by EMILY STADELMYER
The Bulldog’s basketball program has made a positive impact to the Drake’s athletic program. The women’s basketball team made their third straight appearance in the NCAA last season making it the first 3-peat in Drake’s basketball program.
Following the women was the men’s basketball team finishing the season with 24 wins, the third-most in program history, in transit to the Missouri Valley Conference regular-season championship. Both teams had an amazing season last year, what more does each team plan on achieving as the 2019-20 season approaches?
“This season we are aiming to be conference champions, conference tournament champions, and make a run in the NCAA tournament,” Monica Burich, senior on the women’s basketball team, said.
The women on the team have been working very hard in the off season to make this season their most successful one so far,as their head coach Jennie Baranczyk mentioned
“Each one of them has worked on their own skill sets: mental, physical, and technical,” Baranczyk said.
The women opened their season in the Knapp Center on November 8th taking a win against South Dakota State 74-67.
“Our seniors, Becca Hittner, Brenni Rose, and Sara Rhine have a lot of experience and each lead in different ways,” Baranczyk said. “They have been in a lot of big moments and know the importance of showing up every day to bring their best, and expect the best from everyone around them. This is a great class and a great team.”
As our seniors take on their last season as Drake Bulldogs, Becca Hittner and Sara Rhine are both very excited for the season and to continue playing in the Knapp center surrounded by their fans.
“I love playing in the Knapp and getting to interact with our fans,” Hittner said. “The energy in the Knapp is always a blast to play in, I am looking forward to playing in front of our fans.”
You can catch the Bulldogs’ next home game as they take on Creighton at 6 P.M. in the Knapp Center on November 16th.
The men tipped-off their season on November 7th taking a win against Kennesaw State in the Knapp Center 86-55. The Bulldogs collected their win along with 17 3-pointers on the way to their season-opening. Larry Blunt, assistant coach, look at the new season as an opportunity for the Bulldogs to develop their skills.
“They all have potential and have shown a lot of growth on and off the court as the season begins,” Blunt said.
As the season is just beginning, the Bulldogs are ready to have a successful season.
“We want to be the best representations of ourselves and continue to grow and push together not only as a team but a family,” Blunt said.
The Bulldogs have had an exciting offseason as they were finished their 2018-19 season as conference champions and finished with 24 wins.
“I think they’ve had a great summer an offseason leading into the fall, and I feel like they’ve really taken that next step,” head coach, Darian DeVries told reporters “There’s a lot of reason for optimism for our team this year.”
You can see the Bulldogs next home game in the Knapp Center at 7 P.M. as they take on Kansas City.