Women’s basketball ends historic season in ‘Big Apple’

by Derek HannahSports Editor

The women of Simpson College basketball ended their season in New York City after losing to the home team Violets of New York University 76-58. The game was played in front of 1,681 fans at the Jerome S. Coles Sports Center in Manhattan, New York.

Simpson came out to an early lead in the first half of the game, but the Violets began to pull away in the second half. The Storm were able to get the deficit down to eight points, but NYU’s widespread athleticism enabled them to pull out the victory.

“They are legit,” said Head Coach Brian Niemuth. “I thought we lost our legs a bit during their (19-6 first half) run. We bounced back we got down to eight in the second half. I am proud of our team, I hope this (experience) whets the appetite of our returning players who got a chance to play in the Sweet 16.”

Junior Katelyn Whiton, a finalist for WBCA Division III All-American honors, led the Storm with 14 points and nine rebounds.

Sophomore Whitney Franker scored 12 points while sophomore Carrie Larson added 10. Junior Ashley Katch, the leading shot blocker in all of Divisions I, II and III, finished with six points, six boards and eight swats for Simpson.

The season came to an end for the Storm after tying a school record 23 wins, with seven losses.

The Storm loss in the Division III “Sweet 16” marked the first time any Simpson basketball team has reached such a stage.

Next year’s team hopes to achieve similar success, losing only Tessa Van Oosbree from this year’s team. However, as the team’s leader this year, Van Oosbree will be missed, concluding her career as a four-year contributor and this year’s leader in steals.

Several underclassmen made solid contributions throughout the season, especially in the NCAA Tournament, which bodes very well for the future of Simpson College women’s basketball.