Storm roles through IIAC play


by Lexie Hagerty/Staff Writer

The Simpson women’s basketball team remains strong throughout the beginning of its 2009-10 season, even after losing seven seniors from last year. The team’s record sits at 15-3, with only one loss in the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. The team is currently sitting at the top of the conference.”This is the most balanced our conference has been,” coach Brian Niemuth said. “Anyone can beat anyone on any given night. All you can worry about is who you play next.”The Storm currently averages about 78.2 points on the season, with sophomore center Stacy Schutjer leading the team with 256 points. The largest winning point margin the Storm has achieved this year is an 84-46 win over Bridgewater State at a tournament in San Diego, Calif.The Storm is also averaging 22.7 turnovers per game.”I’d like to have them under 20,” Niemuth said. “It, at times, hurts us a bit, but we know we will have more turnovers for the style of ball we play.”Senior shooting guard Katie Kitzman also said turnovers are expected with the Storm’s style of play. She said rebounding is the skill the team needs to improve.”In order to compete in the future, we are going to have to out-rebound the other teams in the conference,” Kitzman said.Simpson is last in the conference in offensive rebounding and third to last in defensive rebounding.”Rebounding takes discipline,” senior shooting guard Alicia Fischer said. “It is something that we need to be more conscious of and get better at.”Even after losing seven seniors last year, Niemuth said he expected a lot from his team this year.”This group is very coachable,” Niemuth said. “They want to work hard. They want to be successful.”Fischer said the team is committed to doing what it takes to be successful.”Working hard everyday, trusting the coaches, believing in the system and playing as a team are really what set us apart from other teams,” Fischer said.Kitzman gave some credit for the team’s success this year to the expectations that come with a winning program.”We are on a good track right now,” Kitzman said. “Having that past tradition gives us the confidence to come together and beat teams.”Fischer also said the winning tradition is motivation for success this year.”We want to do everything we can to continue the successful tradition of Simpson women’s basketball,” Fischer said. Kitzman said the team is young and has room for major and minor improvements.”We have a lot of different attitudes on the team to mesh together to create good team chemistry,” Kitzman said.Fischer said the dynamics of the team this year are definitely different, but the attitude and play are very similar to the teams of previous years.”With the new players, my question was how long it would take to get where we want to be,” Niemuth said. “We are getting there.”Niemuth said his team needs two things to compete in the future: consistency and intensity.”We have to learn to play consistent through the entire 40 minutes of each game,” Niemuth said.Both Fischer and Kitzman agreed the goals for this year aren’t any different than previous years. The team goals are still to win the conference regular season, win the conference tournament championship and compete in the NCAA tournament.