‘Hawks to host CID tourney

Nov. 19, 2014 By Ryan Altman

The UW-Whitewater men’s and women’s wheelchair teams have witnessed success as they enter the 2013-14 season with a combined five national championships in the past three years that the expectations for this year should be no different.

Both men’s head coach, Jeremy Lade and Dan Price, the women’s head coach, agree their team’s success will be determined by how fast the players can adapt to new roles and new leadership as the two rosters adjust to turnover.

Men

The ’Hawks return three of five starters from their 2013-14 team that went 24-3 and defeated the University of Texas-Arlington in last year’s national championship game.

Senior Derrick Bisnett, grad student Shai Ron and sophomore Dylan Fischbach played big minutes for a squad that averaged over 68 points-per-game last season.

Bisnett, the lone senior on the roster, said he worked this offseason to add a frontcourt element to his game after primarily serving as the ’Hawks threat in the post. This season Bisnett said he would also like to embrace a leadership role on the team.

“I go into every practice doing the most I can on a personal level,” Bisnett said. “If the other guys see that and try to follow, I think that’s a good thing.”

Christian Seidel, Blake Harmet, Kyle Gribble and Caleb Vanderweide highlight a ’Hawks freshmen class which has Lade “very excited” about the season.

Seidel, who is originally from Malmo, Sweden, has six years of international experience under his belt, winning various medals at the European and World Championships during his time playing for the Swedish National Team.

“I think when you watch wheelchair basketball this year, it’s going to be a little different from the past,” Lade said. “We’ve usually run six, seven, eight deep off the bench, and I think this year, we’re going to be getting into the eight, nine, ten, even eleventh spot on our bench.”

Lade said the younger guys will have an opportunity to step up and make an impact.

New to the schedule this season are three non-conference games which pin the ’Hawks against premier teams from the men’s National Wheelchair Basketball Association. Lade said these games will be played in Milwaukee in December.

The ’Hawks will open the season against the University of Missouri at 10 a.m. on Nov 21 at the Kachel Fieldhouse. They play Edinboro University of Pennsylvania at 2 p.m. and the University of Alabama at 8 p.m.

The ’Hawks then play the University of Illinois on Nov. 22 at 1 p.m. They close the tournament with a game against the University of Texas-Arlington at 5 p.m.

Women

Price said it’s too early to tell whether his team has the potential to match last year’s performance.

He sees the beginning part of this season as a chance to see who could fill the gaps left by Mareike Adermann, Desiree Miller and Rebecca Murray, all instrumental figures on the 2014 championship team.

“We lost three paralympians,” Price said. “We’re losing some veteran leadership.”

Similar to the men’s team, Price expects his underclassmen to take the lead.

“I’m looking forward to seeing some of our role players from last year, who are some of our veterans this year,” Price said. “I want to see them take on that leadership role and see how we can apply that into our game aspects.”

This opportunity partially belongs to junior Mariska Beijer and senior Jillian Host. As starters last year, Beijer and Host saw valuable time on the court.

Beijer, who was one of the ’Hawks leading scoring threats a year ago, also has quite a decorated international career. As a member of the Dutch National Team, she has collected five international medals through the European and World Championships.

“I really look forward to working with the girls,” Beijer said. “We have so much potential in our team. I am really excited that we will play our first official games this season on our own grounds. There is so much we can do, and I want to show the rest of the ‘Dub’ what we are capable of.”

Also returning for the ’Hawks are sophomore Dani Ebben, junior Yarden Herschko and seniors Lydia Sprain and Vanessa Erskine.

Freshman Amanda Sengdetka and senior Rachel Nepper are the only two players on the ’Hawks roster who were not a part of last year’s championship team. Both made their debuts for the ’Hawks on Oct. 18 against the Waukesha Thunder.

The women’s team will begin their season on Nov. 21 as well. They host the University of Illinois at noon on Nov. 21 at the Kachel Fieldhouse. They then play the University of Texas-Arlington at 6 p.m.

The ’Hawks then play the University of Alabama at 11 a.m. on Nov. 22. Their final game of the tournament is against the University of Texas-Arlington at 3 p.m.

Both teams will have a few days of practice before hosting the first tournament of the 2014-15 season on Friday at the Williams Center.

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