Its not about records, said Pat Buresh, head womens basketball coach. But it is certainly disappointing.
While the team won some important games throughout the season, the team was lacking offensively overall. While the generally low-scoring nature of many Ole games this year indicates the teams consistent defense, Buresh pointed to missing free throws and rebounds as game breakers.
In a lot of our games, missing from the line really made the difference, Buresh said.
The Oles first four games left them with a 2-2 record, including victories over Buena Vista College and Martin Luther College. Against Buena Vista, Holly Grimsrud 07 scored a lay-up with 28 seconds left in overtime to propel the Oles to victory.
After these initial wins, the Oles suffered a series of defeats, including some close contests against Augsburg, Concordia and Hamline. Overall, the Oles lost five games within five points or less. Buresh cites these losses as confidence busters for the team.
There is not a bad team in this league, Buresh said. We had some really tough competition.
Down the stretch, the team picked up some important wins against conference leaders St. Thomas and St. Catherines. In addition, the Oles secured the Presidents Cup in an exciting, down to the wire game against Carleton, 63-60.
We controlled that game from start to finish, Buresh said. It was just a great college game.
The Oles then concluded their season with Saturdays overtime win in Winona, Minn., against the Cardinals of St. Marys.
We started off the season losing high scoring games and ended the season winning low-scoring games, Christina Sampson 07 said. Our defense stepped up.
Seniors Christine Schwictenberg and Natalie Rigelman both finished out their college careers strong. Schwictenberg finished out the season with 40.3 percent shooting from the field and 107 rebounds. Rigelman shot 43.7 percent and had 96 rebounds in her final year.
Its bittersweet, Rigelman said. It feels great to finish while were playing our best, but were also kicking ourselves that we couldnt have pulled it together sooner.
Schwictenberg echoed Rigelmans sentiments.
Overall the season was great, I loved it, she said. But we definitely had some tough losses.
A mid-season addition to the team, Paige Bromen 08, made a huge impact on the second half of the season.
I am extremely grateful for the way the entire team accepted me from day one, Bromen said.
She began practicing with the team Dec. 28 and played her first game Jan. 16. Overall for the season, she shot 39.5 percent from the field and had the second highest free throw percentage on the team at 68 percent.
Shes a playmaker, Buresh said about the recent transfer. Shes one of these kids every team wants. The other players step up to match [her].
With only two seniors graduating, many key players will be returning next season.
We finished the season on a high note, Bromen said. I cant wait to continue that momentum into next year.