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Senior captain Joelle Vuilleumier was a force in the low post while playing both forward and center for the Morgan girls’ basketball team this year. Joelle averaged six rebounds and two steals per game to help the Huskies notch 16 victories, including two in the postseason. (Photo courtesy of Joelle Vuilleumier )
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Joelle Vuilleumier has always liked the physicality of basketball, as well as the frenetic pace on the floor. During the past four years, Joelle showcased her love of the game by bringing a relentless intensity to the Morgan girls’ basketball squad.
Joelle recently completed her career as a senior captain for Morgan. After primarily playing guard early on, she moved into the paint and became an interior presence for the Huskies. This season, Joelle averaged six rebounds, two steals, and one block per game, while helping Morgan have an outstanding season. The Huskies finished with an overall record of 16-8, including one victory apiece in both the Shoreline Conference Tournament and the Class M State Tournament.
“I love the toughness of the sport, and how you have to be physical on offense and defense. It’s a fast-paced game, and there’s never a dull moment,” says Joelle, who also shot 77 percent from the free-throw line. “I’m a perfectionist, so I try to break down every aspect of my game to improve my skills. I worked on my free-throw shots and watched my form with my wrist. I also worked on my post moves to be a better player there.”
While working on her game in the post, Joelle has benefited from a great support system that’s aided her growth as a basketball player. Joelle adds that her experience playing soccer at Morgan proves a huge help with sharpening her defensive skills on the court.
“I came into a talented group as a freshman, so I didn’t have much confidence, but I grew in confidence with the support of everyone around me. I’ve also become more hard-working as a post player,” says Joelle, who also plays lacrosse. “With basketball, I try to mix in soccer with paying attention to the footwork of players to help anticipate passes and make steals.”
Joelle prides herself on hustling in order to grab those rebounds off the glass. Joelle’s emphasis on the fundamentals has paid big dividends for both herself and the Huskies.
“It’s very rewarding for me to get the offensive rebound and put it back up for a basket,” says Joelle. “I love jumping up to get the board, and to just box out and rip it away from bigger players is rewarding to me.”
Head Coach Caitlin Woods has been impressed with how much Joelle has improved throughout the past few seasons. In addition to Joelle’s tenacity in the post, Woods notes that she’s also turned in some solid performances on offense.
“Joelle has really come on as an integral part of our starting five. In the past two years, she has been commended for her improvements, but now, she is a key component to the team’s success,” Woods says. “Joelle is undersized compared to her opponents in the post, but she outplays them, and is tremendous on the boards. Joelle has really been impressive in some big games and has been the leading scorer for us against tough teams. She has also proven herself as a savvy defender and anticipates extremely well.”
When looking at Morgan’s success this season, Joelle says there wasn’t a specific strategy that helped the team put 16 victories in the win column. Instead, Joelle feels that the everyday chemistry among the Huskies was what propelled them to their stellar campaign.
“We had a lot of returning players on the team this year, so we knew each other well,” says Joelle. “So, we were able to create strong bonds, and the connections between all of us got us where we went this year.”
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