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Women’s basketball acquires new attitude in 08-09 season

December 4, 2008

After finishing 8-18 last season, the UW-River Falls women’s basketball team looks for its talented young players and a new sense of attitude to help them become contenders in the 2008-09 WIAC.

Already off to a fast start, the Falcons are currently 4-1 with wins against Northwestern College, North Central College, St. Mary’s and Grinnell. Their sole loss came at the hands of Judson University, where the Falcons lost a close game 53-49.

With the 4-1 start to the season, head coach Cindy Hovet said she is excited for her team.

“Obviously I’m happy that we’re off to a good start. We’ve been playing hard and competing in practice and in games. Having competitive sharp practices is the key to playing competitive sharp games,” Hovet said.

On Nov. 9, the Falcons kicked off the 2008-09 season as they traveled to the Kohl Center in Madison, Wis. where they played the Wisconsin Badgers in an exhibition game.

Though the Badgers were able to handle the Falcons easily, the team was able to walk away with a helpful learning experience.

In his third year as play-by-play voice for Falcon women’s basketball, Steven Linzmeier said he believes the Falcons will be able to turn a blowout loss into a positive.

“Madison was a great opportunity for the team. They got a chance to see their weaknesses exploited by a much better team,” Linzmeier said. 

“Also to play in arena as beautiful as that, with Barry Alvarez sitting courtside, it was a lot of fun.”

The Falcons come into the season losing three of their top scorers from a year ago, but with young, talented freshmen coming into the Falcons system, Linzmeier said he believes the Falcons will be much improved from a year ago.

“Taylor House and Tiffany Gregorich are two freshmen that are extremely fun to watch and I think they will have great careers as Falcons,” he said.

The Falcons were able to claim two impressive victories in front of their home crowd over Thanksgiving break.

On Nov. 25 the Falcons defeated St. Mary’s 67-49. Sophomore guard Tess Lardie’s 18 points and six rebounds paved the way for the Falcons 18-point victory.

Following up the St. Mary’s win, the Falcons played host to Grinnell College this past Saturday. With tough defense and hot shooting, the Falcons were able to beat Grinnell 97-37. Gregorich led all scorers with a career high of 24 points.

With five more games before winter break and conference play right around the corner, coach Hovet expects the competition to pick up.

“We are just now getting into a tougher part of our schedule, so the next five games before Christmas will be much tougher than the last five have been,” she said. “Also, UW-Whitewater is ranked No. 1 in the nation right now, and we always have a number of teams that break into the top 25. Our conference is tough every game.”

The Falcons begin conference play at home against UW-Oshkosh on Dec. 6.