Women’s hoopers finish season in third at home

Maddie Drain, Staff Writer

The UW-Whitewater women’s wheelchair basketball team finished third in the National Intercollegiate Wheelchair Basketball Tournament (NIWBT) this weekend.

The Warhawks battled hard the first day,  but fell to the eventual national champion University of Alabama  51-41.

UW-W led by five at half, and senior Mariska Beijer was able to collect a ton of rebounds. The ’Hawks played aggressive defense but struggled to sink shots in the second half.

Knowing that the ’Hawks pushed Alabama to a tight game kept head coach Christina Schwab focused on the positive aspects.

“Yeah, we didn’t get the win,” Schwab said. “But, there were a lot of things that were a win in that game.”

The team turned their luck around on March 11 and defeated the University of Illinois 54-35 to finish third in the tournament.

The strong defense carried over to this game, and freshman Lindsey Zurbrugg was hitting shots from all over the court.

The ’Hawks were able to hold the lead throughout the game, and began to pull away in the third quarter leading by 21 points.

Schwab was impressed with the amount of growth over the season and satisfied with how the team finished.

“They continue to raise the bar every time we go on the court together,” Schwab said. “They’ve exceeded my expectations every time.”

Growing up in the area and being a Warhawk, Schwab was proud to host the National Tournament as a first year coach.

“I wish you could have felt the sense of pride and excitement we had in the locker room before the games,” Schwab said. “It was tremendous.”

The ’Hawks had three seniors who played a lot of minutes this season, but Schwab is confident the underclassmen will have no problem filling those shoes.

“They’re going to fall into the position and roles,” Schwab said. “Our seniors were great role models.”

Looking forward to the years to come, Schwab knows this program has a bright future.

“People are going to see how this team carries themselves, and how they train, and want to be a part of that,” Schwab said. “We’re family here in Whitewater.”