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Future bright after historic season for Lopers

UNK women’s basketball returning four of five starters next season
Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 6:47 PM CDT
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KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) - The UNK women’s basketball team fell one win shy of making it to the Elite Eight for the first time in program history. The Lopers fell to MIAA foe Central Missouri in the “Sweet 16.” It marked the third time (1998, 2007, 2021) UNK made it to the “Sweet 16.”

The game ended the careers’ of senior starter Kelsey Sanger and Shelby Megyeri.

“It definitely was a tough locker room knowing that we won’t be playing with them again,” Junior center Brooke Carlson said. “They’re just great examples of amazing people with great character and they just love us all so well.”

“They’re just the one’s that you can look too,” Junior forward Klaire Kirsch said. “They’re going to be poised all the time. No matter if they’re on the bench, on the court or you see them in the hallway. You’re just going to see the same person every time and I think that’s something we’re definitely going to miss from them.”

Looking ahead to next season, Carrie Eighmey returns four of her five starters which includes Haley Simental. She is using the NCAA’s extra year of eligibility to return for her seventh collegiate season. Among the returners is Elisa Backes who led the team averaging 13.4 PPG coming off the bench.

“It’s almost a good thing that the same people that are feeling that same feeling in the locker room now are the same ones that are coming back to work this next off-season,” Kirsch said. “Its definitely going to be something that fuels us, everyone one of us in there.”

“It’s exciting to us this as motivation for next year and kind of our junior class here,” Carlson said. “I feel like we’ve got a lot of experience and its very exciting to come back with those guys.”

In their last 59 games, UNK has won 49. The Lopers ended their season with a record of 23-4.

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