Sole senior Jenna Lutz energizes Baldwin girls basketball program

Friday, February 14, 2020 | 7:46 PM

It has been a frustrating yet gratifying senior season for Baldwin hoopster Jenna Lutz.

She is a three-year letterwinner in the girls basketball program at Baldwin and plans to continue her career at Allegheny College as an environmental science major.

A 6-foot forward, Lutz has spent most of the 2019-20 campaign recovering from a foot/ankle injury.

She owns a 4.0 GPA and is a member of the executive board of the National Honor Society, holding the social chairperson position. She also is on the senior class executive committee and participates in the math league.

Baldwin’s girls basketball team clinched a WPIAL playoff berth this season for the first time since 2014-15.

The Highlanders have been sparked by a strong junior class consisting of Meghan Dryburgh, Lexi Bernotas, Kayla Radomsky and Cassie Pantelis in the frontcourt, with Anna Lucarelli, Abby Marzini and Sydney Carr in the backcourt; along with an influx of sophomore guards including Morgan Altavilla, Emily Hillgartner, Leyna Laurent and Alyvia Cox.

Lutz, whose older sister Carly is a 6-3 junior forward and early/special education major at Point Park, recently received the go-ahead to resume playing.

The younger Lutz took a few minutes between her practice, games and studies to participate in a question-and-answer session.

What are your thoughts on the team’s performance so far this season?

I think as a team we’ve grown so much from a maturity standpoint. I’ve been able to see the girls blossom into the players they are today, and it’s been really fun to watch.

What are your thoughts on the team qualifying for the WPIAL playoffs for the first time in five years?

I’m very proud of us as a team because I think we’re at the point where we are able to go out and play a solid 32 minutes and compete with any team. I’ve loved being a part of this team, and it’s been so much fun playing with these girls.

What are the expectations for the WPIAL playoffs?

As long as we play the way we know how, we’re really confident with our chances. I think we’re all definitely looking forward to going for a deep playoff run.

Are you 100% healthy now?

I had a long-term injury, and I had surgery at the end of September. It was mostly just instability, so I elected to get the tendons repaired. I am now back to 100%. I was cleared for full-contact play in early January.

Did you set any goals for yourself this season?

My goal was to make sure I was back for the end of season, and I worked my hardest to make sure that was possible. It was a difficult task, but the girls really had my back and supported me through every up and down that I had.

How would you describe your hoops experience in 2019-20?

It’s been very interesting being the only senior. Everyone on the team is so close, so none of us really look at or base anything off seniority. I honestly don’t see myself as a senior because we didn’t have any seniors last year, so I was one of the oldest on the team anyways. I try to be a role model for the girls as much as possible, though. It’s really important to me that all the girls know they can come to me with on- and off-the-court issues. I definitely see myself as the team mom and am always open to helping in any way I can.

So you’ve fully grasped your role as a team leader despite the injury?

I’ve really embraced being a leader off the court but also leading and helping the girls as much as I can (while) on the bench. It’s so important to keep the energy alive on the bench, and I feel like I’ve done a good job of that this season.

What are your thoughts about your basketball career at Baldwin?

I really am proud of how we’ve grown as a team in the past year and a half. It’s crazy to think I only have a few weeks left, but I’m cherishing every moment I have left with these girls. We’re more than just a team at this point. We’re truly family, and I’m so thankful for these girls. Baldwin basketball will forever hold a special place in my heart.


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