FORT WAYNE, Ind. – Fort Wayne women’s basketball head coach Niecee Nelson has announced the signing of five student-athletes Hannah Albrecht (Crown Point, Indiana/Saint Joseph’s (Ind.)), Sofia Rajala (Helsinki, Finland/Makelanrinne Sports H.S.), Kierstyn Repp (Archbold, Ohio/Archbold H.S.), Sh’Toya Sanders (Fort Wayne, Indiana/Chicago State) and Diamond Williams (Indianapolis/Ben Davis H.S.) to compete for the Mastodons starting with the 2017-18 season.
Albrecht, a transfer from Saint Joseph’s College, will have three years of eligibility remaining with the ‘Dons. This past season with the Pumas, the 5-8 guard earned All-Great Lakes Valley Conference (GLVC) honors where she was one of only two freshmen to earn the recognition. Albrecht was also named to the GLVC All-Freshman Team. For the year, she led the team shooting 87.3 percent at the free throw line and was second on the team with 9.3 points per game. She ended the season shooting 42.2 percent from the floor and dished out 1.7 assists per game.
Prior to Saint Joseph’s, Albrecht played at Crown Point High School where she was a four-year letter winner, three-time team MVP, senior captain and three-time All Duneland Conference player. In her final season with the Bulldogs, Albrecht averaged 15 points per game and was named Duneland Conference Most Valuable Player. She was selected to the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association (IBCA)/Subway Senior Large School All-State team and earned 2016 First Team All-Area honors. Albrecht also excelled in the classroom where she was selected to the 2016 IBCA Academic All-State First Team and was a member of the National Honor Society.
Coach Nelson on Albrecht: “Hannah is capable of making an immediate contribution to our team on every level. Her leadership skills, positive attitude and character will make her a great teammate, player and representative of our University.”
Rajala, a 6-0 forward, played for the U16 and U18 Finnish National teams before being named to the Finnish National team in the fall. At the 2016 U18 European Championships, Rajala led her team in scoring at 14 points per game and was second in rebounding with 5.5 a game. This past season while playing with HBA of the Finnish Korisliiga, the top women’s league in Finland, she led her squad with 11.8 points, and 5.0 rebounds per game. She also led her team in shooting 51 percent from the field and 32 percent from beyond the arc.
The Finland native has also compiled a number of accomplishments in her short career. Winning the 2016 Finnish Junior Championship, 2016 Women’s Division 1 Championship, 2016 Nordic Championship and being named to the 2016 Nordic Championship All-Star team. Rajala will join the ‘Dons in August as she will be training and competing with the Finnish Women’s National team this summer.
Coach Nelson on Rajala: “Sofia has played and competed at a very high level. Her skill set will transfer immediately to give us depth at the post position.”
Repp, a 5-10 shooting guard, broke several league and school three-point shooting records en route to leading her team to the Northwest Ohio Athletic League (NWOAL) Championship. She holds the NWOAL record for most three-point field goals scored in a season and career. Repp set school records for most three-point field goals made in a game (9), season (87) and in a career (180). She led her team in scoring with 15.5 points a game to help the Blue Streaks win both Sectional and District Championships. Repp garnered several player of the year accolades including the All-NWOAL Player of the Year, the Crescent News Player of the Year, District 7 Player of the Year, and the All-Northwest District Division III Co-player of the Year. A two-time First Team All-NWOAL selection, she finished her career as an Associated Press Division III All-Ohio girls basketball team.
Coach Nelson on Repp: “Kierstyn is a pure shooter who will stretch defenses out to the perimeter. She brings confidence and a work ethic that is unparalleled.”
Sanders, a transfer from Chicago State, will have two years of eligibility remaining with the Mastodons. The 6-2 center was named the Western Athletic Conference Player of the Week on November 28th after she averaged a double-double with 27 points and 18 rebounds to go along with 5.5 blocked shots. Her 23 rebounds at Northern Illinois on Nov. 22nd were fifth most by a Division I player this past season and the rebound performance was accompanied by 38 points. In seven games for the Cougars last season, Sanders averaged 16 points, 9.9 rebounds and 4.1 blocks a game while finishing with a double-double four times. In her freshman season at CSU, she averaged 8.2 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.6 blocks.
The Fort Wayne native played high school basketball for Wayne where she averaged 14.3 points, 11.5 rebounds, 2.6 blocks and 1.9 steals per game in her senior season. In her final year, Sanders was named an IBCA/Subway Girls All-State Honorable Mention.
Coach Nelson on Sanders: “Sh’Toya will be a major contributor in the post. She knows what it takes to be successful at this level and we are excited to add local talent to our roster.”
Williams, a 6-2 forward, was a team captain at Ben Davis. She led the team with 6.3 rebounds while scoring 7.6 points per game. Williams was named to the Hoosier Magazine Top 60 Senior Girls list. She was selected to the Region Strong All-Star Team, as well as the American Family Insurance All-USA Indy Area Girls Basketball Super Team Honorable Mention list. Additionally, Williams participated in the Indiana vs. Illinois All-Star Spring Classic game.
Coach Nelson on Williams: “Diamond is a phenomenal athlete with a defensive mentality. She will bring heart, hustle and energy to every practice and game which will raise the level of our team.”
The quintet joins the 2017-18 Mastodon recruiting class that includes Indianapolis native Jaelencia Williams, who signed in November. Williams led her team this year in scoring with 15.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game guiding Southport to a Conference Championship. She was an All-Conference Indiana First-Team selection and was named to the IBCA Large School All-State Team.