2022-23 Women’s Basketball Season Preview

Posted on November 7th, 2022 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. — Coming off the first MIAC Playoff Championship in program history, the Gustavus women’s basketball team is gearing up to start the season, traveling to Menomonie, Wis. to face off against UW-Stout for its season opener on Tuesday.

“Our goal is to build off of where we were last year. We have our top players from last year’s lineup back. We’re hoping we can pick up from where we left off,” said Head Coach Laurie Kelly in her 11th season at the helm of the Gustie women’s basketball team. “As young as we were, we learned a lot along the way. Different players became more confident in the role they play on this team, and our team chemistry is already very strong. We’re comfortable with each other on and off the court. We want to get back to we were last year and see how much better we can be.”

With just 14 players on her roster for the year, Coach Kelly will look to the experience of All-Conference selections Anna Sanders (Sr., Vadnais Heights) and Emma Kniefel (Jr., Medford) to lead the way for the Gusties.

“Anna Sanders leads our team verbally, on the floor, and in everything she does. Her work ethic is unmatched by anybody on this team. In her senior year, we will certainly look to her to lead this group. Emma definitely stepped up in her sophomore season. It was her first full season of college basketball and definitely her breakout year. The confidence she developed late in the season and the way she was shooting the ball in the last half; we’re looking for Emma to step up and have another big year.”

In her sophomore season, Kniefel finished with the team lead in points at 328, just one better than Sanders, who finished the season with 327. Both shared the team lead in points per game, averaging 12.1.

Coach Kelly will lean on the experience of Izzy Quick (Jr., Brooklyn Park) and Grace Benz (Sr., Steele, N.D.) as well. Quick averaged a team-leading .571 field goal percentage last year, while Benz finished the 2021-22 season as the team leader in rebounds (175). Both Morgan Kelly (So., Saint Peter) and Rachel Kawiecki (So., Richfield) are coming off a strong first season in the five-spot for the Gusties, and are expected to build off their standout freshman year.

Despite last year’s performance, Coach Kelly’s team has their sights set on unfinished business.

“We didn’t win the conference last year, and that was a goal of ours. It was great that we were able to play such good basketball down the stretch. To be the first in Gustavus history to win the conference playoff championship was really special. But we were eliminated in the first round of the NCAA tournament, and we know that we have a lot of business that’s unfinished. If anything, we got a taste of success, and we’re hungry for more this year.”

After their season opener Tuesday, the Gusties will host Simpson for their home opener and rematch of last year’s NCAA first round game on Nov. 16.

2022-23 Schedule | 2022-23 Roster


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