Valpo women’s basketball head coach Mary Evans announced today that a quartet of talented standouts have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Valpo program as freshmen for the 2021-22 academic year.
“My staff has worked really hard through this COVID time and we are really excited about the four young women that have decided to join our Valpo family,” Evans said. “They will each bring unique skills and qualities to our team and will help us continue to grow this program to a championship level. As good as they are as basketball players, they are equally as good — if not better — people and students and will be great additions to our Valpo community. I am excited to have the opportunity to help them grow as people and basketball players and am looking forward to seeing what they will accomplish during their time here at Valpo!”
Katie Beyer – 6’1” – F – McHenry, Ill. – McHenry H.S. – Illinois Elite
Beyer has earned All-Conference accolades each of the last two years for the Warriors and received All-Area honors this past season. She led the Fox Valley Conference with 17.4 points and 10.8 rebounds per game in 2019-20, shooting 51.6% from the floor as she helped lead McHenry to 24 wins last year. Beyer has tallied 946 points and 597 rebounds so far in her prep career.
Beyer on why she chose Valpo: “I chose Valpo because I knew as soon as I met the coaches and saw the campus, I would be able to improve as an athlete and as a student.”
Evans on Beyer: “Katie brings a strong and physical presence to our post game. She is a really skilled player who can shoot the three as well as play with her back to the basket. She is a tremendous rebounder and a really tough, hard-working player.”
Lovie Malone – 5’10” – G/F – Dayton, Ohio – Wayne H.S. – Midwest Takeover
Entering her fourth year of action with the Warriors, Malone is a member of one of the nation’s top prep programs. Last season, Malone helped Wayne to a 22-3 overall record, averaging 6.9 points and 2.8 rebounds per game as she was named an Honorable Mention All-Conference choice. Wayne reached as high as #2 in the state and #21 nationally in 2019-20. Malone owns career highs of 15 points and five steals with the Warriors and 21 points with Midwest Takeover.
Malone on why she chose Valpo: “I chose Valparaiso University for the strong academic program, the competition level and the vision Coach Evans sees for the future of the program. The entire coaching staff is genuine and I instantly felt the warm feelings of closeness and loyalty. I know the coaches will push me to become a better player and person. I am excited for how the school will impact the direction I am headed in life and I am looking forward to the overall Crusader experience!”
Evans on Malone: “Lovie is a fantastic student, athlete and person. She is a tremendous athlete who can score in a variety of ways. She has played for programs that are super competitive and are built on hard work. She is a great addition to our program and our community here at Valpo.”
Molly Sheehan – 5’8” – G – Hinsdale, Ill. – Benet Academy – Truth Basketball/M14 Hoops
Sheehan is entering her third year of play at Benet Academy and fourth year of varsity basketball overall. She earned Honorable Mention All-Area notice last season, averaging six points and four assists per game as she helped the Redwings to a 29-3 record and conference and regional titles. Benet Academy was one of the nation’s top programs in 2019-20, reaching as high as #1 in the state and #14 nationally. As a sophomore, Sheehan helped Benet Academy finish fourth in the state, claiming conference, regional and sectional championships.
Sheehan on why she chose Valpo: “I chose Valpo because of Coach Evans’ vision for the program and the high level at which the team competes. Valpo’s strong academics and supportive community were everything I was looking for in a college as well. When I stepped foot on campus, I knew Valpo would be my home!”
Evans on Sheehan: “Molly comes to Valpo from one of the best programs in the Chicagoland area. She is a great leader and will bring lots of energy and enthusiasm to our program. Her ability to shoot the three and distribute the basketball is what really drew us to her. She is an amazing student and a great person and will be a great addition to our team and the Valpo community.”
Ella Van Weelden – 6’1” – F – Cedar Rapids, Iowa – Marion H.S. – Martin Brothers
Van Weelden has experienced much success on both the individual and team level during her prep career. Individually, Van Weelden was a Second Team All-State choice as a sophomore, averaging 10.1 points and 6.6 rebounds per game, and a Third Team All-State selection last year, posting 12.3 points and 7.1 rebounds per game. Also a three-time All-Conference and All-Metro selection, Van Weelden has helped the Indians win a state championship in 2018 and finish as state runners-up in 2019. Marion has won three conference titles and posted a 70-4 overall record over the last three years.
Van Weelden on why she chose Valpo: “I chose Valpo because of the welcoming community, the amazing people and the family atmosphere. Coach Evans has created an amazing culture that I can’t wait to be a part of!”
Evans on Van Weelden: “Ella has played on highly competitive teams that have won, both in high school and AAU. She is a highly skilled basketball player who will bring us length in our post game that will be able to stretch out opposing teams’ defenses. She is a great student, athlete and young person and I am looking forward to coaching her.”