Women fall in tournament play

Ben Webster and Phil Roy

The women’s basketball team traveled down to Lake Forest this past weekend for the Midwest Conference Championship. The Vikings joined St. Norbert, Carroll and top seed Lake Forest in the competition.
Lawrence, seeded fourth in the tournament, faced off against 15-1 Lake Forest in a semifinal encounter.
The Vikings, who were the only team to down the Foresters this season, found themselves fighting from behind all game long. The Vikings never held the lead but battled hard and came just short of coming back from a 13-point deficit at halftime.
A defensive rebound, layup and one by Caresse Reiland put the Vikings within three with 1:16 left in the game, and after a tough jumper by Andrea Durante of Lake Forest, Viking guard Carrie Van Groll was fouled and sank consecutive free throws to cut the lead back to three.
The Foresters downed their next two free throws, however, to secure the game and their ticket to the final. Lake Forest went on to cap their near-perfect run this year with a championship and will face off against Maryville in the national tournament.
The Vikings finish with a 13-11 record, and finished in fourth place in the Midwest Conference, going 10-6 against conference opponents.
Three Vikings standouts were honored by being named to the All-Midwest Conference team.
Juniors Jenny Stoner and Kelly Mulcahy were awarded first-team honors, and junior Carrie Van Groll was a second-team selection.
The Vikings will be without four current seniors when they hit the hardwood again next season.
Stephanie Kliethermes, Molly Bouressa, Christine Brice and Chelsie Barnard have all been significant contributors to the Vikings squad through their dedication in practices and competitions and their able leadership. They will be missed.
The Vikings program will continue in its legacy of success, however, as they return all three all-conference selections next year.
Junior standout Kelly Mulcahy commented, “We managed to fight through ups and downs in order to get ourselves into the tournament. We truly played our hearts out on Friday, [and] despite a slow first half, we never gave up.”
Mulcahy remained optimistic about next season. “I think we have great talent for the future, but unfortunately we are losing a fantastic senior class full of leadership and dedication,” Mulcahy said.
And so it is, another season in the books, another successful one, but another one that fell just short of conference title glory.
Thank you to Steph, Molly, Christine and Chelsie for their commitment to Lawrence athletics and the wider Lawrence community over the years.
We at The Lawrentian wish them well and will look forward to next season, when the Vikings embark on another campaign that may just end in conference glory.