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Women’s Basketball 22-23 Campaign Closes with High Hopes for Next Season

Kacee Baumhower | Photo by Monica Brutto | The Wright State Guardian

After losing in the quarterfinals of the Horizon League tournament, the Wright State women’s basketball season has come to an end. Although the team did not achieve all it wanted, the Raiders trusted the process and began to see results down the stretch that have generated high hopes for next season. 

A rocky start

After losing 19 of its first 21 games of the season, WSU rallied around one another to win six of the final 11 games. 

“I think our players really bought into the coaching style and the system, and they saw the fruits of that later in the season,” head coach Kari Hoffman said. “We will be looking to build off of where we left off with a lot of confidence, belief, trust in each other and players that were producing.” 

This season marked the second with Hoffman at the helm after the head coach left Cedarville University. In a personal coaching career, Hoffman has won 66 percent of games played. Despite losing 24 games this season, Hoffman experienced one of the more remarkable seasons as a head coach. 

“I think this year, I learned that truly trusting the process pays off,” Hoffman said. “I was proud of the way we finished, and it was honestly one of my favorite years.”

Seniors Bryce Nixon, Isabelle Bolender and Emily Chapman will not be returning next season, leaving new opportunities at the guard position. Bolender reached 1,000 career points this season along with Chapman reaching 1,500. 

Though the three will be gone, the seniors played a major role in leading this team and instilling a great work ethic among the rest of the squad. 

“We would have never been the team we were without them,” sophomore Kacee Baumhower said. “They taught us what it was like to have a winning mentality.” 

Looking forward 

Baumhower will hold a major role at the guard slot along with Makiya Miller, who made the all-freshman HL team, and junior Cara VanKempen. Baumhower started in 24 of the 32 games this season, averaging over nine points per game, while VanKempen and Miller averaged around six points per contest.  

“I want to keep that standard and add to it,” Baumhower added. “That is how good teams become great teams, so that is where I think we can take that step next season.” 

WSU will look for more depth at the guard and wing positions with the three seniors departing. 

“Cara Vankempen will hopefully be able to slide down and play her normal position as a wing instead of being a five,” Hoffman stated. “Next week, we will start digging into the portal and seeing if we can get more depth at the wing.” 

The Raider team will begin its journey into the 2023-24 season in the next couple weeks with an off-season lifting program. 

Though the team did not achieve all of its goals, it closed the season on a high note and will carry a lot of momentum heading into next year.

Adam Campbell

Contributing Sports Writer