UMD Women’s Basketball looks ahead after National Championship Appearance last season

Published: Oct. 16, 2023 at 10:52 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) - Coming off a record-breaking season the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD) women’s basketball team is focused on duplicating what they can from last season.

One of those keys is to have another fast start in conference play after last year’s squad went 21-1 in the conference.

Overall the team went 32-4 last season before making the National Championship game for the first time in school history before losing to Ashland University 67-78.

Despite a strong season last year the Bulldogs only received one vote to finish first in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) Preseason Poll while Minnesota State University, Mankato received the other 14 after losing to UMD in all three matchups last season.

This drop could be because the Bulldogs will be without last year’s DII Honda Female Athlete of the Year, Brooke Olson, but the team has another player to look at in senior Ella Gilbertson who was named by the NSIC as the Player to Watch this season.

Gilbertson was second in scoring behind Olson and made many heroic plays on the Bulldogs’ run in the NCAA tournament.

Due to the long playoff run, the UMD offseason was shorter than usual but the team was more than ready to get back to the grind.

“We actually came back from Dallas and wanted to get going sooner than we should of, so we actually got together as a team without our coaches, just to start playing again and finding our new identity,” said graduate guard Taytum Rhoades. “Over the summer, we’ve all been working hard, and it’s good because over the summer you can train however you want, and I think everyone on the team works hard in the offseason.”

The women’s basketball team will hit the court this Sunday at Romano Gymnasium for an exhibition match at 1 p.m. against Lakehead University.

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