The St. Olaf women’s basketball team needed its younger players to excel this season if it wished to have the depth to compete. Breakout star Makenna Ash ’19 has filled this role, becoming one of the most dynamic Ole athletes. In seven games, Ash has 70 points, and she leads the team with a .431 field goal percentage and seven blocks. Her 8.4 rebounds per game ranks fourth in the MIAC, totalling 59 overall. Together with Betsey Daly ’17, she helps to form one of the conference’s most dynamic duos, a critical source of success for the Oles both now and during the forseeable future.
Q: You lead the team in blocks and field goal percentage. What’s more rewarding to you, blocking an opponent’s shot or making a basket of your own?
A: It really depends on what my team needs at the moment. If it’s a time in the game where we really need a stop on defense, then nothing feels better than blocking a shot and getting that stop. If we need two points to get the momentum going, then making a shot and sparking that energy is incredibly rewarding.
Q: What was the biggest difference maker for you over the offseason for improving, and how do you hope to continue getting better in the future?
A: This summer I shot 250 shots with my two younger brothers every morning before I left for work. Over the summer that translated to about 10,000 shots – it definitely improved my game and I think it improved theirs too.In the future I’ll continue to practice my shot, lift and stay in shape in the off season.
Q: What’s your own personal fondest moment from the 2016-17 season so far?
A: My personal fondest moment from this season would probably be celebrating Thanksgiving in Pasadena with my team. We had a tournament out there over break, and I got to spend all of Thanksgiving Day hiking and hanging out with some of my best friends. My favorite team performance would have to be when we beat Bethany Lutheran – it was a nail biter of a game, incredibly close in the last few minutes, but our girls fought hard and pulled it off. My favorite individual highlight was when I had two three-point plays against Eau Claire –that’s always a good feeling.