Bulldogs tip off 2010-11 season Thursday at Tabor College
Concordia University will hope for continued success in the 2010-11 women’s basketball season. Concordia opens its season on November 4 at Tabor College in Kansas. The Bulldogs have made three consecutive trips to the NAIA National Tournament. Last season, Concordia finished 21-11 overall with an 11-7 mark in the always competitive Great Plains Athletic Conference.
Concordia returns two starters and six letter winners from last year’s squad. Senior Kristin Miller and sophomore Katie Rich started last year for the Bulldogs. Both were honorable mention All-Conference selections a year ago. Miller (Jefferson City, Mo.) averaged over eight points per game and hauled in a team-high 5.6 rebounds per game last season. Rich (Tilden, Neb.) was second on the team in both points (9.5) and rebounds (5.1) in the 2009-10 season.
Other top returners include Treva Nutter, Kat Ommen, Dawn Martin and Beth Kohmetscher. Nutter (Thedford, Neb.) was an honorable mention All-GPAC selection last year after averaging 9.4 points and 3.2 rebounds per game for the Bulldogs in her freshman year. Ommen (Jefferson City, Mo.) has played good minutes for Concordia during the past two seasons. She averaged 5.7 points and 3.6 rebounds last season in her junior year. Martin (Rockford, Ill.) appeared in 12 varsity games, while Kohmetscher (Deweese, Neb.) appeared in 18 varsity contests last year.
Concordia also adds a talented group of newcomers to the mix for the 2010-11 season. Melissa Ray and Lori Laboda come to Concordia following impressive high school careers at Chaparral High School in Parker, Colorado. Guards Myhiah Dotzler and Kristen Conahan join the Bulldogs following tremendous high school careers at Bellevue West and Millard North in Omaha. Transfer Amber Kistler (Minitare, Neb.) will vie for playing time following two years at Western Nebraska Community College, and post Britney Birtell (Madison, Neb.) should add depth inside for the Bulldogs.
“We will have a lot of new faces this year,” commented Drew Olson, head coach of the Bulldogs. “The positive is we have as much talent as we have ever had. We have some great shooters. We should be better at handling the basketball. If we stay healthy, we will have a lot of weapons and hopefully some balanced scoring.”
The GPAC will again be loaded with talent. Five teams represented the conference at last year’s NAIA National Tournament. Briar Cliff, Hastings, Northwestern and Morningside joined Concordia in the tournament, and Northwestern won the National Championship. Northwestern returns most of its championship team from a year ago, and the conference should again be solid from top to bottom this season. What are Coach Olson’s expectations as the season approaches?
“We have the potential to be very good,” remarked Olson. “We need to learn to play with each other and become an experienced group quickly. We can score in bunches, but can we play defense and get stops when we need it against the great teams? We can’t afford to play like freshmen and be unfocused in this league. Great teams don’t take anybody lightly, and they play with confidence and poise all the time. We have the talent. We could achieve great things if we mature together.”