Warhawks win big on National Women in Sports Day


Katie McIlheran

UW-Whitewater Warhawks Women’s basketball team is seen here breaking it down at the end of a timeout against UW-La Crosse Feb. 2nd 2022.

Mikey Rottier, Assistant Sports Editor

The UW-Whitewater and UW-La Crosse women’s basketball teams put on a show for National Women in Sports Day at Kachel gymnasium Wednesday, Feb. 2. Warhawks edged out the Eagles in a back and forth affair on a go ahead floater at the free throw line from Rebekah Schumacher. Emma Gamoke led scoring for the La Crosse Eagles, tieing her season high with 21 points on a remarkable seven of nine beyond the arch. Unfortunately for La Crosse it wasn’t enough to upset the ninth ranked Warhawks going into the matchup. 

Whitewater started to pull away in the second quarter building up an 11 point lead, but it didn’t last for long. The Eagles went on a surge scoring 11 in the last minute and a half of the second quarter. The game was tied 31-31 at the end of the half.

With the Warhawks leading scorer Aleah Grundahl held to just four points in the first half, senior guard Veronica Kieres knew that she had to step up and make big plays to keep Whitewater in the game and she accomplished the task at hand. 

“I just try to do my thing and contribute where I can, whether that is passing or scoring or whatever my team needs me to step up and do,” Kieres said. 

Coming off a season high 13 point game against Lake Forest, Kieres had another 12 crucial points against La Crosse and was a big contributor on both offense and defense with three steals and two blocks. 

“I think our post players have been setting really great screens to get me open off the midrange, so that is probably the number one factor for my success these last two games,” Kieres said. “Just confidence and keep shooting if you miss, and that is also just a lot easier with our post players setting such great hard screens.”

After fighting through a barrage of Gamoke three-pointers in the second half the fate of the Warhawks came down to one shot. Rebekah Schumacher got the ball at the top of the key with ten seconds left driving into the lane hitting a big time basket. This put the Warhawks up by two with just six seconds left. 

“Honestly not all that much was going through my head when I hit that shot,” Schumacher said. “I knew we were tied so I did not have much to lose, I was looking at the clock I knew we had a little under ten seconds left and I just shot it.”

A sigh of relief in the form of exuberant cheering washed over the Whitewater bench as time expired with the Warhawks in front 56-54. The win was made even sweeter by the recognition of National Women in Sports Day and the weight and importance that has on the team. 

“It is super important and just recognizing that women and girls all over the country have a day where we can recognize all of our efforts and time and energy that we put into all the sports that we play makes it a super special day,” head coach Keri Carollo said. 

In addition to the recognition, another important aspect of this day especially for the players is being a role model and inspiring young girls who come and watch them play.

“I think it is awesome, I love seeing all the youth in the stands here. I remember being a youth and coming to these games. I think it is huge, especially an exciting game like this for young girls to be able to watch and be inspired by the women on our team,” Schumacher said. 

The Warhawks capped off the week with a 63-54 win at UW-River Falls. Whitewater stays atop the WIAC standings with their conference record of 10-1. 

With just three remaining regular season games they hope to finish strong. The Warhawk women will be staying at home to take on the UW-Platteville Pioneers in Whitewater at Kachel Gymnasium Wednesday, Feb. 9 at 7 p.m.