Welle named to AP All-American team

Jeremy Gustafson

The ISU women’s basketball team lost their first ever All-American when Stacy Frese graduated last season.

Out with the old, in with the new.

ISU junior center Angie Welle was voted as a third-team All-American by The Associated Press, becoming the second woman to earn that honor in ISU history.

“It’s a big honor,” Welle said. “It gives a lot of credit to our team. I mean, if you had one star on your team it would be easy to shut down, but it’s a lot of credit to how well our team is doing.”

Welle has averaged a double-double this season, scoring 18.3 points per game and grabbing 10.1 rebounds.

She realizes that she has a great ability to score, but also knows her teammates can knock down the open shot. Her ability to draw a double or triple team down low opens up Iowa State’s offense.

“If teams are gonna play me one-on-one, I think you have to take advantage of that,” Welle said. “But with the way our guards can shoot, teams can’t really double-team in the post.”

Welle has also been a good defender and kept herself out of foul trouble in most games, something that head coach Bill Fennelly notices as an overlooked talent.

“I think overall she doesn’t get any credit for her defense,” Fennelly said, “and I think she should because she’s done a solid job, and she’s the only tall kid we have [in the lineup] at one time.”

Welle’s ability to score inside can also open up the perimeter for the Cyclone sharpshooters Megan Taylor, Tracy Gahan, Erica Haugen and Lindsey Wilson.

“Just her presence opens up so many things for our team,” Haugen said. “If we throw the ball in there then obviously [the other team has] to double team her, and if they don’t, then she will just score at will.”

Helping Welle down low is a variety of what Haugen calls “funky spin moves.”

“[They are] really quick,” Haugen said.

Sophomore point guard Wilson has also benefited from Welle’s All-American play. Wilson has a world of confidence in tossing the ball down low.

“I’m thinking that’s two points,” Wilson said of dishing the ball to Welle in the post. “If she is wide open, I just kind of lay it up there, and I know she is gonna finish.”

The All-American first team consists of Ruth Riley from Notre Dame, Jackie Stiles from Southwest Missouri State, Katie Douglas from Purdue, Kelly Miller from Georgia and Stacey Dales from Big 12 regular season champion Oklahoma.

The second team is made up of Svetlana Abrosimova from Connecticut, Mississippi State’s LaToya Thomas, Tamika Catchings from Tennessee, Marie Ferdinand from Louisiana State and Vanderbilt’s Chantelle Anderson.

Joining Welle on the third team is Alabama-Birmingham’s Deanna Jackson, Sue Bird from Connecticut, Georgia Schweitzer from Duke and Notre Dame’s Niele Ivey.

“I think when you are recognized as one of the top 15 players in the country, it not only speaks to your talent, but to your work habits,” Fennelly said. “I think it also says you’re on a very good team.”

Fennelly also explained that Welle has made vast improvement from last year, when she was given honorable mention to the All-America team.

“If she makes this much improvement [as she did from last season to this season] she’ll be as complete as she can be,” Fennelly said.