|Title:||Class of 2010|
An old basketball adage states that behind every outstanding team, there is a great point guard. For the WPI Women’s Basketball teams of the mid-1990s, that point guard was Jennifer Plante.
The Nashua, N.H., native broke into the starting lineup during her freshman campaign, appearing in all 23 games and starting in 14 of them. She averaged just under three assists and totaled 107 points as the Crimson and Gray won nine games and finished as runner-up at both the Worcester City Tournament and the Gordon Tournament.
The following winter, Plante played a big role as the Engineers moved over the .500 mark for the first time in seven years. She doled out 77 assists in 23 outings and swiped 29 steals as WPI posted a 14-11 mark.
“Jen provided leadership and a winning desire,” commented former WPI head coach Megan Henry, who recruited Plante and coached her during her first two years on Boynton Hill. “She willed us to be better.”
The 1994-95 season saw Christa Champion take the helm of the WPI program and Plante continued to spark significant improvement—the Crimson and Gray upped their wins by four games en route to registering an 18-10 record. She dished out 53 assists and gobbled up 52 rebounds while helping her team reach the NEW-8 championship versus Wheaton. The Engineers were rewarded for their strong season with an ECAC New England bid for just the third time in program history.
Plante saved her best for last as her senior season of 1995-96 charted new waters for the WPI Women’s Basketball program. She started all 29 games as the Boynton Hillers took home the NEW-8 regular season title for just the second time and won their first ever NEW-8 Tournament championship. WPI finished 23-6 and defeated Westfield State in the NCAA Tournament first round before bowing out to perennial national power Southern Maine.
The co-captain averaged 5.9 points, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.1 helpers her senior year and averaged a career-high 44.9% from 3-point range. Plante was honored at the WPI athletics banquet with the Patricia Graham Award, presented to the senior female student-athlete who displayed the best example of sportsmanship while a WPI athlete.
“Jenny was a true leader and the heart and soul of our team,” said Hall of Famer and teammate Kim Landry. “Her unselfish style of play, enthusiasm, and competitive spirit were key to our team’s success.”
For her career, Plante found it was better to give than to receive as the diminutive point guard totaled 283 careers assists to go along with 128 steals.
She earned a master’s degree in English from Clark University in 2000, where she has been teaching since. Currently, Jen is the director of Clark’s Writing Program and Writing Center.