Grand Valley women's basketball credits success to young, experienced team

Only two seniors and three juniors on the team
Posted at 11:13 PM, Feb 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-20 23:13:03-05

ALLENDALE, Mich. — “Honestly we thought it’d be a good team this year. Didn’t think we’d be doing this well at this point of the season, but it’s a testimony to these players and what they’ve done” said Grand Valley Women’s head coach Mike Williams.

Now with his 300th career win under his belt, Grand Valley Women’s basketball head coach Mike Williams and the Lakers have their sights set on the GLIAC tournament.

“Last year didn’t really go how we wanted it to go so just bouncing back from last year would mean a lot for me and my teammates,” said freshman guard Rylie Bisballe.

“We always have that conference championship in the back of our mind as a big goal for us so if we were able to win that, it would just be the first step towards our goal. We’re playing really well together right now so we’re looking forward to it,” said junior guard Emily Spitzley.

The Lakers are 23 and 1 this season with two games to play. That lone loss came in their GLIAC season opener against Saginaw Valley back in December. They locked up the regular season GLIAC title last week and say that their youthful roster has played a big role in their success this season.

“We rely on them a lot and we’re very confident in what they can do and their abilities. We have Ellie (Droste) and Rylie (Bisballe) and Hadley (Miller) has been stepping up to the plate lately so we’re very confident in them and our team overall,” said Spitzley.

“It’s also a really good dynamic that we have with so many experienced players. Because there’s not a lot of drop-off with what five we have on the court, you know? Any combination you put out there they’re going to do good,” said senior forward Hannah Kulas.

Grand Valley has just two seniors and three juniors, the rest of the team is made up of underclassmen. Like Freshman guard Rylie Bisballe who was conference player of the week and posted two double-doubles last weekend.

“I’ve been putting a lot of extra time in and that is seeming to help a lot. And even if that doesn’t work out I’m going to do whatever else I can to help my teammates whether that’s rebounding, getting stops on defense, cheering for my teammates. Whatever that is,” said Bisballe.

Their win over Northwood on Saturday marked their 17th win in a row for the No. 3 ranked team in the country. They’ll finish conference play this week against Wayne State and Saginaw Valley and then turn their attention to the conference tournament at the beginning of march.

“I think this team pretty much is all in, they’re bought in and they’re doing whatever it takes to be successful,” said Williams.