Running it back
Addy Ciochon, Liz Kalk, and Hannah Welte started playing basketball together in second grade.
While the three played in their last game at Clinton (Wis.) High School, they lost in an upset to Turner High School in Beloit. It was not how they wanted to end their basketball careers together. So they all made the collective decision to play at Beloit College.
“It all happened really, really fast,” Liz says of their last-minute decision. “We were just joking about it at first — ‘Hey, we were all recruited to Beloit!’ After our last game, we were like, ‘We really don’t want to stop playing together.’”
Until the loss, Addy, Liz, and Hannah were considering other colleges. Despite coach Gloria Bradley’s best recruiting efforts, the three resisted the allure of going to Beloit, a 10-minute drive from their small hometown of Clinton. But they quickly realized the college’s proximity was actually an asset.
“All of our parents are super big supporters, and going here allows them to go to almost every game, home or away,” explains Hannah. “We really like having our parents there — and it’s really hard when they aren’t — so I think that it would have been hard if we went to schools a couple of hours away.”
Addy has multiple Beloit College supporters in her family, including her sister Jordyn Ciochon’16, uncle Alan Ciochon’90, and mom Kimberly Huisheere-Ciochon’92, who was inducted into the college’s Athletic Hall of Honor for women’s basketball.
Since arriving on campus in fall 2020, Addy, Liz, and Hannah have navigated their first years of college during a pandemic, complete with a basketball season that was canceled after the fairly young team had already been practicing for months. Despite their initial disappointment, the new players had already bonded with their teammates during that time, allowing for a smoother transition to playing games this year.
As their season wraps up in the coming weeks, the teammates are looking forward to some well-deserved rest — and maybe trying new things. Hannah, a biochemistry and psychology double major, is also on the track and field team and hopes to get Liz on board this spring. Off the court, Liz and Addy have also found some new interests and favorite professors, including Associate Professor of English Francesca Abbate’90.
“Addy and I have both taken two classes with her,” says Liz, namely Fabulous Creatures, an introductory literature course, and a creative writing class focusing on storytelling called The Voices We Carry. “She’s so sweet, so understanding, and I learned a lot in her classes.” Liz is majoring in psychology and hopes to add studio art, while Addy, a health and society major, recently picked up an English minor.
“At Beloit College, I came in not knowing what I wanted to do or what I was interested in,” says Addy. “It’s really helping me find what I’m passionate about.”