Fine tuning for the season ahead

Photo by Natosha Lund/The Dakota Student. UND senior Mia Loyd goes up for the layup last weekend.

As the new season begins, the Green and White hope to put on an exhibition show that displays the talent and dedication they have in store for this upcoming season.

A team with  three Division II NCAA titles, 15 conference championships and the 2014 Big Sky Conference regular season and tournament champions, UND is ready to start another successful season.

The squad welcomes Minnesota-Crookston to the Betty  Engelstad Sioux Center this weekend, looking to win the second exhibition game before the season starts after defeating Mayville State last weekend 80-69.

With an official attendance of 1,519, UND has nothing but support from the dedicated fans this season and for most freshmen players, it is a big change to play with a fan base of that size.

Leading the team are veterans Mia Loyd and Makailah Dyer, who worked together for a combined 41 points in North Dakota’s exhibition play with an 80-69 victory over Mayville State on Sunday at the Betty. Both players have been huge contributing factors to the team’s success from previous years.

“We have to work on some things obviously, we learned a lot about this game and about ourselves and what we need to work on,” UND coach Travis Brewster said. “I am encouraged about some of the things I saw out there, I really am. What was most encouraging was you saw some players really get out there, got after it, and got some grid.”

History sides with the Green and White this weekend as UND has won against the Golden Eagles for the previous two seasons in exhibition play.

As things go for college sports, there will always be incoming freshmen with serious talent, and it is the job of these veterans to show them how UND uses this talent and the structure in which to follow.

“Some of them got over the jitters; for the most part they handled things very well,” Brewster said. “We have to get after them a bit here and there on rebounding. It is a work in progress; we needed this game to give them a chance to see how things are and I needed it to see how they react to things.”

Prepared and practiced, UND will wrap up the exhibition play this weekend at 2 p.m. Sunday, against Minnesota-Crookston.

Allyson Bento is a sports writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]