Transylvania Extended Streak to 64 over UW-W, But Didn’t Win Title; Warhawk Women Honored

By Lynn Binnie
Whitewater Banner volunteer staff

In the Elite 8 of the NCAA women’s DIII basketball tournament on March 9, defending champions Transylvania University (KY) extended their winning streak to 64 games with a score of 62-48. The Warhawks entered halftime ahead by one point but seemed to run out of steam in the second half.

Transylvania met its match in the semifinals the following weekend, however, in a battle of the unbeatens. New York University extended their own streak to 30-straight with a 57-42 victory.

On March 16, NYU clinched the DIII title in Columbus, Ohio with a 51-41 win over Smith College (MA). NYU’s last title was in 1997.

Warhawk Women Earn Recognitions

According to press releases from UW-Whitewater: 

Grundahl, Carollo Earn All-America Honors

Aleah Grundahl and Kacie Carollo have earned All-America honors from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association for the second straight season. 

Grundahl was recognized with First Team honors for the second consecutive season. The senior forward is now a five-time All-American after claiming Honorable Mention honors from the WBCA in 2021-22 and adding a pair of honors from – Second Team in 2021-22 and Third Team in 2022-23. Only two other players in Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference history have earned five All-America honors. 

The sixth-highest scorer in Division III this season, Grundahl registered 613 points, a UWW record for points in a season. She ranks fifth in the nation in field goals (236) and seventeenth in points per game (20.4). Her average scoring output in 2023-24 also ties a program record. This season, Grundahl broke both the UWW and WIAC’s all-time scoring records. She also holds the UWW record for points in a game, 39, which was also accomplished this season. A finalist for the Jostens Trophy – awarded to the top player in Division III – Grundahl was named the WIAC Player of the Year for the third consecutive season and also garnered the league’s Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor. 

Carollo is now a three-time All-American after securing Honorable Mention honors from the WBCA and Fourth Team recognition from a year ago. The junior guard ranks among the top 30 in Division III in assists averaging 4.5 per contest with a total of 122 on the season. Her 7.1 defensive rebounds per game is among the top 60 nationally. Carollo is one of just 27 players on more than 400 Division III squads and the only player in the WIAC to have recorded a triple double this season. 

The pair led the league in numerous statistical categories this season including assists, field goals, free throws, total points, scoring per game, defensive rebounds and steals. 

The Warhawks made a run to the Elite 8, finishing the season with a 25-5 record. 

Aleah Grundahl Named Finalist for Jostens Trophy (DIII Player of the Year)

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior forward Aleah Grundahl has been selected as a finalist for the 2024 Jostens Trophy. Grundahl is one of ten finalists for the award that will honor the top women’s basketball player in Division III.

The Jostens Trophy honors are national awards created by the Rotary Club of Salem (Va.) and sponsored by Jostens, Inc., to recognize the most outstanding men’s and women’s Division III basketball players of the year. The awards focus on three major criteria: basketball ability, academic prowess and service to one’s surrounding communities. The Jostens Trophy models the Rotary International motto of “Service Above Self” by recognizing those who truly fit the ideal of a well-rounded Division III student-athlete. The 2024 season marks the 26th edition of the Jostens Trophy honors. The winner will be announced on March 18. 

Grundahl is a paragon of the Division III philosophy. The senior has amassed a number of individual accolades that are unsurpassed in Warhawk basketball history while leading UW-Whitewater to team success on the hardwood. In the classroom, she works just as hard earning academic accolades throughout her career that will culminate with a degree in Elementary Education with a licensure in Adaptive Education. Grundahl was the recipient of the highest Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference honors, both athletically and academically, this season all while student teaching in the fall and substitute teaching this semester. 

This season, Grundahl was named the WIAC Player of the Year for the third consecutive time, becoming the first player in conference history to earn the honor three times. She also garnered WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete of the Year honors which considers academic achievement and community service in addition to athletic accomplishments. 

Grundahl continues to write her name in both UWW and WIAC history. In addition to becoming the league’s all-time leading scorer this season, Grundahl holds every scoring record for UWW including career points, points in a season and points in a single game — all marks she set during the 2023-24 campaign. She is a four-time All-American, two-time All-Region (Player of the Year in 2023) and five-time All-WIAC honoree. 

Despite the numerous individual accolades, UW-Whitewater’s team success has always been the driving factor for Grundahl. The two-time Warhawk captain has led the Warhawks to four NCAA Division III Tournament appearances including a run to the national title game in 2021-22, three WIAC regular season titles and a league tournament championship. 

Off the court, Grundahl is active in the community as a four-year member of the UW-Whitewater Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. She has also volunteered with Fairhaven Senior Services throughout her career. 

Just two players representing the WIAC have been awarded the Jostens Trophy since its inception in 1998 — Kay Mikolajczak (UW-Oshkosh) in 2004 and Julia Hirssig (UW-Stout) in 2010. The winners are chosen by a national selection committee consisting of college coaches, former athletes, college administrators and selected members of the media. 

Aleah Grundahl Earns WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete Award

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Aleah Grundahl has been named the recipient of the 2024 Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) Judy Kruckman Women’s Basketball Scholar-Athlete Award.

A senior from DeForest, Wis. (DeForest), Grundahl sustains a 3.506 grade point average and is majoring in elementary education with a minor in adaptive education. She is a three-time member of the WIAC Scholastic Honor Roll and has been recognized on UW-Whitewater’s Dean’s List and Honor Roll numerous semesters. She is also a recipient of UW-Whitewater’s Chancellor’s Scholar honor.
Grundahl secured WIAC Player of the Year distinction this season for the third consecutive year to become the first individual in conference history to accomplish the feat. She is a four-time All-WIAC first team selection and received Newcomer of the Year distinction in 2020. A two-time (2022-Second, 2023-Third) and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) All-American (2022-Honorable Mention, 2023-First), she has helped the Warhawks earn NCAA tournament bids four times, including a national championship appearance in 2022 followed by a Sweet 16 showing in 2023. Grundahl was chosen the Region 9 Player of the Year in 2023, as well as a participant in the WBCA All-Star Game and the UW-Whitewater Athlete of the Year. In 2022-23, her uniform was hanging in the Ring of Honor at the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. Grundahl set the program’s single-game scoring record with 39 points against UW-La Crosse on Feb. 10, 2024, and owns the WIAC all-time scoring mark with 1,864 points.
Grundahl has been a member of UW-Whitewater Student-Athlete Advisory Committee for four years and has volunteered at Fairhaven Senior Services. She has served as an administrative assistant for UW-Whitewater Recreation Sports, as well as a student teacher and substitute teacher.
The WIAC Scholar-Athlete Award is named after Judy Kruckman who served as Assistant Commissioner for the WIAC from 1996-98. Prior to this appointment, she was Commissioner of the Wisconsin Women’s Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WWIAC) from October 1984 – September 1996. Kruckman was the women’s athletics director at UW-Eau Claire from 1974-84, and one of the original representatives to the WWIAC when it formed in 1971. She was inducted into the WIAC Hall of Fame in 2012.

In order to be nominated for the scholar-athlete award, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.50 grade point average. In addition, she must be in her last year of competition, or on schedule to graduate this academic year, and have competed for a minimum of two years. The award is based on academic achievements, athletics accomplishments and involvement in other campus activities, organizations and community service projects.

Aleah Grundahl Named WIAC Player of the Year for Third Time

University of Wisconsin-Whitewater senior forward Aleah Grundahl (DeForest, Wis./DeForest) has been named the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year for the third consecutive season to headline a contingent of three Warhawks named All-WIAC this season. Junior guard Kacie Carollo (Whitewater, Wis./Whitewater) added First Team and All-Defensive Team honors while junior forward Katie Hildebrandt (McFarland, Wis./McFarland) received honorable mention recognition. 

Grundahl is the first women’s basketball player in conference history to be named the league’s top player three times. The feat has been accomplished just one other time in WIAC basketball history with Mike Ratliff (UWEC) earning the honor on the men’s side from 1969-72. This season, Grundahl has paced the Warhawks breaking numerous records along the way. She became the UWW all-time leading scorer in the second game of the season. On February 14, she became the all-time leading scorer in the WIAC, surpassing a mark that had stood since 1995. Her 39 points against UW-La Crosse broke the UW-Whitewater single game scoring record and is the most by a player in the league this season. Grundahl leads the WIAC in scoring this season averaging 20.2 points per game while adding 2.1 steals per outing, ranked second in the league. She adds top 12 marks in total points (525), rebounds per game (6.2), field goal percentage (.520), free throw percentage (.781) and assists per game (1.9). 

Carollo is now a three-time All-WIAC honoree and two-time All-Defensive Team selection with the pair of honors in 2024. She ranks second in the WIAC in rebounding, averaging 8.1 per game. Carollo adds 4.1 assists and 1.9 steals per outing ranked third and fourth in the league respectively. Also, one of the conference’s top scorers, Carollo’s 14.4 points per game is a top-10 mark in the league. The junior hauled in the second-most rebounds by a player in the league this season with 16 at UW-Oshkosh and tops the list for steals in a single game with six against UW-Stout. 

Hildebrandt received honorable mention recognition in her first season as a Warhawk. The junior is one of the league’s top three-point shooters, hitting over 35-percent of her shots from long range. Her 1.4 blocks per game is ranked third in the WIAC this season. Hildebrandt adds top 20 marks in points per game (9.2), rebounds per game (4.7) and field goal percentage (.417). 

Grundahl was also named the WIAC Judy Kruckman Scholar-Athlete of the Year this season. She is the fourth Warhawk to earn the honor and second under Head Coach Keri Carollo. A full release on the scholar-athlete award will be posted this week. 

Kacie Carollo named all-region

Kacie Carollo, a Integrated Science and Business major from Whitewater, WI, and member of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater women’s basketball team, has been selected to the All-Region Teams announced by

Aleah Grundahl (DeForest, Wis./DeForest) and Kacie Carollo (Whitewater, Wis./Whitewater) each garnered first team accolades. Grundahl was named the Region 9 Player of the Year for the second straight season.

The Warhawks’ dynamic duo led UWW to the Elite 8 this season and have combined for five All-Region honors in the last three seasons.

Now a three-time First Team All-Region honoree, Grundahl is also the first player in conference history to earn Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Player of the Year honors in her career. The senior forward led the league in scoring averaging 20.4 points per game this season – a mark that ties the UWW record and 13th in WIAC history. Her 613 points in 2023-24 is the most in UWW history and fifth-most in a season in league history. She registered top 10 marks in the conference in rebounding (6.2 per game), field goal percentage (52.9), free throw percentage (76.2), blocked shots (30), steals (64) and minutes played per contest (30.7).

Carollo garnered First Team recognition for the second consecutive season. Also a First Team All-WIAC selection and All-Defensive Team pick, Carollo was consistent on both ends of the floor. The junior guard ranked sixth in the league in scoring averaging 14.7 points per game while hauling in 8.1 rebounds per outing, ranked third. She led the WIAC in assists with 122 on the season and added top 10 marks in free throw percentage (78.9), 3-point percentage (33.8), steals (53) and minutes played per game (31.6). Carollo’s 122 assists ranks seventh in program history while her rebound total, 219, is a top 20 mark.

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