Maple Leaf Women’s Basketball Announces Seven Incoming Players
Four guards, two forwards, and a center comprise new Leafs
GOSHEN, Ind. — Goshen College women’s basketball coach Stephanie Miller announced seven additions to her 2017-18 roster on Tuesday.
A year removed from a 27-9 season and a run to the semifinals of the 2016 NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball Tournament, the Maple Leafs graduated six seniors at the end of the 2016-17 season, leaving three players in the program that saw action at the national tournament as freshmen or sophomores.
The incoming septuplet comprises four guards, two players that will play both as guards and forwards, and a center. The group includes three native Hoosiers, three Michigan products and an Ohioan, all of whom are freshmen. Two of the seven players will join other alumnae of their high school programs at GC, while a third will join a member of the men’s team to make two Bears in Maple Leaf purple and white.
Profiles of all seven incoming players are below.
Stilesville, Indiana / Cascade HS
Collier, a three-time all-conference pick in both basketball and softball, becomes the second Cascade product in the Goshen program, joining forward and rising junior Sydney Stein. The daughter of Blake and Tammy Collier and sister of Blake, the National Honor Society member and future elementary education major was also a five-time all-county pick between the two sports.
“One of the biggest reasons I decided to become an athlete at Goshen College was because all the coaches and players were nice and welcoming and it seemed like I would fit in really well,” Collier said. “I’m excited that I get to continue playing the sport I love and that everyone involved in the program is committed to getting better but still like making things fun.”
“Makayla, no doubt, is going to surprise people at the next level due to her effort, heart and ferocious competitiveness,” said Miller. “She may be one of the kindest and most character-filled young people you will meet off the court, but she will flip the switch and get very tenacious in competition. She is an excellent defender, a versatile guard, and will be an excellent fit as a Goshen student athlete. I look for Makayla to be a strong representative of what I want a Maple Leaf player to look like.”
If Collier were to enter a talent show, she would roller blade, because she thinks it’s fun and not a lot of people can do it.
Wyoming, Michigan / Wyoming HS
Copeland comes to Goshen after winning three straight team MVP awards for the Wolves and claiming back-to-back conference and district championships. In high school, she was also named her team’s most improved player and participated in volleyball. The daughter of Rachel McComb and Larry Copeland, Kiarah is the sister of Kenzie Mulder, Ja’Kaiya McComb, Ka’Myah McComb, Ja’Kobi McComb, Mykaela McComb, Peyton Copeland and Zaria Copeland. She plans to major in physical education with minors in health and sports management.
“The biggest reasons I chose to be a student-athlete at Goshen College were the very welcoming community and great environment and that the basketball coach is great,” Copeland said. “I am excited to get the chance to play college basketball with experienced players that can teach me new things.”
“Kiarah is a very high IQ player who just has a feel for the game,” Miller raved. “She is a coach’s daughter for sure and thinks the game like a true floor leader. We look forward to seeing her mental and physical strength play a big role in the continued growth of our program in the next several years.”
If Copeland were to enter a talent show, she would sing, possibly about how she hates bananas.
Olivet, Michigan / Olivet HS
A two-time all-conference selection at Olivet High School, Kyre helped the Eagles to a pair of conference championships. She was all-state in the 100-meter hurdles and 400-meter relay in track, making her the second Olivet graduate to reach GC in those two sports: 2017 GC graduate Kelsey Fraley will begin her first year as an assistant on Miller’s staff this fall. A four-year honor roll student who intends to major in history with a pre-law concentration, Kyre is the daughter of Shannon and Jeff; her siblings are Donny and Cam.
“What excited me the most about playing for Goshen is the fact that I will be playing for a team that holds everyone accountable for their actions and will push me to become a better person and basketball player,” Kyre said. “The team has overcome so many obstacles, which has me very excited to see what I as a basketball player can do, and what obstacles I can overcome. I chose Goshen because of basketball and track, but also because the great education will allow me to pursue law as a career.”
“Logan is the type of ‘program player’ that sets an example of what you want from your student-athletes,” Miller elaborated. “She is an excellent basketball player as well as a sprinter and hurdler, but what is most important about Logan’s piece to our puzzle is that she will be the type of glue person that will connect our locker room both on and off the court.”
If Kyre were to enter a talent show, she would definitely perform a scene from Grease.
Indianapolis, Indiana / Lawrence Central HS
Murff comes to GC after receiving academic recognition at Lawrence Central High School in northeast Indianapolis. She was a recipient of the presidential four-year academic award and a finalist for the 2017 Tamika Catchings “Catch the Stars” Foundation Scholarship. The future exercise science major who also played volleyball in high school is the daughter of Mark and Kimara Murff and the big sister of Morgan. She will be one of two LCHS graduates on a GC basketball team this season, joining point guard Devin Heath-Granger, a three-year letterwinner for the men.
“I chose Goshen because of its small campus, and when I stepped foot on the campus I felt at home and comfortable,” Murff said. “It was a bonus that I have the opportunity to play basketball. I’m excited to play for a team that is all about the team and what’s best for the team because I know that it will get us to the places we want to go: winning the championship.”
“What a truly well rounded person we have acquired,” Miller beamed. “She is a player with great athleticism and exciting potential for her future as a student-athlete. We love her presence around the rim, her nose for the boards, and what an outstanding overall character she will bring to our team as well as the broader campus community.”
If Murff were to enter a talent show, she would dance, even though she admits she can’t really dance.
Sellersburg, Indiana / Providence HS
The lone signee who played just one sport in high school, Rauck was a pioneer at Providence in more ways than one: she was the first player in school history to score as many as 1,618 points and the team’s nickname is the Pioneers. She led the team to two sectional and regional championships, was the News and Tribune Player of the Year twice, was named all-area and earned several all-state recognitions. Rauck was a four-year all-A honor roll student, a Rotary Distinguished Scholar who achieved Academic Final Four status in mathematics, science, English, social studies and world languages. The daughter of Jerry and Stephanie Rauck and younger sister of Collin, she plans to study business and minor in Spanish.
“I first chose Goshen because of the people there: the coaches, players, and faculty at Goshen are very welcoming and passionate about what they do,” Rauck said. “I love the small class sizes as well as the overall feel on campus. Their academic and athletic programs are top-notch and I feel like it is the perfect fit for me. I’m very excited to compete with the talented players every day and to play for such passionate coaches. I’m hoping to help carry on the success of the Goshen program.”
“Claire is the type of foundation player that every coach wants and needs on their team to be successful,” Miller asserted. “She is a well-rounded full package. Not only is she an exceptionally skilled player and a talented shooter, but she also has some of the most important intangible qualities teams need, such as leadership, work ethic, character and an ability to make others around her better. She will no doubt find her way to success because she is a proven winner both on and off the floor.”
If Rauck were to enter a talent show, she would probably do tricks with her dog, although their repertoire would be very limited.
Oak Park, Michigan / Berkley HS
Another two-sport athlete, Roasa was the defensive MVP of her basketball team while also participating in track and field. She was a member of both the National Honor Society and National Technical Honor Society who was a four-year Scholar-Student Certificate winner. The daughter of Kelly and Norman Roasa plans to major in nursing.
“I chose to go to Goshen because it’s a small, intimate school with a great environment around me and it felt like home,” Roasa said. “They also have a great nursing program with one-on-one learning. The basketball team was a good fit for me because I was comfortable on the court and loved being around the team and coaching staff. I’m excited to travel, adapt to the team culture and make a special bond with my teammates.”
“Taylor is an unbelievable athlete and an elite level defender,” Miller explained. “She will make life very difficult for opponents trying to score, and given time to develop her game at the collegiate level, will prove to have a very high ceiling for growth. I expect that she will be a true diamond in the rough and look forward to seeing her develop.”
If Roasa were to enter a talent show, she would also sing.
Yellow Springs, Ohio / Kettering Fairmont HS
A four-year letterwinner in basketball who also participated in cross country and volleyball, Roe was named the Firebirds’ MVP and was a two-time scholar-athlete. The future biology major and environmental science minor is the daughter of Heidi and Steven Roe. She has three siblings: Jacob, Michaela and Jadyn.
“A big reason I chose Goshen is because I can succeed in my major thanks to the good professors and smaller class sizes,” Roe said. “Another factor that helped make my decision was getting to know other students that were attending. On the court, I’m most excited to get better and bring something to the team while seeing how good of a player I can be.”
“Mariah will be a force to be reckoned with in the Crossroads League, because she is a very cerebral player with tremendous composure to go along with floor leadership skills,” Miller noted. “She is a natural fit for our style because she is an elite defender, a sneaky rebounder, and pushes the ball in transition with crafty vision. She will be a great asset to the entire Goshen College campus community because she is a very balanced student athlete with a strong faith background. We are excited to watch her four-year journey.”
If Roe were to enter a talent show, she would become the third member of the class to sing, even though she doesn’t enjoy singing in front of people.
The Maple Leafs will begin their 53rd season of varsity intercollegiate women’s basketball in October, continuing a tradition of athletic opportunities for women that predate federal Title IX legislation by most of a decade. The team’s schedule will be announced later this month.
Goshen College is an affordable, nationally-ranked Christian liberal arts college in Northern Indiana known for leadership in intercultural and international education, sustainability and social justice.
The Maple Leafs compete in 13 varsity sports in the NAIA’s highly competitive Crossroads League. For more information on GC athletics, visit www.GoLeafs.net and follow the Maple Leafs on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at @GCMapleLeafs.