D3 Women's Update - Up and Coming Teams Next Season
The 2021-2022 Women’s D3 basketball season gave us memorable moments with plenty of ups and downs in a fiery March Madness tournament.
The Hope Flying Dutch won their third tournament, upsets were plentiful, and promising underclassmen showed their elite athleticism yet to reach its full potential.
With the 2022-23 season seemingly flying towards us, let’s take a look into up and coming teams that have the desire to take it all.
Hardin-Simmons showed immense promise in their NCAA Tournament game against Trinity (TX) , who made it to the quarterfinals before getting knocked out by Amherst. The game ended 61-57, with strong efforts from both sides.
The Cowgirls fielded a young squad with 11 out of the 19 players listed on the roster as freshmen. Kiki Gonzales, one of the Hardin-Simmons’ most promising new players, averaged 7.6 points a game. It would be hard to believe that’s not going up this year.
The rising seniors demonstrated their prowess on the court the past season, with Hallie Edmondson and Parris Parmer being among top scorers. Each had an impressive average of over 10 points a game. As the year goes on and the players start developing more chemistry, their performance will surely skyrocket after an already strong record of 21-5.
2. University of Wisconsin- Eau Claire
Winning a decisive first round game in the NCAA Tournament, but coming just short in their game against Millikin, UW-Eau Claire left wanting more. The 2021-22 first and second year players, such as Lucia Hague and Eveelyn Walker, showed plenty of promise, while proving they meant business.
Rising seniors Courtney Crouch and Jessie Ruden put up phenomenal numbers, with Ruden scoring 18.8 points a game and Crouch getting 11.4 a game. Coming off a fantastic 22-8 season, but coming just short in the tournament, will inspire these players to roar back with a fury, seeking success in the 2022-23 season.
3. Webster University
Webster University had a brutally close loss in the first round of the Tournament against Mary Hardin-Baylor, losing by three points, 79-76. They swept their competition this past season, going undefeated until that tournament game, finishing with a 25-1 season. With confidence they obtained dominating their opponents in the SLIAC tournament, they will be a clear favorite to return to the NCAA Tournament with their elite team.
Senior Julie Baudendistel is one of the favorites to help lead the charge next year, along with junior Bethany Landcaster. Both players fought tooth and nail in their final game, scoring 22 and 21 points, respectively. Their roster is full of new talent that will improve over this offseason and hopefully give Webster the tournament run that they want. Nysa Gilchrist and Emily Wilson stood out amongst the other freshmen as two players who are sure to help advance the program and become game changers.
4. Trinity (Connecticut)
After missing their chance to dance in the tournament, Trinity now refuses to take that sitting down. Following a 17-6 season that ended with an upset by Bates College at the NESCAC Women’s Basketball Championship, Trinity just narrowly missed their shot at Amherst.
The Bantams have plenty of powerful juniors and seniors for the 2022-23 season with players like Samantha Gallo, Tori Varsamis, and Reilly Campbell, who all achieved high scoring numbers across multiple games this past season. Likely to be stacked next year with powerful offensive and defensive players, there would be almost no shock if they put their dancing shoes on this upcoming year after a strong run in the next NESCAC tournament.
5. Rhode Island College
Though “under the radar” of many, Rhode Island College should be considered a threat next season. Rhode Island College had a heartbreakingly close loss to St. John Fisher, a top 25 team, in the first round of the NCAA tournament. Finishing a 23-6 season, this squad will be senior heavy in the upcoming year, ready to fight their way back into the Tournament to make a name for themselves. Antonia Corsinetti will likely help lead the charge again next year after her impressive season, including a 27 point game.
Angelina Nardolillo displayed phenomenal numbers as a freshman. After a decorated high school career, when she became a 1,000 point club member, she now aims for greatness in college hoops. In a short stint, she already has multiple 20 point plus games. Rhode Island College is ready to prove their strength in the 2022-23 season with their weapons.
6. Gustavus Adolphus College
Fighting relentlessly until the end of their season, Gustavus Adolphus College lost by 6 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament to 11th ranked Simpson. They went 22-5 on the season and finished 2nd in the MIAC. Using this offseason to help improve their freshman loaded roster, this new powerhouse will definitely come back stronger with the force and drive to dominate the next season.
Given time, the Golden Gusties will develop better chemistry, helping them dominate the court. Only 5 out 19 of the players on the roster this past season were upperclassmen. Considering that, their 22-5 season becomes all the more impressive. Emma Kniefel and Anna Sanders, both upperclassmen, will undoubtedly help lead their teammates, following their well-played game against Simpson, and bring Gustavus Adolphus back to the tournament.
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