2021-22 Women’s Basketball Season Preview

Posted on November 12th, 2021 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus women’s basketball team has a new look this season after graduating four seniors that played significant time on the court in recent years. The Gusties tip off the 2021-22 campaign at 7 p.m. Friday at Simpson College.

“It’s almost like we have a brand-new team,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly, who is in her 10th season at the helm. “Even the sophomores were limited in playing time last year and are not that much more advanced than the first years in regards to experience. It’s hard to count last year as a basketball season so for most of them this is new. I think there is an appreciation after going through what we went through last season that you’re just so happy to be on the floor and having a chance to play a regular season. There’s going to be an element of surprise because I’m not quite sure what we are right now.”

This year’s squad will lean on juniors Maddy Rice (Jr., Forest Lake) and Anna Sanders (Jr., Vadnais Heights) as leaders due to their experience. Rice averaged 7.9 points and Sanders averaged 7.4 points per game during the last full season in 2019-20.

“They are really the only two with significant playing time and who know what a normal season even looks like,” Kelly said. “I think it’s exciting for them to have roles they are hoping to have because they’ve worked really hard in the offseason and in the last couple years.”

Other players that will see more time on the court early this season include Emma Kniefel (So., Medford), Syd Hauger (So., Springfield), and Morgan Kelly (Fy., Saint Peter). Both Kniefel and Hauger saw limited time during the truncated 2021 season, while Kelly is making her first collegiate start after a standout high school career at Saint Peter.

“Emma Kniefel is a player that we thought was a scholarship player and we got her,” Kelly said. “She played behind some veteran seniors last year, but I think she will be an impact player in the MIAC during her career.”

The main concerns early in the season are injuries to a number of players, which will impact their time on the court.

“This is my tenth season and this is most injuries we’ve ever had and we haven’t even played a game yet,” Kelly said. “We have a great group of student athletes, they are working hard, and I’m excited about what this team can do. I know that we are young and inexperienced. We are going to have some ups and downs so we just have to stay positive and keep growing as a team.”

After tonight’s season opener in Indianola, Iowa, the Gusties return to Gustavus for their home opener next Wednesday night against Luther.

2021-22 Schedule

2021-22 Roster

 

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