Freshmen, veterans looking to rebound in new season

The UND women’s basketball team will look to bounce back and secure its second Big Sky conference title with the help of familiar and new faces.

Despite losing Siri Burck, Emily Evers and Megan Lauck, the Green and White boosted their lineup by bringing in a staggering seven freshmen from all over the northwest. Not only with the help of the young players and the six sophomores returning this season, UND will look to leadership from its two seniors this seasons.

Returning for their final season is Mia Loyd and Kelsey Knox. Both were an essential part of the squad’s performance on the court.

Loyd paced the UND offense last season by tallying an average 15 points per game. The senior from Minneapolis also showed multiple dimensions to her game by averaging 8.9 rebounds a game and a 54 percenr  field goal percentage. She also finished the season with a total of 915 minutes.

Knox also was a key component coming off the bench for UND. The Platte City, Miss. native played in 32 games last season and starting 12 of those. She made the most of her 759 minutes tallied to average 2.8 assists a game, which was tied for second best on the team. She also had the third highest steal average swiping one a game.

It won’t just be those two returning to lead the squad this year. Returning are five juniors including Makailah Dyer and Leah Szabla.

Dyer was a solid shooter from behind the three point line. The junior from Madison, Wis. drained in 33 three pointers last season with a .327 shooting percentage.

However, with every offense, there’s got to be one behind the scenes hero. No team is complete without one and the Green and White’s player is Brooklyn Park’s Leah Szabla.

The junior was an factor for the team last season, dishing out a team high 120 assists (3.8 per game) and leading the Green and White in steals with 57.

With all these components put together, UND will look to improve its 17-15 record from a year ago. Despite going 10-3 in the Betty Engelstad Siox Center, the Green and White was only able to scrap a 9-9 record against Big Sky opponents. Things were even worse, as they were eliminated in the first round by Northern Colorado 54-51.

Coach Travis Brewster enters his fourth year managing the team and will look to continue his tenure with another Big Sky Conference championship.

While the team does start practicing this month, the Green and White are still a bit away from the season.

UND kicks things off with exhibition matches with Mayville State and Minnesota Crookston before starting the regular season against Iowa on Nov. 13.

Jack Harvey is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected]