Four members of the Mount Vernon Nazarene College women's basketball team will be honored on Saturday afternoon prior to the Lady Cougars' final regular-season home game against Point Park (PA) College at 2:00 p.m.
Seniors Shelly Aldrich, Amie Bibby, Anne Nussbaum, and Holly Riggle have led MVNC to the most victories (62) in school history in a four-year span. The team has also posted three straight winning seasons for the first time since 1985-1988, and the Lady Cougars have finished fourth at the last two National Christian College Athletic Association national tournaments.
Aldrich, a 5-foot-7 guard from Marion, Ohio, is averaging 11.5 points and 2.6 rebounds per game this season. She is the team's most accurate three-point shooter at 38.8 percent (54-of-139), and she is second on the team with 66 steals and 79 assists. Earlier this year, she was named to the Lady Cougar Tip-off All-Tournament Team.
Aldrich, who was an Honorable Mention All-Conference selection as a sophomore, has moved into fifth place on MVNC's career scoring list with 1,081 points. She also ranks third in career free throws made (240), fourth in career assists (299), fifth in career three-pointers made (111), and sixth in career steals (186).
"Shelly has been our comeback player of the year," said head coach Steve Gregory. "After sitting out most of last season with a shoulder injury, she has come back with a vengeance. She has saved her best for last, and she is really playing well for us right now."
"Shelly's versatility has helped us tremendously," Gregory added. "She handles the ball well enough to be the point guard yet she shoots the ball good enough to be the shooting guard. Her toughness and competitive drive have made her a feared player in our conference."
Bibby, a 5-foot-10 forward from Mount Vernon, Ohio, is averaging 9.1 points and a team-high 7.7 rebounds per game this season. She leads the team with 14 blocked shots, and she has recorded 27 assists and 52 steals. She was the American Mideast Conference and NCCAA Player of the Week earlier this season, and she was also the Most Valuable Player of the Lady Cougar Tip-off Tournament.
Bibby, who was an Honorable Mention All-Conference selection following both her freshman and sophomore seasons, currently ranks first in career steals (249), third in career blocked shots (78) and career rebounds (696), seventh in career three-pointers made (103), and eighth in career points (1,042).
"Amie's work ethic and athletic ability have helped mold and shape her as a player," said Gregory. "She has become the Dennis Rodman of rebounding at the small college level. She has a knack of coming out of a crowd with a huge rebound that gives our team an extra offensive possession."
"Amie is also an invaluable asset on the floor to us," Gregory added. "Her leadership has been a key for us this season. She has been through a lot of personal adversity this year, which has made it an even more special season for us."
Nussbaum, a 5-foot-6 guard from Mount Vernon, Ohio, currently leads the Lady Cougars in scoring (12.1 points per game), steals (69), and assists (103). She has made 44 three-pointers, and twice this season she has tied the school's single-game mark with seven three-pointers. She was also named to two All-Tournament Teams earlier in the year.
Nussbaum, who was an Honorable Mention All-Conference selection last season, is MVNC's all-time leader in three-pointers made with 149. She recently became the 11th Lady Cougar to reach the 1,000-point mark for her career, and she also ranks third in career assists (303) and career steals (215).
"Anne has had an outstanding career here at MVNC," said Gregory. "Her work ethic is tremendous, and she has made herself into one of the premier point guards in the AMC. Her competitive nature coupled with her athletic ability have helped her achieve success on the basketball court."
"Anne does so many things well that I know putting the ball in her hands will allow great things to happen," Gregory added. "Her leadership has been instrumental in our success this season and over the course of her career."
Riggle, a 5-foot-6 guard from Urbana, Ohio, is currently averaging 5.0 points and 1.9 rebounds per game as one of the first players off the Lady Cougars' bench. She has made 27 three-pointers to go along with 17 steals and 55 assists. Earlier this season, she was named to the Lady Cougar Tip-off All-Tournament Team.
Riggle, who has scored 516 points over her four-year career, has moved into tenth place on MVNC's career three-pointers made list with 64. She also ranks twelfth in career assists (209).
"Holly has been a player who has worked very hard and improved every year here at MVNC," said Gregory. "Her role has constantly changed, and she has done a great job adjusting to whatever is needed. She has also been a great role model for our younger players, and she has been a tremendous help to them. She has been a vocal leader, and she has been one of our long-range sharp shooters when called upon."
"Holly's contagious team-above-self attitude has helped this team tremendously," Gregory added. "Her Christian leadership has also been a very welcome part of her role on this team."
"Shelly, Amie, Anne, and Holly have all made great sacrifices over the past four years and helped to take our basketball program to another level," said Gregory. "We have enjoyed the fruits of their labors in the success that we have enjoyed in the regular season, postseason tournaments, and their continued maturity as Christian young women."
"I am proud of their achievements on the hardwood, but I am even more proud of their Christian leadership that has grown over the past four years," Gregory added. "Replacing these four players will be a tough task. I am losing over 3,500 points from these seniors who have taken up most of the team's minutes of playing time this year. They will be sorely missed."