2001 Highlights: Earned Team?s Most Improved Player Award at the end of the season banquet ? ? Started every game, but two after Dec. 1 ? Averaged nearly 30 minutes per game. Scored in double figures in 18 games ? Named Big Ten Player of the Week in leading the Illini to three straight road Big Ten victories for the first time in school history from Jan. 8-14. For the week, Vana scored 42 points, grabbed 24 rebounds, had nine assists and made 17 of 29 shots from the field (.586) ? Scored in double figures in seven straight games ? Was a perfect 6-6 from the floor en route to scoring a career-high 15 points against Clemson in the season opener ? Set or tied her career highs in assists, blocks and steals vs. Texas ? Scored a career-high 18 points while also dishing out a career-high five assists against Missouri ? Had her first career double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds against Ohio State on Jan 11 ? Recorded a career-high nine assists vs. Penn St. on Feb. 15 ? Ranked second on team in assists (105).
2000 Highlights: Played in 26 games, starting one vs. Ohio State (12/30/99) * Averaged 12.9 minutes a game * Hit 2 of 2 from the field for four points vs. Notre Dame * Shot 66.7 percent from the floor vs. Duquesne * Tied a career high with 12 points at Texas on a career-best 6 of 8 shooting * Played a combined 45 minutes at Texas and Connecticut * Played 25 minutes vs. UConn to put up eight points, hitting 4 of 7 from the field * Hit 3 of 4 in 23 minutes of play vs. Colorado * Got to the line a season-high four times vs. Ohio State, draining a pair * Averaged 4.0 points over the last five games * Averaged 2.5 boards a contest * Sat out contests with Georgia and Wisconsin with a strained muscle in her thumb.
1999 Highlights: Generally the first post player off the bench, averaging 13.2 minutes per game * Played in all 31 games, starting one contest * Averaged 3.3 points and 2.4 rebounds per game while third on the team at .481 from the field * Poured in a career-high 12 points at Michigan State, hitting 5-6 shots from the field in 20 minutes of play off the bench * Hit 3-3 shots for six points against Purdue on Jan. 18 * Earned first career start at DePaul on Dec. 11, playing a season-high 26 minutes * Played crucial minutes down the stretch at Iowa on Dec. 28, hitting two shots on two attempts.
High School: Named Gatorade Player of the Year for Illinois * An All-State first team selection for two years and an honorable mention All-American * Pioneer Press Player of the Year * Averaged 15.8 points, nine rebounds and four assists her senior year * Played in 126 straight games * Chosen as Tournament MVP at the 1998 Great Eight Tournament * Her AAU team placed second and third in the nation * All-Area selection by the Daily Herald and Pioneer Press * Participated in the Nike All-America camp * A four-year letterwinner.
2001 Season Highs:
Personal: Parents are Tim and Julie Vana * Has one brother and one sister * Majoring in history * Born on Jan. 7, 1980 * Lettered in softball at Maine West * Vice president of West Women for the Maine West athletic board * Member of Students Against Drunk Driving * Full name is Dawn Marie Vana * Lists biggest thrill in sports as being the first girl to play baseball in the state of Illinois * Honor roll selection in senior year * Head coach was Derril Kipp * Lists Kipp as person who most influenced career because "he taught me so much about playing the game."
Getting to Know Dawn Vana