Illini Replay: Ashley Berggren

Ashley Berggren (Image courtesy of UI Athletics)

In 1997, the Illinois women’s basketball team won its first and only Big Ten title, sharing the crown with Michigan State and Purdue. Led by Ashley Berggren, ’98 LAS, who became the program’s first Big Ten Player of the Year that season before finishing up her decorated career as the team’s all-time leading scorer (2,089 points, which now ranks second behind Jenna Smith’s 2,160 points set in 2010) and first-ever All-American, Illinois finished as the runner-up in the Big Ten tournament in 1997 and advanced to the NCAA tournament Sweet Sixteen for the first time in school history before repeating that Round of 16 finish in 1998. Coached by Women’s Basketball Hall of Famer Theresa Grentz, Berggren and her fellow seniors teamed up for a school-record-tying, four-year mark for wins with 67 victories from 1994-95 through 1997-98.