Women’s basketball stopped in Sweet 16


Credit- Olivia Zinanni

Yssa Sto. Domingo goes up against a defender for a shot near the basket in what would be the final game of her career.

Mikey Rottier, Women’s Sports Editor

Head coach Keri Carollo and the Whitewater women’s basketball team are headed home after an abrupt end to a successful season. Trinity College (CN.) defeated the Warhawks’ strong defense and put an end to Whitewater’s NCAA Tournament run. 

The Warhawks traveled down to Smith College (MA.) for a Sweet 16 matchup against Trinity, Friday, Mar. 10. Whitewater was bested 63-56 in the contest, but made a valiant effort up to the final buzzer. 

The Warhawks played tough through the first half, led by Kacie Carollo. The sophomore guard kept Whitewater in the game with 17 points in the first half and 28 total throughout the game. Carollo led the game in scoring for each of the Warhawks’ four tournament games and recorded her fourth straight game with 20 or more points. 

Sophomore guard Kacie Carollo made it tough for Trinity with 28 points in the contest, 17 of which came in the first half. (Olivia Zinanni )

“We went into the game super focused and kind of just let the nerves and adrenaline take over,” Carollo said. “Going into the third quarter and fourth quarter we always say ‘stay the course’ to each other and just try to have that next play mentality. The ball just didn’t really bounce our way in the end, but they were a really good team and we knew that and I think we played them tough.”

In just her second year as a starter for Whitewater, Carollo put together another impressive season at the helm of the Warhawk offense. She led the team in scoring with 17 points per game, which ranked second in the conference at the conclusion of the regular season. With the potential and growth shown from Carollo in the past two seasons, it remains a bright spot for Whitewater. 

“She just really stepped up for us and hit some big shots,” coach Carollo said. “It just didn’t seem like anyone could get anything going. I am just proud of her effort and how resilient she is and she has that never give up mentality.”

Warhawk guard Yssa Sto. Domingo finished the game with four points and three steals in the loss. The fifth year senior played tough in her final game with Whitewater, but spent most of the game in foul trouble. Throughout her career, Sto. Domingo has been a glue player for the Warhawks and fit a role of intense defender and sharpshooter.

“She always gives so much effort everyday,” coach Carollo said about Sto. Domingo. “She has completely sold her soul to this basketball program, to be able to play all five years and give us all of her time and stay so engaged is incredible. We will miss her, but I am just so proud of all she has accomplished.”

Despite a shocking end to the season, Whitewater put together another successful year for their illustrious women’s basketball program. The Warhawks captured the No. 1 overall seed for the conference in the regular season and went on to win the WIAC tournament. They earned home-court advantage for the regional rounds of the NCAA Tournament for the second year in a row and advanced to the program’s sixth Sweet 16 appearance. 

“The experience of the NCAA tournament is huge and it gives everyone experience to be in those pressure situations, have an opportunity to see some teams from the East Coast and see the slight differences in officiating,” coach Carollo said. “I hope that it makes them hungry and excited to get to work, and hopefully make another run next year.”

Senior forward Abi Baumgartner has filled in for Aleah Grundahl in the last five contests and posted some of the best stats of her career.
(Olivia Zinanni )

Whitewater has unfinished business with their NCAA tournament runs cut short in back-to-back seasons, but are set up for success in the 2024 season. All-American forward Aleah Grundahl, who has spent the last four games on the bench with a wrist injury, will return for her fifth year with the team. Leading-scorer Carollo will be back as a junior, and starting guard Maggie Trautsch will be back as well. The Warhawks also have a loaded bench of young talented athletes waiting their turn. 

Coach Carollo and the Whitewater women’s basketball team will be looking to come back next year and build off the success of the past two seasons.