Miami (Ohio) (6-1, 0-0 MAC)
at Valparaiso (3-5, 0-0 MVC)
Game No. 9 – Saturday, Dec. 8 – 1 p.m. CT
Athletics-Recreation Center (5,000) – Valparaiso, Ind.
Next Up in Valpo Basketball: The Valparaiso University women’s basketball team will be back in action on Saturday afternoon as Miami (Ohio) comes to the Athletics-Recreation Center for a 1 p.m. tip time. Head coach Mary Evans is quite familiar with the RedHawks, as this team beat Ohio three times last year including a two-point game in the MAC Tournament while Evans was an assistant for the Bobcats. Now, Valpo will look to find a way to knock off a quality MAC opponent that is off to a strong start this season. This will be the program’s annual ugly sweater game, so fans are encouraged to sport their ugliest holiday sweater. In addition, the game will be a “study break” – all students will receive free pizza and there will be a contest for the ugliest sweater.
Last Time Out: For the first time this season, Valpo owns back-to-back wins after nipping Eastern Illinois in a 62-60 thriller on Sunday at the ARC in the second half of a men’s-women’s doubleheader. The Panthers grabbed the lead thanks to a 14-0 run to close the third quarter, but Valpo battled back ahead in a seesaw fourth. Grace Hales enjoyed her best day in a Valpo uniform highlighted by a career-high 21 points, while Meredith Hamlet had 14 and Bryce Blood chipped in nine points and 10 rebounds.
Following Valpo: Saturday’s game will be broadcast on ESPN3, which is available free of charge with a cable subscription. Dave Huseman (play-by-play) and Jamie Stangel (color commentary) will have the call. In addition, the game can be heard on 95.1 FM Valparaiso with Danny Dalenberg (play-by-play) and Ben Ariano (color commentary). Links to live video, audio and stats will be available.
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 will take on the RedHawks for the fourth time in the last five seasons in an effort to garner its first-ever victory over Miami (Ohio). Valpo has dropped all nine head-to-head meetings between the two teams, a series that dates back to 1992-93. However, the all-time record of 0-9 is somewhat deceiving when it comes to assessing the competitiveness of the series, as four of the nine games have been decided by three points or fewer including two overtime affairs. One of those tight games was the most recent matchup that occurred in Valpo, a 75-72 Valpo loss on Dec. 2, 2015. Valpo made a game of it after trailing 22-11 through one quarter, but couldn’t quite erase the early hole. The two teams met last season in Oxford, a game Valpo lost 77-68 despite 10 rebounds from Caitlin Morrison and 14 points from Meredith Hamlet. Miami (Ohio) is one of three teams Valpo has played nine times or more and never defeated, joining Notre Dame and DePaul.
Hamlet Honored: The Missouri Valley Conference tabbed Valpo senior Meredith Hamlet as its Player of the Week this past week after she helped her team to a 2-1 record over three games. Hamlet started her week with a season-high 26 points on Monday, Nov. 26 against Toledo before upping that season watermark to 28 on Thursday, Nov. 29 at Chicago State. A week that started with a pregame ceremony honoring Hamlet’s 1,000th career point finished with the Valpo senior averaging 22.7 points per game over three contests. In addition to coming within one point of a career high, she tied a career watermark with four steals and dished out a season-high five assists at Chicago State. She also knocked down five 3s in the win over the Cougars before hitting four 3s in a 14-point effort to help Valpo defeat Eastern Illinois on Sunday.
Rare Accolade: Earning Player of the Week honors in basketball in the Missouri Valley Conference is no small feat, as Hamlet became the first Valpo player to do so in men’s or women’s since the University joined the conference prior to the 2017-18 season. She was also the first Valpo women’s player to win a conference player of the week award since Sharon Karungi did so five years ago. In addition, Hamlet became the first player other than Drake star Sara Rhine to win MVC Player of the Week honors in women’s basketball this season.
On the All-Time List: Good things come in threes – so we figured we’d provide a third Hamlet tidbit. She has continued her climb on Valpo’s all-time scoring list, most recently passing Lynda Kukla (1988-1992) for 12th as the senior guard is up to 1,083 career points. Now she’s within striking distance of Tamra Braun (2003-2007), who ranks 11th at 1,096. Hamlet has made 172 career 3-pointers and recently cracked the Top 5 in program history in that area. She needs 11 more to draw even with Dani Franklin (2014-2018), who is fourth at 183. Hamlet will likely play in her 100th career game and make her 98th career start on Saturday.
Ascending the Assist Chart: Hamlet isn’t the only one climbing Valpo’s career ranks, as Hannah Schaub has advanced her career assist total to 257, a number that places her tied for 12th in program history. She recently passed Agnieszka Kulaga (2005-2009) for 13th and advanced into a tie with Kathryn Knoester (2000-2004). Lisa Winter (1998-2000) is 11th at 264.
Amazing Grace: Junior Grace Hales enjoyed her most prosperous day in a Valpo uniform on Sunday against Eastern Illinois as she poured in a career-high 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting and a season-high seven rebounds to help Valpo to a 62-60 win. Hales played a career-high 37 minutes and has started three straight games. She has earned an uptick in playing time after playing just 13 minutes (and scoring two points on 0-of-3 shooting) in the season opener on Nov. 7 at UIC. The performance against the Panthers upped her previous career high of 15, which was achieved on Jan. 12, 2018 vs. Loyola.
Not for the Faint of Heart: Seven of Valpo’s first eight games this season have been decided by 10 points or fewer. A year ago, Valpo had eight games the entire year decided by that slim of a margin. Valpo has two wins by two points or fewer this season, allowing the team to improve to 7-1 in those games since the start of the 2015-16 season and 7-0 in such games that are decided in regulation.
Balanced Effort: Valpo has had five different leading scorers in the last six games. A year ago, Valpo was led in scoring by either Dani Franklin or Meredith Hamlet in 26 of the team’s 31 games.
Blood on the Boards: Valpo sophomore Bryce Blood has pulled down 10 rebounds in two of her last three games. She has earned a place in the starting lineup, starting three consecutive contests after beginning the season by coming off the bench in her first three appearances. In her four games since returning after missing a game with an injury, Blood has twice scored double figures and twice accumulated double-figure rebound totals.
Inside the RedHawks
- Ended Ohio’s season last year with a narrow 69-66 victory in the MAC quarterfinals with Mary Evans coaching as an assistant for the Bobcats. Also beat Ohio twice during the regular season.
- Picked to finish second in the MAC East in the preseason poll, just one point behind Buffalo. Also garnered five first-place votes. Junior guard Lauren Dickerson and senior guard/forward Kendall McCoy were named Preseason All-MAC East. Last season, Dickerson was All-MAC First Team and McCoy was honorable mention.
- Under the direction of second-year head coach Megan Duffy, who will be making her first trip to the ARC as a head coach after coaching against Valpo last season in Oxford. However, Duffy has been involved in games at the ARC on several prior occasions – she played 22 minutes off the bench as a freshman for Notre Dame on Dec. 4, 2002, a game the Fighting Irish won 74-68 despite a strong showing by Valpo. Duffy returned to the ARC as a junior on Nov. 30, 2004, scoring 20 points in 39 minutes to help the visitors to a 69-59 win.
- Played in the postseason a year ago, qualifying for the WNIT. Duffy led her team to the best turnaround in the nation under a first-year head coach, making a 10-win improvement from the previous season by posting a 21-11 record.
- Assistant coaches on staff have a history opposing Valpo with other teams as well. Frank Goldsberry spent five years at Milwaukee, a team that shared conference affiliation with Valpo in the Horizon League at that time. Ke’Sha Blanton was also a Horizon League assistant for five seasons at Detroit Mercy.
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.
What’s Back: Valpo returns nine of its top 10 scorers from a year ago, but the one departure was significant as leading scorer Dani Franklin graduated after finishing in the Top 10 in Valpo history in 13 statistical categories. Franklin, an all-conference first team selection as a senior, finished second in program history in career scoring with 1,721 points and fifth in rebounding with 713. In all, Valpo returns 12 letter winners and four starters from last season.
- 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…
- 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.
- Majoring in biology with a minor in business.
- Expected to graduate in December 2018 and is applying to start her Master of Business Administration in January 2019.
- 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…
- 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…
- 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…
- 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…
- 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…
- Finished a point shy of a double-double on Dec. 2 vs. Eastern Illinois, turning in her second 10-rebound showing in a two-game span.
- Compiled of a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds on Nov. 26 vs. Toledo, her hometown team. That marked the Blood’s third career double-double and the first by any Valpo player this season.
- After missing two games due to concussion protocol, returned to the court with her first double-figure scoring output of the season by achieving 11 points on 5-of-10 shooting on Nov. 17 vs. St. Francis Brooklyn. Also knocked down the first 3-pointer of her collegiate career in that contest.
- Joined Konieczny as the team’s co-Newcomers of the Year last season.
- Appeared in 31 games and made 29 starts as a freshman.
- Tied for 11th in the Missouri Valley Conference with 1.6 offensive rebounds per game and led the team in field goal percentage at .476.
- Became the first Valpo player since 2008 with a double-double in the season opener by scoring 13 points and grabbing 13 boards in her collegiate debut on Nov. 16, 2017.
- Enjoys drawing and is currently taking a drawing class.
- Is in Valpo’s elementary education program.
On the court…
- 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…
- 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.
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.