WAYNE – Following a season that was limited to playing eight conference opponents twice, student-athletes competing in winter sports are looking forward to a complete season in 2021-22.
With a couple of scrimmages already under their belt, the Wayne State College women’s basketball team has been preparing for an early season start.
The Wildcats recently scrimmaged Mount Marty last weekend and with another in-house scrimmage earlier this week as they move towards a Division I opponent next Wednesday.
Head coach Brent Pollari will be entering his fourth year leading WSC women’s basketball. Coach Pollari said they were able to play everybody and are trying to figure out their combinations.
“Not returning any starters, having seven new players and a lot of young players,” said Pollari, “We’re trying to kind of find out what combinations work best and where we are there. We did some pretty good things, but there are some things we got to work on.”
The Wildcat women finished 6-10 (5-9 NSIC South Division) earlier this year.
WSC will open their 2021-22 schedule with an exhibition game at Creighton on Wednesday, November 3 at 5 p.m. Join Voice of the Wildcats, Aaron Scheffler on Big Red Country ‘KTCH’ 104.9 and waynedailynews.com with pregame coverage set for 4:30 p.m. on the Wildcat Sports Network.
Creighton went 10-12 last year and 6-7 in the Big East with several games postponed. The Bluejays were selected to finish sixth in the Big East Preseason poll this year.
Coach Pollari added the staff is looking forward to see his team come out and compete against a top Big East opponent.
“That’s something that I think we are trying to learn to do,” Pollari mentioned. “We’re all getting along good, things are going well, we want to kind of get after it a little bit more and compete. Our styles are very similar in how we play so that will be interesting in seeing how we play against a team that plays similar to us.”
The NSIC Preseason Coaches’ Poll was released Thursday afternoon at the Wildcat women were selected 13th overall with 51 points and seventh in the South Division with 11 points.
Senior point guard Kylie Hammer was chosen by the league as the Wildcat Player to Watch. Hammer said the team is motivated to begin the season.
“We have nothing to lose,” said Hammer. “We’re going to play hard and I think this team is going to surprise a lot of people this year. “We’re excited to play people and we’ve put in a lot new things this year, so I’m really excited to just get to show people what we’ve been working hard on in preseason.”
She is the lone returning starter for the Wildcats this season after averaging 9.8 points and 4.5 rebounds per game. Hammer had eight games of double digit scoring last season including two games of 20 or more points while shooting 37 percent from the field and 76 percent at the free throw line.
Coach Pollari also added that Hammer has done a really good job leading by example as the team is sitting 11-deep getting into a mix of players.
“But also talking about what we need to do and she’s grown her game.” Pollari said. “I think you’re going to see her be able to attack and control a little bit more this year. We have a transfer Logan Hughes (Missouri Western State) who I think is going to have a pretty big impact on our team and then there’s a bunch of young people that are going to come and contribute.”
WSC will then move into non-conference games at Newman on Saturday, November 13 at 2 p.m. before hosting Chadron State on Thursday, November 18; Black Hills State on Friday, November 19 and South Dakota Mines on Wednesday, November 24 at 5:30 p.m.
The Wildcat women will join the Wayne State College men’s basketball team for their NSIC home opener with Augustana University on Tuesday, November 23 at 5:30/7:30 p.m. at Rice Auditorium. All NSIC basketball games will be carried on the Wildcat Sports Network as the only non-conference men’s game will be WSC vs. Nebraska-Kearney on Monday, November 29 at 7 p.m.