Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Founded 1901

Royal Purple

Basketball building towards future

Eli Bartels
Fifth year senior forward Aleah Grundahl etched her name into Whitewater women’s basketball history by claiming all major scoring records in her time as a Warhawk and winning WIAC Player of the Year in three consecutive seasons. Grundahl compiled a 107-24 career record in her time with the program.

UW-Whitewater women’s basketball team’s season ended after a crushing loss to Transylvania University (Kentucky) in the quarterfinals round of the NCAA tournament but remains hopeful for what is to come. 

Stakes were high for both teams heading into the matchup – the Warhawks avenged their 2022 loss in the national championship to Hope College by defeating the Flying Dutch 72-61 the night before, whereas Transylvania looked to defend their title of reigning national champions by extending their win streak to 64 in a row on the road against a rowdy Kachel Gymnasium amongst the Whitewater faithful. 

Ultimately, a second half offensive explosion from the Pioneers proved too much for the Warhawks. 

“(I’m) super proud of our team,” head coach Keri Carollo said after their season ending loss. “(I) felt like we fought the whole game, never gave up. Felt like defensively we were hanging in there. Offensively, I feel like their zone (defense) really disrupted what we wanted to do…we just didn’t knock down shots when we needed them.” 

Fifth year forward Aleah Grundahl concluded an illustrious career at Whitewater and tallied 17 points, six rebounds, three blocks, and played all 40 minutes in her final game wearing purple and white.  

“We’re never gonna see another player like Aleah on the floor,” Carollo said. “She’s the best basketball player we’ve ever had in our program. I mean, I don’t know what else to say.”  

Grundahl, a five-time All-American, racked up an endless amount of accolades as a Warhawk. She leads the WIAC in all-time career points, named WIAC Player of the Year for three consecutive seasons, holds all major scoring records for Whitewater, won Player of the Year in 2023 and 2024, and had her No. 33 jersey hanging in the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame Ring of Honor last summer. 

“It’s something special – something you’re never gonna forget about,” Grundahl said after the loss to Transylvania. “At the end of the day, it’s not really about the results in the last five years but being able to play with your best friends every day, come in the gym and be around people who truly care about you…really just an honor to play here and play in front of a crowd that truly cares and knows a lot about you.”   

While Grundahl and fellow fifth-year senior Lunden Alexander played their final seconds with the program, Whitewater gets four of their five starters back for next year’s team, providing optimism to Warhawk fans for the 2024-25 season. 

Will-be senior guard Kacie Carollo poured in an impressive junior campaign averaging 14.7 points per game, 8.1 rebounds per game, 4.5 assists per game, and 2 steals per game on her way to being named to the All-WIAC Women’s Basketball Team and All-Defensive Team.  

Will-be senior guard Kacie Carollo looks to build off the momentum that propelled the Warhawks to a quarterfinal appearance in the NCAA tournament after a stellar junior season. (Eli Bartels)

“Just trying to be more focused this year more than ever,” Kacie Carollo said after the win against Millikin. “For me personally, it’s not been a year that I focus on myself – it’s totally been a year of team goals. I think it’s helped me be so successful because I’m less worried about what I’m doing, what mistakes I’m making.”  

The Whitewater-native notched the first ever triple-double in Warhawk program history against Millikin University (Illinois) Saturday, March 2, with 27 points, 13 rebounds and 10 assists to go along with 3 steals.  

Alongside Kacie Carollo is will-be senior forward Katie Hildebrandt who made her name known as a newcomer to the team after two years at DI program North Dakota State. Hildebrandt posted averages of 9.7 points per game, 4.6 rebounds per game and 1.3 blocks per game while being selected to the WIAC Women’s Basketball Honorable Mention Team. 

On top of Kacie Carollo and Hildebrandt, will-be senior guard Maggie Trautsch brings another added element of leadership to the Warhawks after averaging 8.1 points per game, 3.9 rebounds per game and 1.2 steals per game.  

Will-be sophomore Bri McCurdy displayed flashes of what is to come after starting in all 30 of Whitewater’s games this season with averages of 4.8 points per game, 1.9 rebounds per game and 1.1 steals per game. 

Whitewater finished the year at 25-5 overall (11-3 in the WIAC) highlighted by a 17-0 start to the season with Grundahl and Alexander going 107-24 (81.6 winning percentage) together in their playing careers for Whitewater.  


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About the Contributor
Gabe Sadoski
Gabe Sadoski, Assistant Women's Sports Editor

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