Women’s basketball team starts season off with historic undefeated run

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Webster’s women’s basketball team started the season 7-0, becoming the first team to start a season undefeated.

The Webster women’s basketball team made history on Nov. 27.

After the 81-74 win over Augustana College, they became the first team in program history to start a season 7-0. This was also the first time Webster defeated Augustana since 2015.

Senior guard Naomi Johnson led the team with 27 total points. Eighteen of those points came from behind the arc as she was 6 for 6 in three pointers. Head coach Jordan Olufson said the team’s success so far has been a result of the leadership from seniors and upperclassmen mixed with the new talent added to the team.

Jordyn Grimes, center, and the basketball team huddle up and chant before game against Hendrix College. Photo by Kaelin Triggs.

“They’re bonding well together and the new players are picking stuff up, and I am really pleased with the progress we are making right now,” Olufson said. “We are doing some good things and we have a lot of room to keep improving. I don’t feel like we have scratched our surface yet, which is good for us.”

The game against Augustana gave Olufson his 205th career win as the head coach for the women’s basketball team. He said reaching 200 wins as a head coach is a representation of the entire coaching staff and the hard work of the players.

Emily Kuntze, junior guard, said a big part of the team’s success this early in the season has been the players’ chemistry. According to Kuntze, a mix of their chemistry, talent and skill level on the team makes them a threat in every matchup. She said improving on these things will help them continue to be successful.

“It took us a little bit to get into our groove and mesh with everybody and see how everyone plays,” Kuntze said. “Our communication has improved a lot. It could still be better, though.”

Kuntze transferred to Webster from Missouri Southern State University. According to Kuntze, she has enjoyed how positive and uplifting the team is. Since joining the team, she has contributed 20 points, 13 rebounds and eight steals.

Senior forward Addison Beussink said team members do a really good job encouraging each other. According to her, the team culture and atmosphere helped her achieve 1,000 career points.

“I feel like I play better because of the teammates I have and the motivation the coaches give me,” Beussink said.

Starting in all seven games so far this season, Beussink is averaging 14 points per game. She also averages eight rebounds and two steals per game.

Despite its undefeated record, the team still wants to keep improving. Kuntze said continuing to play together and learning how everyone else on the team play will help them improve.

“If everyone focuses on their own individual weakness and improves as individuals, the team will keep getting better as a whole,” Kuntze said. “We just have to keep giving our best effort every single day.”

Olufson said the team’s shooting on offense has been a problem since the National Collegiate Athletic Association pushed back the three point line. He also said the team can keep working on its defense and practice specific scenarios involving the shot clock.

According to Olufson, this year has been better compared to how unpredictable everything was last season during COVID-19. He said the excitement of being back to “normal” has made all the difference.

“We want our players to keep getting better individually and for the team to get better each day,” Olufson said. “The goal is for everyday to take a step forward. Just get better with each rep, each practice and each game.”

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Sports Editor | + posts

Kaelin Triggs (he/him) is the sports editor for the Journal. He is a journalism major pursuing a career in sports writing. He also runs for Webster's track and cross country team, and he enjoys playing piano and hanging out with friends and family.