EDWARDSVILLE - Senior center Katelynne Roberts is one of the key players on the Edwardsville girls basketball team, helping the Tigers to successful seasons in her three years, and recently signed a letter of intent to attend Missouri S&T University in Rolla, beginning with the 2021-22 season.

Roberts, who will play for head coach Kira Carter, decided on the Miners for a variety of reasons, both academically and athletically.

"It was a bundle of things," Roberts said in an interview that followed the signing. "Their education is really good, and I want to go into engineering, so that academic wise, it was a perfect fit. And then, when I met the coach, and I met of couple of the players, I really am looking forward to playing basketball, too. Everything came together."

S&T plays in the very competitive Great Lakes Valley Conference, long considered one of the best NCAA Division-II conferences in the nation, and Roberts is looking forward to the competition in the league.

"Competition builds you when you play," Roberts said, "so hopefully, it'll get me better, and I'll grow as a player even more."

It's the first-ever college signing for new Tigers' coach Caty Happe, and she's extremely proud of Roberts.

"Yeah, huge congratulations to Katelynne," Happe said. "She's been working for this for four years now. Just a great kid, great family, and somebody you want to represent your program."

Happe believes that Roberts will bring a huge presence in the post for the Miners, and will contribute almost immediately.

"I think a big post presence, that she can get up and down the floor," Happe said, "she can shoot it a little bit from the outside. So, she adds a dynamic post option for them."

Roberts is also a versatile player, who will do anything she can to help her team out.

"I think she's going to be the person who does anything they need," Happe said. "She's going to find a way to get minutes, and she'll do whatever it takes to play and make the team better."

Roberts also considered Maryville University in Town and Country, Mo., in west St. Louis County, and will look to do what is needed to make the Miners better.

"I'm just looking to help the team in any way I can," Roberts said. "I'm hoping to bring a post presence, offensively and defensively with my height and length, and just hoping to contribute to the team in any way I can."

Formal basketball practice is set to begin on Nov. 16, with games set to begin on Nov. 30, but as of now, the season may be in jeopardy with the recent spike in the COVID-19 pandemic. Some school districts have decided to suspend their programs temporarily, and the season remains in doubt. Roberts is still looking forward to her senior season and does hope to get the chance to play this winter or spring, if the season is moved by the IHSA.

"I'm just trying to be optimistic and hope we get to play," Roberts said, "even if it's a shortened season. or if it's in the spring, I just want to play. I've been looking forward to my senior year so much."

If the season is played, Happe is expecting big things from Robers.

"I expect her to have her best year so far," Happe said. "She's been working really hard, being strong in the post, and a leader on the floor, especially."

Although the Tigers lost some very talented players to graduation, they also return some very good players, and Happe is looking forward to the challenges that may coming their way. And so far, Happe has enjoyed her experiences as the team's new coach.

"Absolutely," Happe said. "She gets better every day, and she truly is one of the hardest-working kids I've ever been around."

Roberts feels that the Tigers are a very good team that will enjoy success this season.

"We've got a good squad," Roberts said. "I think we can be really good this winter, if we get to play."

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