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New coach and outlook for women’s basketball team

Women’s basketball season is back; and with new head coach Chad Oletzke.

“I got to get things established with the way we want to play,” said Coach Oletzke. He knows that coming in as new coach is not an easy task, but it is possible. He went on to say that even though he only has two freshmen on the team, “they are all, basically, freshmen because they don’t know what’s going to happen in the program.”

Guiding this team into the right direction should be no problem for Oletzke; he has 15 years of experience, eight championship titles, and five NCAA tournament bids. He is well qualified to help guide the Prairie Stars to the light.  In fact, before he became the head coach he was an assistant coach for South Dakota State University. There he co-led this team to a Summit League regular season championship.

Currently the team has 10 players: one senior, four juniors, three sophomores, and two freshmen. This gives the team a lot of space to grow, knowing they will only loose one player after this year. Their current record is 1-4.

This may not seem like the best record, but as aforementioned this team has a lot of room to grow. The season has just started and they still have time to take off and excel like they want to. They just have, according to Oletzke, to start building this new program “from the ground” and “implement things” as they move forward.

Oletzke expressed that he was not at all worried about what previous coaches had done with this team, he was only concerned with what he and he team had to work on moving forward.

“We [he and the team] had to come in on a daily basis to get better every day as individual players and as a team,” he said. “[We need to] learn about what we are trying, but then also increase our competitive…level.”

He went on to assert that the biggest components of their success are the team itself and their work ethic. He knows that is will be difficult to show his players exactly how hard they have to work because this will be their first time in his program; and it is really hard trying to teach this type of work ethic.

“No one on our teams really knows what the expectation is,” said Oletzke. Getting the team acclimated to his program and his method is a major focus for him and his assistant coach, Andrea Riebock.

This team has a lot of potential and with the correct guidance these Prairie Stars will blossom into an overall great defense.

Oletzke said it best, this team will come to “realize that there’s another step, and when we get to that step there is another step; and there is always constantly a higher step for them to drive for.”

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