Franklin Named to All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team
Wednesday, March 7, 2018
Franklin Named to All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team

Valparaiso University women’s basketball senior Dani Franklin (Cedar Rapids, Iowa / George Washington) received a high honor on Wednesday as the Missouri Valley Conference released its 2017-18 all-conference teams. Franklin was named to the all-conference first team, becoming the first Valpo player to garner that recognition since 2009.

The announcement of Franklin’s inclusion on the all-conference first-team added to her ever-growing list of achievements and awards over the course of her Crusader career. Franklin will finish in the Top 10 in program history in at least 11 statistical categories and ranks second in school history in scoring (1,689) and fifth in rebounding (705). This past weekend, she pulled down her 700th career rebound, becoming the first player in program history to eclipse both 1,500 points and 700 rebounds.

Franklin will also shatter the program record for career free-throw percentage as she currently sits at 87.4 percent. She is one of three players in program history who has scored 33 points or more on multiple occasions in her career, including a career-high 34 in the first game of her junior season at Stetson.

This marks the culmination of a career filled with conference accolades. As a freshman, Franklin became the first Valpo player to earn the Horizon League Freshman of the Year award. That same season, she was named the league’s Sixth Player of the Year, becoming the first Crusader to garner that distinction since Launa Hochstetler (2006-2007, Mid-Con). Fittingly, as a senior Franklin became the first Crusader since Hochstetler in 2008-09 to take home first-team all-conference recognition. In addition, Franklin was a second-team all-conference performer as a junior.

Franklin, who was also named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete First Team earlier this week, finished the regular season third in The Valley in scoring at 15.6 points per game and fourth in rebounding at 7.0 per contest. She was the only player in the conference to finish in the Top 5 in both scoring and rebounding.

Franklin and the Crusaders will take the court to open their first year of Hoops in the Heartland on Thursday at 4 p.m. CT in Moline, Ill. Valpo will face Loyola in the first round, with the winner advancing to Friday’s quarterfinal against Drake.

First Team                       Yr.  Pos.   Ht.     Hometown (Previous School)

Sammie Bachrodt, Drake%                Jr.        G        5-10       Wichita, Kan. (Kapaun Mt. Carmel)

Wendi Bibbins, Indiana State            Sr.        F         6-2        Harvey, La. (Jones County CC)

Dani Franklin, Valparaiso                   Sr.        F         6-1        Cedar Rapids, Iowa (George Washington)

Liza Fruendt, Missouri State*           Sr.        G        5-10       Batavia, Ill. (Batavia)

Hannah Green, Illinois State              Sr.        F         6-0        Santa Clarita, Calif. (College of the Canyons)

Kylie Giebelhausen, Southern Illinois* Sr.       G         6-1        East Peoria, Ill. (East Peoria)

Becca Hittner, Drake*                       So.       G         6-0        Urbandale, Iowa (Dowling Catholic)

Megan Maahs, UNI                            So.       F         6-1        Epworth, Iowa (Western Dubuque)

Nicole Martin, Southern Illinois         So.       F         6-1        Jefferson City, Mo. (Jefferson City)                                                              

Sara Rhine, Drake                              So.       F         6-1        Eldon, Mo. (Eldon)

Alexa Willard, Missouri State             So.       G         6-2        Lebanon, Mo. (Stoutland)

*2017 First Team; %2017 Honorable Mention


Honorable Mention         Yr.  Pos.   Ht.     Hometown (Previous School)

Maddy Dean, Drake                            Jr.    G            5-9         Jordan, Minn. (Jordan)

Kerri Gasper, Evansville                     Jr.    F            5-11        Olmsted Township, Ohio (Olmsted Falls)

Simone Goods, Illinois State              Jr.    F            6-2         Omaha, Neb. (Kirkwood Community College)

Ellie Howell, UNI*                                Jr.    G            5-9          Manson, Iowa (Manson Northwest Webster)

Ashli O'Neal, Indiana State                So.   G           5-5         Wyoming, Ohio (Wyoming)                                                              

*2017 First Team                                       


All-Defensive Team         Yr.  Pos.   Ht.     Hometown (Previous School)

Sammie Bachrodt, Drake                   Jr.        G        5-10       Wichita, Kan. (Kapaun Mt. Carmel)

Kylie Giebelhausen, Southern Illinois    Sr.        F         6-1        East Peoria, Ill. (East Peoria)

Danielle Gitzen, Missouri State          Jr.        G        5-10       Victoria, Minn. (Chanhassen)

Megan Maahs, UNI                            So.       F         6-1        Epworth, Iowa (Western Dubuque)

Paige Saylor, Illinois State                  Fr.        G         5-5        Martinsville, Ind. (Roncalli)


All-Freshman Team             Pos.     Ht.      Hometown (Previous School)

Abby Brockmeyer, Southern Illinois          F            6-1           Raymond, Ill. (Lincolnwood)

Gabi Haack, Bradley                                   G             5-10       Elk River, Minn. (Elk River)

Abby O'Connor, Loyola                                F             6-0          South Bend, Ind. (St. Joseph)

Makenzie Silvey, Southern Illinois             G            5-11       Glen Carbon, Ill. (Edwardsville)

Paige Saylor, Illinois State                          G            5-5           Martinsville, Ind. (Roncalli)