This year’s MIAC Championships featured a strong showing from Concordia’s basketball teams. The women placed second in the playoffs, losing 50-58 to St. Thomas in the championship final, and the men lost 67-74 to Augsburg in the semifinals. The women went on to win a bid into the NCAA Division III Tournament, but lost 64-72 in the first round to UW–Steven’s Point.
The week of the championships found both teams spending most of their time on the court. Guard Hannah Jeske said that the women used their pre-game practice time to their advantage.
“We practice for about two hours a day,” Jeske said. “We prepared by focusing on the upcoming teams.”
The men’s team set a goal for themselves at the start of the season to simply make it into the MIAC playoffs. Forward Jordan Deutsch said he thought the men used their practice time to the fullest by going through different plays with the help of the junior varsity team.
“We did scrimmages (with the) junior varsity team,” Deutsch said. “We also did a bit of three man scramble.”
Wanting to make sure they were mentally prepared for the games, players took time for themselves and as a team, gaurd Erika Jossart said.
“(Some) watched film on the other team and even ourselves to try and pick out little things (to change during) the game,” Jossart said.
During the MIAC playoffs, the men’s team made sure to use pre-game time to hone their skills and focus on their goal for the season. Center Scott Flotterud said that even though the last couple of practices were difficult, they were crucial to the men’s success.
“The week of practice leading up to the game was very intense, but once the game started, it was just another game that we wanted to win,” Flotterud said.
Taking part in a competition as big as the MIAC tournament can create stress for players. To add to this, MIAC playoffs coincided with Concordia’s midterms. Jossart said having to balance school and basketball during the tournament was stressful for her.
“It was hard to focus on both my school work and basketball because I had to make decisions on whether to study for exams or watch film on the other team,” Jossart said.
Flotterud said that the five minutes before the game started was the most stressful part of the season.
“I just feel a little bit nervous, right before (the game) starts,” Flotterud said.
Jossart said they gave their all during the tournament.
“I think just the fact that every game is a big game and could potentially be the team’s last during tournament time really helped everyone stay focused and leave it all on the floor,” Jossart said.
Jossert also said that a strong showing of fan support this season was greatly appreciated, and fan attendance grew when playoffs started.
“This year was especially fun because we got to play at home throughout…playoffs, and it was nice that we got a really great crowd to come to the games,” Jossart said. “The atmosphere was awesome to play in.”
Jossart said that even though the women didn’t make it to the final round of the tournament, they still enjoyed their time playing and competing.
“The MIAC tournament is always really competitive and fun to be a part of,” Jossart said.