Blugold women’s basketball season recap

    A first round elimination in the WIAC tournament calls for team to reflect on a season of both highs and lows

    More stories from Nicole Bellford

    Despite high hopes for the WIAC tournament, the Blugold Women’s Basketball team faced first round elimination, falling to UW-La Crosse.

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    Despite high hopes for the WIAC tournament, the Blugold Women’s Basketball team faced first round elimination, falling to UW-La Crosse.

    The Blugold women’s basketball team could do nothing but watch as its season came to a close following the blare of the final buzzer in the first round of the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WIAC) tournament, falling to tough competitor UW-La Crosse 69-57 on Wednesday, Feb. 22.

    Senior Bree Meier said this is not where the team hoped to end up.

    Meier, the team captain, said despite the team’s conference rank — fifth out of six teams, the Blugolds were optimistic going into the tournament and hopeful they could win it all.

    “We had a good game plan going in,” said Meier, “but things didn’t go as planned, and we didn’t shoot the ball well….we were pretty bummed. Our goal was to win the tournament and get that bid to the big dance (the NCAA tournament), but we left it all on the court and just couldn’t make it happen.”

    The Blugolds finished their season 13-13 overall, and 7-7 in conference play (.500). The team held strong in the conference in terms of attacking the basket, ranking first in the conference in three-point shooting percentage (34.0) and assists per game (12.1). The team also fared well in field goal shot percentage, ranking third of six in the conference (39.9).

    However, the Blugolds still have areas that require improvement. The team held the lowest rebound average in the conference, with 35.2 per game. In addition, they rank fifth of six in average total points per game (59.7). Reflecting on the team’s conference losses throughout the season, the margin of defeat was oftentimes greater than 10 points.

    Looking forward to next season, the Blugolds will lose four seniors, including Ellen Blacklock, Meier, Arien Brennan and Alleah Voigt. Captains Brennan and Meier are among the team’s top scorers, averaging 6.3 points per game and 6 points per game, respectively.

    Nevertheless, there are still solid young players returning next year. All of the guards on the roster for the Blugolds are freshmen, securing strong players for years to come. Among these freshmen is standout player Anna Grasskamp, who led the team in nearly every game with the most baskets. Grasskamp averaged 13.8 points per game this season, almost twice as much as any of her teammates, and scored 332 total points.

    For Meier, she said it hasn’t quite hit her yet that her time as a Blugold basketball player has come to a close. She said she feels as though it won’t sink in until her teammates return to practice and lifting next season and she isn’t working alongside them.

    If there is one thing she is most proud of this season, Meier said, it is her team’s connection both on and off the court.

    “There was just great team chemistry this year,” Meier said. “This team bleeds for each other, plays for each other. It was just a huge honor to be a part of that.”