The women’s basketball team is in the middle of another successful season. Currently 21-6 and ranked 7th in the nation, the members of the team are preparing for another long playoff run.
“It’s been a challenging season but enjoyable,” said Ben Conrad, head coach. “The kids treat each other very well and are fun to be around. The challenging part has been getting them all healthy and getting our young kids to figure things out.”
Having only a handful of returners from a team that was a National Runner-Up last season has presented a unique set of challenges to a program with a great winning tradition.
“We pride ourself in culture here,” said Kylee Williams, guard.
The veterans tried to instill this winning culture in the freshmen, but the younger players were a bit resistant at first. Team leaders knew that they needed a complete buy-in in order to be successful and persistence has paid off as the group has really started to come together.
“I feel like we learned how to play better together which helped a lot with winning and being successful once we learned how to play with each other and play as a team,” said Tristen McFeders, guard.
As the players continue to come together, they continue to win games. Instead of resulting in complacency, this success has created a hunger to improve.
“We have to get better each day,” Williams said. “[Conrad] kind of explains it as chopping wood. You have to chop the wood each day, make a little step each day. We want to reach our maximum potential at the right time and peak at the right time to when postseason comes we get to where we want to get to.”
The result of last season has not only inspired those who were a part of it, but also newcomers like McFeders, a transfer this season.
“I’m really just excited to try to get back to the National Championship like they did so I’m going to do whatever it takes to get us back there and make sure everybody is ready to go,” McFeders said.
With the playoffs right around the corner and redemption on their mind, the players are preparing for the home stretch.
“I think losing in the National Championship was a heartbreaker,” Williams said. “Getting back [to nationals] is something we definitely want to do, but to get there we have to win each day, which starts in practice.”
The women will play Feb. 17 at home against Labette Community College. Game time is 2 p.m.
More information on the women’s basketball team can be found here.