Ashlee Bridge was a freshman at Princeton High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, when former Vanderbilt star Dee Davis was a senior there. When Dee was a sophomore at Vanderbilt, the Dores traveled to Oxford, Ohio, to play Miami University. Since Oxford is only 30 minutes away from Cincinnati, the game was a "homecoming" game for Dee, and the Princeton girls team came to the game to cheer for Dee. The "A" in "Vanderbilt" is Ashlee.
Jessica Mooney attended Hillsboro High School in Nashville, just a few miles from Memorial Gym. On the first day of the early signing period in 2005, Jessica signed her Letter of Intent in the library at Hillsboro as family, coaches, friends, faculty, and the news media watched.
Merideth Marsh played at Christian Academy of Louisville, Kentucky. Amber Norton, who also signed with Vanderbilt in the fall of 2005, attended Assumption High School in Louisville. The two teams met in December, giving Vanderbilt fans a chance to see both of the Kentucky signees in action before they arrived on campus.
Later on, both of the Louisville signees were selected to the Kentucky All-Star team to play against the Indiana All-Stars in the annual series. The game in Kentucky was played in Diddle Arena at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
The freshmen arrived on campus in July of 2006. Senior Dee Davis, junior Liz Sherwood, and sophomore Jennifer Risper took Merideth and Lauren with them to join other Vanderbilt student-athletes in painting the interior of the Boys and Girls Club of Nashville.
The freshman joined Vanderbilt's other 1500 freshmen in the annual Founders Walk. Jessica and Amber posed with men's basketball freshman JeJuan Brown.
Lauren wasn't able to walk in the Founders Walk because she had sprained an ankle in a pickup game, but her parents Doyle and Donna made the trip from Missouri to join her in the activities.
Photo day gave the freshmen their first chance to pose for photos in Vanderbilt uniforms. However, their new uniforms with new numbers weren't ready for them, so Merideth posed as #3 instead of #23, and Ashlee was #1 instead of #11. Amber would wear #25 until chronic medical issues forced her retirement from basketball in 2008.
The freshmen posed together before going out on to the football field to do the "fog" at the beginning of the Homecoming football game.
After team practices started but before the first game, the team went on a retreat at a local Girl Scout camp for a team-building weekend.
After the game, they posed together in the hallway in front of the team's locker room.
In November the team volunteered at the Race for the Cure, then in December they were part of Vanderbilt's first "Pink Out" game. The following year, the WBCA introduced a national "Think Pink" campaign, and since then, a pink-themed game has become an annual tradition.
The season opened in Boulder, Colorado, against the Colorado Buffalos. Jesse and Carolyn Mooney made the trip to watch the official beginning of Jessica's Vanderbilt career.
After winning the Vanderbilt Thanksgiving Tournament, the team posed for a photo.
As the end of the fall semester, on the day between the last day of classes and the first day of exams, the freshmen and their teammates joined other Vanderbilt student-athletes at the annual holiday party for children from the community.
In March, the freshmen helped cut down the nets after Vanderbilt defeated LSU to win the 2007 SEC Tournament.
At the annual Awards Banquet following the season, the freshmen posed for a photo. Amy Malo was a redshirt freshmen, so she joined them in the group photo
Now, three years later, Ashlee, Lauren, Merideth, and Jessica will play their final game in Memorial Gym. With more basketball still to play this season, they've already contributed to 99 victories, two SEC tournament championships, three NCAA appearances and two Sweet 16 appearances in the NCAA tournament.
Game time is 12:00 noon, and fans are encouraged to wear blue to support "Well Worth It." Senior Day festivities to honor the seniors will take place after the game.Follow @wbbVandyMania
Photos copyright 2005-2009 by Whitney D for VandyMania.com.