North Central’s Women’s Basketball Team Makes History With Playoff Berth

The North Central Women’s Basketball team has made it into UMAC playoffs for the first time in its operations.

North Central’s women’s basketball team runs in from the court for a team huddle with Coach Brunner. On the way in, the basketball team looks to the crowd of North Central fans one last time before the UMAC Playoffs begin against University of Northwestern.
[Photographer: Rebekah Winkel]

On Feb. 9, despite losing to the University of Minnesota-Morris, the Women’s basketball team clinched a berth into the UMAC playoffs for the first time in their history.

“It was all excitement,” said Women’s Basketball Head Coach Paul Brunner, “For me as a coach, it’s a dream come true to compete the whole season.”

While the playoff berth was short lived (the women lost in the first round in an away game against Northwestern 64-80), it is a step in the right direction. This year marks the last year in the NCCAA Division II for North Central, meaning the school will no longer be eligible to participate in their tournament bracket if we do not make UMAC playoffs anymore.

Senior, #24 Haleigh Filer stole the ball from University Northwestern and ran it down for an attempt at a two-point layup.
[Photographer: Rebekah Winkel]

“Our priority is to go through the UMAC Division III playoffs,” said Athletics Director Greg Johnson, “Our vision is to be a competitive Division III athletics department that impacts lives and glorifies God.”

Director Johnson also mentioned that the move to harder competition will bring campus morale up and get North Central into a better position to recruit athletes to the program.

The team won’t be getting a hard reset on their roster next year either. Four of the five starters this year will be returning next year, with the lone exception of Haleigh Filer, who also led the team in points scored.

“We are continuing to build and improve,” said Brunner, “we recognize results and success this year doesn’t mean anything next year. If anything, we’re more challenged now to get even better so that we can have a better season.”

About the author: Weston Cregut

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