Hallee Hoeppner named 2019 WIAC Player of the Year

    Hoeppner is the eighth Blugold in the women’s basketball program to be named Player of the Year

    More stories from Kyle Sipprell


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    Hallee Hoeppner, a third-year athlete at UW-Eau Claire, was named WIAC Player of the Year.

    Hallee Hoeppner, an athlete on the UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team, has been named the 2019 WIAC Player of the Year in women’s basketball.

    The third-year athlete from Winona, Minnesota lead in scoring in the conference, averaging 18.3 points per game. Hoeppner also finished third in rebounds with 7.8 per game and second in minutes played.

    Aside from Hoeppner’s achievement, the women’s team didn’t have the success they were hoping for this season. Their team was ravaged by multiple season-ending injuries, resulting in a 13-12 record for the team.

    “It’s kind of bittersweet because we didn’t have the end of our season that we wanted, but it’s still a honor that the coaches and players recognized me,” Hoeppner said. “This season was full of obstacles. We faced a lot of injuries and tried to work around those. It was hard seeing a lot of key players getting hurt.”

    Because of the team experiencing so many injuries, Hoeppner did her best to keep the team alive by filling in other positions she doesn’t usually play. Head coach Tonja Englund said the most impressive thing is that she won Player of the Year after switching from guard to post.

    “She had to change positions due to so many injures. What’s amazing is that she won the award after changing positions,” Englund said. “She did a great job for us adjusting.”

    Switching from guard to post is no small feat, according to Englund. Hoeppner would come to practice every day working even harder than she usually does to adjust and add to her already impressive game. Her work ethic is hard to match, Englund said. Off the court she works hard at keeping up with her academics while being an honor roll student. On the court is no different.

    “(Hoeppner) came back to practice and worked harder every day,” Englund said. “Especially having to learn a new position, she really worked even harder to adjust. She works hard on improving her weaknesses and growing her game. She doubled all of her stats over the course of the season.”

    Throughout the season, Hoeppner recorder 6 double-doubles, which is when two of her stats — usually points and assists or rebounds — reach double digits. She also recorded two games in which she scored over 30 points and was named WIAC Player of the Week three times.

    She is the fifth Blugold to earn player of the year under Englund and the eighth overall in the program.

    “She’s an honor student and a tremendous human off the floor,” Englund said. “She’s really a triple threat. A great player, great human being and great student. She’s a great example that hard work pays off.”

    Hoeppner said one of her fondest memories of this season was their exciting comeback win vs. Wartburg back in December.

    “When we won at Wartburg, we just had a good game all around,” she said. “It was nice to have it all together for us, really fun and solid win.”

    Hoeppner said she is looking past her team’s season and is excited to start next year as a senior with a healthy and capable team.

    Englund echoed Hoeppner’s remarks.

    “If we stay healthy, there’s no question in my mind that we have a championship team next year,” Englund said. “We have a very versatile team.”

    Hoeppner is grateful for her successful personal year but said she couldn’t be the player she is today without her teammates and coaches.

    Sipprell can be reached at [email protected].