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The North Wind

The North Wind

The North Wind

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Caden Sierra
Caden Sierra
Sports Writer

Hey. My name is Caden and I'm from the Chicagoland area.  I'm currently going into my 3rd year at NMU.  I'm a multimedia production major with a double minor in journalism and criminal justice. For as...

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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.

Photo courtesy of NMU Athletics
Women’s spring soccer comes to an end this weekend
Lily GouinApril 19, 2024

Women’s basketball finishes sixth of seven teams in GLIAC North

At this time last year, the women’s basketball team was heading to Houghton to participate in the NCAA Midwest Regional. Although the Huskies will be hosting will be hosting the regional for the second straight year, the Wildcats season is already done, losing the regular season finale 55-45 on Saturday, Feb. 26.

“I feel like we were focusing on the end of the season,” said center Erin Powers. “You can only focus on one game at a time. You can’t overlook teams or games that you don’t think will mean a lot during a season. Every game, every win matters.”

Junior forward Staci Beckel goes for the rebound against an opponent. Beckel was second on the team with 277 points, averaging 10.7 points per game. She was third with 131 rebounds. // Justin Key/NW

With last year’s 22-10 campaign, expectations were high for the team. Unfortunately, Northern was plagued with offensive problems for the beginning of the conference season, digging the team into a deep hole in the standings that it could not overcome. Finishing sixth of seven teams in the GLIAC North, NMU ended with a 12-14 record and just 7-12 in conference play.

“The season may not have concluded the way most of us thought it would,” guard Chelsea Lyons said. “But we took the court each and every game knowing that we could rely on one another to give it everything we had.”

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The Wildcats were able to grab two individual post-season awards. Lyons was named to GLIAC-North second team in her first year on the team and senior forward Kellie Rietveld was named to the GLIAC-North all-defensive team.

“I feel very honored to be named to the team,” Lyons said. “But giving out individual honors in a team sport is a bit funny. I mean, I wouldn’t have accomplished anything without the other four girls on the court.”

Half of those GLIAC wins came in February as the ’Cats won four of their last seven games. Despite their poor record, this late-season push kept NMU playoff eligible until after their senior day victory against Ashland in the third-to-last game of the season on Feb. 19.

NMU will be hurt by graduation for next season. In addition to losing both Powers and Jackie Davey in the post and Rietveld defense all over the court, last year’s MVP Steffani Stoeger is also graduating along with fellow guard Callie Youngman. But for these players, the pride of wearing the Wildcat uniform will be a lifelong value.

“I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything,” Powers said. “Coach (Troy Mattson) taught us so many life lessons in how to act on and off the basketball court that I will carry with me forever.”

However, NMU will have transfer stars Lyons and Staci Beckel, as well as three-point threat Hillary Bowling.

“We’ve already started preparing for next year,” Lyons said. “The freshmen are working out every day to get bigger and stronger, as we are going to rely on them a lot next year and they’ve accepted the challenge.  Soon the team will begin postseason individual workouts in which we focus on improving deficiencies we have.”

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