In 2019, the Women’s Basketball team made their first ever UMAC (Upper Midwest Athletic Conference) tournament appearance. Haleigh Filer led the team in scoring for the Rams and finished the season with a 14-11 record, making program history. Two weeks ago the Rams were able to make their second UMAC tournament appearance being the 5th seed in the bracket. Unfortunately, the Rams were defeated 65-69 to the University of Minnesota Morris in the first round of the tournament. They finished the season with an 8-8 conference record, a 12-14 overall record, and 5th place in the UMAC standing.
Bethany Lutheran College ended up taking the crown as they defeated The University of Wisconsin Superior 64-58 in the UMAC championship game.
On March 3rd, the UMAC officially announced the recipients of their awards from the 2020 postseason. Despite the loss to Minnesota Morris that ended their postseason run, 3 Rams were fortunate enough to make UMAC All Honors. Junior, Emily DiGorgio earned All UMAC Second team, Sophomore, Naomi Hagstrom earned All UMAC Honorable Mention, and Junior, Allison Bulthuis the All UMAC Sportsmanship Award.
DiGorgio had an astounding season as she recorded 15 points per game, and dominated the court with 8.9 rebounds a game. Alongside DiGorgio, Hagstrom also contributed 15 points per game and 6.3 rebounds per game. Bulthuis, being one of the team captains this season, showed great leadership on the court and finished her career with big numbers. With the opportunity to graduate early as a junior, Bulthuis finishes her career with 143 three point field goals, and 699 career points being a key contributor to the Rams these past 3 years.
Head coach Paul Brunner had a lot to say about this past season. “Throughout the entire season as a team, we never talk about any outcome based goals. Instead, we focus all our attention on character/leadership/personal development. Of course we loved being able to qualify for the UMAC postseason tournament for the second consecutive year, but winning is just a goal, it is not a purpose. The growth I witnessed this season was incredible and I am so proud of our players for their commitment and buy into something much bigger than basketball.”
After their postseason run, the Rams will lose Betty Rand and Allison Bulthuis. Looking ahead the Rams will have a lot of returners for next season led by DiGorgio and Hagstrom. Bethany Shield, Kadija Conteh, and Jocleyn Talso look to be the key returners as well. Paul Brunner will return as head coach next year for his sixth season and looks to continue great growth for his team’s future.