Previewing: Loras College Women's Basketball
Fri, Nov. 16, 2012 - [Women's Basketball]

Coming off a 14-12 season where they finished 9-7 in the IIAC, the 2012-2013 Duhawk women's basketball team is looking to take that next step toward a conference championship and ultimately an NCAA tournament berth. 


"Our focus, ‘Brick by Brick', will expectantly lead to stronger and stronger play as the season progresses, hopefully culminating in an NCAA Tournament appearance," is what head coach Justin Heinzen had to say during the preseason.


The Duhawks will look to use their deep and explosive roster to maintain their goal.


"This is the deepest and probably most explosive team, one through fifteen, that we've had in some time and we'll look to play to that strength," said Heinzen.


With the departure of two-time first team All-IIAC performer, Lindsey LaBadie, it will not be easy to fill the role she played a year ago.


"What she did extremely well was bring a no-nonsense mentality to games and practices that resulted in an incredible leadership style," stated Heinzen.


 This year's team will rely heavily on their senior leadership from seniors Niki Rivera, Brittany Cato, Kelly Rogowski, Brit Kent, Rachel Kerchefske, and Melissa Hermann - along with red-shirt junior Katie Wheeler.


The lady Duhawks will also look at a couple of freshman to make immediate impacts, in Kaitlin Phillips and Megan Jones.


Heinzen is looking to test the Duhawks, scheduling both University of Chicago, who is a perennial power house and national championship contender, along with Carthage College, who was an elite-eight team a year ago.


This year's team should be one to watch out for down the road.


"This year's Duhawks will be able to win games in a number of different ways: scoring, defense, hustle plays, which will make us a pretty strong matchup," Heinzen stated.


A Closer Look:

2011-12 Record: 14-12, 9-7 in IIAC

2012-13 Preseason Coaches' Poll: 3rd place (including one first place vote)

Starters Lost: Lindsey LaBadie

Key Returners: Melissa Hermann, Katie Langmeier, Brittany Cato, Niki Rivera, Kelly Rogowski, Brit Kent, Katie Wheeler

Also Keep An Eye On: Rachel Kerchefske, Allie DiVito, Kaitlin Phillips, Megan Jones