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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Megan Voorhees
Megan Voorhees
Assistant News Editor

Hi! I’m Megan Voorhees and I’m the Assistant News Editor at The Northwind! I was first introduced to journalism my sophomore year of high school and I’ve been in love with the profession and writing...

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The North Wind is an independent student publication serving the Northern Michigan University community. It is partially funded by the Student Activity Fee. The North Wind digital paper is published daily during the fall and winter semesters except on university holidays and during exam weeks. The North Wind Board of Directors is composed of representatives of the student body, faculty, administration and area media.

Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Students protest against Israel-Hamas war with campus encampment
Dallas WiertellaApril 30, 2024

Wildcat guard bolts for MTU

Senior guard Maria Kasza will play her final collegiate season in the U.P., just as she has her first three, only she will be donning the black-and-yellow, rather than the green-and-gold. Kasza announced her decision to transfer to rival Michigan Tech, where she will sit out one season due to NCAA rules, and finish her career a Husky.

“I went up to Tech for a short unofficial visit a few weeks after spring break. After seeing the campus, meeting with an academic advisor, checking out the facilities and having a meeting with Coach Barnes and Coach Cameron, I verbally committed 15 minutes into my drive back to Marquette,” Kasza said.

Kasza came here as a highly -heralded freshman under former coach Mike Geary and averaged 10.6 points and made more than two three-pointers a game during her first season. Her sophomore season was more of the same under new head coach Troy Mattson, as Kasza started all 25 games, averaged 11.6 points and ranked third in the GLIAC in three-point field goals made. This season however, Mattson admitted that Kasza’s strengths as a player differed from the team philosophy as a whole, and she started just eight games and scored a career-low 6.9 points per contest.

“There wasn’t really conflict between Maria and I, but my style is different than what her specialty is, which is shooting,” Mattson said. “My idea for us to get better is to be better at defensive rebounding, which can create things on the offensive end and it doesn’t really fit into her style of play.”

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Kasza said that NMU was the “right fit” when she first signed on with the program and since then things have changed.

“All along the recruiting process you’re told not to sign for a coach, but as a player it is a large part of the choice you make, for they’ll greatly impact your next four to five years,” she said. “When coaches change, a new set of expectations, disciplines and vision of a team is brought in. In this case for me I didn’t mesh into that new direction of the program and it was no longer “the right fit.” It only made sense to explore other options and try to make something out of my senior year of eligibility.”

Kasza said the fondest memory she will take from Northern is from her freshman season when she and fellow freshman Allison Caroll combined for 40 points and 20 rebounds and the team knocked off the top-seeded Lake Superior State Lakers in the GLIAC tournament.

“Since the ending of that season it is evident I have not progressed as a player and quite simply Troy and I didn’t see eye to eye,” she said. “The writing was on the wall, I read it, and have moved on. I feel like I have put a lot into this program, and this definitely wasn’t the way I had hoped it would end.”

Mattson said that after spring break he and the staff sat down with each player and discussed the upcoming season and that is when Kasza discussed the possibility of transferring with him.

“It’s a situation where she got an opportunity to go somewhere and she thinks she’ll get more of a chance to play more minutes than what I told her my idea was for her senior year,” Mattson said. “She played hard all the time and gave us 100 percent and I don’t think there were any issues between Maria and I and there still aren’t any. I wish her the best of luck to tell you the truth.”

Kasza said she was drawn to MTU by the discipline that Coach Barnes instills in his players and the constant expectation of success.

“Playing in an NCAA tournament is expected there, and I hope to contribute to making that happen for the university,” she said. “Also my former AAU teammate and good friend Sarah Stream is the point guard there, and I’m very excited to reunite with her in the backcourt someday.”

Mattson said he plans on moving junior guard Kelsey Deacon, who has started at the point guard spot the past two years, to the two-guard position that Kasza vacated and he hopes to give incoming recruits as well as sophomore Natalie Laroque minutes at point.

“It’s a transition period and it’s hard to see people come in and out of your program,” he said. “Maria’s done a great job here trying to be a leader and everything, it’s just totally Maria and I being honest about how many minutes she’d play her senior year and how she’ll probably play more minutes somewhere else.”

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