COLUMBUS, Neb. – When CCC’s star Maeghan Pieper tore her ACL in the midseason, it was a body blow for the Lady Raiders.
“We were really sad, mad, just didn’t seem fair with the injuries that we had,” head coach Mary Young. “Basically I allowed myself a pity party for around 24 hours. At 4 p.m. the next day, I told the team, we’re done!” says Young.
While the team was thrown off, they eventually moved on and realized they still had a pretty good squad.
“I think we were all like kind of scared, we didn’t know what we were going to do. But after working through it, we realized we could do it without them,” says freshman Jacie Laetsch.
Now, CCC will be playing as a #8 seed in the NJCAA Division II national tournament next week in Charleston, West Virginia after sweeping Bismark State in the district playoff last weekend.
The team has had to deal with other injuries as well, with players such as Jessica Eurek also being sidelined this season. But Coach Young says the team managed to stick together throughout the ups and downs.
“There’s good chemistry between them, they’re friends off the court, they have a good disposition as individuals and together as a group they really fit well together,” says Young.
As for the Lady Raiders tournament prospects, they’ll face #9 Cowley County (KS) in the first round next Thursday and a win would likely match them up with undefeated #1 Owens (OH).
“I’ve never really felt like our team has maxed out to full capacity this year,” says Young. “You always need a little bit of luck. Even the teams that are number one, number two seeds need luck.