Cyclones endure losing streak
By Leah Christianson
photo by Tommy Yang
Freshman Carlie Lau shoots a basket for the Cyclones
at the home game versus UW-Marathon Nov. 28.
The Cyclones began with a rough start this season.
The basketball team lost their first game to UW-Richland 61-38 on Nov. 10. They lost their next game 87-64 at UW-Waukesha and again at UW-Marinette 61-35 the following week.
"My plan for the season is to focus on the team, and getting everyone to work together as a unit," coach Tracy Natz said.
"We want to work on staying together, staying tough through adversity."
The team jumped back taking a 56-35 win over the UW-Marathon Huskies Nov. 28.
Double digit scorer and sophomore Stephanie Stieger made her second double of the season with 14 points and ten rebounds. The Cyclones held the Huskies to only 21 percent shooting rate, and shot 43 percent offensively
The Cyclones struggled offensively against the opponent at 24.2 percent shot rate for the game. Freshman Carlie Lau led the way with 12 points and 12 rebounds. Stieger added 8 points, 12 rebounds, 4 assists and 5 blocks, and sophomore Crystal Lehman had 7 steals on the defense.
The team came to 1-6 overall with a tough loss against the UW Fond Du Lac Falcons 52-40. The Cyclones' poor shooting in the first half had them down 15-30 at halftime. The women came out stronger and finished more shots, shooting 45.8% though were not able to overcome a 15 point deficit at the half. Lehman led the Cyclones with 20 points and 5 steals. Lau had 11 points and grabbed 6 rebounds and Stieger led the team with 7 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. The loss was attributed to missed free throws throughout the night, with the team shooting 33% from the line.
Despite the early losses, the team still has potential to turn the season around.
"We have a really good bond which makes our chances for the season stronger because we don't work individually, we work as a team," Lau said.
The Cyclones women are a small team of seven returning and two new players. Natz believes staying motivated is essential for the group.
"We really have to motivate each other. Staying positive and having a good attitude along with the will to win and having a competitive nature. Especially with a small team, you have to keep it hard and fun at the same time," Natz said.
Lehman enjoys the team camaraderie and playing the game.
"I love the game too much not to play, and most girls played in volleyball together and grew a connection, so when we play we're just out there for each other," Lehman said.
The team prepares for games by running drills and going over plays every practice to make sure they are in the best shape. Natz frequently sets goals for the team.
"Setting team goals can be helpful in building team motivation. I let them come to a consensus about what they want and think they can accomplish together," Natz said.
Players are optimistic about turning their season around in the spring with the recruitment of more Cyclones.
"Second semester is the big part of the season and we have girls with basketball experience who are thinking about joining," Lehman said.
The Cyclones have faith that if they continue to work hard, they will see the results.
"If we can practice hard and get better and learn from every practice and game, we are taking steps towards the right direction. We have to keep improving physically and mentally," Natz said.
The women will compete away against the UW-Manitowoc Blue Devils tonight at 5:30 p.m.