Vogelpohl has been a true competitor

FAIRBORN — When looking back at the career Wright State women’s basketball guard Emily Vogelpohl has had, where do you start? The senior, sporting her hair in a bun as she often does during games, reflected on it as much as she could.

The list of accomplishments is lengthy for the jack-of-all-trades guard. Vogelpohl currently ranks second in steals (273), sixth in assists (363) and ninth in rebounds (673) and points scored (1,296) in WSU program history. Stuffing her stat sheet is not top of mind however.

“I don’t really think about that,” she said. “I’m in the gym all the time trying to work on my shot, but I really just try to do whatever the team needs, whether that’s scoring at the time, rebounding or dishing it off to the teammates who are feeling it.”

That’s exactly what Coach Katrina Merriweather wants.

“I trust Emily to compete every single day,” she said. “When she battled injuries, she was hungry to get back to the team and the game she loved. She is totally selfless and will do whatever is asked if it means it will increase the team’s chances of being successful.”

When Vogelpohl is dialed into a game Merriweather says that she gets a look in her eye that is a tell.

“That look in her eyes makes me feel like we have a chance to win every game. She refuses to let the game end without giving it everything she has,” Merriweather said. “When the game is on the line, her instincts kick in and she comes up with the big play. Whether it’s making the inbound pass, getting a steal, rebound or making the basket, she will be involved somehow.”

“That’s what she (Merriweather) says,” Vogelpohl said laughing. “I don’t really know what she’s talking about, but whatever she says goes.”

For a player who can seemingly be everywhere on the court, Vogelpohl’s pregame routine is the opposite of that, but it has proven to work for sure.

“I take a good hour and a half nap, and then I get to the gym about two hours early,” Vogelpohl said. “Then I go on the court, shoot around and it’s game time.”

When she isn’t playing in games, Vogelpohl has practiced one-on-one with WSU men’s forward Bill Wampler, who had a scoring barrage of 29 points against league foe Northern Kentucky in a win last Friday. The two had different opinions on how those matchups have gone.

“We’ve tried to play one-on-one, and he beats me every time,” Vogelpohl said.

“She’s super competitive, and we compete a lot of times in shooting drills. She might be a better defender than me,” Wampler said. “She’ll always say she doesn’t beat me, but she can, and she has before. We both share a love of the game and support each other on the court.”

Raider assistant coach and WSU’s all-time leading scorer Kim Demmings, who was Vogelpohl’s teammate her freshman season, has been another natural mentor.

“She (Demmings) definitely, even her as a coach now, has helped me become a better player and better person,” Vogelpohl said. “She’s helped me see things differently on the floor.”

In April Vogelpohl will be headed to the women’s Final Four in Tampa. She is part of a program called “So You Want To Be A Coach” that will allow her to network with college coaches during her trip. Her goal after receiving her bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership is to get into coaching.

After an 85-67 shellacking of four-time reigning Horizon League champion Green Bay at the Nutter Center on Jan. 3, the Phoenix returned the favor at home by winning 56-37 against the Raiders on Feb. 9. The loss put things in perspective for her team, Vogelpohl added.

“That was a tough loss, but it’s helped us in the bigger picture,” she said. “It allowed us to see what we need to work on and what we actually need to do in order to win the conference tournament.”

With the decorated collegiate career Vogelpohl has had, there is only one achievement that remains in her competitive eyes.

“I want to be holding up that trophy with all my teammates and seeing all of our hard work the past four years finally pay off,” Vogelpohl said. “That’s what we came here to do.”

“Emily means more to this program than any numbers will show. She is a great student, a competitive basketball player and a tremendous person,” Merriweather said. “She deserves to be a part of the winningest class in WSU history because she embodies all that a true winner must be.”

For more information about Wright State University athletics visit www.wsuraiders.com.