Montana Tech head women’s basketball coach Carly Sanon announced a trio of signings today. The three new Orediggers starting their college career in Butte next fall are Hope Lalau, Vanessa Walsh and Emily Kidder.
Lalau, a 5-8 guard from Tacoma, Washington, was the 2019 Tacoma News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year. While playing prep at 3A Wilson High School, Lalau averaged 14.7 points, 5.2 assists, 4.2 rebounds, and 4.2 assists a game. Lalau was named first team all-league to the Pierce County League.
“Hope is a pass-first point guard who can also get to the rim,” Sanon said. “She is a great 3-point shooter and will add depth to our perimeter play. Hope is a great addition to our program.”
“I chose Montana Tech because I thought it would give me the best opportunity to help promote growth in all areas of my life,” Lalau said. “The campus and the people themselves are gorgeous, and being given an opportunity as big as this is too big of a blessing to not acknowledge. This blessing is beyond grand and I am forever appreciative to play college ball and further my education.”
Lalau received the Honor Cord President Award and is a four-year WIAA Distinguished Scholastic Award for Outstanding GPA. She plans on pursuing a degree in Applied Health Science.
Walsh and Kidder are crosstown rivals from Helena, but both will wear Tech green next year. Walsh played for Helena High and Kidder was a Capital Bruin.
Walsh was second in the state in assists last season dishing an average of four per game. Walsh averaged 4.3 rebounds and 2.1 assists. The two-year team captain earned second team all-conference this past season and was selected first team on the state all-tournament team.
“Vanessa is an athletic player who can get to the basket and score,” Sanon said. “She works extremely hard and I am excited to have her in our program. She is a combo guard and fits our style of play perfectly.”
Walsh was selected honorable mention and All-State in volleyball for the Bengals. She also was named all-conference twice and All-State last season in softball.
“Ever since I was a little girl I can remember telling my dad I wanted to play collegiate basketball,” Walsh said. “I have watched the Tech women’s team play for many years and feel blessed to be given the opportunity to play for Coach Sanon. I am also thrilled to be receiving my post-secondary education at Tech.”
Walsh is a member of the National Honor Society and has received academic and citizenship awards from the America Legion, Daughter’s of the American Revolution, and the Soroptimist International.
Kidder averaged 9.1 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.9 assists for the Bruins last season. She averaged 42.6 percent from the arc and 42.5 percent from the field. The team captain was selected first-team all-conference and all-state last season. Kidder was also named to the second-team all-tournament team at state and the Independent Record All-Area squad.
“Emily is an outstanding student-athlete and knows how to win in the classroom and on the court,” Sanon said. “Tech will be a great fit for her academically as she pursues a degree in nursing. Emily is a long guard who can get to the rim and score. She is also a great three point shooter.”
“Montana Tech is like a second home to me and I am very excited to get started,” Kidder said. “Tech allows me to pursue a degree in the medical field, while allowing me to continue my dream to play for the women’s basketball program.”
Kidder also played volleyball and was a team captain earning all-conference honors and selected to the Independent Record All-Area team.
Kidder was named Academic All-State six times and is a member of the National Honor Society. She plans on pursuing a degree in nursing.