The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

The official student newspaper of University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire since 1923.

The Spectator

    Women’s hoops right ship


    The UW-Eau Claire women’s basketball team beat Wartburg (Iowa) last Thursday 47-45 and topped UW-La Crosse 63-55 on Saturday to level their season record at .500.

    The freshman class continued their quality play and a key senior settled in after returning from an injury.

    While the Blugolds continue to adjust to Head Coach Tonja Englund’s new fast-paced approach, some growing pains were expected, especially from such an inexperienced team. Now, riding a two game win streak, Englund will continue to lean heavily on her freshman class to produce, especially starting point guard Cady Roedl.

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    “The point guard in our program is critical,” Englund said. “To have a freshman starting there in the WIAC, in our program, that makes her something special. I think she’s going to be one of the best in the history of our program when she’s through.”

    Roedl has played over 30 minutes in each of the team’s last four contests and is averaging 4.8 assists per game. She said the team’s recent success isn’t due to her own elevated play though.

    “We’ve started to play together,” Roedl said. “We’re learning each other’s strengths and starting to play to them.”

    Another standout freshman this year is guard Teenie Lichtfuss. She knocked down two three pointers against Wartburg on her way to 11 points. Lichtfuss said her freshman status doesn’t mean much.

    “Age isn’t that big of a deal,” Lichtfuss said. “We have a lot of talented freshmen and it starts with Cady, our point guard. Our rocky start came from all of us not playing with each other before. We’re starting to hit our stride now.”

    The win streak wasn’t delivered by the freshmen alone. It’s no coincidence that it started when senior forward Sarah Bingea returned. Englund said her presence in the lineup helps keep the team even keel.

    “We played without her in the beginning and that tells you right there that we need her,” Englund said. “She gives us poise, she gives us confidence as a senior and she wants the ball at the end of the game. She’s the critical senior to be out there with a lot of those freshmen right now.”

    Roedl recognized Bingea’s importance to the team.
    “It was key getting her back,” Roedl said. “A lot of our offense runs through Sarah. It was weird without her out there. Just having her out there gives us younger players confidence.”
    With the tough start firmly in their rearview, the team now looks to push the win column above the losses for the first time this season. Lichtfuss is confident they’re on the right track.
    “Or expectations are high,” Lichtfuss said. “It’s a highly competitive conference where anyone can win on any given night, but our confidence is high right now.”
    To continue their winning ways, the Blugolds’ talented freshmen will need to sustain their impressive level of play. For Roedl, motivation comes from her coach’s lofty expectations. She’ll do anything to make them come true.
    “It makes me work a lot harder,” Roedl said. “There’s a lot of respect there. She knows what it takes and she’s been there before. Her words make me really glad I came here to be a part of this.”
    The Eau Claire women’s basketball team looked to continue their winning ways Wednesday night when they hosted UW-Platteville. Next, they’ll travel to UW-Whitewater on Saturday for a 5 p.m. tip off.


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    Women’s hoops right ship