The Coyote women’s basketball team has their highest ranking ever — 21 AP/17 coaches poll — the second ever at-large bid for the Summit League in 2019 and over 100 wins under head coach Dawn Plitzuweit; how have the Coyote women achieved these?
Plitzuweit said the building of the team’s success starts with three main elements.
“Our young ladies strive to be their best in everything they’re doing,” Plitzuweit said. “They do a great job in the classroom, they do a great job on the court, but they also do a great job in the community.”
Striving in those three areas creates success individually, but Plitzuweit said the team culture and success stems from a different three phrases.
“The first term is togetherness,” said Plitzuweit, “the second phrase is toughness and the third phrase is find a way.”
Coach Plitzuweit said that these three sayings help guide the way the girls support and respect each other along with how disciplined they are when it comes to doing the little things.
These sayings also help when it comes to facing adversity because things don’t always go the way they are expected to and sometimes doing something unconventionally is the only way to get the job done Plitzuweit said.
Celebrating these successes along the way and never being satisfied is tough to balance Plitzuweit said, but balancing them is important as improving upon past mistakes brings the team to that next level.
“We want to celebrate successes,” Plitzuweit said, “but we want to continue to recognize where we can get better and focus on the fundamentals of where we can get better whether that’s on the court or off the court.”
Plitzuweit said she enjoys all of the success her team has accomplished on the court, but what is most satisfying to her goes deeper than that.
“The ability to watch these young ladies grow and develop is really, really neat to be a part of,”Plitzuweit said. “Being able to watch their confidence grow when their skill level grows, whether it’s their skill in leadership, on the basketball court, in embracing adversity, or getting comfortable being uncomfortable, is the best part about this profession.”
The Coyotes upcoming schedule includes a home game against Western Illinois Thursday, Feb. 13 at 7 p.m. in the Sanford Coyotes Sport Complex.
The Coyote men also face Western Illinois Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. Both squads then hit the road to face Oral Roberts on Saturday. The women take the court at 2 p.m., followed by the men’s team at 7 p.m.