Last week, Drake University’s women’s basketball team won both of their exhibition games against Grand View and Minnesota State with respective scores of 86-59 and 83-58.
“I think that we played well in our exhibition games, but also have so much more that we can improve on,” said first-year guard Katie Dinnebier. “I am so excited for this upcoming season, and feel as though we have a great team with high potential.”
The team is coming off of a 18-12 record last season and has two returning starters, Graduate Maddie Petersen, a All-MVC First Team recipient, and redshirt junior Grace Berg, the 2021 MVC Newcomer of the Year.
Allison Pohlman was also named the new Suzie Glazer Burt Women’s Basketball Head Coach last spring after being an associate coach for the past seven years. Pohlman has been a part of the basketball program since 2007.
Dinnebier is the 2021 Gatorade Iowa Girls Basketball Player of the Year and got her first start as a Bulldog. In the 22 minutes she played, Dinnebier had two assists, two rebounds, three steals and scored 10 points
“It is so amazing to finally be back on the basketball court again,” Dinnebier said. “I love it here at Drake, and the women’s basketball atmosphere is awesome. I was beyond thankful to receive the Gatorade POY award, and want to continue to grow as a basketball player here at Drake.”
Forward Ashley Iiams is another first-year on the team that got her first points as a college athlete.
“It’s so exciting, I’ve dreamed of playing college basketball ever since I was a kid so for that dream to really become a reality has been really special,” Iiam said.
In three minutes of play against Grand View Iiams was 1-1 in field goals on the stat sheet with a three pointer shot.
“It felt unreal to step into the game and hit a three but honestly that’s not what it’s about: I love seeing my teammates do well and overall just winning,” Iiams said.
The Bulldogs were predicted to finish second in the Missouri Valley Conference behind Missouri State in a preseason poll, which was voted on by coaches, sports information directors and the media.
“Being second in the MVC is definitely something we pay attention to and it’s what drives us through the season,” Ashley Iiams said. “We want to win and we want to be the best. That also comes with a lot of expectation but I think that’s good for us to have that as motivation.”
Dinnebier personally didn’t pay attention to the MVC preseason poll.
“I think it’s a great starting point to see where people expect you to be, but an even better chance to prove people wrong and finish the season as number one,” Dinnebier said.
Drake’s first game of the season will be against Creighton University on Wednesday, Nov. 10 at the Knapp Center.
“We are just working hard everyday taking it game by game,” Iiams said. “We are learning from our first two games and can’t wait to face the challenge of Creighton on Wednesday because they are a great team.”
Dinnebier talked about all the work the team is putting in for this new season.
“We are in the gym constantly working on our craft and connection & excited to start the regular season,” Dinnebier said. “I think I can speak for everyone when I say that we are hungry, and ready to show fans what we have been working so hard for in the off-season.”