Women’s Basketball Bringing the Hammer Next Season
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Women’s Basketball Bringing the Hammer Next Season

The Coyotes Women’s Basketball team finished the 2022-2023 season with an overall record of 14-16 and 10-8 in conference play finishing fourth in the Summit League.

This was the first season under new coach Kayla Karius after former head coach Dawn Plitzuweit left for West Virginia.

Sophomore guard Grace Larkins said that the team has more experience now after playing a season for Karius.

“(We have ) a little bit more experience under our belts and we kinda know what to expect now, especially having a year with coach (Karius) now as well,” Larkins said.

In the Coyotes final game of the season, they fell to No. 5 seed Oral Roberts 92-69 in the quarterfinals of the Summit League Tournament. 

“I think we definitely didn’t finish where we wanted to finish, especially in the Summit League tournament,” Larkins said. “We’re going to be going for it next (season), trying our hardest, and we’ll see (what we can do).”

Larkins, who was mainly double-teamed in the game against Oral Roberts, ended the game with 19 points and nine rebounds. Larkins reflects on what happened during the tournament and said that trusting her teammates is what she is working on for the upcoming season. 

During the regular season, the Coyotes starting lineup shifted due to injuries and the rise of different players as ten of the eleven players on roster started in at least one game. Larkins, senior guard Macy Guebert and sophomore forward Morgan Hansen all started 20 plus games.​​ They were joined in the starting lineup by redshirt freshman forward Carly Duffney in the final twelve games of the season.

Larkins led the team in points (17.5), rebounds (8), assists (4.4), steals (61) and blocks (20) as she made First Team All-Summit League and All-Defensive team. Even though Larkins was the only Coyote to make any Summit League team, she said that she wouldn’t be able to do it without her teammates. 

“I would not be able to do any of those things without my teammates… team effort for everything,” Larkins said.

While the awards are nice, Larkins doesn’t like how the season ended for the team.

“I don’t care about the awards or anything. Basketball is such a team game, so if I score two points and our team comes out with a victory, I’ll be just as happy,” Larkins said.

Last season, the Coyotes only graduated three seniors in Macy Guebert, Jeniah Ugofsky and Allison Peplowski. Next season, the Coyotes will only have one senior in Madison Grange who was granted a medical redshirt after only playing five games and falling to injury. 

The Coyotes will be adding five additional players: senior transfer forward Tori DePerry and four freshmen in Avery Broughton, Olivia Kieffer, Addison Klosterbuer and Coal Mason. The Coyotes will also have redshirt freshman guard Joy Bergstrom who sat out all of last season.

Larkins expects the team to be a lot better next year and come out and do better with the disappointing end to the season.

“Right away, put the hammer down; that’s our goal,” Larkins said. “I think our chemistry is growing a lot, and I think we’ll be a really dominant team next year.”