Cassie Nash breaks all-time steals record


Caleb Geer

Nash added 6 steals to her record in the first game of the ARC tournament against Dubuque on Feb. 21.

by Noah Harkness, Staff Reporter

Cassie Nash broke the all-time steals record in the Storm’s 79-67 road win over Dubuque. The previous record was set in 2001 by Lisa Cowling.

Simpson women’s basketball is on a six-game win streak after the Storm won their ARC tournament first-round game against Dubuque 95-70 on Feb. 21. During the streak, Nash has not had fewer than five steals in any game. She has also scored at least 19 points in five of the past six games.

Nash is a senior but has already decided to return for a fifth-year next season. She is majoring in sports administration and multimedia journalism, with a minor in coaching. 

Nash said the steals record wasn’t something she was thinking about.

“After the game, I was kinda late getting back on the bus, and when I got on coach [Brian] Neimuth told me. The whole bus started clapping for me as I was walking back to my seat. It was cool that the team was supporting me as well as the coaches.”

Nash has enjoyed success from the start with the Storm, having started all 26 games her freshman year. She is the three-time team defensive MVP and has continued that success into this year. She said coach Niemuth has had the biggest role in her athletic success this year.

“He’s a big reason why I came here, because his coaching style is just amazing,” Nash said. “He has such a good reputation and his drive to improve is huge. Seeing him care about us as people and as athletes is super cool.”

This season has been different than previous years because of how young the team has become. Younger players had to take the roles of seniors who went undefeated in conference play and won the ARC Conference Tournament last year. Nash said she’s tried to continue the leadership of the players she’s played with.

“Setting examples on and off the court, like getting in to shoot outside of practice time. Even when coaches aren’t there still doing the little things to improve because we want the team to be better.”

Assistant coach Claire Johnson had the opportunity to work with Nash both as a teammate and coach. Johnson graduated in 2020 and has coached under Niemuth the past three years. She said she could tell Cash was different even as a first-year.

“You knew that she was gonna be a special player and she actually got the opportunity to play her freshman year,” Johnson said. “It was really fun playing with her as a senior and she definitely helped us out a lot that year.

The program coach Niemuth has built is special and explains why former players stay involved with the team. Johnson said the beginning of the season was a learning experience trying to fill the voids left by the seniors.

“Now I feel like they have the confidence in themselves that they can play at that same level and standard we had last year. They’ve definitely grown in their confidence and leadership throughout the year.”

The Storm hopes to carry their momentum into the ARC Conference Tournament. They continue their postseason Feb. 23 at Loras.