CHICAGO - Loyola University Chicago head women’s basketball coach Kate Achter announced the addition of Jessica Cerda (Streamwood, Ill./Streamwood/Chicago State) to her roster on Tuesday afternoon. Cerda, a graduate transfer from Chicago State University, has one season remaining and will be eligible immediately.
“We are very fortunate to include Jessica in our first class at Loyola,” Achter commented. “Jessica is a seasoned guard that has been through the rigors of college basketball. Her experiences will be very valuable, especially with the addition of five newcomers. We look forward to having her join us on campus.”
Cerda enjoyed a productive four-year stay with the Cougars. She saw action in 12 games as a freshman, scoring a season-best 12 points in a clash with UT Rio Grande Valley. Following a sophomore season that saw her miss all but two games due to injury, Cerda returned to form as a junior in 2015-16 as she appeared in 28 contests and earned the first six starts of her collegiate career.
This past season, the versatile 5-foot-10 guard was the only member of the Chicago State roster to start in all 29 games. Cerda closed the year ranked second on the team in scoring, averaging 11.0 points to go along with 2.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.1 steals. The Streamwood, Ill. native reached double figures in scoring a team-best 16 times, highlighted by a career-high 24-point performance at Utah Valley on Feb. 11.
Cerda also excelled in the classroom at Chicago State, earning Academic All-Western Athletic Conference (WAC) honors in each of the past two seasons.
Prior to playing collegiately, Cerda was a standout at Streamwood High School in Chicago’s northwest suburbs. She closed her high school career as the program’s all-time leader in made three-point field goals as she was named a Top 50 player by both the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun Times. As a senior, Cerda, who played on club level for the Illinois Hustle, helped lead the Sabres to a berth in the IHSA Class 4A Sectional Finals.
Cerda’s addition brings Loyola’s 2017-18 recruiting class to six. She joins fall signees Katherine Nolan (Arlington Heights, Ill./Rolling Meadows) and Kailyn Strawbridge (Rockford, Ill./Rockford Lutheran) and the recently announced trio of Alexis Meyer (Portland, Ore./Westview), Abby O’Connor (South Bend, Ind./Saint Joseph) and Ellie Rice (Austin, Texas/Regents School of Austin).