Senior rises as Athlete of the Week

Allison Mueller

Winona State senior Jenny Tuttle dribbles down the court against Minnesota State University, Mankato during Saturday’s home game. Tuttle was named Athlete of the Week in the beginning of February. (Photo by Nikko Aries)
Winona State senior Jenny Tuttle dribbles down the court against Minnesota State University, Mankato during Saturday’s home game. Tuttle was named Athlete of the Week in the beginning of February. (Photo by Nikko Aries)

Colin Kohrs / Winonan

She spent three years behind two extraordinary point guards and battled a brief knee injury, and now that it is her time to shine, she is still all about the team effort.

Senior Jenny Tuttle, point guard for the No. 23-ranked Winona State University women’s basketball team, was named Athlete of the Week for the week of Feb. 1, and her talent as a guard is not one that will always show on the scoreboard.

“There are a lot of people that are shot-makers, but she’s a play-maker and that makes her special,” head coach Scott Ballard said.

And that is exactly what she loves to do.

“I just love when we have a play and it goes pass, pass, pass and someone scores,” Tuttle said. “I love dishing out really cool assists.”

But she was not always the floor general.

During her first year, Tuttle, a cardiac rehabilitation major with a nutrition minor, tore her ACL in her ninth game.

“[She] missed the rest of that year,” Ballard said. “That slowed her down her sophomore year.”

For Tuttle, her knee injury is an event of the past.

She said, “I try to forget that happened.”

But she said while she was able to rehabilitate from the injury, it did have a lasting mental effect.

“It taught me a lot about myself; it was kind of a humbling experience,” Tuttle said. “You really learn how to work hard and appreciate what you have and not take every day playing on the court for granted.”

But even after recovery, she still had to wait until she could resume her role.

“Her junior year she played behind two extraordinary guards, Connor Nagle and Alexis Foley and waited her turn,” Ballard said.

And this year as a senior, Tuttle has become a true team player.

“It’s been very refreshing to watch how much she’s developed and become an impact player for us,” Ballard said.

This weekend Tuttle shot 30 points in a doubleheader against Concordia University, St. Paul Golden Bears and the Minnesota State University, Mankato Mavericks. The Warriors first beat the Golden Bears on Friday 69-59, reaching 20 season wins, but lost 71-78 to the Mavericks the following day.

“Jenny Tuttle handled the pressure very well and played a lot of minutes,” Ballard said after the game against Mankato in which Tuttle played for 37 minutes, dishing out seven assists and scoring 14 points.

“She’s a student of the game. She makes everyone around her better. She’s very skilled,” Ballard continued.

Currently the Warriors have their sights set high, with their goal to “win conference and make it to the national tournament again,” according to Tuttle. “and hopefully see a championship.”

Teamwork is something Tuttle believes the team needs to amp up and be successful as they turn out the rest of the season.

“[We need to] just come together,” Tuttle said. “Every big game that we’ve won, we’ve played as a team. And we can’t play as individuals. We just need to come together, be strong, and we know how to play our game.”

By Colin Kohrs