MILWAUKEE – The Mount Mary University basketball team begins their 2019-20 season tonight at the Bloechl Center. After an off-season filled with changes for the new year ahead, the Blue Angels are looking forward to the coming campaign. For the first time since joining the NCAA, the Blue Angels will host a tournament at the beginning and end of their season.
Last season, the Blue Angels tallied multiple records in the program's history books. As a team, the Blue Angels finished 10-11 and set the program's new mark for most wins in a single season. Along with the new bar for wins, two different Blue Angels set program records. Erica Williams (Jr./Bloomington, Ill.) pulled in 245 rebounds last season to set the new record for rebounds in a season and Rae Grubbs (Sr./Covington, Ind.) hit 40 3-point field goals last year for the most made 3-pointers in a season by a Blue Angel.
Along with the record setters, MMU Basketball return five additional Blue Angels to their roster. Senior Lucy Pavelko (Muskego, Wis.) returns for her fourth season in the navy and gold. Pavelko has started the last 42 games for the Blue Angels over the last two seasons, and has been integral to the recent success of her team doing any job that the team needs on the court.
Along with Pavelko, guard Melissa Golo (So./Boise, Idaho) returns with plenty of collegiate expierence from last season. Quickly acclimating herself to NCAA Basketball, Golo started over 95 percent of the games in 2018-19. She also showcased her ability to hit from outside the 3-point line as the young guard hit a team high 37.93 percent from outside.
Guards Megan Johnson (Jr./Waukesha, Wis.) and Tamara Griffin (Jr./Champaign, Ill.) return after providing a much needed lift from the bench last season. Forward Brianna Valdez (Thornton, Colo.) also returns after transferring to MMU last season. Valdez flashed her ability to stretch out opponents' defense with her range from outside hitting 7-of-21 3-pointers last year.
Along with the core seven, the Blue Angels bring in six new student-athletes into the fold. The new class looks to bring height and speed to the roster in forms of multiple transfer students and MMU Soccer's leading scorer Nyasia Hardy (Fr./Fort Worth, Ind.).
In addition to the roster moves, the Blue Angels also changed their head coach at the beginning of the academic year. After six seasons calling plays for the Blue Angels, Marc Heidorf left his position at MMU. Head soccer coach for the Blue Angels, John Baillie, stepped in right away to help the Blue Angels during the transition. Baillie attended Knox College where he played varsity basketball for the Prairie Fire and was assistant coach for the team following his graduation for two seasons.
This season, the Blue Angels have 21 regular season games scheduled. Among the familiar teams, the Blue Angels will take on Alverno, Blackburn, Marion, Maranatha Baptist, Andrews and many more. The Blue Angels open up the season with a tip-off tourney at the Bloechl Center. The two-day affair will pit the Blue Angels against Blackburn and Northland; two teams MMU defeated in 2018-19.
At the end of the regular season, the Blue Angels will host the 2020 American Collegiate Athletic Association Conference Tournament at the Bloechl Center. MMU will be guaranteed a spot in the four-team tournament at the Bloechl Center in late February.
All home games this season will be streamed live on BoxCast. Simulcasts will be available throughout the season on Facebook Live, Twitter and YouTube. Go to MtMaryAthletics.com/Live before listed game times to catch the Blue Angels home games this season. Check back to MtMaryAthletics.com for updates, news and scores throughout the season.