Bluder Inks Four Recruits

Nov. 14, 2003

University of Iowa Women’s Basketball Coach Lisa Bluder announced today that she has received National Letters of Intent from Abby Emmert, Krista Vande Venter, Stacy Schlapkohl and Jene? Graham to attend the University of Iowa.

Vande Venter, a native of Osseo, MN, is a 6-2 power forward who led her conference in scoring and rebounding last year. Vande Venter is a three-time all-conference selection and has been a starter since her freshman season. Vande Venter is a two-time Osseo High School team captain. As a junior, she was named to the Pre-season Star Tribune Top 20 and Minnesota Basketball News Top 10. She was also an Associated Press all-state honorable mention, second team all-metro and Minnesota Girls Basketball Coaches all-state first team pick. Vande Venter scored her 1,000th career point last year. She is a two-time Sun Post all-metro and End of the Oregon Trail all-Tournament team selection. She was also named to the Varsity Online all-Freshman Team. Vande Venter’s AAU team won the Minnesota state championship five of six years and qualified for the AAU national tournament six times.

Vande Venter was a four-year letterwinner and two-time all-conference selection in volleyball. She served as team captain her senior year and set the school blocking record.

She has maintained a perfect 4.0 GPA since seventh grade, was named her high school’s 2002-03 Chemistry Student of the Year and is a member of the National Honor Society.

“Krista is someone that can play either post position,” commented Bluder. “She is very versatile, runs the floor well, and is a great rebounder and shot blocker. She reminds me of a Jennie Lillis type player.”

Schlapkohl, a native of Durant, IA, is a 6-3 forward/center that holds the Durant High School record for career rebounds, rebounds per game, field goal percentage and points in a single season and tied the school record for points in a game. She is a two-time captain and an all-state, all-conference and all-district selection.

A multi-sport athlete, Schlapkohl also lettered in volleyball, track and softball. She earned all-state, all-conference, all-district accolades during her four-year volleyball career. Schlapkohl holds the school record for kills and digs per game. She was also an all-state, all-conference and all-district choice playing first base on her high school’s softball team.

Schlapkohl ranks fifth academically in her graduating class, is a member of the National Honor Society and is a four-year member of the Student Council.

Schlapkohl played in the Game Time League last summer.

“Stacy has great talent,” commented Bluder. “She’s an inside player that is strong around the basket, but can run the floor well. Stacy is a tremendous multi-sport athlete who has great footwork.”

Graham, a 5-10 guard from Bolingbrook, IL, has started on the varsity squad since her freshman year. Graham averaged 10.0 ppg, 9.0 rpg and 3.0 spg her freshman year and 13.5 ppg, 8.5 rpg and 4.5 spg her sophomore season. Graham sat out her junior year after suffering a torn ACL at a summer camp in 2002.

She was named all-Conference SICA North, second team all-area and all-state honorable mention by the Champaign News-Gazette her sophomore year. Graham was also named to the Plainfield all-tournament team. She was named to the Top 10 all-Area Freshman Team and was all-conference honorable mention her freshman season.

Graham also lettered in volleyball, where she was the 2000 Gatorade Freshman Player of the Year. She is a two-time all-conference honorable mention.

Graham is the fourth recruit Coach Bluder has signed from the Chicago area — sophomores Lindsay Richards (Barrington), Johanna Solverson (Lake Zurich) and Morgan Kasperek (Hinsdale).

“Although Jene? sat out last year with an ACL injury, we saw something special in her during her sophomore season,” said Bluder. “We have full confidence that Jene? will come back from her surgery with a great senior season. Jene? is a strong ball handler and can play either wing position for us.”

Emmert, a 5-9 point guard from Winterset, IA, is a three-time all-conference selection and is the Winterset High School career leader in scoring and assists. Emmert was a first team Iowa Girl’s Coaches Association (IGCA) all-state, second team Iowa Newspaper Association (INA) all-state and a third team Des Moines Register all-state selection her junior year when she averaged 19.2 ppg and 5.0 apg. As a sophomore, Emmert was a second team IGCA all-state and a second team INA all-state choice. She has been a starter since her freshman season.

Emmert also lettered in softball and track. She was her high school’s shortstop as the team placed fifth at the Iowa State Softball Tournament her junior year. Emmert’s 4×800 relay team qualified for state her sophomore season. She also excelled in the classroom, and was an honor roll student every term.

“Abby is a big, strong point guard,” said Bluder. “She comes from a coaching family, is smart and knows the game. Abby is a great passer and is a scoring point guard.”