illinois: Valpo made nine 3-pointers, its most since Jan. 5 of last season.
- Nov.16 at Morehead State: Both freshmen reached double figures in scoring as Ilysse Pitts and Shay Frederick turned in 10 points apiece.
- Nov.17 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn: Valpo prevailed 78-76 for the Mary Evans’ first win as a collegiate head coach. In addition, Meredith Hamlet became the 15th member of Valpo’s 1,000-point club.
- Nov.26 vs. Toledo: Valpo won the turnover battle for a sixth straight game, the program’s longest streak of committing fewer turnovers than the opposition since the 2008-09 season.
- Nov.29 at Chicago State: Valpo shot 46.2 percent in a 76-70 victory – the team’s best shooting night since Jan. 26, 2018, a 50 percent shooting clip in a 101-59 win over Evansville. That was the first time this season Valpo outshot its opponent.
- Dec. 2 vs. Eastern Illinois: Valpo picked up back-to-back wins for the first time since a four-game winning streak in December 2017 with a 62-60 victory over the Panthers.
- Dec.16 vs. North Dakota State: Valpo matched a season high with 41 rebounds and outdid the Bison on the boards 41-31, winning the rebounding battle for the first time this season. The +10 rebounding margin was Valpo’s best since Feb. 11, 2018. In addition, Valpo held NDSU to 11.1 percent (2-of-18) from 3, the fourth time this season Valpo limited an opponent to two made 3s or fewer. The last time Valpo achieved that feat four times in a season was 2006-2007.
- Dec. 19 at Purdue Fort Wayne: Addison Stoller (20), Grace Hales (17) and Ella Ellenson (15) all scored 15 points or more in a 68-64 win over the Mastodons. This was the first time Valpo had three players score 15 points or more in a single game since Feb. 2, 2017 when Amber Lindfors (22), Dani Franklin (17) and Georgi Donchetz (15) did it against Youngstown State.
- Dec. 21 vs. Bowling Green: Valpo hit 17 3-pointers including nine in the second quarter to tie a school record for made 3s in a game that had stood since 2004.
Inside the Ramblers
- Haven’t played since Dec. 20, a 102-76 loss at No. 20/18 DePaul. Abby O’Connor had 21 points while Ellie Rice chipped in 18 on 5-of-7 FG and 7-of-7 FT.
- Led in scoring and rebounding by O’Connor, who is averaging 14.0 points and 6.9 boards. Rice (13.2 ppg) and Janae Gonzales (10.7 ppg) also average in double figures.
- Picked to finish ninth in the MVC Preseason Poll.
- Head coach Kate Achter is in her third season and has returned seven letter winners from a team that tripled its win total from the previous year.
- O’Connor scored 10.5 points per game last season and was an MVC All-Freshman Team honoree.
- Have lost three straight after starting the year 6-2.
- Have four common nonconference opponents with Valpo. Both teams beat Chicago State and Purdue Fort Wayne while falling to Bowling Green. The Ramblers defeated UIC, a team that topped Valpo in the season opener.
Who’s Next: Coopersville (Mich.) High School senior Cara VanKempen has signed her National Letter of Intent to play for Valpo next season. The two-time all-conference performer has also garnered all-area first team and all-state honorable mention recognition. As a junior last season, VanKempen averaged 14 points, six rebounds and three assists per game. The daughter of a coach who has played for her father from a young age, VanKempen became the first high school recruit to sign with Valpo under first-year head coach Mary Evans’ watch.
Champions in Classroom: The Valpo women’s basketball team has developed a tradition of having players thrive academically. The 2017-2018 season saw Valpo have 11 players finish the spring semester with a GPA of 3.0 or better. Two players were named MVC Scholar-Athletes of the Week during the season and two were recognized as part of either the MVC Scholar-Athlete team or MVC Scholar-Athlete honorable mention. The 2018-2019 team has players with the following majors: biology, biomedical engineering, communications, public relations, marketing, healthcare leadership, health sciences, exercise science, psychology, finance, elementary education, business management and secondary/physical education.
Champions in Community: The program also has a commitment to serving the community. During their time on campus, players have visited elementary school students and wrote letters back and forth to encourage and promote healthy lifestyles as pen pals. In addition, Valpo women’s basketball players assembled over 1,000 informational packages for runners and spectators at the Chicago Marathon as part of the team’s annual Pack-a-thon. Athletes on the team engaged the greater Valparaiso community by volunteering and organizing supervision of the Valparaiso Popcorn Fest’s Little Kernel Puff Run. Valpo players ran with children to the finish line of the event and helped set up the race. Valparaiso was the hometown of Orville Redenbacher’s popcorn company. Numerous Valpo players have also volunteered their time at the Valpo Boys & Girls Club.
- Shortly after Valpo’s new coaching staff was assembled, the group sat down to discuss a program hashtag. Despite being new to Valpo, the staff members were well educated on the University’s history and tradition. That’s how #RingTheBell was born.
- Head Coach Mary Evans: “Ringing the bell here at Valpo is something you do when you graduate, so the concept speaks to our goal of being successful both on the court and in the classroom. We want to be one of the best programs in our conference and continue to have great success academically and in our personal lives. My message to our players is that whatever they do in life, it’s important to put in the time and effort to be very good at it. That’s what #RingTheBell has become to us.”
- Senior Allison Schofield: “I love the idea by our coaching staff and think it’s a tremendous concept. Ringing the bell is synonymous with Valparaiso University as a whole and has been for quite some time. This allows us to become closely associated with something that is University wide rather than separating ourselves as women’s basketball. To me, #RingTheBell means victory and finishing the close games that we’ve struggled to finish in the past.”
- Senior Meredith Hamlet: “To me, #RingTheBell is about winning games. That’s our goal. We have confidence that we can win the games on our schedule and we have a fair shot to beat every team we play. The team that works the hardest is going to win.”
- Redshirt Sophomore Addison Stoller: “#RingTheBell gives us a consistent message and establishes a trend that we want to continue. As a program, we want to be consistent in everything we do, from our messaging to our play on the court. We’ve seen our coaches get excited about ringing the bell and that’s allowed us to dedicate ourselves to it as well.”
A Look Back at 2017-18
- Valpo won a league tournament game for the sixth time in the last seven years by topping Loyola in the first round of Hoops in the Heartland before falling to eventual conference champion Drake in the second round.
- The program finished with 13 wins, the team’s highest win total since 2008-09, when it won 16 games. The team also equaled its highest conference win total since 2009-10 and had the most road wins in a single season since the 2011-2012 campaign.
- Valpo finished with the second-best free-throw percentage in program history at 76.0 and had its highest scoring average (65.1) since 2007-2008 (66.3).
- Senior Dani Franklin closed out her noteworthy career and was named to the 2017-18 All-MVC First Team and Scholar-Athlete First Team following the season. She finished second in program history in career points.
On the court…
- Held the outright team lead in rebounding for the first time since Jan. 14, 2017 (10 at Youngstown State) on Dec. 19 at Purdue Fort Wayne, pulling down six boards.
- Led all scorers with 15 points and pulled down a season-high eight rebounds on Dec. 16 vs. North Dakota State.
- Played in her 100th career game and made her 98th career start on Dec. 8 vs. Miami (Ohio).
- Was named the MVC Player of the Week on Dec. 3 after averaging 22.7 points per game over three games the previous week. She became the first Valpo basketball player – men’s or women’s – to earn a Valley Player of the Week distinction. She was the first Valpo women’s player to win a conference player of the week award since 2013.
- Upped her season high to 28 points on Nov. 29 at Chicago State while also racking up five assists, four steals and draining five 3-pointers.
- Turned in a then season-high 26 points on Nov. 26 vs. Toledo, three points shy of a career high that she has reached on three occasions.
- Became the 15th player in program history to reach the 1,000 point milestone on Nov. 17 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn. Her milestone point came on a made layup with 9:22 remaining in the third quarter. She finished the game with 18 points.
- Scored 12 of her game-high 15 points in the fourth quarter in the home opener on Nov. 11 against North Dakota.
- Started the season opener for the fourth consecutive year on Nov. 7 at UIC and swished in a career-high 12 free throws while scoring a team-high 19 points in that contest.
- Set the school record for made 3-pointers by a freshman in a single season in 2015-16 with 69, a mark that ranked fifth overall in program history.
- Named to the 2015-16 Horizon League All-Freshman Team and received 2017-18 MVC Scholar-Athlete Honorable Mention.
- Has enjoyed numerous notable single-game performances, including reaching 29 points on three occasions – Dec. 15, 2017 vs. IU Northwest, Jan. 14, 2017 at Youngstown State and Dec. 30, 2015 at Northern Kentucky. Perhaps her most memorable game, however, was Feb. 11 of last season at Loyola, when she exploded for 19 points in the fourth quarter to help Valpo to a comeback victory after being held scoreless for the first three quarters.
- Was featured as part of the MVC Scholar-Athlete Spotlight on Nov. 21.
- Comes from a Valpo family as the third of three sisters to play women’s basketball at Valpo. Oldest sister Elizabeth graduate transferred to Valpo for the 2013-2014 season after starting her career at Oakland. Middle sister Annemarie also went from Oakland to Valpo for the 2013-14 season but sat out that year due to transfer rules. Annemarie played the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons, the second of which was Meredith’s freshman year.
- The Valpo legacy within the family goes beyond the sister trio as both of her sisters have married former Valpo athletes. Elizabeth is married to former Valpo men’s basketball player Bobby Capobianco, who closed out his collegiate career with the 2013-14 season. This past summer, Annemarie married Jake Hanson, who played baseball at Valpo as recently as 2017.
- Serves as the co-President of Valpo’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes and is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSSA) on campus.
- Traveled to Ethiopia this past summer as part of Athletes in Action, a 10-day trip that sends a team of collegiate women’s basketball players from across the country to compete and train alongside Ethiopian university and professional teams. Athletes in Action is a faith-based group and the goal of the trip was to teach people about the glory of God. The players did missionary work, played against the Ethiopian national team, visited schools, attended church and shared their testimony during the 10-day stay in Africa.
- Majoring in public relations with minors in sports management and professional writing.
On the court…
- Went off for a career-high 16 points on six made field goals, also a career watermark, on Nov. 14 at Illinois. Drained four 3-pointers, matching a career high.
- Made her first career start on Nov. 7 at UIC and played a career-high 29 minutes, going 2-for-2 both from the field and from 3-point range.
- Notched a career-high 15 points and led the team in scoring in the final game of the 2016-17 season, a Horizon League Tournament matchup with Green Bay. She went 4-for-4 from 3-point range in that contest.
- Appeared in 62 games over her first three seasons.
- Graduated on Sunday, Dec. 9 with a major in biology and minor in business. Will start her Master of Business Administration in January.
- Has garnered experience in her field by doing job shadows for pharmaceutical and medical device sale companies during her time on campus. She shadowed with Eli Lilly two summers ago and Stryker this past summer.
On the court…
- Knocked down four triples on her way to a season-high 13 points on Dec. 21 vs. Bowling Green. Also dished out five assists to equal a season watermark.
- Turned in a balanced stat line of eight points, four assists, five rebounds and two steals in a win at Purdue Fort Wayne on Dec. 19.
- Equaled a career best with a game-high four steals on Nov. 26 vs. Toledo.
- Had a season-high 11 points to go along with four assists, no turnovers, two steals and two made 3s on Nov. 16 at Morehead State. Led her team in scoring for the first time since the fourth game of her collegiate career. In addition, her four assists allowed her to reach the 250-assist mark for her collegiate career, becoming just the 14th player in program history to do so.
- Had a team-high five assists on Nov. 14 at Illinois to crack to Top 15 in program history for career assists.
- Hauled in a team-high six rebounds in the season opener on Nov. 7 at UIC, leading the team in boards for the first time since March 11, 2016, when she had seven in a Horizon League Tournament game against Northern Kentucky. Started the season opener for the fourth straight season.
- Has returned to the court after suffering a season-ending injury in the second game of the 2017-2018 season.
- Enters Friday ranked tied for 15th in program history in career assists with 246, equaling former teammate Lexi Miller (2012-2016). Megan Newcomer (1996-2000) sits in 14th at 247.
- Had 134 assists during the 2016-2017 season, the seventh-most in a single season in program history.
- Has twice knocked down five 3-pointers in a single game, doing so on Nov. 28, 2015 vs. Northern Colorado and March 10, 2016 vs. Detroit.
- Member of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee
- Older sister Nicole played basketball at the University of Wisconsin-Stout and younger sister Danielle is a sophomore on the basketball team at Concordia University, St. Paul.
- Is majoring in marketing with minors in business analytics and communication.
On the court…
- Buried five 3s on Dec. 21 vs. Bowling Green to lead the team and contribute to the team’s total of 17, which equaled a school record. That matched a career high and marked the third time in her career Hales hit five 3s in a game.
- Hit a key 3-pointer in the final minute of a four-point win at Purdue Fort Wayne on Dec. 19 to cap a 17-point output.
- Had her best day in a Valpo uniform on Dec. 2 vs. Eastern Illinois with 21 points, seven made field goals, three made 3s, seven rebounds, two assists and one turnover.
- Made her first start of the season on Nov. 26 against Toledo, marking the third straight year she has started exactly one game.
- Scored all 12 of her points in the second half to become one of four Valpo players in double figures on Nov. 14 at Illinois.
- Has been named the team’s Sixth Player of the Year each of the last two seasons.
- Appeared in all 31 games last season.
- Ranked second on the team in free-throw percentage last year at .863 and is first among returnees.
- Averaged 8.0 points per game last season, third on the team and second among returnees.
- Father Ross played football and basketball at Indiana University. He played for the Hoosiers during the 1993-1994 season, a team that was under the direction of coach Bob Knight.
- In high school, was a four-time all-conference performer in three different sports – basketball, volleyball and track and field.
- Participated in a spring tournament with the Valpo volleyball team during her freshman year when the volleyball squad was plagued by injuries and did not have enough healthy bodies to compete.
- Is on track to finish her undergraduate degree in just three years and graduate in May. Plans to remain at Valpo to play her senior season and pursue a master’s degree.
- Majoring in communications with a journalism concentration and sport management minor. Is interning in Valpo’s sports information department and has aspirations of a career in sports media or athletic communications.
On the court…
- Posted a career-high 20 points to lead all scorers in a 68-64 win on Dec. 19 at Purdue Fort Wayne. She also had a game-high four steals.
- After coming close on several prior occasions, enjoyed her first career double-double on Dec. 16 vs. North Dakota State with 11 points and 10 rebounds, equaling a career best on the boards.
- Made 10 free throws on her way to a career-high 18 points on Nov. 29 at Chicago State. Finished one rebound shy of a double-double.
- Was on double-double watch in both games at the Vinewood Farm Classic, first turning in nine points and a career-high 10 rebounds on Nov. 16 at Morehead State before accumulating nine points and pulling down eight boards on Nov. 17 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn. Her 10-rebound game allowed her to become the first Valpo player with a double-figure rebounding effort this season.
- Continued her early-season surge with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting in front of numerous family members and friends while playing close to her hometown of Cissna Park on Nov. 14 at Illinois.
- Filled the stat sheet with nine points and a career-high eight rebounds in the first home start of her career on Nov. 11 vs. North Dakota.
- Poured in a career-high 17 points on 7-of-14 shooting while making her second career start on Nov. 7 at UIC. Also pulled down five rebounds and achieved a personal best in steals with four.
- Is back this season after being limited to five games in 2016-17 and 17 games in 2017-18 due to injuries.
- Received the team’s Hardest Worker Award each of the last two seasons.
- Is involved in several organizations on campus including Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Kinesiology Club and FMS research team.
- Had an internship this past summer at a gym called Elite Sport and Fitness in Gibson City, Ill.
- Has helped with her parents’ business, Illiana Insulation, a foam and coating insulation business in Cissna Park, Ill.
- Older sister Samantha played volleyball at Trinity International University and is currently an executive assistant in athletics at UMKC, where she oversees office management, student-athlete scholarships and the distribution of sponsorships and trade.
- Father Sam participated in rugby at Purdue and mother Sue played a year of basketball at Biola University in California.
- Younger sister Olivia is attending cosmetology school and younger brother Penn is a junior in high school and is into football and basketball.
- Enjoys water sports and the outdoors. Family goes camping and boating frequently over the summer. Will ski, slalom, surf and tube and also loves hiking, four wheeling and other outdoor activities.
- Made it to state in volleyball as a junior and senior in high school.
- Growing up, her favorite sport was soccer. She played travel soccer in junior high, but stopped because her high school didn’t offer soccer.
- Majoring in exercise science with plans of getting a master’s in athletic training. Minoring in human biology.
On the court…
- Knocked down four 3-pointers and shared the team lead with 15 points on Dec. 21 vs. Bowling Green.
- Dished out a game-high six assists on Nov. 26 vs. Toledo, setting a career watermark.
- Became just the fourth Valpo player since the 2001-02 season to average double figures over the first five games of her freshman year by turning in 10.2 points per game through the first five games this season. Joined good company in a group that also includes Meredith Hamlet (10.6 ppg, 2015), Dani Franklin (2014, 13.2) and Jamie Gutowski (Stangel) (11.2, 2002).
- After scoring 10 points on Nov. 16 at Morehead State, finished in double figures for the third time in four games on Nov. 17 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn. She racked up career highs in points (19), assists (5), made 3s (4), made field goals (5) and made free throws (5) while committing just one turnover.
- Had the first double-figure output of her collegiate career in her first home appearance, turning in 11 points while racking up six rebounds on Nov. 11 vs. North Dakota.
- Had a strong showing in her collegiate debut on Nov. 7 at UIC, racking up seven points, three steals and a team-high four assists.
- Was a four-year letter winner and a captain as a junior and senior at Hortonville High School.
- Led Hortonville to its first state tournament final four appearances in 30 years as a junior and senior.
- Won regional titles all four years of high school.
- Fab Five (Preseason Top 5 Players for Northeast Wisconsin) as a sophomore, junior and senior. All-Area First-Team selection all four years, WBCA D2 All-State First Team as a junior and senior and honorable mention as a sophomore, Associated Press Third Team All-State as a senior and honorable mention as a junior, McDonald’s All-American nominee.
- Finished as her school’s all-time leader in points, assists, steals and 3-pointers (boys and girls).
- Involved in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes on campus.
- Majoring in business marketing with a minor in sports management.
- Is close friends and former AAU teammates with two other Missouri Valley Conference freshmen – Drake’s Maggie Negaard and Illinois State’s Ally Gietzel.
On the court…
- Achieved a career high with 15 points while also blocking two shots on Dec. 19 in a win at Purdue Fort Wayne.
- Came within one rebound of a career high and set a season best on Dec. 16 vs. North Dakota State, corralling eight caroms. She also chipped in five points.
- Set a season high with eight points and matched a career best with five rebounds on Dec. 8 vs. Miami (Ohio).
- Made her first career start in the season opener on Nov. 7 at UIC, going 2-of-3 from the field for five points.
- Played in 30 games as a true freshman at Valpo.
- Scored a career-high 13 points on Jan. 26, 2018 vs. Evansville.
- Brother Wally played basketball in the NBL of Canada in 2016-17 and made the all-rookie team.
- Brother Ellwood was a captain of the basketball team and a track athlete at Valley City State University, N.D.
- Brother Henry is a Detroit Pistons forward and former Marquette standout.
- One of the most competitive sports in Ella’s home area of Northern Wisconsin is curling. Her mother is a P.E. teacher and taught curling.
On the court…
- Matched a career high with 10 points while establishing a personal best with eight rebounds on Dec. 16 vs. North Dakota State.
- Was a key contributor in both of Valpo’s games at the Vinewood Farm Classic, reaching double figures for the first time in her career with 10 points on Nov. 16 at Morehead State before tossing in seven on Nov. 17 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn.
- Made her collegiate debut on Nov. 11 vs. North Dakota.
- Four-year letter winner in high school.
- Averaged 12.5 points, 4.5 assists, 3.9 rebounds and 3.5 steals as a senior.
- Led her team to a state runner-up finish in 2018. Helped Montini Catholic to a 33-2 overall record as the Broncos finished in third place in the 2017 IHSA 4A state tournament.
- Team also finished third in the 3A state tournament in 2015.
- Majoring in exercise science.
On the court…
- Hit a buzzer-beater from nearly half court to send the Feb. 16, 2018 game against Southern Illinois to overtime. That shot was No. 9 on the next morning’s SportsCenter Top 10.
- Shattered a program-record that had stood since 1992 in her first career start by dishing out 16 assists on Dec. 15, 2017 against IU Northwest. She became the 10th player in Missouri Valley Conference history to reach 16 assists, a mark that ranks tied for sixth in the conference’s prestigious history. She also became the second player in the nation with a 16+ assist game that season.
- Loves to buy sneakers and has over 50 pairs.
- Enjoys adrenaline rush activities such as bungee jumping, free falls and parasailing.
- Uncle Kevin “Coach K” Lee is the founder of Quality Control Music, which has produced artists such as Migos, Lil Yatchy and Cardi B.
- Younger brother Donyell Meredith II is a freshman on the IU South Bend men’s basketball team.
- Majoring in healthcare leadership.
On the court…
- Made her collegiate debut on Nov. 26 vs. Toledo.
- Sat out her first season on campus as a redshirt.
- Helped Herscher High School finish with a 25-2 record in her senior season.
- Played for Example Sports AAU under the direction of coach Barry Bradford, the father of Valpo men’s basketball player Micah Bradford.
- Majoring in biology with a minor in chemistry.
- Planning to go to veterinary school after finishing at Valpo with hopes of becoming a large animal vet.
- Lives on a farm.
- Made her collegiate basketball debut on Dec. 19 at Purdue Fort Wayne.
- Joined the team as a walk-on on Dec. 18.
- Finished a successful four-year career on the volleyball court by earning second team all-MVC this season.
- Helped volleyball team make a run to the NIVC quarterfinals and garner the first postseason victories in program history this season.
- Accumulated 1,273 kills over her four years to rank sixth in Valpo history.
On the court…
- Appeared in 22 games and made 30 starts as a true freshman.
- Ranked fourth in The Valley in assists per game at 3.2 and second in assist to turnover ratio at 1.6 in 2017-18.
- Beyond basketball…
- Was originally a Northwest Indiana local and started her prep career with two seasons at LaPorte before moving to South Bend and playing her final two seasons at Saint Joseph, where she led her team to the 2016-17 Indiana Class 3A state title.
- Is a rare Valpo basketball player to participate in Greek Life on campus as a Chi Omega.
- Member of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee.
- Majoring in business management.
On the court…
- Expected to be out for the season due to an injury.
- Played in 14 games as a freshman in 2017-18 while battling injuries.
- Had a season-high seven points and went 3-for-3 shooting on Dec. 15, 2017 vs. IU Northwest.
- Mother Jennie ran track at Akron and father Tom ran track at Bowling Green. Brother Trent is currently a student at Akron.
- Majoring in health sciences with a minor in health care leadership.
- Was a straight “A” student from kindergarten through her senior year of high school.
On the court…
- Expected to be out for the season due to an injury.
- Is Valpo’s leading returning rebounder for 2018-19 at 4.5 per game.
- Ranked fourth in The Valley in blocks per game as a junior at 1.3 per contest.
- Led the team in points (11) and rebounds (7) in the final game of the season on March 9 in an MVC quarterfinal against Drake. Matched her career high in scoring in that game, and both 11-point outputs have come in conference tournament contests.
- Father Scott Morrison is a former Valparaiso men’s basketball player and played under Homer Drew from 1990-1992.
- Is majoring in finance with a minor in business analytics.
- Volunteers for an organization called CAAEL, which participates in events held for special education and at-risk students around Illinois.
On the court…
- Expected to be out for the season due to an injury.
- Played in two games in 2016-17 before missing the remainder of the season with an injury, but returned to the court to play in 28 games in 2017-18.
- Shattered her previous career high in rebounding prior to halftime and had nine boards (eight in the first half) to lead the team on Jan. 21, 2018 at Southern Illinois.
- Is involved in Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCS), Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and Bioengineering Club.
- Majoring in biomedical engineering with a minor in Spanish.
- In a human movement research lab.
- Interned with her knee surgeon this past summer, shadowing ACL surgeries and seeing patients in the office.
- Attended the annual American Society of Biomechanics Meeting this past summer and presented research.
- Volunteers at dog shelters.
- Her mother played volleyball at Youngstown State and her aunt did so at Cleveland State. Profitt, her mother and her aunt have all played in the Horizon League at one point in their careers.
- Brother is a junior in high school and plays varsity football and basketball. He broke the school’s single-season record for receiving touchdowns this fall.
On the court…
- Started her college career at Denver, where she shot 44 percent from 3-point range and averaged 6.4 points per game in 2017-2018.
- Has to sit out this season due to transfer rules.
- Poured in 34 points on Dec. 3, 2017, helping Denver to an 80-73 victory over Northern Arizona. The 34-point output ranked tied for fourth in program history and was the highest single-game total by a Pioneer in 17 years.
- Was prep and AAU teammates with Valpo’s Caitlin Morrison.
- Majoring in psychology.
- Father played football at Grand Valley State.
- Was able to share a season of varsity basketball with her sisters Carly and Catie when she was a freshman in high school.