Ever since Mary Evans took over as Head Coach for Valparaiso Women’s Basketball, one of the main pillars of her philosophy has been to develop them into the best overall basketball player possible. This season, redshirt-junior Addison Stoller has embodied that philosophy perfectly.
Stoller is averaging 12 points per game, shooting just under 40 percent from the field and an efficient 44 percent from three point range, a clip that leads the team. This season, Stoller has also vastly improved her free throw shooting improving from 69 percent last year to 82 percent this season.
On the defensive side of the court, Valpo has improved significantly in the second year under coach Evans. After giving up an average of 73 points per game a season ago, Valpo has improved to just 65 points a game this season.
Valpo is currently leading the Missouri Valley Conference in steals. Stoller is currently third on the team with 37 steals and has done her part on the glass as well by securing 5.6 rebounds a game and being the only player on the team that has eclipsed 100+ rebounds on the year.
While not an official stat, Stoller can also be seen baiting an opponent into an offensive foul in almost every game.
Stoller started the year off strong by pouring in 21 points in Valpo’s first win of the season over North Dakota St. on November 15. She followed that up by scoring 23 points the next game in a close loss to North Dakota.
After a brief cold spell to end the month of November, Stoller bounced back with a solid 13 point, seven rebound performance in a 77-58 victory over former Horizon League foe Detroit Mercy on December 5.
Valpo kicked off the Conference slate against two formidable foes in Southern Illinois University and Missouri State, teams picked to finish 5th and to win the league respectively. Stoller continued her consistent impact by scoring 13 points in each of those two games despite tough matchups against Southern Illinois’s Nicole Martin and Missouri State’s Jasmine Franklin. Valpo was able to get their first win in conference the next weekend on the road vs. Indiana St. Stoller led the way with 16 points and five rebounds.
After dropping back-to-back home games against Illinois State and Bradley and falling to 2-4 in conference play Valpo faced a pivotal home game against Loyola on January 24.
Loyola came into the game undefeated in eight road contests and looked poised to make it a ninth but Valpo, was able to roar back from down nine points in the final 1:35 to win 66-64. Stoller was solid once again contributing 11 points, eight rebounds, and tying a career high in assists with four.
The 11 points for Stoller sparked a streak where she would score in double figures for the next five games before being held to nine on February 14 against Bradley.
Stoller bounced back just two days later against Illinois State with a career high 25 points and a season high 10 rebounds. This gave Stoller her first double-double of the season and just the second for the team as a total.
Stoller’s statistics in Conference play have given her a chance to be in the consideration for all-conference first team. She’s averaging nearly a point more in conference play at 12.9 points per game while shooting a blistering 48 percent from the three point line, good enough for third in the conference behind teammate Grace Hales for second.
Stoller’s also been to the free throw line 71 times in conference play; during that time Stoller knocked in 29 consecutive free throws over a span of eight games. Her rebounding has not tailed off either as she has double what the second closest teammate has at 77 rebounds in conference play.
It’s no secret that Evans wants to play a style that allows everyone to have an equal opportunity at success. After battling injuries most of her first two seasons, Stoller has no doubt came into her own and proven to be one of the many talented players in the Missouri Valley Conference.
The views expressed in this article are those of the writer and not necessarily of The Torch.