PHILADELPHIA - A season after the University of Pennsylvania women's basketball program set a school record with the largest one-year turnaround in school history, head coach Mike McLaughlin looks to continue the positive momentum in his third season at the helm. McLaughlin announced the addition of six incoming freshmen in the Class of 2015 on Friday. Katy Allen, Renee Busch, Kara Bonenberger, Jackie Kates, Jessica Monsman, Kathleen Roche will all join the Quakers for the 2011-2012 season.
"This is a real competitive group," McLaughlin said of his second recruiting class. "They are all very well-coached, which can translate into kids who are able to compete early in their careers. And they all come from very successful high school programs so I think they bring in some of that winning tradition we are trying to establish here."
The Class of 2015 - consisting of three guards and three forwards - hails from five different states and two countries. Busch, a guard from Weybridge, Surrey, England, will have the longest trip to the West Philadelphia campus, while Bonenberger, from Northampton High School and Walnutport, Pa., has the shortest journey.
The newest Quakers will join a Penn squad that finished 11-17 overall in 2010-11 and 5-9 in Ivy play. Alyssa Baron was named Ivy League Rookie of the Year as she led the Ivies in scoring with 16.6 points per game, the first time a freshman has completed such a feat. The Red and Blue lose three seniors from the Class of 2011 - two of which were consistent starters.
A full individual bio as well as insight from Coach McLaughlin are available below for each of the members of the Class of 2015. An introductory video of each is also available with the temporary exception of Busch, who will be making the move to the United States in August.
Class of 2015 Individual Bios
KATY ALLEN - Forward, 6'1"
Meet Katy Allen
Waukesha South High School
Waukesha South: Four-year letterwinner ... Served as a team captain for three seasons ... Played on the 2010-11 regional championship team ... Two-time Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) honorable mention all-state ... Associated Press fourth-team all-state in 2011 and honorable mention all-state in 2010 ... 2011 County Player of the Year ... 2011 Conference Player of the Year ... Three-time first-team all-conference ... Two-time first-team all-county and second-team all-area ... 2009 honorable mention all-area and second-team all-county ... 2008 honorable mention all-conference ... Also a four-year letterwinner in tennis ... Won four conference championships at No. 1 singles with a combined record of 40-0 ... Her tennis team won the 2010 conference tournament title and the 2009 regular-season conference championship ... Four-time first-team all-state and four-time Conference Player of the Year ... 2007 and 2008 first-team all-area ... Two-time second-team all-area ... Lettered all four years in track & field and served as team captain as a senior ... Three-time conference champion in the triple jump ... 2010-11 state scholar athlete ... WBCA academic all-state ... Four-time scholar athlete award winner ... Valedictorian.
Personal: Daughter of Jane and Kevin Allen ... Mother ran track at UW-Whitewater ... Father and grandfather, Jim, each ran cross country and track at Marquette University ... Sister, Jenny, played tennis at UW-Whitewater ... Enrolled in Wharton.
Coach McLaughlin on Katy: "Katy is a very intelligent player with the chance to contribute in several different ways. She can play the perimeter and can serve as a forward in the right situation. She can step out and shoot the jump shot anywhere from the three-point line-and-in. And she is a tremendous student - a valedictorian - so she is really the whole package as a student-athlete."
RENEE BUSCH - Guard, 5'9"
Meet Renee Busch
Weybridge, Surrey, England
TASIS: Five-year letterwinner ... Three-year captain ... Scored 2,145 points over her career ... Three-time team MVP.
Sevenoaks Suns Club: Member of the 2010-11 U18 National League finalists and National Cup champions where she was named MVP of the National Cup Finals ... Member of the 2009-10 U18 National League finalists and National Cup finalists ... Selected to 2009-10 Division I Women's All-Star Game ... Member of the 2008-09 U16 National League champions and the National Cup champions ... Was named the 2009 National Cup Finals MVP and the 2009 National League Finals MVP ... Team won the 2007-08 Division 2 Women's Trophy Championship ... Member of the 2007-08 U18 National League championship team and the U16 National League semi-finalsts.
National Teams: Member of 2010 Great Britain U20 team that won the Division B European Championships in Macedonia ... Member of the U18 England team that competed in the Division B European Championships in Israel in 2009 and in Romania in 2010 ... Also a member of 2008 U16 England team that competed in the Women's European Division B Championships in Bulgaria.
Personal: Daughter of May Chien Busch and Len Busch ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach McLaughlin on Renee: "Renee is an extremely tough player that gives us a lot of flexibility. She can play several different positions. She has a lot of international experience and can shoot the three. I think she's fearless. I'm really excited to see her."
KARA BONENBERGER - Forward, 6'1"
Meet Kara Bonenberger
Northampton High School
Northampton: Four-year letterwinner ... Served as team captain as a senior ... Played for two district championship teams ... Her teams combined for an 89-24 record over her career ... Two-time third-team all-state ... Two-time first-team all-conference ... Two-time Morning Call first-team honoree ... Two-time WAEB-AM Radio all-area ... Two-time Express Times all-area ... Northampton Basketball Scholar Athlete ... 2007-08 Northampton Freshman Athlete of the Year ... Also lettered in soccer.
Personal: Daughter of Lisa and Mark Bonenberger ... Sister, Alyssa, plays basketball at Kutztown University ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach McLaughlin on Kara: "Kara is a strong rebounder, she can run the floor and she can step out and make those mid-range jump shots. I think Kara is going to have the opportunity to compete and play right away. We'll need her to consistently rebound the ball and I think she will be able to do that."
JACKIE KATES - Guard, 5'5"
Meet Jackie Kates
Saint John Vianney High School
Colts Neck, N.J.
Saint John Vianney: Four-year letterwinner ... Served as team captain as a senior ... Played for four state championship teams with a combined record of 113-15 ... Her team won the state Tournament of Champions in 2009, was a finalist in 2010 and a two-time semi-finalist (2008, 2011) ... 2011 McDonald's All-American nominee ... 2010-11 Hoop Group Co-Player of the Year ... Named first-team all-Shore, all-county and all-state as a senior ... Played for 2010 AAU Junior National Championship team ... Named second-team all-state as a junior ... 2010 Asbury Park Press First-Team All-Shore ... 2009 Asbury Park Press Second-Team All-Shore ... Lettered three times in tennis and was a two-time captain ... Also lettered in lacrosse ... Served as Class President for two years.
Personal: Daughter of Shari and Eric Kates ... Has two older brothers ... Brother, Alex, was a Merrill Scholar recipient and Valedictorian at Cornell University ... Brother, Mitchell, plays basketball at MIT, was the 2009-10 Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year and earned all-conference in 2010-11 ... Enrolled in Wharton.
Coach McLaughlin on Jackie: "Jackie, like most of this class, has won at every level. She was one of the top point guards in New Jersey and has a high basketball IQ. She is a natural floor leader and someone that can really bring a group together with her leadership ability. I think Jackie can do that right away, which is pretty rare for a freshman, but I do think she has that ability."
JESSICA MONSMAN - Forward, 6'1"
Meet Jessica Monsman
Hudson High School
Hudson: Four-year letterwinner ... Served as team captain in her junior and senior ... Holds school records for scoring in a season and career ... 2010-11 Third-Team All-Ohio and Summit County Player of the Year ... 2009-10 all-state special mention ... Two-time all-conference ... 2007-08 Northeast Ohio Conference honorable mention ... Also a four-year letterwinner in soccer ... Served as team captain of the 2010 district championship team ... Two-time team MVP ... Three-time first-team all-conference ... 2010 all-district seasons ... 2011 Hudson High School Female Athlete of the Year ... 2011 Academic All-Ohio ... Four-time Hudson Scholar Athlete Award winner.
Personal: Daughter of Peggy and Ken Monsman … Has one older sister, Erin, and twin younger sisters, Hannah and Megan ... Enrolled in School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Coach McLaughlin on Jessica: "Jessica is another one in this class that gives us versatility. She is a lefty with a good mid-range game. She's a great slasher and can get us a lot of put-back points. She cuts as well as anyone we've seen - she's always moving without the ball. She's been well coached - a very disciplined, highly motivated player."
KATHLEEN ROCHE - Guard, 5'11"
Meet Kathleen Roche
Fenwick High School
River Forest, Ill.
River Forest: Four-year letterwinner ... Served as team captain as a senior ... Her team won four regional championships, three sectional championships and three conference championships ... 2011 McDonald's All-American nominee ... 2011 third-team all-state ... Also named all-conference as a senior ... 2010 all-state honorable mention ... 2010-11 first-team academic all-conference ... Also lettered in track & field as a sophomore and in soccer as a freshman.
Personal: Daughter of Anne and Francis Roche, and has four older brothers ... Enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.
Coach McLaughlin on Kathleen: "Kathleen is long, she can shoot the three, she rebounds well, she handles well, she can push the ball on a break, she gives you a little bit of everything. I feel, coming from a great program like Fenwick (coached by the father of recent graduate, Erin Power), she can share the same success as Erin had here because she's been well-coached and has played some good competition."