WALLA WALLA — After completing the most successful season in program history, the Whitman College women’s basketball team welcomes three new faces to its roster in hopes of bolstering its chances to return to the postseason and make another deep run in the NCAA tournament.
Missionary coach Michelle Ferenz and her staff reached out to California for two of the recruits, with the third being from Oregon City, Ore., — and the younger sister of a current Whitman starter.
The trio consists of Alysse Ketner, a 5-foot-8 guard from Amador Valley High in Pleasanton, Calif.; Gabrielle “Gabby” McGann, a 5-10 forward who played at San Clemente High School in Southern, Calif; and Chelsi Brewer, a 5-9 guard from Oregon City High.
Brewer follows her older sibling Tiffani (Brewer) Traver, a senior who started at shooting guard on last year’s Elite 8 Missionary team.
“We’re very excited about the class,” said Ferenz. “We’ve got three great players from three great programs. They’ve all been a part of winning programs and they were a huge part of their teams’ success.”
At Amador Valley, Ketner led her team to the No. 2 seed in the 2013 Division 1 Northern California State Tournament her senior year as the team’s leading scorer, averaging 16 points per game along with grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists. Ketner was named First Team All-East Bay Athletic League and received the Tri-Valley Outstanding Athlete Award.
An outstanding student, Ketner was awarded the Sandia National Labs Outstanding Achievement Award in Mathematics and was on the Honor Roll and Principal’s Honor List all four years at Amador Valley.
McGann comes from a perennial powerhouse program in San Clemente, where she helped her team to an undefeated regular season and a South Coast Conference title while earning second team all-league honors as a senior.
A titan on the defensive end, McGann led the Tritons in steals while tossing in seven points and rounding up five rebounds per game.
McGann graduated at the top of her class and was named Valedictorian.
Brewer helped the Oregon City Pioneers to a 26-2 overall record and a third-place finish in the Oregon State 6A tournament. Oregon City, an annual national power, was ranked in the Top 25 much of the season.
During her career, Brewer was part of three league championship teams (2011, 2012 and 2013) and was named league honorable mention in her senior campaign.
Like her other two classmates, Brewer was stellar in the classroom, achieving membership to the National Honor Society and the Oregon City High School honor roll all four years.
“We needed to get some perimeter players with this recruiting class,” Ferenz said. “We see Gabby as a face-up forward and both Chelsi and Alysse are guards... tall, athletic guards, so that’s going to help us right away. And they’re all great fits for the college, so we’re excited.”
Ketner, McGann and Brewer join a veteran team that not only brought the Whitman program its first NCAA Tournament bid, but also knocked off No. 13-ranked Lewis & Clark on its home floor, favored Emory University in Williamstown, Mass., and nearly taking down perennial juggernaut Williams College in the national quarterfinals on Williams’ home court.