“She’s gotten to a point now where there really isn’t anything she can’t do,” Pemper said. “She’s just smart. She communicates really well with teammates. She really sees the game, and if something doesn’t go as was planned, she talks it over with people. It’s like she doesn’t want to let anything go that wasn’t the way it was supposed to be.”
Case in point was Membreno spending two hours in the gym shooting free throws after going 0 for 15 from the field against Lehigh in Navy’s penultimate regular season game. The Midshipmen won, 49-34, thanks in part to forcing 22 turnovers that helped offset 28 percent shooting and missing 20 of 25 three-pointers.
Membreno’s mental disposition was somewhat out of kilter that night given the then-uncertain condition of her grandfather, who had a stroke following a game against Army in mid-February. Membreno spent many sleepless nights worrying about the man she calls her best friend, and it affected her usually meticulous preparation.
During free periods she would drive to a nearby hospital to visit with him. At the very least, she would call as often as possible. Distracted virtually around the clock and running herself ragged, Membreno’s game suffered.
“I think it took a while for me to realize if I keep this up, I’m not only short-changing myself, I’m short-changing my teammates,” said Membreno, whose grandfather continues to recover at a Maryland rehab center. “So I was kind of like, I’ve got to get myself together.”
That she did, compiling a game-high 18 points with eight rebounds, four assists, two blocks and a steal in the regular season finale. Over the last four games, Membreno is averaging 14 points, nine rebounds, 6.3 assists, 1.8 blocks and one steal.
For the season, she’s second on the team in scoring (11.4), rebounding (6.8), assists (3.5) and field goal percentage (.426). Memebreno also is first in steals (1.6), third in blocks with 14 overall and fourth in three-pointers made (32).
“Alix is very selfless. She’s very inspiring in the way she plays because she just plays with so much heart,” Pollinger said. “I think the way she leads the team is the same way. She just cares so much about every person. I mean she’s an amazing person to play with.”