Women’s basketball team adds another milestone

Calahan Steed, Staff Reporter

The Warhawk women’s basketball team is a more than successful program.

Since 2007, they’ve won five Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championships and have appeared in 11 NCAA tournaments, three of which were Final Fours.

On Sept. 29, the Warhawks added another milestone to their storied history: The Women’s College Staff of the Year award.

“It’s a great honor,” assistant coach Amy Zelinger said. “We’re surrounded by a lot of other great staff in the state.”

Whitewater received the award at the Wisconsin Basketball Coaches Association banquet.

“We’re pretty proud of our accomplishment, but we respect the fellow staff members across the state and all of the hard work they do,” Zelinger said.   

Head coach Keri Carollo took home the Women’s College Coach of the Year award. Last season  she won her fifth overall WIAC championship and second WIAC tournament title in a row.

Carollo has a record of 314-138 since taking over as Warhawks head coach in 2002, and has finished at or above .500 in 13 of her 17 seasons.

Carollo noted she was happy about winning the award and enjoys coaching at Whitewater.

“I love the campus,” Carollo said. “I love the community feeling, I love the opportunity for us to coach at the highest level in Division III.”

  Winning the Staff of the Year Award takes a lot of hard work from a dedicated staff. Carollo understands how vital it is to have an excellent staff to turn to when a challenge appears.

“It is really important to make sure that you have a group of people that are very committed to the vision of the program and people that are willing to really work hard and represent the institution in a positive manner,” Carollo said.

Senior forward Olivia Freckmann has gone to the NCAA tournament her first three years of her collegiate basketball career. She said she respects how much the coaching staff works to improve their players.

“My coaches have quite literally worked with me every single year to make sure that they see my improvement on the court and off the court,” Freckmann said.

Carollo and Zelinger both agree the best part about coaching at Whitewater is the relationship they have with the players.

“They’re enjoyable to be around and they keep us young and they teach us a lot of stuff,” Zelinger said. “We also get to teach them and prepare them for things that are beyond basketball, and it’s important to have that kind of impact on their lives and it’s very enjoyable.”    

The women’s team will seek to bring home more titles when it begins the regular season Nov. 11 against Loras College (Iowa) in Whitewater.